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15 Banner Ad Design Tips to Get More Clicks

If you’re hoping to boost your online traffic with banner ads, you may be asking yourself: how can I create web banner ad design that people will want to click on?

Web banner design focuses on the systematic creation of effective banner ads through the careful application of basic design guidelines. In this article we’ve put together all the information you need to create successful web banner designs.

What is Web Banner Design?

Web banner design is among the most prolific forms of marketing used in today’s online world and comes in all shapes and sizes. Web banner design is all about creating the most clickable banner ads possible.

Banner ads are advertisement images embedded on web pages that showcase a product or brand and link to the advertiser’s website. Most companies use them in one form or another because they’re an affordable, measurable and effective medium to increase brand awareness.

How do you design great banner ads?

So, how can you design and create web banner ads that will bring in those clicks? Below is a list of tips and general guidelines for designing banner ads.

1. Use the most effective, standard banner sizes

According to Google Adsense, the most successful standard banner sizes are:

  • 728×90px — Leaderboard

  • 300×600px — Half Page

  • 300×250px — Medium Rectangle

  • 336×280px — Large Rectangle

Design by nickjalpa

2. Place your banner ads correctly

Purchase space on a website where your design will be featured above the fold and close to the main content of a page.

3. Maintain hierarchy

Banner ad design relies upon the right balance within each ad, so watch your hierarchy. Effective banner ads are designed to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.

They have three basic components:

Your company logo

Your company logo must be included to build brand awareness. Make sure it’s visually dominant, but not as dominant as the value proposition or the call to action.

The value proposition

The value proposition showcases the service/product you provides and calls attention to itself with attractive offers and prices. Think things like: “High quality” or “50% off” or “Limited time offer.” This should take up the most space in your ad and be the first thing that viewers’ eyes see.

The call to action

The call to action (or CTA) is the text or button that invites users to click. Phrases like “Learn more” or ‘”Get started” or “Watch Now” are great examples. This should be a clear focal point of the ad.

Design by shanngeozelle

4. Keep it simple

Keep content and visuals simple. Viewers are probably only going to glance at your web banner ad for a second.

Design by Ashlee Mckay

5. Use buttons appropriately

Depending on the type of banner, buttons will often increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your ad. If you’re going to use them, try to place them after your copy on the lower right side in (tastefully) contrasting colors. Always keep them consistent throughout the set of ads.

Design by Janna Hagan

6. Have a clearly defined frame

People’s eyes are naturally drawn to a subject inside a frame. Effective banner ads have a clearly defined frame with graphics extended to the edges of the box. If your ad is white, it’s a common practice to put a 1 pixel gray border around the ad.

7. Make your text instantly readable


Make your headline and body copy different sizes.

All copy should be four lines or less.

Design by Ashlee Mckay


Use cursive/script fonts, extremely thin font weight, all uppercase copy, or font sizes smaller than a 10 pt (unless it’s a disclaimer or copyright notice).

8. Use animation

Animated web banner ads usually out-perform static banner ads, and can be very effective in website banner design, but you have to make sure that they don’t distract from the message of your ad.

9. Complement, but stand out

If your ad visually blends into the sites where it’s featured, you’re more likely to earn your viewers trust. However, don’t make it blend in too much. Banner ads always needs to be visible and clickable.

10. Be consistent with your brand

Your banner ad will link to a landing page that includes your offer. Make sure the ad matches your branding and the landing page so potential customers don’t get confused.

11. Instill a sense of urgency

Bring a sense of visual urgency to the text by using contrasting, bold colors. Banner ads are not always meant to be subtle.

12. Use imagery well (and only when you need it)

Choose relevant graphics and photos that enhance your message and are directly related to your product. No abstract concepts here.

Design by Iza S

Can’t afford professional photography or supermodels? Buy an affordable license for a stock photo. There are millions of high quality ones out there. Better still, opt for original illustrations or graphics created by a designer.

Remember, it’s not always necessary to use images in your banner ads. Killer copy and nice typography can create equally effective results.

Design by Kat Whalen

13. Choose appropriate colors

Every color has a different association, and it’s important to consider what types of emotions you want to evoke in your audience. Color will be the first thing a user notices in your banner ad.

You’re ready to design better web banners!

There you have it! These are just some banner ad design guidelines, but it takes a lot more to create truly awesome, high-performing ads.

If you’re not a professional designer (or too busy running a business), consider hiring one of our creatives to design the perfect, clickable ads just for you.



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