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Banner Ads Design: 17 Hacks to Get More Clicks & Sales [Examples & Best Practices]

By Leah Clark Last updated: 21 minute read Marketing Guides

Banner ads are popular for businesses because they offer so much potential! There are various sizes and types of banner ads to boost web traffic and conversions in 2024.

But the challenge lies in creating a banner ad design that stands out from your competitors and engages target buyers.

With an average click-through rate of less than 1%, how do you create banner ads relevant and personalized to your customers to increase engagement?

And what other design aspects must businesses consider to create banner ads that drive insane conversions?

We’re here to help!

This ultimate guide covers the best sizes and types of banner ads for your business. Plus, we have the 17 banner ad design hacks and examples and the best tools to seamlessly create banner ads.

Ready to learn all you need to know about results-driven banner ad designs?

Let’s get into it!

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    4 Top Banner Ads Types & Recommended Sizes

    There are many different banner ad types and sizes to use for your ad campaign. These are the best banner ad types and sizes for maximum traction!

    1.Medium Rectangle – 300 x 250

    The medium rectangle banner ad size is the most common because it works for mobile and desktop. This banner ad design size provides enough space for simple, short text and an image to captivate target buyers. Because of how versatile this banner ad size is, you can also use content like videos to hook your buyers.

    For mobile, medium rectangle banner ads are best as page breaks between content. Using them like this seems invasive to your reader. You can use this banner ad design size for above-the-fold advertising content on a desktop.

    2.Leaderboard – 728 x 90

    You’ve seen the leaderboard banner ad design size numerous times on websites via desktop. Most marketers place these banner ads above the fold, between content, or at the bottom of a web page or home page. Where you position your leaderboard banner ad depends on which areas of your website users interact with the most.

    Leaderboards banner ad designs work for desktop because it provides more than enough room for impactful advertising. Because of how spacious and common this banner ad size is, the content seems less invasive and more organic.

    Source: Rajeev Mehta

    3.Mobile Leaderboard – 320 x 50

    The mobile leaderboard is the same banner ad type as the leaderboard, except it’s mobile-friendly. Use these banner ad sizes because many web visitors use mobile devices to search for brands. Without mobile-optimized banner ads, you’ll lose out on a lot of potential traffic and conversions.

    4.Wide Skyscraper – 160 x 600

    Also referred to as a standing banner, a wide skyscraper banner ad size is higher than wide. Businesses use these banner ad designs if they want to include visually appealing elements in their banner ads. It’s easier to use creative components and guide buyers through your copy with wide skyscraper banners.

    You can place these banner ads on your left or right website sidebars.

    Summary: 4 Top Banner Ads Types & Recommended Sizes

    1. Medium Rectangle – 300 x 250
    2. Leaderboard – 728 x 90
    3. Mobile leaderboard – 320 x 50
    4. Wide Skyscraper – 160 x 600

    17 Best Banner Ad Hacks for More Clicks and Sales + Examples

    1.Use Your Branding

    Branding is crucial for banner ad designs because target buyers must recognize your business. When interacting with your banner ads, web users shouldn’t second guess if this is your ad. Ensure you include branding elements in your banner ad design.

    These elements include your brand’s color palette, logo, and signature font. However, accurate branding goes beyond those components. Your brand identity and voice must be relevant in your banner ad design. This will help engage and connect to your target audience, and they’ll have confidence in your consistency.

    Here’s an example of branding for banner ad designs by Bull Dog. Using fun and humorous approach is true to this brand’s voice and identity.

    Banner ad designs_Bulldog example
    Source: Bull Dog

    2.Keep Your Text Short and Sweet

    The simpler the design, the better for banner ads. Too much or too complex text will quickly put potential buyers off reading your copy. Your copy must be impactful and direct. Leave out information users don’t need to know right then and there, and focus on copy that pushes your buyers toward conversion.

    I love this banner ad design by AAA as an example of short and sweet copy.

    AAA_banner ad designs example
    Source: AAA

    AAA uses five words to hook buyers in and drive them down their sales funnel. What makes this effective is not the number of words but the choice of words. “We’re here when you need us – 24/7” is an emotional way to let their audience know they’re always ready to help.

