Tips For Creating a Kick-Ass Banner Ad

Question, what internet marketing tool comes in all shapes and sizes, can be found in any to most websites and commands your attention? The answer: banner ads! Whether you interact with them or not, banner advertisement is a pivotal part of the internet marketing world.

When I started my current job, the first thing I was asked to create was a set of banner ads! Now, two years in, I’ve developed an intimate relationship with this marketing tool.   As a result, I’ve created a whole lump of ads – some I’m proud to showcase in my portfolio – while others, ehhhhh… not so much. In both cases whenever I get a banner ad request on my desk, I try to steer my clients or marketin­­g peeps, into creating a strong, attention grabbing ad that will get you the desired click-through rates. Below is a list kick-ass list to creating an awesome banner ad:

Keep the Design and Copy Short

I’m a big fan of the principle, KISS – Keep it Simple, stupid; or the softer version, keep it short and simple. In designing a banner ad, you want to keep the design simple and the content short. Personally, I respond the banner ads with one tagline as I know they will get to the point!


Great Layout

Outside of simply designed ads, I tend to gravitate towards banner ads with great layout because they are easy to read and recognize.

Keep the Branding Consistent

Avoid diverting too far from the branding of the landing page. Branding is important for many reason, in this case, you want to keep the branding consistent to promote recognition and instill a company DNA.

Avoid Distractions

One of the most common mistakes I see with poorly designed ads is over-inclusiveness. I get it — you want to include every-possible information, buttons, social media icons and other elements in order to get that impression but you’re doing your campaign a disservice. No one is going to read all that!

The goal is to make a lasting impression. Whether it’s deploying an eye catching background, bold colors and great taglines — make sure the information present is clear, readable and to the point.

Use White Space

Maybe it’s the designer in me but I’m always drawn to the banner ads that make good use of white space. That is because those banner ads are most likely going to maintain a clear and concise layout.


Clear Call-to-Action Buttons

People shouldn’t have to wonder what you’re trying to sell or say. Make your incentive clear and understandable. Give them an attractive and clear reason to click on your ad!

Use Standard Banner Ad Sizes

Often at times, the client will know their desired sizes but if they don’t, you can’t go wrong starting off with standard sizes. According to Google Adsense, the standard sizes for banner ads are:

Banner Ad Sizes

Large Rectangle: 336×280

Medium Rectangle: 300×250

Leaderboard: 728×90

Sky: 120×600

Wide Sky: 160×600

Keep the File Size Small

You don’t want to be ‘that guy’ who slows down a website because their banner ad is too large. Keep is small and tight.

Avoid Excessively Bright, Sharp Colors

This could be a preference thing, I don’t know, but I cannot stand ads with excessively bright colors. They hurt my eyes, are too distracting and will most likely cause me to leave the page.  I understanding wanting to draw peoples’ eyes to you ad but be mindful of sharp colors. Use colors that are attention grabbing but not too saturated.



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