Nearly every website on the internet nowadays has some type of advertisement. Over the past few years advertisements known as banner ads have become increasingly popular. Like any new type of anything on the internet, these ads raise debates over whether they really do work well as ads or if they are just annoying advertisements for lousy websites. Your average internet surfer will probably tell you that these ads are all spam, are bad for your computer, and some might even say that they contain viruses. These people are all very wrong. Banner ads are used often by rather shoddy websites but they are also used by successful businesses aiming to advertise for their company.
Creative individuals who are passionate about the internet will love banner ads. These ads can be created by anyone and there is free software available online that can help an inartistic person create an ad that will look like the work of a professional. Creating these ads can be like an art project for some. Not only do you have to make it look appealing to viewers but you also are challenged to make the banner take up as little web space as possible to keep the webpage it is on at its fastest possible loading speed.
A few years back when banner ads first began to become popular, owners of successful websites decided it would be a smart business move to significantly raise the price of banner spaces on their sites. These business owners were absolutely right and they made a killing by selling overpriced advertisement space to wishful small internet business owners. When the ads didnt live up to their expectations, they got a bad reputation. The hate aimed at banner ads was misplaced and really should have been aimed at the greedy but shrewd businessmen who were selling the ad spaces. The bad reputation led to banner space becoming a very cheap way to advertise because no one really wanted to buy the space. A lot has changed since then. These banner spaces can still be found at very reasonable prices and the art that goes into their creation has radically improved. The demand for them is increasing but luckily the number of websites and internet users has also increased which is the only thing currently keeping banner advertisement spaces at fair prices for advertisers.
People under the age of 21 dont remember the days when billboards were on top of the advertisement world. The internet has now become the king of all advertisement sources. With that said, banner ads are like the kings top knights. The best part about banner ads is they can be changed whenever the creator feels the need to change them. Control is always in the advertisers hand.
Banners could be a fun, exciting, and great way to advertise your business online if it was not for the countless bad intentioned websites using them. It is hard to put blame on websites like Yahoo.com or ESPN.com for selling their banner spaces at ridiculously high costs because if they can get the money, why shouldnt they? It is much easier to place the blame on these websites that use banner advertisements to essentially scam or mislead people out of money. The problem is that there is too much money to be made with banner advertisements. People know this and there are just too many people in this day and age that will do anything for a quick buck.
The people taking advantage of the existing banner ad opportunities are removing any trust the public once had for banner ads. There are literally millions of banner ads on the internet today that say things like Hurry Click This before Your Computer Gets Infected with a Virus or You Won! Click Here to Claim Your Prize! Some banners are threatening, others are simply misleading, and many are just plain lies. Following and clicking these kinds of banners will usually lead you to a low caliber website with that will try and convince you to invest in a get rich quick scheme or to buy some illegitimate of software. Every frequent internet user has had some type of negative experience resulting from clicking one of these banners, even if it was just by accident. Now why would anyone trust any internet banner even if the banner looks legitimate?
The trust is gone.
Of course there is the argument that this is just how life works; opportunities are going to be taken by everyone and not just the people with good intentions. This is more than just a valid argument because there is no great counter argument to return fire with. The progress of technology has no limits and these sleazy banner ads are just con artists way of innovating to keep up with the times.
It may seem like it is impossible to kill these banner ads but thats not completely true. The reason these shady ads still exist is because less experienced internet users are getting conned out of money by the scammers paying for the ads. This is a very unique situation. Unlike most things, the people with less experience in this situation are the older generations. We may only be a few short decades away from seeing a rapid decline of these ads and eventually their seemingly long-awaited extinction.
Something people need to remember before attempting to use banner ads for serious advertisements are that although banners can easily be made, they are not some magical form of advertising. The banners need to be placed on the appropriate websites to reach specific target markets. The banners also have to be designed to look professional while attracting attention at the same.
Most internet users dont know this but search engines like Google and Yahoo do not like to have false advertising banners on their search engines. They have billions of dollars and have an endless list of potential advertisers so they have no reason to want these deceptive banners on their sites. What you can do to eliminate some of the banners is send a short complaint or note about any banners you encounter when using a search engine and the banner will almost certainly be removed.