    AAA conveyed its message and created an emotional appeal between its business and its target buyers. Adding the image was a fantastic addition as it relates to what their ideal customers experience when they need AAA. 

    3.Ensure Your CTA is Direct

    When users see your banner ad, the CTA must be obvious from the get-go. Do you want users to schedule a call? Download whitepaper? Join your email list? Buy a product? Whatever your ideal conversion is, ensure it’s clear from your CTA.

    Your CTA must also be accessible. Don’t hide it away in a corner, but place it in the forefront of your banner ad.

    Your CTA determines how likely users are to click on your ad, so you want to ensure you personalize it to your target audience. Personalized CTA’s perform 202% better!

    This example from Big Brothers Big Sisters proves how simple and powerful CTA’s are.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters_banner ad design example
    Source: Big Brothers Big Sisters

    Using “Start Something” matches the motivational approach of their banner ad design and makes the user feel like they’re actively involved in something bigger than themselves.

    Making your users feel like they have so much power with one click of a button is sure to drive conversions!

    4.Use Color and Shape to Draw Attention

    Another tactic for your banner ad CTA’s is to use color and shapes to draw attention to it. A classic example of this is Skype. Ever noticed how Skype always used a bubbly font to make its name stand out, coupled with its branding color to highlight the font?

    Skype banner ad
    Source: Creatopy

    This is a fantastic way to make your CTA stand out.

    There are other ways to emphasize your CTA too. You can use arrows to point to it, put it in the center of your banner ad, or use an image to highlight it. Be creative with your approach, and determine how drawing attention to your CTA matches your overall design and experience of your banner ad.

    5.Create a Unique Design

    However, you choose to design your banner but be unique. It’s challenging to brainstorm a new concept for banner ad designs because so much has been done already. But the secret is to use a design that can connect and relate to your audience.

    Consider your target buyers and what haven’t they seen before. You can find inspiration for unique banner ad designs from customer feedback. Directly speak to your customers to determine what designs and copy engage them most.

    You can also use A/B testing tools to evaluate if your banner ad design outperforms your competitors.

    Here’s a unique banner ad design from WikiBuy. They outright compare their product to their competitor’s and, in a few words, prove how they’re better.

    Banner ad designs_Wikibuy
    Source: CapitalOneShopping

    6.Speak to Your Buyers’ Pain Points

    Customer-centric is the way to go for banner ad designs that convert. Your content must relate to your buyer’s needs. Buyer-centric copy increases your chance of conversion because target customers see how your brand is relevant to the challenges they face.

    Use in-depth and detailed customer insights to create copy that entices them. Get this data through your web analytics and market research. The point is to understand your ideal buyers’ challenges, how your brand solves these problems, and how to wrap up this concept in the most direct way.

    A fantastic example of a banner ad design that speaks to target buyers’ needs is from AutoZone. This banner ad design is simple and direct, yet it relates to the target customer and defines how AutoZone is a top solution.

    Banner ad designs_Autozone
    Source: AutoZone

    7.Don’t Forget the Side-by-Side Comparison Trick

    You’ve seen a lot of examples proving simple is the way to go for banner ad designs. Another easy and effective hack is a side-by-side comparison. Let’s look at this example by Ridge.

    Ridge compares what they customers without and with their brand. This simple comparison doesn’t need much explaining to show this brand’s value. It proves to buyers why they need your product and what difference you can make in their lives.

    Ridge_banner ad examples
    Source: Ridge

    Here’s another example by Apple proving how side-by-side comparisons are powerful for banner ad designs.

    Apple_banner ad examples
    Source: Apple

    8.Keep Your Landing Page and Banner Ad Design Consistent

    Remember we spoke about branding for banner ad designs? Well, this hack works hand-in-hand with solid branding. Your landing page and banner ad design must be consistent for an enhanced brand experience. If the branding elements in your banner ad are way different from your landing pages, users won’t know if the ad is yours.

    The last mistake you want to make is to confuse potential buyers. As it is, buyers are already skeptical about advertising content.

