Creating Great Web Banner Ads

Web banner ads are very common online; so common that many of them cause banner blindness. However, there is no cause for dismay; banner ads still hold a great deal of power IF you are willing to put the effort into them. In order to create good banner design, you should look at them not from the point of view of an advertiser, but from the view of the consumer. Take away some of the tips in order to create eye punching web banners.

Great Punch Line

The punch line is arguably the most important part of the banner ad; it is what will make your viewer interested and wanting to learn more. However, your catch phrase should still be short and sweet so that it fits properly on your banner. The catch phrase is also known as the headline of your banner ad.

Logo+Website URL

Obviously you need something of a logo and a URL on your banner ad so that people know where they are going. You can put them to the left or right side of the banner and they should be small enough to not be intrusive, but are still visible so that people will know who you are.

Short and Sweet Content

Make sure that your banner ad is short and to the point; any text on it should be fully relevant to your products or services and entice people to learn more. So, you need to balance enticement with practicality in your text. A tall order? Perhaps, but it’s important nonetheless. Marketers advise you to expect that you have about three seconds to attract the attention of a web browser, so get on it!


Make sure your image and any text is relevant to your banner ad and your product as a whole. Putting one thing in your ad and then something else on your landing page is a recipe for fleeing (and annoyed) traffic.

Call to Action

You need a call to action! But don’t get overloaded with it; people don’t really want to be told to ‘Buy Now’. Instead, good calls to action will have phrases like ‘learn more’, ‘sign up now’ ‘visit us’. Calls to action tell people that if they click there, they can learn more about what you’re advertising.

Fake is True?

Many designers use fake elements in banner design in order to make them look more busy. Fake buttons, fake links, fake banners, fake scroll bars… they give people a giggle because when someone clicks on them, nothing happens. It may seem silly, but some people think they’re funny and they will then click on the real link to your site.


Animation is getting more popular because they are more eye-catching than static ads. Studies have shown that animated ads generate about 30% more clicks than static ones. But you shouldn’t go wild; large animations will slow down loading times and annoy people into not clicking on your ads. Small animations are best; just enough to catch the eyes, not enough to trip the website loading time.


Flash banners are even more popular than animated GIF banner ads. This is because Flash banners are interactive and get a person interested in your product by letting them play games. This makes it far more likely that people will then visit your site. Flash banners are also smaller and smoother, though of course, the viewer will have to be able to see it, so getting an animated GIF is a good idea too.

File size

The goal here is to keep your file size as small as possible while still keeping your information and advertising intact. The smaller the file size, the less of an impact you will have on loading time. Small file sizes also makes your banner ad load fast and thus are most likely to be seen by web browsers. It’s a good idea to keep your file size at 30kB or less.

This may seem like a ton of information to take in all at once about your banner design, but most of them are fairly simple in concept. It’s a matter of designing your banner ad so that it is easy to read in a few seconds, memorable later on, and won’t slow down and annoy the web browser into unconsciously boycotting you. What you do within those structures is completely up to you and in this realm; we can see a lot of creative results. So, take these guidelines and run with them to create wonderful banner advertisements.