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Nine Tips to Create Banners for Profitable Advertising

This a guest contribution from full time affiliate marketer, Nrupen Masram.

Some people think that banner ads are coming to an end. The problem is most of us use banners in way as they were used in 1994-2003.

As time passes, the industry changes and so does the use of banners in marketing plans. However, banner advertising is a flourishing billion dollar industry that pervades advertising, teaching, publishing and every other information marketing industry you could name.

The end of banner advertising is a fallacy.

If you’re planning to spend money on banner ads, here are a few tips to think about before you get inside and play dirty:

1. Size does matter

Three shapes dominate. Boxes, stripes and skyscrapers and they vary in size.

Banners with long height and small width are known as skyscraper banners while stripe banners are small in height with a relatively large width. Box banners were named because they were traditionally placed inside software and CD boxes, and because of their square shape.

However, not all sizes offer the same conversion rates.

Since most screens are limited to 600px in height, banners with more than 600px height will make people scroll, reducing the likelihood of conversion. Banners with width lesser than 120px will hardly appear and banners with more width than 160px might overtake your sidebar’s most important task of navigation.

2. Banner Placement

It is generally understood that if your banner is placed in a visible section of a site such as a side bar or above the fold, it will be clicked more often.

If you use a skyscraper banner, place it in your sidebar for better conversions. Striped banners are better placed above content, below a video product review or on the side of the site header.

The key is to put your banner where people will see it and feel motivated to act.

3. Woman Power

Marketing experiments firms and labs have proven that using a beautiful woman on any banner attracts much more attention than using a man. Some tests show a man’s image might be more relevant but when woman was also introduced in same banner along with man provided much better results.

Sometimes you don’t even need female images. Wording also works well. For example, “Mom of Four Earns $7,438.12 in One Week” is likely to do better than “Broke Dad made $12,976.45 in 7 days.”

 

The example image is from Mike Geary’s product Truth About Abs. After testing banners Mike found a banner with a female torso performed much better than other banners. In current set of affiliate tools of TAA, most banners features female torso in front of a man.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. Mike is one of the best when it comes to provide highly tested affiliate tools, that’s the reason why he runs a multimillion dollar info-product business.

4. Authority Works Even Better Than Woman Power

Have you seen the banners on the sidebar of the Problogger.net? There isn’t a lot of emotional pull. Nor is there a call to action. However, I am sure they might be the most successful banners on ProBlogger.

The reason is obvious. This is the most popular blogging for income blog in the world. Darren’s blog has set a benchmark in blogging industry and these same types of banners will work equally well when used the right way on other sites.

The reason is that every one of them have the ProBlogger logo which tells you that ProBlogger either owns the product or certifies it. A site logo will grant instant authority and credibility for people wanting to build a successful blogging business.

Authority works well for these banners. The name instils trust and a proven track record for success.

5. Copy is King

No banner is finished without the copy. Copy is, and always will be, the king of conversions. You can’t change that indisputable fact.

Copywriters rule the roost in email, video and content marketing, the creation of sales pages and other forms of paid advertising and traffic strategies. While it may sound harsh, it’s a fact you can’t alter.

Unless you have powerful click-triggering copy, any trick you might consider using, including the authority one, simply won’t work. The sample banner is among the best dating niche banners in terms of performance. It’s intelligent copywriting because it makes you click without resorting to a call to action.

6. An Obvious Call To Action (CTA)

Use of “Click Here” might work well if your copy have curiosity element but if not, you can definitely come up with a most motivating reason to act. If you have hired a copywriter to do a banner copy, ask them what they can recommend as your CTA.

7. The CTA Color.

Crazy Egg has done considerable research into this topic. If your CTA buttons use red, green, orange, blue or yellow, they’ll have far greater success than other colors.

There’s a scientific reason for this. These colors have the longest wavelengths, which means they attract more attention, thereby leading to extra sales. So it’s not coincidental that most CTA buttons you see anywhere use one or more of these influential colors.

Following are some really good performing banners of different products from ClickBank. Have a close look on their size, copy, CTA and color.

8. What is Traffic Monetization?

Traffic Monetization says, “the nature of traffic is always dependent on the sources of traffic.”

You can’t use the same landing pages to convert all types of traffic. Why? Because just as traffic sources are all different, so are their responses. This same rule applies to all banner ad traffic.

Your marketing can be divided into two sections; Front End and Back End Marketing. The Front End aims to put your offer in front of your client and to get them inside your sales funnel. Once they are there, the Back End makes the actual sale.

The majority of landing pages are only optimized for affiliate sales but not for traffic from banner ads. If you get traffic through from your banner ad, use product specific squeeze page to nudge them into your sales funnel and then make the sale.

