Banner Ads Suffer, Take Advantage

Banner Ads Suffer, Take Advantage

© By Dale Sexton

Effectiveness of banners are declining. Most web surfers can spot banners and have trained themselves to ignore them. Cooperation between webpage owner and advertiser is needed to resolve this.

Billions of dollars are spent for website promotion, over 75% is spent on banner ads. Large corporations spent most of this money on branding. For us in small business, only a very small group know how to use banners to there full potential.

-Tips for the Webpage Owner-

Page design and banner placement are vital for a higher click-through ratio with affiliate banners for the webpage owner. If you use banners, build your site around them to get maximum benefit. Why use banners if your not getting some form of payment?

Banner placement within the first screen a user sees will pull higher than those placed further down a web page (requiring a visitor to scroll down to see it). Most banners at the top of a page are ignored.

Banners placed 1/3 down the page are more effective. Banners (or buttons) placed on the lower right side of the screen (near the scroll bar) pull twice as much than banners placed at the top of the page.

Do not let the banners take your customers from your pages. Have them open up a new window to take them to the banner site. Use the ‘target=”_blank”‘ attribute in the link tag to accomplish this.

Pop up banners are a nuisance. Alternative… use ‘Pop Under Banners’. Using javascript to open the banner in the main window, include ‘self.focus();’ to keep the main window on top. The viewer eventually sees your banner and is less annoyed.

If you are using banners for reciprocal linking, give webpage owners a choice of banners and sizes that fit their site and tastes.

Test personalized ad text with affiliates buttons to increase click- through ratio.

-Tips for the Advertiser-

Branding banners can add long-term awareness value. They don’t lend themselves an immediate click-through response, but are an important overall online brand building strategy.


You must grab your visitors attention in a couple seconds. This is one reason why large banners are ineffective. Visitors will not wait for them to load. Keep the banner size less than 10k. Getting attention not only means a fast loading banner, but one that catches the eye.

Animation… if you use it, incorporate horizontal movement. Evolution has engineered the human eye to be sensitive to horizontal motion as a survival trait.

Interactive features (if available) draw curiosity. The FreeLotto banner that allows you to scrape the tickets is a great interactive banner.

Including text like “click here” to your banner, makes it clear to the viewer what they are supposed to do. Try a blue border, implying the whole banner is clickable.

The most important word in advertising? F-R-E-E! “Final Offer” or other time dependent phrases may prompt users to click now. Add clickable text below your banner (“Your Link to Happiness”).

Ask a question. For example, ‘Can Ginko Biloba increase my memory potential? Visit Stacy’s Herbal Shop to find out!’ Spark interest, and the visitor will click the banner for the answer.

Use ALT attribute in the image tags of your banners. Many people surf with images turned off. The ALT attribute will describe the content of the banner and can bring people to your site, even if they can’t see the image!

Target your banner to similar websites. Your banner will pull better when associated with an appropriately key worded websites.

Do you want antique shoppers to visit your site? Choose a banner exchange for antiques. If the banner implies an offer, product, or service presented within specific and targeted context, that banner will get clicked more often.

Overall, surfers refuse to click on banners because banners look like… banners.

A secret to try… make banners that don’t look like banners. Make a promise with your banner ad, and deliver. Your visitor will not be irritated by being “fooled” so long as they ultimately get what was promised. If the surfer doesn’t get what s/he was looking for you will see a very poor conversion ratio.

Banners that look like internet interface elements (drop down menus and other elements customers are accustomed to clicking on) are known to generate high click-through rates.

Change your banners often. After a few hundred thousand impressions a banner becomes stale and it’s click-through rate will drop. Be systematic. Track your banners constantly.

You need to know what works and what doesn’t, and that this can change daily. Keep those banners that work well so as to rotate them back at a later date.

Banners take up valuable web real estate. Do you have high traffic pages you are failing to place ads on? What are your CGI ‘on the fly’ pages doing? Your search pages are prime also.

You are not limited to banners. Use your favorite search engine to find button exchanges and link exchanges as well. Check out these sites for free exchanges.

Rubicon Project

Let’s not leave without a few tools to make our banners with. These tools can be used for other applications as well. Be creative.


Banners are still being used, though their potency is diminishing, nevertheless haven’t you seen banners and buttons that caught your eye? The limitation to using banners are yourself, but isn’t this is true of anything.

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About the author

Pretium lorem primis senectus habitasse lectus donec ultricies tortor adipiscing fusce morbi volutpat pellentesque consectetur risus molestie curae malesuada. Dignissim lacus convallis massa mauris enim mattis magnis senectus montes mollis phasellus.

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