How Do You Design a Banner Ad?

By Grit Daily Staff Grit Daily Staff has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on April 1, 2023

From focusing on bold colors and fonts to factoring in the human element, here are nine answers to the question, “What are your best banner ad design tips to get more clicks and sales?”

  • Add High Contrast Images and Text
  • Focus on Your CTA
  • Use Buttons Appropriately
  • Don’t Overcomplicate and Keep the Vocabulary Simple
  • Make Your Banner Ad Mobile-friendly
  • Become Animated
  • Convey Your Message With a Strong Headline
  • Think Like an Artist
  • Include Lifestyle Images

Add High Contrast Images and Text

Banner ads, especially when viewed on mobile devices, need to have high contrast, bold colors in the images and text. For one, you have a fraction of a second to draw attention, and visual clutter of any kind will just blend into the background. Having a bold, crisp ad will immediately grab attention, with or without animation. 

You need to ensure that your ad will stand out on even the most cluttered web pages, so being clean and sharp within the boundaries of the ad itself will keep your ad as eye-catching as possible.

Tory Jon, Owner and CEO, CamperFAQs

Focus on Your CTA

The most important thing to remember when designing banner ads is that they’re not billboards—they’re a way to get people to take action. That means you need to focus on the call to action.

If your banner ad is just an image with a link, it won’t work. The whole point of banner ads is that they can be seen by people who aren’t actively looking for information about your product or service, so you need to make sure that they understand what they’ll get from clicking the link.

For example, if you’re selling golf clubs, don’t put up a picture of the clubs and say “Click here” in all caps! You want them to click because they see something interesting about those clubs.

Ishu Singh, Founder, Starting to Know

Use Buttons Appropriately

One of the best tips I would give for designing successful banner ads is to use buttons appropriately. Buttons will definitely increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your ad if they are used properly. 

First, to make your call-to-action buttons stand out and encourage users to take action, just place them in a noticeable spot on the bottom right of your ad. Make sure they’re easy to see, and it will increase the chances of users clicking on them. Second, make sure the copy on the button is clear, concise, and actionable—something like “Get Started,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” etc. And don’t forget to make those buttons big enough to be easily tapped on mobile devices. 

The last thing you want is for users to struggle to click on them. Make sure they’re finger-friendly, and you’ll see an improvement in your click-through rates. All this will get the job done—your banner ads will be well on their way to success.

Maria Harutyunyan, Co-founder, Loopex Digital

Don’t Overcomplicate and Keep the Vocabulary Simple

You have just a fraction of a second to gain the target audience’s attention, so avoid using complex words, long phrases, and jargon that may confuse or alienate potential customers. Instead, opt for straightforward language that clearly communicates a message, such as “Buy now” or “Sign up today.” Many advertisers tend to overcomplicate their ads, while the secret lies in simple vocabulary.

Arkadiusz Terpilowski, Head of Growth and Co-founder, Primetric

Make Your Banner Ad Mobile-friendly

Make your ad mobile-friendly to get more clicks and sales. Many people access the internet on their mobile devices, so making sure your ad looks good and is easy to interact with on a small screen is essential.

Make sure your ad adjusts to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on so it looks good and is easy to interact with, regardless of the size of the device’s screen.

Keep the design of your mobile ad simple and straightforward, with large buttons and text that is easy to read on a small screen. Avoid using small text or clutter, as this can be difficult to read on a mobile device. Use features and techniques specifically designed for mobile devices, such as swipeable carousels or full-screen interstitials.

Peter Hoopis, Owner and CEO

Become Animated

Use animation to your advantage. An animated banner ad is going to perform better than a static ad. The trick is to make sure it’s not too distracting. When in doubt, keep it simple and make sure the animation doesn’t last over 15 seconds. You also want to ensure your animation emphasizes your call to action, so your target audience is persuaded to click on your ad.

Kim Walls, CEO and Co-founder, Furtuna Skin

Convey Your Message With a Strong Headline

A strong headline is important for banner ad design because it’s the first thing people see when they click on your ad and it grabs people’s attention. A strong headline makes your business seem more credible and trustworthy. In addition, it also helps to convey the key message of your ad so that people know what to expect from your product or service.

Second, ensure that your ads are relevant and compelling. This means that your ads should clearly convey the message of what you’re offering and they should also convey why it’s worth a user’s time and money.

Finally, it’s vital to use call-to-action phrases in your ads so that people know what to do after they’ve clicked on your ad. Overall, banner ads are a great way to drive traffic to your site, and with a good design, you can create banner ads that get results.

Preston Powell, CEO, Webserv

Think Like an Artist

It may sound simple, but creating banner ads with visuals that can stop a person in their tracks takes skill. You need to come up with something lighthearted yet impactful. Your banner design should reflect the message of the website, and this takes some creativity. Although it sounds daunting, creating banner ads with a razor-sharp focus will certainly make it easier to get clicks and boost sales. 

Try to use consistent elements throughout the banner, such as the company name, logo, or color scheme, so viewers have no choice but to take notice! Banner ad design can be quite tricky, but, thank goodness, there’s a tried-and-true way to make sure your banner ads grab attention and get clicks, and that is through consistent, branded creativity.

Carlos Trillo, Founder and CEO, Evinex

Include Lifestyle Images

As someone who has built a career in advertising, I can say from experience that people respond to social proof. Using lifestyle images in a banner is a great way to build social proof. 

Lifestyle images are photos of people using the goods or services that you are trying to sell. This helps to build trust and assurance that your product or service is beneficial and gives the user a chance to consider if it is something they need.

Jeff Pollak, Partner, Radio Active Media Inc.

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