Optimize your Banner Ad Campaign

When it comes to banner advertising, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. Too many times have I come across banner ad campaigns that were ill-thought, badly planned and just don’t work. There are a few things you need to understand before you can approach banner advertising in an effective way. It’s not a matter of simply creating an ad (or getting one made) and then slapping it anywhere and everything you can find. If you’re looking for a drain to throw your money way, that’s it right there. Instead, you need to plan and execute your ad campaign with extreme precision and care – I’ll delve further into that later in this article.

Banner ads are still used as one of the most common forms of advertising on the Internet. Google recently ran the “Watch This Space” campaign to bring attention to display ads, and to urge people to give them a go over traditional text ads. There’s a misconception that banner advertising is always ineffective, and is a waste of money. On the contrary, when done properly, the results can be quite astonishing.

So, how do I go about optimizing my banner ad campaign to get the most out of it? Here are some critical points that I’m going to explore in a logical manner:

  • Evaluating your product/service
  • Banner ad design
  • Ad placement and audience
  • Tracking stats
  • 1. Evaluating Your Product/Service

    The first and foremost thing you need to be thinking about is the product or service you’re trying to market. Here are some questions you need to be thinking about:

  • Can you describe your product/service in a single short sentence?
  • Is your product/service offering clear?
  • Is your website designed in a way to easily portray generally what you’re offering within a few seconds?
  • What are the best USPs (Unique Selling Points) of your product/service?

  • Once you have a more clear understanding of the kind of messages you want to put across to your targeted customer, you can then start deciding on short tag-lines and sales copy for your banner ads, along with how you’d craft the style and information presented on the banner ads. If you’re unsure about deciding on the content of your banner ads, you can leave that to banner ad creation services like us (all we really require is your website URL, and the dimensions of the banner ads you want created, and we can take it from there).

    2. Banner Ad Design

    The design of your banner ad is an important, and most overlooked part of any banner ad campaign. It’s crucial because it’s one of the main factors in setting the perception of your product/service. Let’s take one of the most prominent examples of this, Apple. Apple’s products are well-designed, but not only that, all their marketing materials follow the same design style and quality, and hence this builds up a perception in peoples’ minds that Apple products are better, and are of higher quality, when it may not necessarily be the case.

    Design is important in your product, website, and any other platforms that you could be reaching out to potential customers with (blog/twitter account etc.), so this definitely includes any banner ads you’ll be using to promote your product/service.

    3. Ad Placement and Audience

    Now we move onto the part that most people get wrong. Ad placement. Get this right, and you’re off to the races. Now, personally, I’m not a fan of using typical ad networks like Google Adwords. I feel that it’s quite expensive in general, and if you’re not a PPC (pay-per-click) expert, you’ll have trouble setting up effective ads. I prefer picking my ad spots individually.

    Why? Well, by picking individual spots on websites of my choice, I can scrutinize every last factor and really decide if it’s worth going for. Here is some of my personal criteria when it comes to buying out ad spots (for example):

  • Blog
  • High level of user interaction (can be decided through number of comments)
  • Advertiser support (shout-outs/recommendations/giveaways/competitions)
  • Blog I personally read frequently/occasionally (most of the time)
  • Prominent position on the page
  • Targeted audience (entrepreneurs/small business/web start-ups/other designers)

  • Picking out ad spots is a skill that can only be developed through a bunch of trial and error. It can sometimes be quite difficult to find the real gems, but when you do, it becomes well worth it.

    4. Tracking Stats

    What’s the point in buying out ad spots to drive traffic to your website if you don’t know which ads are working and which aren’t? First you need to establish your goal. Are you interested in raw clicks, or conversions? Do you have a “freemium” model? If so, what counts as a conversion? A sign-up to your free plan, or an upgrade to a premium one? Once you understand what you’re really after, you can start filtering out the good from the bad. Just because an ad gets a lot of clicks, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best ad. It could have attained no conversions (in which case the site you’re advertising on could have low quality traffic) – so it’s very important to track the right stat.

    So, be sure to really drill down into your ad campaign, find the weak points and really make it work for you. Don’t just throw money down the sink.

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