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Banner advertising is associated with unwanted, unrelated to the content of the displayed page, flashy messages. Does this form of advertising have any advantages? When is it effective?
Advertising banners are virtual equivalents of billboards that we see in public space. Instead of hanging our message on the wall of a building on a busy street, we place it on the main page of a popular website. It is worth remembering this comparison when considering whether investing in banner advertising is a good idea. Contrary to appearances, online and offline have a lot in common in this case.
When there are too many ads
Just like placing advertising signs in close proximity to each other, a dozen or so virtual banners in one space and at too close intervals – will scare you away, instead of attracting the recipients. The streets with a dozen or so unrelated advertisements on each tenement house (hairdresser, dentist, butcher’s shop, beautician and oriental cuisine bar) repel us as much as websites that look like advertising columns full of colorful, flashing advertisements. With so many contradictory messages, not only are we unable to notice information that could potentially be of interest to us, but we immediately become irritated and overwhelmed by the amount of stimuli and questionable aesthetics of such solutions.
The right place and form of the banner
Banner advertising must be adapted to the place where it is displayed. Flashy colors, strong contrasts and large letters on parenting blogs kept in subdued, pastel colors will immediately be perceived as “suspicious”. A banner, referring to the style of the portal, with interesting graphics or a catchy slogan related to the content on the website will be perceived as a natural element that matches the environment, and can even be treated as an interesting addition to the website, e.g. in a situation where it redirects to the page with products that the user is currently interested in.
Well-chosen places where our banners are to appear and designing them to match their locations can be an added value to the website. The bad reputation of banners is related to pop-up messages or advertising content appearing on websites based on automatic website settings. In practice, this means that an advertisement for elegant lingerie may appear both on a fashion portal and on a page with an article on the current political situation. This mismatch is irritating to the audience. Fortunately, it can be prevented by deciding to set ads depending on the preferences of users to whom it is to reach or by creating personalized banners, only on selected portals. Matching to the place in the network is also important for other reasons – it is about adapting to the audience.
CTR, i.e. how many people click
A popular measure of whether a banner ad is effective is the CTR, from the English “Click Through Rate”. Clicking on the banner and going to the page it leads to is considered a success. The more clicks, the better our ad will perform. Unfortunately, such data is not always reliable. In the case of pop-up ads, i.e. suddenly pop-up windows that must be closed with a click of the mouse – this indicator will not show real interest. The unfair practice of placing banners so that the user clicks on them by accident is the best example of this. There will be a lot of page traffic, but the bounce and closing rates for the newly opened page will be just as high. Such action will not translate into tangible results for our business.
The number of clicks does not always prove the effectiveness of our message. Just like in the case of billboards suspended in the subway, counting how many people have entered its name in the Google search engine when they see the advertised products will give us a picture of the effectiveness of our message. However, it will not determine the impact on the increase in brand awareness and recognition. Just like a person seeing an advertisement in public communication, an internet user may recall a product that he saw on a banner a few weeks earlier. Such relationships will be difficult to document with specific statistics.
The CTR itself can tell us a lot about the effectiveness of our banner ad, if we combine it with other data, e.g. from Google Analytics. By analyzing how long after clicking on our advertisement, users stayed on the website, what tabs they went to and (in the case of an online store) whether they made a purchase, it will show us how much engaged and interested in the content of the recipients were managed by using this form of promotion.
Selection of an advertising tool
Appropriate adaptation of the form and message of the banner advertising can provide us with better results than sponsored posts in social media or buying a place in the search engine. Choosing the target group to which the banner is to be sent and designing the message taking into account the preferences of users will help to achieve the desired effect. The combination of a well-thought-out banner campaign with SEO activities and social media posts is a way to increase brand recognition that can directly translate into sales.
Appropriate website structure, errors on the page, correct URL addresses – such issues significantly affect the effectiveness of positioning, therefore the skillful creation of redirects on the website should be one of the important elements of the positioning strategy. However, you should remember about moderation – the lack of redirects is a serious problem, but their excess can also weaken the website. Correctness and optimization of implementation are important in developing User Experience. The smoother, more convenient and easier a given user browses a website, the more time he or she will spend on it and the more likely to return to it. Redirects affect not only website traffic, but conversion as well. Consider online stores – each time a potential customer encounters a 404 error, the chances of it being that he will decide to continue browsing the assortment and the final transaction. It is worth regularly monitoring the operation of the website and checking if all redirects are functioning flawlessly, then we increase our chances of quickly detecting any errors and fixing them before it has a negative impact on the operation and effectiveness of the website.
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