Banner Campaigns in General
Banners are another way to get your site recognized over the internet. There are several sites that devote themselves to free banner exchange and we will give you links to the best of them.
A banner campaign must be maintained. Banners lose their effectiveness after two weeks. That means that you must refresh your banners – create and implement new banners at least every two weeks. This means a lot of work creating banners, putting them in place, and tracking your statistics. We recommend that if you have little time, that you concentrate on reciprocal links, search engines, and online directories.
However, if you are dedicated to the task or if you have the time to spend, we will give you some important information to get you started. Also, if you just want to try it out for a few weeks, and see how it goes, there is no harm in that. It will take you a few hours to get started and then you can monitor your statistics for a few weeks. When you start to get a feel for it, you can make a more educated decision on continuance of your banner campaign.
impression = how many times a banner is displayed
CPM = cost per thousand impressions
CTR = click thru ratios – exposures to banner:hits
CPC = cost per click thru CPC=CPM/CTR
Tips on making banners
1. Bigger pixel width and height is better. Standard is 480 x 60 pixels.
2. Smaller bytes is better. The standard to get into the free exchange networks is under 10k. However, statistics have proven that 2.5k or less will get you more click thrus.
3. Include a call to action – “click here”, “enter”, “go to”, or some variation thereof.
4. Once again, “content is king”. Your banner headline (text on your banner) is very important. Here are a few tips on content:
a. Try to include timely information – create urgency if you can – but don’t irritate with that urgency.
b. Use the word “free” if you can. Other statistics say that the word “new” can also improve click thru ratios.
c. Create intrigue – ask a question – or make the site behind the banner seem mysterious.
d. Don’t use a “known” brand name. For instance – “Coke” is a well known brand – people are not going to click on something they think they already know about.
e. Include keywords – heavily searched keywords. You’re more likely to get click throughs on words that people are searching for. For instance “Toys”.
f. Target your message to a particular group of people. You want people to come to your site who are looking for what you are offering, give them some hint as to what they might find at your site. This may seem contrary to creating intrigue, but you will have lots of opportunities to try out different banners.
5. Use a simple but distinctive design for your banner.
6. Try brighter colors – dark red, black and grays are too dark or too bland.
7. Use animation – in small amounts, nothing annoying.
8. Use interactivity. (more on this coming soon)
9. Here’s a new one: try an upsidedown banner – this may lose effect quickly as people get used to it – but it might be a good try for the next few months.
1. Change your banners out at least every two weeks. Research has proven that banners lose their effectiveness after two weeks.
2. Link your banners to a specific page in your web site. Don’t bring them to your home page – bring them to a page which has info specific to your banner.
3. If you are paying for your banner placement – see that your banner is in a good location – the top of the page is usually the best place.
4. TRACK YOUR STATISTICS – Link Buddies (link at bottom) provides the best statistics on tracking, this is why we recommend that you go to them first. You should be tracking your CTR’s. If you are paying for your banner placement, you should be tracking your CPM’s.
Tools and Sites
Online Banner Creator: You’ve got to check this place out! If you know what you want out of a banner – go here. It may take a while to learn how to use this online program, but once you figure it out, you may never want to leave.
Free Exchange Networks:
Link Buddies: We highly recommend this site to start your free banner campaign. They fly your banner a large number of times (500 free flys to start with). They include statistics related to hits on your site. After your first 500, they fly your banner based on the number of hits to the page where you have their banner.