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Quick! Name the last 10 banner ads you saw while surfing the Net. The last 5? The most recent? Most Internet users have learned to "tune-out" or ignore banner ads while trying to find specific information on the Internet. And, with bulk, unsolicited Email being out of the question for any legitimate business, what is the next step?

At PLANETWeBDESIGN we believe banners should always include the following:

The words "Click Here!" can dramatically boost response
Try a blue border around the banner (implying the whole banner is clickable)
Try adding clickable text below the banner ("Click here for XYZ Offer")
Try presenting a variety of messages in the same visual style
Urgency helps ("Last Day!")

Read the following information below to acquaint yourself with banner advertisements the view examples of our banners. If you would like us to produce one for you please email us with your information or send us a number to call!

Here are 8 effective tips:

1) Bigger Is Better

Wider ad banners, typically either 468 pixels or 500 pixels wide, are clicked on significantly more than smaller ones. Larger banner ads (in terms of pixels, not bytes) are better than smaller banner ads.

2) Refresh Ad Banners Often

Several studies have been conducted that show ad banners drop off in click-throughs after several days, but when a new banner appears, the click-through rate jumps. Yahoo claims that banners burn out after two weeks.

3) Feature a Call To Action

Yahoo, and I/Pro both tell us to have a call to action in the banner. The phrase "Click Here!" is a good example and can dramatically boost response.

4) Create Urgency

"Last chance" or other time dependent phrases will prompt users to click now or forever hold their peace.

5) Use the Word "FREE!"

Any promotional incentive that offers value or using words like "Free!" will induce users to click on the banner. Of course only use such terms if you actually offer free incentive and if you do not, you may consider adding an information section or offering some kind of free services related to your target demographic. This way, when you market your site, you will have something more to market than just your products.

6) Animated Banners Are Noticed More

Motion naturally attracts attention; however, if it is located on a page that a user would dwell on for an extended period of time, the animation can be more annoying than beneficial.

7) Link the Banner To a Specific Page, Not the Homepage

Nobody wants to plow through a corporate home page to get to what they want to see. Link them directly to the advertising offer or create a transition Web page that will lead them down the sales cycle.

8) Clear Banner Design and Communication

Write the book. Don't follow it. Use simple, distinctive design that compels visitors to explore, discover, and be part of your vision.

Web Advertising '97 conference offered these banner design suggestions:
click here -- make it clear the banner is something to be clicked
catch their attention -- use animation to capture attention as well as the right audience
involve the audience -- interactive banners work
brand appropriately -- if the banner is for a new product/service of an existing brand, don't put the brand on; people may think they know everything already and not click through
change creative frequently -- on the Infoseek site, banners seem to wear out after 200,000 to 400,000 impressions
match your message to your targeting -- make sure your banner is targeted (banners attached to keywords pull much better)
don't waste time/money on contests -- contest banners don't pull any better
certain truisms remain true -- intrigue and sex sell
less is more -- keep banner sizes small (10K to 15K)
be systematic -- set-up a mechanism to track what works and what doesn't in an ad campaign

The Standards and Practices Committee of the IAB has used market data to examine the full range of banner types (vertical, horizontal, half and button) and sizes currently in use. The Committee has identified the following as the most commonly accepted:

468 x 60 Full Banner
234 x 60 Half Banner
392 x 72 Full Banner with Vertical Navigation Bar
120 x 240 Vertical Banner
125 x 125 Square Button
120 x 90 Button #1
120 x 60 Button #2
88 x 31 Micro Button



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