Thursday, December 21, 2006

Web Banner Design Tips

Online advertisement is a huge source of revenue for modern businesses and the most popular method of advertising on internet is web banner ads. Web Banners are constructed using images, Text, JavaScript and multimedia objects (flash, shockwave etc). A web banner is displayed when web page that contains the banner is loaded in visitor’s internet browser. On clicking the web banner the visitor is directed to the website for which the advertisement is placed.

Web banner design needs lots of research and attractive content to get the visitor to act on seeing it. Few tips to make your banner effective are listed below:

1. Punch Line: Before designing your web banner spend some time to create an effective punch line; something that encourage viewer to click on the banner. Punch line should be small and appealing. Use proper colors and fonts for your punch line.

2. Related Content: Ensure that content displayed on your web banner is related to services or products you are offering on your site. e.g. Use “ Latest pendent designs by ABC company” rather than “ Latest Jewelry collection by ABC store” . Be specific; users may click on the banner but may not buy anything from your online store, if they do not find for what they are searching. Give them what they are looking for, to get better sales.

3. Use your Logo and Web site URL: If your motive is to promote your brand name then include both logo and website address in your web banner. Make sure that you don’t take the visitor attention off the punch line while mentioning your website and it’s URL. Keep your logo small and use small text to display website address. Highlight your puncline and not the website name and URL.

4. Use the word “free” or “click here” in your banner: Use of “free” or “click here” word in your web banner design can increase CTR (click through ratio). Human nature makes a person to check out anything that is for free. If you are giving something free on your web shopping store, than add a line which highlights it.
e.g. “Free gift with all purchases before December 31st”. It will surely attract more visitors and you have better chances of making a sale.

5. File size: web banner is displayed on webpage when it loads on viewer’s web browser. It should load fast and before the visitor moves on to next page. Short web banner file size increases the loading speed of the banner when user opens the web page. It is advisable to keep file size as small as possible. To reduce file size minimize the use of animations and heavy pictures in your banner.

6. Time: most of the internet users spend less then 10 second at the top portion of website. This time is crucial and you have to convey your message within this time. If, using animation use it in such a way that the web banner conveys the message within this time frame.

7. Animation: Compared to static banner, an animated banner design can greatly increase a banner’s CTR. The main problem with animated banner is slow load time. You can reduce load time by reducing number of colors and vertical color change. Further, animation with infinite loop can be too long for the visitor to view the complete animation. Keep it short and crisp. Try using compressed JPEG or GIF images for the banner. GIF images are generally light and not that heavy as the JPEG ones are.

8. Colors and Fonts: Instead of using black and white color use bright colors for your banner design. According to some study dark blue on white and blue on white is the most attractive color combination. It doesn’t mean that always go for these colors. Use colors that represent your business and match with webpage on which banner is placed. Use font types that improve the readability of web banner. Most common used fonts are Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana.

9. Multiple Banner Design: Use multiple banners for your ad camping. Change the banners periodically during your ad campaign. Different people, like different color, fonts and images. You have a better chance to attract larger number of visitors by using multiple banners in your advertisement campaign.

10. Professional Design: Get a professional look for your banner. If you cannot do it yourself, hire a professional web banner designer to delver a quality web banner. Remember a good web banner can make your day and a bad one can create a negative impact about your company image on the visitors. You may get lots of free banner design software, or free web banner design advertisements on the internet. But quality should not be compromised as it reflects your business image to the website visitors.