Banners can be your best friend as a business. They are usually your prime real estate on the homepage for advertising and marketing what’s important to you. Most of the time, the banners on your website’s homepage will be the first thing that your users see. They are an important part of your site’s design that is likely to make a big impact, but that can be a double-edged sword. Good banners make for good first impressions, but cheesy banners can weigh down your site’s design. Even if the rest of the site has great content and design choices, this kind of thing can still leave a bad taste in the viewer’s mouth. So here’s some easy tips for avoiding bad banners.
Brainstorm Your Concept
This is the foundation for your banner. The first thing you have to do is figure out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. Think of a banner in a similar way to how you view a billboard. They usually only stick around for 4 – 5 seconds, so you want to get your message across without loading the image with text. Try to make something that gets your idea across quickly, and lends itself to good imagery. Remember that since this is a web ad, you can have it link to a page with further information on whatever the banner is plugging. Keep it something simple that will pair well with strong imagery.
Be Picky About Your Photos
For the most part, banner ads are gigantic images. So it just makes sense that you would want to be careful when you pick out the right photo or illustration. Obviously custom photography would be a great way to achieve exactly what you want and create something unique, but not every site can afford to do that whenever they want a new banner. Which means you will probably be using stock images. Don’t worry though! Stock image websites have been pumping out better content with every passing year. Take some time and browse for the perfect image. Try to avoid the easily cheesy ones where everyone is smiling and looking straight at the camera. There’s beautiful photography available on stock image websites, you just need to look for it. A lot of the work will just be taking the time to find the right one for you and using it creatively.
Don’t Be Too Formal
This can depend on your site and what the banner ad is about, but there’s a tendency to try to be too formal and almost robotic with the language used in web advertisements. In my opinion, ads that are willing be different with their content can often be much more effective. This is something that is very simple to do, but can change the whole attitude of your advertisements. Maybe an ad promoting your social media has the call to action of “Let’s be friends!” instead of “Like Us On Facebook”. Or replacing the “Learn More” of an ad about your business to “See What Makes Us Awesome”. Small changes in language can make your whole site feel a little more friendly and personable. If part of your company’s brand is the personal service you offer, little touches like this can be a good step to making your website feel less mechanical.