5 Things All Winning Banners Have in Common

5 Things All Winning Banners Have in Common


Written by

Papa Whale


January 13, 2016



winning banners

Banners aren't dead — digital advertising is actually more sophisticated than ever.

But what we also know is, people have become very adept at ignoring traditional banner display advertising in recent years — banner blindness — call it what you will.

Let's think about it another way for a second: can you imagine if we lived in a world where people didn't visit adult sites for the content, but rather, for the advertisements? Crazy, right?

People viewing something mainly for the ads? Get out of town! What kind of sorcery is this?!

But it then maybe becomes a little less crazy when we think about the Super Bowl, and how this survey reaffirms what many of us already knew: most people watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials.

Now we're not saying we expect people to one day visit adult sites for the ads — but what we are saying, is it really that big of a stretch to create winning advertisements that people, at the very least, don't ignore?  We don't think so.

So, how does one overcome this?

Well for one, you can get back to the drawing board, put on your strategic thinking hat, and give your ads a little makeover after learning the 5 things all great, high-CTR banners have in common.

With the growing number of skeptics out there, the crappy ad tools are out, and cool well-designed ad tools are in.

Online surfers are so blasé about bad ad tools, they don’t have time for them and don’t bother giving them a first or second look. That’s why it is so important that when you’re selecting your ad tool, you use the right one.

There are 5 essential characteristics of a great, high-CTR banner.

1- They feature eye-catching imagery

You’ve heard it a hundred times before: a picture is worth a thousand words. Your picture here will work wonders for showing online surfers what you’re all about and why they should be interested. That means the picture has to be on topic and will work even better if it’s relevant and up-to-date. In a sea of ads coming from every direction, your picture needs to stand out from the rest to attract and hook internet surfers.

2- They have click-worthy text

You don’t have to be Bob Dylan’s relative to write catchy lines. We're not saying it’s very easy either. You’re going to have to test a few sentences out before you can tell what works so you’ll get better at it with time. The best way to start out is by looking at other banners. Do not copy other’s witty text – you can always find a way to put your own unique spin on it. Just make your text sizzle to make it click-worthy.

3- They respect the basic principles of design

It helps to have an eye for design and aesthetically pleasing looks - however there’s no beauty contest when it comes to this. As with bulldogs, sometimes an ugly look can still be attractive. With art and design there’s an element of balance of the placement of the objects, the light and dark contrast and colours also play an important role. This might not come naturally to you, but you will figure it out by testing different variations.

But if you don't know anything about design, these 10 principles of good design are a good starting point before attempting your own banners.

4- They have a call-to-action (CTA)

We’ve talked about this before and still it’s surprising to see how many people forget this golden rule: no ad is complete without a CTA. After all of that hard work you’ve put into making a sleek ad tool that leaps off the screen and grabs your viewer’s attention, bring it home by making your CTA nice and clear.

5- And most importantly, THEY'RE A/B TESTED!

Here’s comes that evaluation process that we’ve been talking about. You’re going to need a lot of testing to get your ad tool up to par. Once you’ve created your ad tool, you’re going to test two variations of the same banner online.

Again and again. Over and over.

See which one performs better and burn the version that was outperformed. A/B test your ad tool to optimize its performance to make sure that your banner is effective.

When done correctly, banners will become your best tool in cranking up the amount of traffic activity.

Banners can seem like an endless, time-consuming circle of designing, testing, redesigning, testing, etc. It’s the key element for a successful banner campaign. Your competitors are doing it, so compete by doing it better.

Or you could just relax and let us do the work.

That’s why we’re always working on eye-catching banners using this five step process and testing them so that we know they work.

That means that you don’t have to spend precious time figuring out the right colours and design and don’t have to burn your traffic while testing new creative material.

Because we're taking care of this. And on millions of hits.

It’s such a vital part of the business that our staff works week-long to create newer and better ad tools!

Our media buyers test ad tools on our own traffic and then our creative experts add their insights so they can better craft their next money-making piece of art!

Creative materials are then tested to make sure they reach the maximal click-through rate before they become available to our affiliates.

Put your banner to the test, considering the 5 essential elements that we mentioned above, to resurrect your earning power. Or save your time and effort and let us design your new ad tools: contact your affiliate adviser to help you select the ad tools that best suit your needs!

And remember, if a banner isn't working, don't be so quick to blame the banner. The usual culprit is more often than not lack of optimization, or perhaps, just not properly A/B testing your banners like they deserve. 

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