Saturday, December 15, 2007

Attracting traffic with banner ads

Types of Banner Advertising

Although Web advertising has a variety of formats such as email marketing, sponsorships, classifieds, search engines, Web sites etc., the most frequent type is banner advertising, which is a display advertisement hyperlinked to an advertiser’s Web site (Li & Bukovac, 1999). Banner advertisements are not only effective for advertising products, providing information, generating traffic to a targeted Web site, and making on-line sales but also effective in creating brand effects such as brand awareness and brand attitude. However, the strength of this impact depends on the type of banner advertisement (Cho et al., 2001). In particular, banner advertisements can be classified into five major types such as static, pop-up, animated, dynamic, or rotated (Search-Engine-Optimization-Ethics, 2002).

A static advertisement that neither moves nor changes its contents with every loading page includes only one GIF or JPEG image file (Search-Engine-Optimization-Ethics, 2002). It is deemed passive because it does not interrupt visitors’ Web activity (surfing).

A pop-up banner advertisement appears on a separate small window at the top of a visitor’s screen when navigating from one Web page to another. However, a pop-up is considered intrusive because it interrupts visitors’ Web navigation, particularly so when the information displayed does not match visitors’ interests. Because of the annoyance factor and the availability of pop-up blocking software, their use is not growing, and their share is only 4 to 7 percent of the total banner advertising market (Koegel, 2004). Despite these disadvantages, pop-ups are more effective for creating brand awareness than are static banner advertisements (Cho et al., 2001). Specifically, they are more effective when the advertising message is emotional rather than rational.

An animated banner advertisement includes many GIF or JPEG files that are shown in rapid succession to create animation effects. The impact of animated banner advertisements on consumers’ cognitive, attitudinal, and click-through responses varies. They do have a positive impact on consumers’ cognitive responses (Dreze & Hussherr, 2003; ) but do not have a greater impact on persuasion (Taylor & Thomson, 1982; Taylor & Wood, 1983), and click through (Dreze & Hussherr, 2003 ) than non-animated advertisements.

Rich media or dynamic banner advertisements are made-up of audio, video, Java, and Macromedia Flash etc. that impact on consumers in the same way a TV commercial does with an added dimension of interactivity (Koegel, 2003). Almost 39 percent of all Internet users in the US logged on through broadband connections in 2003. Subsequently, it is expected that more than 50 percent of all on-line advertising will contain dynamic advertisements and will become the standard for Web advertising by 2005 (Koegel, 2003).

A rotated banner advertisement consists of an array of advertisements shown in different successions in a single presentation. It is considered one of the effective ways of presenting banner advertising because different messages from one or a number of advertisers can be delivered to visitors during a single visit.

Cho, C., Lee, J., & Tharp, M. (2001). Different forced-exposure to banner advertisements. Journal of Advertising Research, 41(July/August), 45-56.
Dreze, X., & Hussherr, F.-X. (2003). Internet advertising: Is anybody watching? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 17(4), 8-23.
Koegel, K. (2004, March 2004). Doubleclick's year in online advertising 2003.
Li, H., & Bukovac, J. L. (1999). Cognitive impact of banner ad characteristics: An experimental study. Journal of Mass Communication Quarterly, 76(2), 341-353.
Search-Engine-Optimization-Ethics. (2002). Banner advertising.
Taylor, S. E., & Thomson, S. C. (1982). Stalking the elusive vividness effect. Psychological Review, 89(2), 155-181.
Taylor, S. E., & Wood, J. V. (1983). The vividness effect: Making a mountain out of a molehill? Advances in Consumer Research, 10, 540-542.

Main Source:
Research Study Proposal
Multiple Banner Advertisements: A Proposed Model of Consumers’ Cognitive Responses
Banner advertisement.

In the beginning of Internet era, banner advertisement was one of the primer methods of online marketing. Visitors were clicking through banners aggressively. Today, things are totally different! Today, visitors tend to avoid clicking through the banners unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. Does that mean the banner advertisement is dead? Not so soon! Although, banner click through rate is quite low in comparison to what it used to be, depending on your objectives banner advertisement can still be very effective according some research studies. Banner ads are used today, either for creating brand recognition or for bringing in more traffic to the website and consequently generating more sales. As an overall brand awareness campaign, companies place banners on targeted websites.

Banners of products with mass appeal are frequently posted on high traffic portals. If your goal is to make any of your products or services popular to certain niche market, you should find websites catering this particular audience and post banner ads. When visitors see your banners, whether they click on it or not – same like traditional bill boards and TV advertisements – it helps you building consciousness to your brand.

According to a recent study, online banner ads can be as effective as television advertising as far as brand recognition is concerned. A survey was conducted among members of American Online who saw an ad of a product as a banner on the website and on TV commercial. The result indicated that 40 percent of the audience remembers the static banners and 41 percent remembers the TV commercial at the time of the poll conducted a few days later(*Notice the similar percentages).

Forester Research claims that you can get similar brand recognition effect from online ad campaign in comparison to traditional forms of advertisements for around 60 percent less cost.

However, same like offline ads, in order to create a sustainable brand recognition, your online advertisement campaign also needs to run for a prolong period of time.

Generating traffic

Banner ads could be a good source of high quality traffic for your website if you manage your banner ad campaign wisely. If your main purpose of the campaign is to generate more sales by attracting traffic - which is any way should be the main goal of any e-commerce site – you have to select sites to post banners where you target audience frequently visit. Pay per click search engines like Overture or Google Adwords are good options for your textual banner ads. Since the visitors are already looking for a website like yours by searching for the keyword that you have selected to place your ad, you get highly targeted traffic from this.

There are no fixed rules of effective banner ads campaign. You have to learn the program works best for you by trial and error. The principal idea behind any advertisement is to grab viewers' attention, ignite their curiosity and motivate them to act. For banner ads it is no different!

The following tips should help you getting better result from your banner advertisement campaign:

1. Choose an attention grabbing content. Space is so limited in a banner – same like newspaper headlines – you have to come up with something that really gets viewer's attention.

2. Call to an action. Many people like to be guided. Tell them what to do such as "Click here" or "Go to the website".

3. Focus on one offer. Your banner ad should carry one single message. By including several offers in one ad, chances are you will confuse viewers rather than intrigue.

4. Make it readable. Even a greatly designed banner will fail to motivate a viewer if the text on it is not readable.

5. Avoid information overload. Too many pictures, colors and texts make banners look clumsy. Viewers tend to ignore this type of banners. Animated banners should have less than four frames.

6. Don't use heavy banners. Make sure that your banner file size is less than 5K. Bigger files take longer time to load.

7. Test your banners before publishing. Check how your banners will look with different browsers. Verify that the banner link URL is correct and linked to the right page on your website. Whenever, you make changes to your website, make sure to double check your banner ads.

Recent practice shows that a banner, which looks like a text has 4 times more click through rate than a conventional banner. So use text banners to increase efficiency of your banner ad program.

From an article by Nowshade Kabir, the founder, primary developer and present CEO of A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has wide experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions to start and run online business. You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at],

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