Banners provide a simple form of advertising that unfortunately is misunderstood by most people. It is extremely rare to come across a person who understands exactly what banners are and how they work.
The standard size of an original banner ad was 400 x 40. This originated back in the day when banners were first introduced and it was still uncommon for an individual to own a website. There were only two search engines at the time and they decided that this was the most appropriate size for a banner ad to be. A lot has changed since then.
Eventually, the 468 x 60 replaced the 400 x 40 banner as the standard size banner. This is still the current size used for most banners you see. Banners can be made any size today but still most advertisers stick to the standard size to give the web browsers something familiar to look at and it is the easiest size to get approved when buying banner ad space.
These numbers probably mean nothing to you as they have no units and mean nothing to most people. The unit that gets attached to those numbers is pixels. If you are like most people, that will still not mean anything to you. In the simplest terms, the numbers refer to the height and width of a banner.
A banners weight is measured in kilobytes (k). This measurement is the most important measurement of a banner. When someone refers to the weight of a banner, this is what they are talking about. The more animation a banner has, the more it weighs. Banners with movement weigh more than banners that have no movement. If a banner weighs too much it will slow down the webpage it is on. This is why when websites sell banner ad spaces they let the potential buyers know what the maximum weight their banner can be if they would like to have it on their site.
Most websites will only except banners of the standard size that weigh less than 15k. This can make it a challenge when designing your banner if you plan to use animation or any type of movement.
Smaller banners that you see are most likely 88 x 31 pixels and weigh less than 12k. Banner advertisers call these button links. The advantage to using these is you can maximize animation because the banner itself is smaller. It wont slow the webpage down as much as the standard banners do so some websites are switching from selling standard size banner spaces to selling these button link banner spaces.
When creating a banner, you need to prepare for everything. Some banners will work better than others and some websites will do a better job of reaching your target market than others will. To make sure you are prepared for everything, create several different banners with different features and of all different sizes. Dont limit yourself when you dont have to. Having choices and options will make your life easier when purchasing your first advertising space. If a banner isnt getting clicks, it is very handy to have another banner of the same size ready to take the unsuccessful banners place.
Everyone always wants to create the perfect banner. This creates a bit of a problem. There is no such thing as a perfect banner. If you have an online business or website that you are trying to promote you are going to be constantly updating your banners based on your analysis of each individual banner. You should never be 100% satisfied with your banner. It is exciting when a banner you created is successful but you cannot leave it alone and think that things are not going to change. This is the internet you are putting your banner on. Billions of things are changing everyday and you need to keep an eye on every advertisement you have on the web to check their performance levels.
The best way to analyze your banner is by its click per visitor ratio. You need to have realistic expectations for your click ratio and see which banners are meeting your goal. A 2% ratio is about average so you any banner getting around that you should give a shot. Dont set your goal at 2% though. Why aim for average? Set your goal at 3% and after you reach that, set an even higher goal and try to achieve it with numerous banners.
Free banner programs are great and fun to use but are not always going to be the best thing for you. You should definitely experiment with them but you should not plan on only using free banner software. You can buy software that will give you more options than the free programs will and if you are very artistic than this may be a good option for you. If you are not an extremely artistic person than consider paying a professional artist to create your banners. It will be well worth it in the long run.
The price for banner software or to pay an artist to create your banners should never cost more than $100. A simple Google search will lead you in the right direction to any banner creation tools or artists you may be looking for. Once you have your banners and are ready to advertise, you need to find the best places to advertise. Sites like Yahoo and ESPN will be ridiculously expensive because of the millions of unique visitors they get each day. Most people cant afford to advertise on these sites. You need to find a site that attracts members of your target market, has a respectable amount of unique visitors every day, and is reasonably priced.
Remember to never expect a banner to turn out perfect. Something that is always changing can never be considered perfect. If you get a design that is close to what you had in mind for a banner, be satisfied for the moment and keep it. Changes can easily be made anytime you feel the need to make a change. Once you have bought advertising space for your banners, sit back and watch their progress like a hawk. You cannot over analyze your banners. Make sure to keep updated with both the click rates and buyer rates of each banner. Take notes to determine which sites and banners bring your website the most traffic and which sites and banners bring your website the most buyers. You now know what has to be done to create a successful banner. The ball is now in your hands. Advertise with pride and dont abuse the power.
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