    Factors like inconsistent branding and poor web design will give target customers more reason to abandon your website than move through your sales funnel.

    Look at Samsung’s banner ad.

    Samsung_banner ad examples
    Source: Samsung

    This banner ad design is consistent with Samsung’s overall brand and its website. The font, spacing, and simplistic copy are the same, delivering a consistent brand experience so customers gain purchasing confidence.

    9.Prove Authority

    Social proof is always necessary to persuade buyers. And this is no different for your banner ad design. Look at how Amazon Web Services (AWS) secures authority.

    Banner ad designs example_AWS
    Source: AWS

    Besides mentioning the best cloud services for Windows, AWS backs this up with statistics. This form of social proof is the focal point of AWS’s banner ad design. From short and direct copy, customers already know it’s AWS from the branding and what they offer.

    It’s best to add evidence to any claims you make if you want to win over buyers. Because of the large volume of advertising content out there, buyers aren’t easily convinced by weightless words and claims. If you say you’re the best, you’d better have the numbers to back it up!

    10.Create Exclusivity Around Your Brand

    Statistics prove that buyers love exclusivity, and this isn’t a surprise. We naturally want to feel part of something that others aren’t. Think about the satisfaction of being a scout or on the cheer team. You feel exclusive because you’re in a group or club that others aren’t.

    Exclusivity welcomes many marketing opportunities for businesses.

    Let’s look at how Disney+ uses exclusivity for its banner ad design.

    Disney+ banner ad
    Source: Disney +

    Disney+ uses “Exclusive” to describe its offerings because it’s 100% true. Streamers can’t find Disney+ shows, series, and movies on any other platform. So, if you want to watch Disney’s classic movies and new releases, you must join the club and gain access!

    What’s more about this banner ad design is how Disney + places a direct and relatively large CTA button beneath the copy. The point here is to hook customers with exclusivity and short, direct copy and then drive them to conversion with the CTA button readily accessible.

    11.Put Your Buyer in The Driver’s Seat

    As buyer-centric content proves, customers want to feel like the focal point of your copy. Doing this will make your copy less generic and more targeted at your ideal buyer. Let me give you an example of this banner ad design by Microsoft.

    Microsoft_banner ad design example
    Source: Microsoft

    There’s not much difference between the copy Microsoft uses vs. many other excellent banner ad design examples. However, this copy is more directed at the buyer. Reading this ad’s copy, you feel like Microsoft is speaking directly to you.

    Why is this?

    Microsoft uses the sentence, “Free until you say otherwise.”. This short but impactful sentence works because it makes buyers feel like they have so much power. And when you make customers feel this way, it’s easier to convert them because you’ve put them in a position where they feel in control.

    12.Use Copy to Pique Interest

    Sometimes the best approach for banner ad designs is to leave a lil’ something for the imagination. Let’s take this banner ad example by DocuSign.

    Docusign_banner ad design example
    Source: DocuSign

    DocuSign creates a curiosity gap by using an intriguing sentence to persuade users to download their eBook. This eSignature brand could have used copy like, “We have 6 overlooked strategies for rapid growth” or “Get this eBook for 6 overlooked strategies for rapid growth.”

    But what’s the problem with those two versions of copy?

    They’re too generic!

    By limiting the words they use and the details they provide, DocuSign proves that an intriguing angle does the trick!n

    13.Leverage Urgency

    Like exclusivity, urgency fuels buyers to make a purchasing decision more quicker. If customers feel like they have to make a purchasing choice or lose out on a massive deal, they’ll most likely make impulsive purchases.

    However, this wouldn’t be the same for B2B businesses because buyers in this marketing environment don’t make impulsive purchases.

    It doesn’t mean you can’t use urgency for B2B buyers. Instead, add pressure on your customers so they advance through your sales funnel immediately.

    Hulu’s banner ad design is an excellent example of adding urgency to banner ads. They use a large bolded font for the words “Limited Time Offer”.

    Hulu_banner ad examples
    Source: Hulu

    Hulu does this to quickly grab customers’ attention and let them know they need to act fast. By including the original price and scratching it out, Hulu reinforces the satisfaction of getting in on a sweet deal.

