Designing a Banner for Your Business (© venimo / Fotolia.com)
Designing a Banner for Your Business (© venimo / Fotolia.com)

Banners are commonly used for internet marketing and traditional marketing. This post explores what they are, how they are used and how to design a professional banner for your brand.

Banners are a form of advertising that is commonly used in digital marketing. Banner ads are images that are usually paid for per click or per impression and which tend to have a horizontal, letterbox layout. Of course, banners can also include physical vinyl banners that are used at tradeshows and similar events for marketing, but in most cases the term now describes banner ads and that is what we will look at here.

Designing a Banner for Your Business

Being able to design a good online banner is a highly useful skill with many potential purposes from including banners on your own sites, to running PPC campaigns. However, creating a banner design that will jump out and get people's attention is not easy, and especially if you don't have any experience in art and design. Here we will look at how to get around that problem and design a great banner for your website.

Be Professional

First of all, you need to make sure that your banner is as professional looking at possible as this is going to reflect on your site and your business. To accomplish this you need to ensure that you are using entirely original material, that your resolution is as high as possible. This means you will need to use a vector file which can be blown up to any size. Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard for this.

Have a Heavy Brand Presence

You also need to make it obvious that this is a banner for your brand. This means making sure that it includes your business/website name, and ensuring that it includes the colors for your site too. This is so important because the banner will be used not only to get direct clicks on your site, but also to make people aware of your company when they don't click. This is often something people forget when advertising online - sure it's great to get people clicking on your ads, but even when they don't this is still exposure and still good for increasing your visibility and reputation.

Make it Self Explanatory

That said, having just a logo like 'Bodobo Site' isn't really going to do much for your business and it's not going to attract high quality traffic. You need to make sure that it's clear what your site does and what your business is about so that people click on your link only if they're interested and likely to buy a product. This means including an image that will communicate at least the industry you're working with, or alternatively using a little by-line or sub heading to quickly summarize what it is you do.

Make it Eye Catching

You also need to make sure that your image is eye catching and that it will draw people in who are glancing around your site. To do this you should include high contrast colors to make it easy to read and big fonts, as well as images that are known to draw attention such as faces and things that are sexy/cute/desirable. Try to include elements to first attract attention and then to draw the viewer in for a closer inspection. Sometimes a small font works well simply because it makes the viewer curious - as long as there's big font there too to get them to notice the banner in the first place too.  

If you still are struggling to design your own banner, then there are plenty of ways to get one designed for you, such as paying someone from a webmaster forum. If you don't want to spend over the odds and want to guarantee a great design, then a good way to do this is to hold a competition to design the best web banner on something like Digital Point and offer money to the winner. You then look at all the attempts and choose just one to pay – meaning that if you don't like one you don't have to go for it. You can get a great banner surprisingly for about $10 this way.

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