The most popular format for Internet advertising is display or banner ads. These ads can be a variety of shapes and sizes. Before you create an advertisement be sure to check the specifications that the website or advertising service has for this type of advertisements. Banner advertisements can be static or interactive. Most people reading this have probably seen the banner ads on the social networking website, myspace, that have interactivity. They encourage increased click through rates by having an interactive game in the advertisement.
Generally, click through rates for this advertising format are very low (usually less than .03 percent). This means that most of the banner advertisements that a consumer is exposed to on a website get ignored and don't get clicked. Even though most banner ads aren't clicked by a consumer, there is still the benefit of enhancing brand awareness.
There are a variety of ways of getting you ad to get more attention and break through the clutter. Make sure you ads are in higher spots on the web page and that most of the ad shows above the bottom of the browser window. Try viewing the website in 800 x 600 resolution and find spots on the site that are good for advertising and above the bottom of the browser.
Make sure that your ads are well designed and that any photos in the advertisement aren't pixelated. Nothing scare potential customers away more then having shoddy looking ads. Keep them clean and professional. Don't try to cram to much into the ad. This is especially important with web advertisements because the image can never be as sharp as it is in print. Think of an advertising message and try to convey that with as little information as possible.
Research that has been done on click through rates reveals that brands that are familiar to a target market have a higher click through rate than other less familiar brands. The research has also shown that CTR (click through rates) for familiar brands decrease as the number of exposures (a.k.a., ad impressions) increases. The opposite is true about less known brands. Understanding this can help marketers plan the exposure rates for each advertisement campaign. This does not imply that well know brands don't benefit from banner advertising. Even though consumers might not click on the ads, it can create top of mind awareness of the brand.
Make sure if you are picking your own websites to advertise on that you pick websites that aren't overly cluttered with advertisements. Choose a website that has relatively few advertisements. Even if they are more expensive, they are still better. Some website have some many advertisements that a consumer starts to ignore all the advertisements.
Change the size and shapes of you advertisements. Don't use the same format for all your advertisements. Research has shown that large ads are considerably more effective than the traditional full banner (468px by 60px) ad size. Try some of these other sizes that have been created as standardized sizes by the Internet Advertising Bureau: Skyscraper (120x600), Wide Skyscraper (160x600), Rectangle (180x150), Medium Rectangle (300x250), Large Rectangle (336x280), Vertical Rectangle (240x400), and the Square Pop-Up (250x250).
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