Your Banners - Some Things to Think About
By Rob Wood
Fri, 21 Oct 2005, 00:54:00
For a lot of online businesses, banners are the backbone of traffic delivery and online marketing. Almost every monetized website has a banner somewhere on it and it is one of the most effective ways to draw traffic from an Affiliate's site to a Merchant's site. That is why it is worth a little extra investment in time to make sure you get your banner creation right the first time. Here are a few things you will want to think about when deciding on your banners.
"Click through rate" is a measurement of how many people view a banner compared to how many people click on a banner expressed as a percentage. The industry standard banner click through rate is 0.39%. That means for every one hundred people who view a web page with your banner on it, only 39 will click on it on average. That is an attrocious figure and one that can easily be beaten if you take a little time to plan things out. Some banners are able to achieve click through rates as high as 10%. Here are a few things that will help your banner beat the industry standard.
|This is an example of a small static banner.|
Static banners are usually dull and boring and often a visitor who has been to the page with a banner will simply look straight past it and take no action. Even the sleekest static banners will be beaten by a dynamic banner (a banner with movement on it) when it comes to the all important "click through rate." Furthermore a "flash banner" (a banner created using Macromedia's Flash program) will generally outperform all others in click through rate if all other factors are equal. The moral of the story is then, to have a dynamic banner, or better still a flash banner. If you are creating the banner yourself, then there are many tutorials online about how to create a dynamic banner (to create a flash banner you will need Macromedia Flash - a trial version can be downloaded from Macromedia. If you are hiring a banner designer to make you a banner then you should stipulate that you want a dynamic or flash banner. This may be slightly more expensive but the increased click through rate should offset the added cash layout. Remember also that clixGalore also has its own inhouse design team that can create your banners on your behalf (just drop an email to cutomercare [at] clixgalore.com). You can also order a banner when you log into you account by clicking on "Banner Design Service" and following the prompts. (You may want to use the "Animated Banner Design Service" option to ensure you get the best banner).
|You can order an animated banner from clixGalore using this form.|
Be aware also that banner file size is also important. This can be a bit of a trade off. You want to maximise the dynamism of your banners but also combine that with minimum file size. Generally any banner over 15k is considered too big and can take a long time to load on an Affiliate's website.
|This is an example of a dynamic banner - notice the movement.|
If there is text on your banner (and there usually should be) then there are some other factors you should also be aware of. The click through rate of banners that have a "call to action" will generally be better than the click through rate of banners that just make a statement. For example a banner that says "Harry's Widgets" will not perform as well as a banner that says, "Harry's Widgets - Click Here." Obviously you should be able to come up with slightly more imaginative "calls to action" than that, but you get the idea.
Dynamic banners that have some type of time limit also outperform others - for example a banner that says "click here within 30 seconds to claim your prize" with a dynamic countdown will outperform a banner that says "click here to claim your prize." If you think it suitable, you should try to use some of these elements of urgency in your own banners. Use your imagination to come up with a reason why the vistor should click on your banner now!
In order for you to maximise the chances of Affiliates using your banners you should also consider a few factors. Affiliates like choice. If you have one banner, then they may decide not to use it. If you have 20 banners available to them, then you have dramatically increased the odds that they will find one that they think is a good match for their website. You should also give them a variety of sizes. The standard banner sizes in pixels are 150x38, 468x60, 250x250, 350x350, 120x600, 350x350, 120x90, 120x60, 120x240. It is a very good idea to have a 150x38, 468x60 and 250x250 available plus a selection of the others. You can never have too many banners.
After you have built all of your banners and Affiliates are using them you will want to start monitoring performance. You can use the clixGalore interface to monitor the performance of each banner! Just log into your account then go to "Reporting" > "Advanced Program Performance Reporting." On the next page, using a drop down menu, you will be able to generate reports according to certain banners. Use this to keep track of each type of banner and its performance. You will get a feel for which banners are performing the best so you can create more similar banners. You can even contact your Affiliates to advise them to use the better performing banners.
If your banners are well designed and thought out then your overall results for your Affiliate program will most likely be far better. As with every element of your Affiliate program, a little planning will offset future problems and ensure your online ventures have the best chance of being successful.
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