Banner Design Tips

Banner Design Tips

Effective banner design can make all the difference in executing a successful banner ad campaign. Many industry experts have found that following these banner design tips can increase your CTR (click-through ratio).

Use Animation When You Can

A quick-to-download animation can greatly increase a banner's CTR. Animation must be used very carefully since the purpose of the animation is to attract visitors, not to irritate them. For animated banners, these general guidelines apply:

  • The animation should be subtle enough to attract attention but should not be so ostentatious as to interfere or clash with the design of the web page on which you are advertising.
  • An animation that loops endlessly tends to irritate visitors. Have the animation loop three times, leaving the main message on the last animation frame.
  • Conversely, some visitors will stop a web page from loading before the banner animation has loaded, leaving only the first frame. Thus, it might be a good idea to have your message come across in your first frame to ensure your message gets seen.

Feature a Call to Action

  • Placing a "Click here" or "Submit" graphic image on your banner can significantly improve your CTR.

Use Bright Colors

  • Blue, yellow, and green banners have a higher CTR than black-and-white banners. Use the color red sparingly.

Use the Word "Free" in Your Banner

  • Depending on what's offered, the word "free" can increase CTR. For example, offering a free software demo gets a good response. Offering free money arouses suspicion, since people will want to know what the catch is.

Give a Benefit for Clicking On Your Banner

  • For example, "Do you want more traffic?" or "Need help with taxes?" The answer to the question will be on your web site.

Keep the Message Short

  • Simple banners have higher CTR than unfocused, wordy banners.

Link the Banner to a Specific Page

  • When people click on the banner, they want to go directly to the web page that has the information they want. Your visitors do not want to go to your home page and have to hunt for the information.

Refresh or Change Your Banners Frequently

  • Studies have shown that CTR drop significantly after two weeks. The CTR usually increases when a new banner appears. To find the most effective banner design for your business, you must go through a period of testing. To test, you can run a banner for a period of time and measure the results (i.e., CTR and resulting sales). Then you change one thing about the banner design, such as a color or a font, and run that banner over a period of time and measure the results. The banner designs that result in the highest CRT should be the type of banner you use for your banner campaigns.


  • To improve the user experience when visiting MPA Media web sites, we suggest making every effort to keep banner advertisements within the maximum file size requirements stated in our Media Guide. This helps pages load much faster.


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