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5 Simple Steps to Better Website Advertisements

Michael Gaio
We've seen hundreds of advertisements on our website over the years and learned that the best ones have a few things in common.
We've seen hundreds of advertisements on our website over the years and learned that the best ones have a few things in common.

The trusty website advertisement is a mainstay in many of our customers’ marketing packages. With more than 1.1 million people visiting athleticbusiness.com last year, a banner ad — whether it’s the leaderboard, block ad or a banner in our e-newsletter — can be an efficient way to gain exposure among athletics, fitness and recreation professionals with true buying power. Over the years, we’ve hosted hundreds of ads on our website and learned that the most effective ones have several things in common.

Here are five simple steps to an effective website banner ad: (These same tips would also apply to advertisements in Athletic Business E-News.)

1. Keep it Simple

You only have so much real estate to work with in this space. (See our exact specs here if you’re curious.) This is not the space to list off every feature and benefit of your new product. Let your website do that. The ad should simply entice the prospect to take your desired action. Choose one clear message or focal point of your ad. A solid background with a clear message and/or graphic is best. Clutter is your enemy in this space.

2. Mimic Your Website Design

When a prospect clicks through to your website, make it clear immediately that they have ended up where they intended — the banner design should have the same color scheme and branding as the landing page. Consistency is the key.

3. Include a Call to Action

Some customers use banner ads as nothing more than a digital billboard. They simply want exposure for their brand to keep it on the minds of prospects. However, if you’re seeking click-throughs, adding a button or text with a specific prompt has been proven to increase the click-through rate. For example: “Sign Up Today.” “Click Here to See the Video.” “Click Here to Download.” If the goal is clicks, a call to action should be included.

4. Consider an Incentive

Along the lines of including a call to action, is including an incentive. A special promotion for prospects that is available only through the banner campaign. This allows you to direct sales by offering a unique promo code or phrase, specifically for those prospects who saw your advertisement.

5. Test! Test! Test!

The great thing about digital advertising is the detailed reporting that comes along with it. We can tell you just how effective your ad is. Take advantage of the data by testing different ads to see which ones work best. Run an A and B banner consecutively and monitor which one garnered more clicks. You might be surprised at the results, and this can help guide the design for your future digital marketing materials.

Of course, every marketing campaign is different. Depending on what your goals and objectives are, our team can work with you to make sure they’re achieved.

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