9. Rules that Apply to Paid Traffic also Apply to Banner Ads

Paid traffic source should be constantly split tested, customized and optimized. You also have to use specific methods to work out on your metrics and your return on investment (ROI).

There are free and paid tools that you can use for testing and they can also reveal what banner was loaded, the page that a click triggered and the different traffic paths that people took to get to the conversion page.

Kiss Metrics is a high-end tool used by the marketers to find every minute detail to enable them to improve their traffic monetization strategies.

Example Of Sites That Are Successfully Using Banner Ads

IncomeDiary.com is one of the most successful site with banner ads. They spend lot of time optimizing and tweaking banners for max performance because almost all products that they promote on their website belong to them. Stripe Banner is placed above content; one 250 x 250 banner is placed on sidebar above fold. Rest banners are also 250 x 250 banner.

JohnChow.com and ZacJohnson.com also place stripe ads above blog content. ZacJohnson.com uses 250 x 250 flash banner on sidebar above fold whereas JohnChow.com uses 250 x 250 banner in content.

Other Things To Consider

The first time ads were used, people used to just click them because they assumed the ads were a part of the website. Now people know the truth.

People don’t visit your website to see ads. They want to see the real information on your site, not ads that are dumped there. So you need to put a lot of thought into the design, look, color, feel, size and copy of your banner ads… if you want results of course!

Nrupen Masram has been a full time affiliate marketer since 2010. He isn’t a millionaire marketer but he earns his full time income online. He write about affiliate marketing on his blog http://NrupenMasram.com.

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This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. Michael says:

    It’s great Darren that u share such a great info here ;) I would stick with this tips and get the things done right ;) I also dream about provide life like yours, but in poland its a little bit difficult, cause of much less visitors – its only people who’re using poland leanguage – im thinking all the time about creating webs in eng ;) greetings, majk.

  2. Ron says:

    Its funny because I used to think that displaying a ton of ads on my first blog was the way to go. I mean, people will click on the image of the overly attractive young woman selling car insurance right? Audiences have most definitely caught on, and will only click on an ad they’re truly interested in.

  3. Saif says:

    Excellent post. Banners are always profitable because they are visible in front of the people and people love to read them.
    Great post.
    Thanks

    Saif

  4. I have always been kind of against big banner ads as I think that many of my readers don’t want to come to a blog filled with adds. Although great points I think everyone needs to question placement of adds before they publish them and question the purpose.

    They certainly have a great place on many blogs

  5. Donnie Law says:

    Does this advice also apply to adsense?

    • Nrupen says:

      Hi Donnie,
      I don’t know how much control you have on what is displayed as an advertisement while working with adsense. But placement of ad and traffic monetization will work as it is.

      For getting better placement area for your adsense code, check heat-map of your website.

      If you have installed Google Analytics code then log in to your account. Select website for which you want to get heat-map, then from “STANDARD REPORTS” click on “CONTENT” tab, once it gets extended click on “In Page Analytics”.

      “In Page Analytics” will not only give you details about heat-map but also about behavior of your website visitor. By studying visitor’s behavior you can create much better traffic monetization strategy and improve your conversions. I hope that helps.

      Regards,
      Nrupen

  6. Adam Finan says:

    Using wording that makes you think; hmm what is the trick/tip will get people clicking. Create a problem that can be solved by clicking the link. With a call to action.. Gold!

    ‘Use this one simple trick’
    ‘Secret to loosing weight’
    ‘You didn’t know this’

  7. Joy Healey says:

    That’s excellent content and advice. Thanks – I’d wondered if I was wasting my time with banners, but feeling more confident of how to use them for better return.

    Joy

  8. Hey, great post Nrupen, I learned a lot of great information! :)

  9. Osman says:

    Thanks for the great post Nrupen! I’ll be sure to use your tips in the future.

  10. Scarlet says:

    Very good points and I liked the compelling example, “Don’t talk to another woman until you see this…”

  11. I agree that Content is King. Good copy combined with colorful graphics is a winning combination.

  12. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing these important points. Banner advertising is one of the most effective form of messenging.

  13. Aaron says:

    I’ve had very poor results from banners in general but I’ve never considered some of your pointers above. I’ll definitely try them out.
    thanks

  14. Good tips about banners. However most of the people are using adsense which we do not have the power to select the banner ads we want.

    Maybe you can include facebook ads.

  15. Anirudh says:

    I never knew that there was these much factors in banner creation! Also, the best thing I learnt from this article is the CTA colors. Gonna use those color combination for my next banner! :)

  16. Britt Malka says:

    Interesting blog post. I have a friend who swears to banner ads, although everybody else seems to think they are dead.

