Making banner advertising work

As with any form of advertising, certain techniques will result in a more effective advertisement. Discussions with those who have advertised online indicate the following are important to effective advertising:

1 Appropriate incentives are needed to achieve clickthrough. Banner advertisements with offers such as prizes or reductions can achieve higher clickthrough rates by perhaps as much as 10 per cent.

2 Creative design needs to be tested extensively. Alternative designs for the advertisement need to be tested on representatives of a target audience. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the clickthrough rate can vary greatly according to the design of the advertisement, in much the same way that recall of a television advertisement will vary in line with its concept and design. Different creative designs may be needed for different sites on which advertisements are placed. Zeff and Aronson (2001) note that simply the use of the words 'click here!' or 'click now' can dramatically increase clickthrough rates because new users do not know how banners work!

3 Placement of advertisement and timing need to be considered carefully. The different types of placement option available have been discussed earlier in the chapter, but it should be remembered that audience volume and composition will vary through the day and the week.

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