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Design Tips

Following these basic guidelines can dramatically increase your banner ads' effectiveness (and the rate at which they are clicked):

1. Be professional: People are going to get their first impressions of your website based on your banner ad, so you need to be certain that it presents you in the best possible manner. This means you should be extra careful that all your spelling and grammar are correct. Also, select font sizes, styles and colors that maximize your ad's readability. If your banner ad is of poor quality, people will assume your website is too.

2. Ask for an action: What do you want people who see your banner ad to do? Most likely, first and foremost, you want them to simply click on it, so be sure your ad says so. Because this is so important, most of the banner ad designs already have a "call to action" (such as "Click Now") built in.

3. Keep it simple: Your banner ad may only have a few seconds to make its impact on the viewer. As a result, it must be able to convey your message in a small amount of time. By keeping your ad's concept and wording clear and concise, you increase the likelihood that the viewer will actually get your message. Remember, if the viewer can't easily and quickly understand what your banner ad is saying, it is unlikely he/she will click on it. Use the fewest (and most simple) words you can. Just because you can fit more words in your ad doesn't mean you should. Once someone clicks to your website, you'll have ample opportunity to provide more details.

4. Use words that raise attention or emotion: Words like "free", "special offer", "secrets", etc. help grab the viewer's attention and increase his/her curiosity in your offer. Try this technique: pretend you are reading your banner ad's text for the first time: would YOU be interested in or excited about what it offers? If not, then most people probably wouldn't be either.

5. Emphasize benefits, not features: What is the difference between a "benefit" and a "feature"? In simple terms, a "feature" is a service or an aspect of a service that you offer. A "benefit" is the actual impact it has on your customer. Let's say your site offers income tax services. Which of these is more enticing: "We speciallize in finding deductions" (a feature) or "Pay less tax" (the benefit)? Advertisers realized long ago that more than anything else people want to know how your product/service can improve their lives.

6. Test your banners: Because we've made designing banner ads so quick and easy, we suggest you design several, using different styles and messages. Run each one for a week or two and collect any data you can (such as click through rates). Analyze your data to determine what the more successful ads have in common and then refine your ads and test them again.

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