    I’ve only used banners in connection with reviews, not in the sidebar, but it’s true… I see ProBlogger, JohnChow and others do it.

    Maybe it also depends on how many visitors a blog gets?

  17. Michael says:

    I would go with banner placement being #1. That helps a lot when monetizing via CPC ads.

  18. The most important thing to remember about banner ads is its a trade off between getting maximum ctr whilst keeping visitors happy. I tend to keep banner ads away from the content but above the fold.

  19. David says:

    Very informative and nicely detailed post. Thanks for writing it!

  20. E-Sambas.com says:

    Very nice tips, I will try it.
    I think the Color is one of the most important thing that cant be leave.

  21. Edson Hale says:

    You are right; nothing is static in internet marketing and so is in banner ads; one should keep changing the size, placement and color of his banner ads to test it with different dimension to get the point of maximum return and then stick to it.

  22. Josh Trenser says:

    Wow, I just love these tips!!! I hope they will help me with my affiliate marketing!!!

  23. FERNANDO says:

    Amazing tips and strategies which will help me tweak my niche sites and personal blog. The sharing on income diary is a great example and will make us study the site to see how best do the monetize with banner ads.

  24. Some great ideas here, its best to experiment as much as possible with adverts, even if it does mean losing a few $$ in the short term it will pay off in the long term.

  25. Ben Troy says:

    Before reading this post, i thought banner ads is dead now as it doesnot brings much value like a copy, now my mind has changed, i tried these technique to increase the conversion.

  26. Great post. I have learnt from experience that for one to be successful with banner ads you should promote your own products or services on your own blog. Visitors to your blog want to deal with you and you alone because they trust you and they don’t want to buy from another website that they don’t know. Now days I don’t bother putting banners on other people websites because I know it won’t convert.

  27. kazi says:

    Very nice post . I use some banners in my websites , specially the flashy skyscraper banners in my sidebars. And they convert well too. Thanks for these useful tips .

  28. Good post. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

  29. Nick Crowne says:

    These are some great tips concerning the subject. I gotta say though, I run 4 blogs at the moment, and abstain from any banner ads other then some simple 125×125 boxes in the sidebars. I just find banner ads really spammy unless they’re done properly (which involves mostly the product/service being promoted). Anyways, I enjoyed the post regardless.

    Thanks,
    nick

  30. Niraj Bhusal says:

    Really awesome post here. From the beginning to the end i enjoyed this post and got much more ideas .
    Thanks again.

  31. Hammad Baig says:

    Awesome post. Banners are always profitable because they are visible in front of the people and people love to read them. Thanks for sharing it with us. Keep sharing :)

  32. Nagababu says:

    all tips are looking good but what about site loading speed?Site loading time is the most crucial factor in website ranking.Would you explain how to place banner ad without effecting site loading time.

    • Nrupen says:

      There are several ways to increase site speed. You can reduce size of your CSS file, add cache file and even include your website to a cloud network.

      So far my understanding is concerned I don’t think banners really affect site load speed to great extent unless you are overdoing it. But if due to some reason site speed is getting affected try converting image format to PNG.

      PNG format is specially created to load faster while on network. If your banner is in GIF format then open it using an advanced image editor and convert all images in animation to PNG and remaster GIF.

      I hope that helps.

      Regards,
      Nrupen

  33. Angel says:

    Thanks for all the tips. I’ll try to follow them as close as I can because the results from the banners I use are really dissapointing!

  34. Helped me alot ! Thank you for the post

  35. Great post and really good tips! A lot of them would also find application in other forms of advertising as well. For example FB ads.

  36. Brad McCombe says:

    Banner ads are very visible on any website you visit. they catch people’s attention since they have colorful images and texts. the tips enumerated in this article will definitely help those business owners who are considering advertising their products and/or services.

  37. Kyle says:

    I work for an advertising agency, and these are all great tips. Working with display ad call to actions hasn’t always been my strong suit, so this helps!

  38. Pattrick says:

    Absolutely… banner era is not at all ends. The only things is advertisers needs to change their strategy as per market demands.

  39. Pattrick says:

    Absolutely… banner era is not at all ends. The only things is advertisers needs to change their strategy as per market demands.I think, author explains correctly about “Women Power” brand. This brand need to user smartly to achieve maximum conversion rate.

  40. Mark says:

    hey, it’s great to come across against modern research about todays banner advertising.I think if banner advertising use smartly it’s obviously better choice than PPC campaign where you can’t be sure about real conversion.