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    Subject: Attracting traffic with banner ads Thursday 30.09.2004

    Attracting traffic with banner adsInternet is an ever evolving business platform. Doing business on the Internet differs in a number of ways from every day brick and mortar business. Change here is more frequent, more dramatic and may have greater impact than in a conventional business. Success in this climate can only come from quick response to the changes. Look at web advertisement! Just in a few short years, we have seen rise and fall of banner advertisement, email marketing, pop-ups, pop-unders and number of other marketing tools.

    Consider banner advertisement. In the beginning of Internet era, banner advertisement was one of the primer methods of online marketing. There were not many quality sites in those days. In search of good feature and content filled websites visitors were clicking through banners aggressively. Today, things are totally different! Over using of banners on the web pages forced to train our eyes not to notice banners any more. Visitors tend to avoid clicking through the banners unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. Does that mean the banner advertisement is dead? Not so soon!

    Although, banner click through rate is quite low in comparison to what it used to be, depending on your objectives banner advertisement can still be very effective. Banner ads are used today, either for creating brand recognition or for bringing in more traffic to the website and consequently generating more sales.

    Brand recognition

    As an overall brand awareness campaign, companies place banners on targeted websites.
    Banners of products with mass appeal are frequently posted on high traffic portals. If your goal is to make any of your products or services popular to certain niche market, you should find websites catering this particular audience and post banner ads. When visitors see your banners, whether they click on it or not same like traditional bill boards and TV advertisements it helps you building consciousness to your brand.

    According to a recent study, online banner ads can be as effective as television advertising as far as brand recognition is concerned. A survey was conducted among members of American Online who saw an ad of a product as a banner on the website and on TV commercial. The result indicated that 40 percent of the audience remembers the static banners and 41 percent remembers the TV commercial at the time of the poll conducted a few days later.

    Forester Research claims that you can get similar brand recognition effect from online ad campaign in comparison to traditional forms of advertisements for around 60 percent less cost. However, same like offline ads, in order to create a sustainable brand recognition, your online advertisement campaign also needs to run for a prolong period of time.

    Generating traffic

    Banner ads could be a good source of high quality traffic for your website if you manage your banner ad campaign wisely. If your main purpose of the campaign is to generate more sales by attracting traffic - which is any way should be the main goal of any e-commerce site you have to select sites to post banners where you target audience frequently visit. Pay per click search engines like Overture or Google Adwords are good options for your textual banner ads. Since the visitors are already looking for a website like yours by searching for the keyword that you have selected to place your ad, you get highly targeted traffic from this.


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    There are no fixed rules of effective banner ads campaign. You have to learn the program works best for you by trial and error. The principal idea behind any advertisement is to grab viewers attention, ignite their curiosity and motivate them to act. For banner ads it is no different!

    Do's and don't's of banner ads

    The following tips should help you getting better result from your banner advertisement campaign:

    1. Choose an attention grabbing content. Space is so limited in a banner same like newspaper headlines you have to come up with something that really gets viewers attention. Since you have to do it in one or two sentences, try using something funny, outrageous but intriguing. You can also use pictures, which deliver similar effect.
    2. Call to an action. Many people like to be guided. Tell them what to do such as Click here or Go to the website.
    3. Focus on one offer. Your banner ad should carry one single message. By including several offers in one ad, chances are you will confuse viewers rather than intrigue.
    4. Make it readable. Even a greatly designed banner will fail to motivate a viewer if the text on it is not readable.
    5. Avoid information overload. Too many pictures, colors and texts make banners look clumsy. Viewers tend to ignore this type of banners. Animated banners should have less than four frames.
    6. Dont use heavy banners. Make sure that your banner file size is less than 5K. Bigger files take longer time to load.
    7. Test your banners before publishing. Check how your banners will look with different browsers. Verify that the banner link URL is correct and linked to the right page on your website. Whenever, you make changes to your website, make sure to double check your banner ads.

    Recent practice shows that a banner, which looks like a text has 4 times more click through rate than a conventional banner. So use text banners to increase efficiency of your banner ad program.

    Since advertisement is the main source of income for many websites banner ads are here to stay. Although, there is no doubt that their look and use will constantly be evolved.

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