    14.Create Catchy, Memorable Slogans

    We know that while it’s ideal, not all users will click on your CTA or make a purchase. However, a catchy and memorable slogan can help you stick in those buyers’ minds, so you’re easy to remember. You can consider this almost to be a written jingle.

    And if buyers notice your slogan anywhere else, they’ll quickly recall your brand and the products they were interested in.

    Let’s consider Invisalign’s banner ad design. They’ve pinned down the concept of curiosity (we discussed this in the previous hacks) and paired it with a three-word catchy slogan, “Made to Move”.

    Invisalign_banner ad examples
    Source: Invisalign

    This slogan is spot on because Invisalign manufactures clear braces for kids, teens, and adults.

    They’re implying they have comfortable braces that won’t hurt you while doing activities or moving around. Such a short, catchy slogan will help keep Invisalign in buyers’ minds for longer.

    15.Lean On Your Value Proposition.

    Your value proposition is the core of your brand. It defines why your brand does what it does and how you aim to enhance your target audience’s lives through your products.

    Because of how powerful and impactful your value proposition is, take DropBox’s lead and use it as the theme of your banner ad design.

    DropBox_banner ad designs exampe
    Source: DropBox

    DropBox states why customers need them and which market challenges they solve. Not only is this a fantastic way to leverage your value proposition, but it’s also another example of buyer-centric content.

    Targeted buyers that need a convenient and quick file-sharing solution would consider DropBox entirely based on this banner ad design hack.

    Determine how your brand helps your buyers and what benefits these customers experience. Use this information as the basis for your banner ad design if you want to learn from a successful brand like DropBox!

    16.Team Up With an Influencer, Celebrity or Industry Expert

    Influencer marketing campaigns offer businesses a range of benefits. And they work for banner ad designs too! Like Intel, partner up with a familiar and beloved industry expert, celebrity, or influencer to boost your ad’s performance. In 2022, more and more businesses are investing in influencer marketing and so should you!

    Intel_banner ad design examples
    Source: Creatopy

    There are many reasons why influencers work for banner ad designs.

    Firstly, when buyers see an influencer or celebrity they love and respect, they’re more likely to interact with your copy or read it, by the least.

    Second, attaching a renowned name to your banner ad will increase your credibility and authority. Buyers trust the recommendations of influencers, so it will be easier for them to believe in your value and authenticity.

    You don’t need to work with a huge celebrity or world-famous superstar. Find influencers that are relevant and connected to your target audience.

    17.Use A/B Testing to Perfect Your Banner Ad Design

    A/B testing is crucial to find banner ad designs for your business. Realistically, you may not find the right copy, design, or approach the first few times. But with the help of A/B testing tools, you can evaluate your content to pinpoint aspects that need improvement or are performing well.

    Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, it’s best to use A/B testing before feeling too confident about your banner ad design. And a massive eCommerce platform like Shopify knows this too!

    Here are a few images of Shopify’s different banner ad designs.

    Shopify banner example
    Source: Shopify

    They’ve made minor and major changes across the use of branding, use of color, and CTA to determine which format looks best. You’ll never have an accurate idea of this without A/B testing.

    4 Tools to Create Perfect Banner Ads

    1.Canva

    Canva is a beginner-friendly graphic design tool for professional banner ads. There are several ready-made templates and designs to choose from, and you can add your elements with the drag-and-drop editor. Teams can easily collaborate and share designs using Canva, and you can download your banner ad designs in various formats.

    Canva_banner ad design
    Source: Canva

    Key features: 

    • Ready-made templates
    • Image and video library
    • Custom banner ad design sizes
    • Team sharing and feedback

    Pricing:

    • Free plan
    • Pro plan is $50 per user, per year
    • Teams plan is $79 per five users, per year

    Pros:

    • Beginner-friendly design.
    • Countless pre-built templates.
    • Canva autosaves work so you never lose your designs!

    Cons:

    • Limited customization options.
    • Not a good tool for complex graphic design projects.
    • You can’t change banner ad size after selecting one.

