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Banner ad rules you really should break

30 May 2017
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When it comes to website design, there aren’t many rules that can be applied to every brand or across every website or campaign. Here are some examples of banner ad golden rules that are actually made to be broken.

Photos of people always boost performance

It’s a commonly held belief that using photos of people will automatically make your ad perform better than those without. Although a really good, appropriately targeted photo will catch visitors’ attention and consequently improve the performance of your ad, the wrong photo is just as guaranteed to prove detrimental.

The secret is to use the right photo in the right ad. The knack is to make sure that the photo is genuinely relatable to the product, and if not, try a different tactic.

Choosing the right colour for your banner is all-important

Although it can be true that colour can help your ad to stand out from the background and draws attention, test results show that colours don’t necessarily influence decisions consistently.

The most important thing is to make sure that you stick to your brand guidelines, especially if you are running a retargeting campaign. You want your brand to be instantly recognisable and continually changing colour schemes is only likely to detract from the campaign and confuse people.

Always employ an urgent call-to-action

Obviously, calls to action (CTAs) are crucial and you must include them if you want anyone to click on your ads! However, urgent calls to action should be used with caution. Sometimes, particularly if you’re selling a product or service, “offer ends today!” or “book now or be disappointed!” can work and encourage immediate action, but larger purchases require softer CTAs. “Learn more”, for example, will perform much better than a more urgent CTA, especially if the customer wants to think about investing a large amount of money before committing to a purchase.

Flash is always more effective than static

When looking at the performance difference between static and Flash ads, most studies will say that Flash ads outperform their static counterparts. However, there is actually no definitive evidence that a Flash banner drives greater sales performance than a static one, and this should be remembered when choosing your ad types.

When it comes to designing banners, don’t just blindly follow the accepted golden rules. Play it safe and hire a professional web designer to ensure that your website ticks all the boxes.

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