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Making Your Ads More Clickable

February 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Ted Dhanik

Companies like Pringles, Red Bull and Volkswagon craft visually stunning banner advertising that help to sell more than products. These ads sell ideas, with well-crafted copy and eye-catching visuals. A good ad tells a story and involves the user in its concepts, but a good ad also conveys a point and knows when to let the story go in favor of the benefits. Only testing will determine which technique works best for you, but you can use some simple design tricks to make your ads more clickable.

Use Common Sizes

Beginning with the large rectangle size (336×280), the most successful ad sizes are the medium rectangle and leaderboard. The wide skyscraper rounds out the list, but whichever size you choose, you want your ad content above the fold. Think of “the fold” the way SEOs see page one on Google. You’re bidding on the chance that the user won’t scroll very far in the content, so the closer you are to the top, the better for your ad. Using common sizes helps ensure that you don’t have conflicts with the website that you’re trying to broadcast from.

Use Buttons

Buttons are one of the most effective parts of your display advertising. Buttons serve two purposes: something to draw the user’s focus, and something to call the user to action. Your entire banner is clickable, but that button helps center your user on the ad. Visually, the user looks at the focal point of your ad (usually the person or primary colors that are in the banner), then the eye is drawn to the next point of focus. That next point is almost always the button, with a call to action inside. Use colors that will attract the user, like greens, yellows, or oranges. Avoid reds and other colors that might detract. Of course, these rules will not work for every situation (Netflix employs red surprisingly well in their ads), but they do help as guidelines for the beginner.

Frame Your Ad

Knowing the common sizes for your ad allows you to frame them with a small border. Try not to conceive of the border in the literal sense of a frame outlining the ad, this is more like white space. This is a visual trick to help make your ad stand out. The advantage is that you create your own space for the ad, relying less on the margins defined by the webmaster. Try to leave about one to five pixels of whitespace around your image for the best effect.

Readable Text

In search advertising, you have the advantage of knowing how many characters you can fit into an ad, and the format never changes. A banner ad can fit the same amount of text without a problem, but the presentation is much more important. Cluttered text will throw off the user’s focus, and doesn’t serve your ad all that well to begin with. Bold the most important text, use divisions in the banner, and try to utilize colors and effects to make your text stand out. Clear, readable copy is just as important as the writing itself.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a thought leader in the direct marketing space. As the co-founder and president of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik has been helping businesses expand their customer base through optimized placements. Tips on how to succeed in direct marketing can be found by visiting Ted Dhanik online.

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