    Website: canva.com

    G2 Score: 4.7/5 stars

    2.Fiverr

    Fiverr is an online marketplace connecting businesses to top-tier talent. Finding graphic designs for your banner ad design won’t be challenging on Fiverr. You can use various filters to find the perfect professional and rely on Fiverr to handle all the T’s and C’s. Any business can use Fiverr to find professionals for banner ad designs, and it’s quick and easy to create an account.

    Graphic Design_banner ad design
    Source: Graphic Design

    Key Features:

    • Dynamic filters
    • Over 1000+ graphic designers
    • Project packages
    • Budget flexibility

    Pricing:

    • Varies by project and freelancer

    Pros:

    • Thousands of freelancers to choose from, allowing flexibility for businesses.
    • Fiverr manages all the technical aspects of your freelance agreement.
    • This option works for businesses of all natures.

    Cons:

    • Resolving disputes can be challenging frustrating.
    • You don’t know what to expect from each freelancer before working with them.
    • It can become costly to pay Fiverr to find talent.

    G2 Score: 4.3/5 stars

    Website: fiverr.com

    3.Clever Ads

    Clever Ads provides a suite of ads for online advertising campaigns that convert. Among these tools is the free banner creator software. Businesses can create banner ad designs using any of Clever Ads’ pre-built templates. You don’t need graphic design experience to use this tool, and established businesses may find it too basic.

    CleverAds_graphic banner ads
    Source: CleverAds

    Key Features:

    • Reporting and analytics
    • Pre-built banner ad templates
    • Drag-and-drop editor

    Pricing:

    • Free

    Pros:

    • Beginner-friendly banner ad design tool.
    • Free to use, making it perfect for small businesses and sole marketers.
    • Many other paid features and tools for online ads.

    Cons:

    • Lack of customization options.
    • Some features need to be improved.
    • Users report technical bugs.

    G2 Score: 4/5 stars

    Website: cleverads.com

    4.Smart Ads Creator

    Smart Ads Creator is a WordStream product to help marketers develop online ads that convert. There are many ready-made templates to start with, and WordStream provides in-depth reporting and analytics on your ad’s performance. The biggest drawback to this tool is that it’s not fit for professional graphic designers and large companies.

    Smart Ads Creator_banner ad designs
    Source: WordStream

    Key Features:

    • Reporting and analytics
    • Pre-built banner ad templates
    • Drag-and-drop editor

    Pricing:

    • Free
    • Custom quote for paid plans.

    Pros:

    • Intuitive and beginner-friendly dashboard.
    • Countless tutorials and self-help resources.
    • Fantastic customer service.

    Cons:

    • Not the best option for large businesses and detailed projects.
    • Pricing is not clear or transparent.

    G2 Score: 4.5/5 stars

    Website: wordstream.com

    Conclusion

    Banner ads have so much potential for businesses, and many brands have leveraged this potential. However, it’s not simple to create banner ads that convert. Use these banner ad design hacks and examples to find the best approach for your banner ad in 2024. With the help of tools like Canva, Smart Ads Creator, Clever Ads, and Fiverr, you can create a buyer-centric banner ad in no time!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the most popular banner ad sizes and types?

    The most popular banner ad sizes and types include the medium rectangle (300 x 250), leaderboard (728 x 90), mobile leaderboard (320 x 50) and wide skyscraper (160 x 600). Read this full article for more on the best banner ad designs and examples in 2024 for banner ads that convert.

    What are the best banner ad design hacks?

    The best hacks for your banner ad design include using influencers and industry experts, including social proof, using a side-by-side comparison and putting your buyers in the driver's seat. Read our article for more of the best banner ad design hacks in 2024, and the best tools to create your banner ad.

    What are the top tools to create banner ad designs?

    The best tools to create banner ad designs include Fiverr, Canva, Clever Ads and Smart Ads Creator. Read this full article for the key features of these tools, the pros, cons and pricing. Plus, we have the best banner ad design hacks and examples in 2024!

    References

    Think Tank Lab

    Creatopy: How to build trust in your display ads – 5 steps

    HubSpot: Personalized Calls to Action Perform 202% Better Than Basic CTAs [New Data]