As one of the leading sources for information and guidance on how to start a blog, we also wanted to provide our readers with a detailed guide on how to increase traffic and brand awareness through the use of banner advertising.
In this guide, we will be covering many different key points to finding success with creating effective banner ads and what forms of display advertising might work best for your site. Be sure to read through the complete guide, as it’s loaded with useful information and resources to help you on your journey.
Where and How to Create the Best Banner Ads
In order to take advantage of what the world of banner and display advertising has to offer, you need to have a great collection of images to use. While the standard 468×60, 728×90, and 300×250 banner ad sizes are accepted almost everywhere, you would be missing out on a ton of inventory if you only stuck with these sizes. As shown in the chart below, these common banner ad sizes are still the most popular around, but if you want to take full advantage of all advertising options, placements, and securing the best ad rates, you should have banners created for all sizes.
At the same time, you will also want to use many different traffic sources, and not just rely on the usual ones like Google Adwords. We will be covering all of this in more detail, but first — we need to get you some high-quality banner ads!
First, you should decide on the type of banner designs you want. By this, we mean the messaging included, colors, call to actions, and if you are going to import any other images or logos as well. Next, you should consider your option with pricing. Hiring a custom designer is often the best solution, but it can also be one of the priciest as well.
There are also plenty of banner creation and design tools out there to help with this as well. Once you find one that you are happy with and fits within your budget, it’s time to get to work. Before creating your designs, you should have an idea of what you would like the end result to look like, so spending some time and searching through Google Images for your competitor’s ad creatives might not be a bad idea.
With all of this in mind, you should also know the different types, styles, and sizes of common banner ad placements on the internet today. Take a look at any of the banner design formats below and you will quickly start getting new and creative ideas for different ways you can promote and brand your blog. Also, depending on the advertising method or traffic source, you may want to consider your options with completely new banner images sizes, like the ones being used in mobile, media buying, social media, and native advertising — which we will dive into in the sections below.
After creating a few banners for your website, blog, or brand, you can then start exploring your options on the best traffic sources, ad placements, media buying companies and individual site deals you might want to start working on. One of the most common options for advertising with banners online is Google Adwords.
Google Adsense/Adwords Images Sizes
Google Adsense is the monetization program that shares revenue with millions of site owners across the internet. Google Adwords is the advertising platform that allows brands and advertisers to get exposure across this network of site. Together, Adsense and Adwords generates billions of dollars every year for Google — which is why you should definitely pay attention to it, and use it as one of your banner advertising options.
When running an ad campaign through Google Adwords, the option is there to simply upload your existing banner ads, or use their campaign creation tool to create some of your own. Below you can see a few examples of the automatic banner ads that are created from Google Adwords after adding your campaign information and a few images. Special thanks to Megalytic.com for the screenshot.
To set your first campaign with Google Adwords, all you need to do is visit their site and walk through their simple campaign creation tool. Some of the information that you will need to provide is your personal information, site designs, banner files (or text), campaign info, the audience/sites you would like to target, and also how much you would like to spend per day/click. If you don’t currently have a website or blog, we recommend you sign up for a hosting account with Bluehost — as this will also provide you with a free domain name and $150 in Google Adwords credits.
As mentioned earlier, with Google Adwords being one of the most popular advertising solutions on the internet, they also have one of the largest selection of banner image sizes and formats accepted as well. Take a look at the many different sizes offered by Google Adwords below:
- 250 x 250 – Square
- 200 x 200 – Small Square
- 468 x 60 – Banner
- 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
- 300 x 250 – Inline Rectangle
- 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
- 120 x 600 – Skyscraper
- 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper
- 300 x 600 – Half-Page Ad
- 970 x 90 – Large Leaderboard
While it isn’t required for you to submit a banner for each of these sizes, it is recommended. Remember, most advertisers and sites will use the common and popular sizes — which means placement for them will usually be more expensive and limited. Test with the other sizes and see how your ad rates and clicks vary.
A recent discussion on Quora actually touched on this topic, and someone was nice enough to provide a chart on the top Google Adwords image sizes, and how much of a shared usage each of them has.
The good news is, once you create your set of initial banner ads and have them uploaded to Google Adwords, you can start using them on other ad platforms as well. Remember to keep split testing your banner ads, and the more impressions and clicks you receive, the better your A/B test results will be.
Banner Options with Native Advertising
How many times have you been to a website or blog and have completely ignored the banners on the site, but couldn’t get your eyes away from those little square images at the bottom of the article with those mind-tickling headlines? Don’t worry, it’s happened to all of us.
This is what we call native advertising, and most of the advertising done through this method are served by networks like RevContent, Outbrain, Taboola and many others. At the same time, these types of ad placements are commonly seen on top media outlets like Forbes, Time, Newsweek, ESPN and everything in between.
If you still aren’t sure of what we’re talking about, you can see a live example of this on the Fortune.com website, or viewing the screenshot below.
As you can see, all of the images and text titles are very attention-grabbing. However, what you will also notice is that images are not your traditional banner images sizes. Every native advertising platform is different in the image sizes they accept, but you can still create, resize, and customize these style of images within any banner creator or online image editor.
The benefits of advertising with eye-catching images and headlines through the use of native advertising is that clicks are relatively cheap (usually starting out at .01 each), but the click-through rates and traffic volume is also very high. At the same time, these types of ad placements get a ton of clicks, but usually not as many conversions. If you would like to see what’s working in the world of native advertising, simply head over to any site we recommended above, and take a look of the some of the current ads you are being shown.
How to Use Display Advertising to Increase Traffic to Your Site
The concept of online banner advertising is nothing new. However, the methods and sizes in which they are being used, are. When the appropriate time, research, and effort is put into online advertising, creating the best banner ads possible, and having a lead-gen or call to action that works, your traffic and earning potentials are limitless.
Be sure to run through each of the key points and methods we mentioned above, then start planning out how you can make a big win in the online display advertising game.