Beginner’s Guide to Banner Ads

Posted Posted in Banner Design     

You see them everywhere on the internet: Ad Banners and Buttons. What are ad banners used for? Where do you get them? And how do you use them? In this Beginners Guide to Banner Ads, you will get good sage information to answer these questions and more. Banners are needed for Internet Ads, Email Newsletters, even Printed Flyers, Brochures and Data Sheets. They should have a look and feel that is consistent with the rest of your ‘look’ and they should accurately and concisely focus on one single product, service, event or idea. And don’t forget: Every Banner should include a distinct Call to Action.

Example Let’s start by taking a look at a set of Banners that was created for Maggie’s General Store in Northern California: (Note: This campaign was launched in 2006 and ran for 90 days. Maggie’s has long since been sold and no longer exists with this name.) Maggie’s General Store was a beginner at Banner Ads, but was eager to get the program rolling. They provided a few bullet items about an upcoming sale, and attached their logo in an email. It was a short and quick email – they were happy that this process didn’t take much time away from actually running their store. Their main color scheme was used to create a series of banner ads that were clean, uncluttered and clear. Having many years of experience in the Print Advertising market, they were clear in one area: to pin-point this campaign around one single item – in this case, it was one single event: an upcoming sale.

Notice how they speak only of this1 single message – there is no guessing what she’s selling and what to do next. A “call-to-action” is on every single banner no matter how small: “Click NOW – Sale Ends Sunday!” As obvious as it may seem, we cannot always assume that the audience will know what to do next, so we tell them: “Click NOW”. Maggie’s incorporated these banners into her Google Ads account where they were sent all over the internet according to her account specs, hence the need for various sizes.

Why are there “Standard” Banner Sizes? Standard banner sizes exist for use on the internet because when a webmaster creates a web page, they will usually leave some space for banner ads to fit into. These spaces will typically fit nicely into the surrounding page that it was designed for without throwing off the balance of the page itself. So the webmaster allots a standard size so that the banner ads lay down perfectly on his/her page. Here you will see most standard Ad Banner sizes, including the ones that are most recommended by Google. But don’t limit yourself to just the Google ones, because you’ll find many uses for them such as Blogs, Newsletters, other Website Links, and even your printed ads and marketing pieces.

NOTE: For banners that you will use in your own email newsletters or your own printed materials, you do not need to conform to these standard size.

Are Some Sizes Better than Other Sizes? In most cases, size doesn’t matter. In other cases however, size definitely matters. The long horizontal banners for example, will typically be placed at the top or the bottom of a website, where a tall vertical banner will typically be placed along the left or the right-hand side of a web page. Certain banner sizes, such as the 125 x 125 banner are the ‘darlings’ of the Blog market where you’ll see them in blocks of 4, 6 or 8 ads at the same time. Banners less than 250 pixels wide will often be placed on the left or right side-bar of a page, and small banners like 234 x 60 pixels are useful for local site marketing where more detail might not be necessary. So when you are preparing to embark on your ad banner campaign, be prepared to purchase 6 – 8 – 10 different sizes accordingly.