How to write good banner ads

By Mark Ling
How to write good banner ads


The keys to a highly effective banner advertisement are:

#1: Good Ad Copy, Focus on Relevancy.

If someone is on a page on your website that contains an article about how to stop a dog from chewing, then your advertisement should be promoting something to do with a product that stops a dog from chewing... even if the product you are promoting is a generic dog training product. You should focus the content of your banner on the reason why the visitor is reading YOUR webpage, this will make them more likely to click on your banner.

Here's another example, this time the banner is focussing on how to train a beagle (rather than just a generic dog training banner):

#2 Fake elements: This isn't essential, but often it works well, e.g. a fake scroll bar, fake msn messenger box etc. Even a fake check-box that looks like it is part of the page such as the one below:

#3 Animation: Banners with moving elements catch the eye, these can be great, so long as there aren't other moving elements on the page (otherwise it is overkill).

Wholesale Directory and Wholesale Suppliers

Don't with Banner Ads

What usually doesn't work and is a lot less effective are banner ads that might simply contain a product image, or might seem too cheesy and too spammy that it doesn't get clicked on.

You need to put yourself in the mind of the visitor and make sure that you make your banner advertisements as relevant as possible.

Want to know the software you need to create such banners?

You can use a free image program like , or The Gimp , in combination with Ulead Gif Animator

Using Banners on PPC

I've just been chatting with Marc Lindsay from who has just told me that he has been testing using image ads instead of straight content ads for Google Adwords promotions, and he is saying that he has received up to 3 times higher clickthru rates on image ads (which is very high for the content network) and higher conversion rates overall too. I'm going to be trying this out myself very soon, sounds very promising!

Update: Google Banner Sizes

If you are creating Banner Advertisements for the Google Content Network, then these are the banner sizes:

  • 468 x 60 (banner)
  • 728 x 90 (Leaderboard)
  • 120 x 600 (Skyscraper)
  • 300 x 250 (Inline Rectangle)
  • 160 x 600 (Wide Skyscraper)
  • 336 x 280 (Large rectangle) 
  • 250 x 250 (Square)
  • 200 x 200 (Small Square)

All Google content images must have a maximum 50k file size.

Also note that Google also allows swf format, so if you know anything about flash, or have a graphic designer who does, you can use this to create better looking banners that have low file sizes.

I hope this email helps you create a lot better images and banners for your websites, ones that are more relevant and more likely to get clickthrus.

All the best,



Photo: Derek Farr

Golf Beginner 16 years ago
Great thanks a lot for this post, I am going to give them a try.
danilo 16 years ago
great post Mark

I always thought that banner ads was dead.

Have to test it myself

Christian 16 years ago
I´m saving this my self for future reference, very good stuff.
Max 16 years ago
Thanks Mark

Good info again.

Going to try a couple of image ads and see what happens.

Nothing lost


Max Ryan
Jon Bonner 16 years ago
Thanks for the post! I was just doing some research into creating my own banners for affiliate products when I ran across this blog entry. So the information is very helpful for me... =)
Chopper Tattoo Review 15 years ago
This is very helpful indeed. With a little bit of creativity, one can really make some nice and productive banners.
TYRONE WOODS 15 years ago
Hi Guys,

Can anyone tell me which is a great animated gif sofware program, the one recommended in July 13, 2008 blog has been discontinued.

Thank you,

Bert 15 years ago
I thoroughly enjoy your teaching Mark you are very knowledgeable you are truly a professional the sooner i can get some money behind me ill be rejoining knowing that it will cost me more but your program is well worth it I just wish I had found you two years ago while I was still on comp. I am getting back into the field of refrigeration regardless of what the specialist say so I can pay to learn more from you. All the best Mark
DVD copier 14 years ago
You have hit the mark. In it something is also to me it seems it is good idea. I agree with you.
Tattoo Freddy 14 years ago
saving this my self for future reference, very good stuff.
Julia Duguay 14 years ago
I have been a subscriber to Dave farrel's World of Warcraft pages and he recommended me to you. He has been using your system for quite a while with great great success. I see that it works for him and am now willing to try it out for myself. Thanks for sharing this with us all...hugs
filmy erotyczne 14 years ago
Thanks for taking the time to chat about this, I feel strongly about this and I take pleasure in learning about this subject. If possible, as you gain information, please add to this blog with more information. I have found it really useful.
warcraft 3 cd key recovery 14 years ago
interesting take on the matter. i took a few of the things you suggested to heart, and my newest banner design has had a higher clickthrough rate.
kathy 14 years ago
just curious if you send this banner ad traffic to your own landing page or directly to an affiliate product via domain forwarding?
Ron Gilmore 12 years ago
Mark do you have a stand alone PPC course or guide...If not can you recommend one that you consider top drawer???