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For Banner Ad Designers, It's Back to Basics
While some experts debate which of the available forms of banner advertising are best suited for marketing purposes, others are arguing that developers must first determine the elements that make a quality banner ad before they can realistically assess the effectiveness of banner advertising on a whole.
Bob Niemeier is the director of marketing at JustWebAds.Com, a company taking a proactive approach when it comes to banner design and implementation. He argues that much of the perceived shortcomings of banner advertising results from the design and placement of ads.
"Targeting on the Internet is really good," said Niemeier. "A lot of sites say they want advertising, but don’t respect it. Placement of ads, for example, is very important because a lot depends on where on the page you place the ad."
Studies looking into which types of banner advertising are best received by Web users tend to harp on some of the same issues. For example, banners with multiple user interface elements tend to attract the highest click through rates. Furthermore, faster-loading static headlines tend to fair better than sluggish animated headlines.
Incorporating words such as "press here" or "type here" also tend to get a greater response because they demand a response from the viewer and can also serve to alert people who may not have known that the graphic before them was actually a banner ad.
"Banner advertising is viable providing it is used correctly," said Nick Berry, the marketing manager at AdvertWizard.Com.
"Of course the click through rates on portals are going down, but so too are the number of people who rely on them for content and commerce. If banner ads can be targeted effectively at audiences on special interest sites then it can be very effective, with click through rates from three to as much as 27 percent. It all depends on the essentials: good targeting and good creative."
Maintaining that testing the different banner formats and having an understanding as to how banners work is crucial, Berry also cautions that: "standard banners correctly targeted will still be getting higher response rates than poorly targeted new media banners in years to come."