A banner advert is a rectangular image which appears alongside the main content on a website – usually including some text. They are usually tall and thin (appearing at the side of the page), or short and wide (appearing at the top or bottom of the page).
Depending on your needs, you can customise your banner adverts by size and whether they’re static or animated.
Different banner ad sizes
Banner adverts are measured in pixels. The most popular size is 468×60 – meaning 468 pixels wide by 60 high. This is the traditional ‘banner‘ size, seen at the top or bottom of a web page, which you might be familiar with. Other sizes include:
- Leaderboards (728×90 pixels) – a larger, more eyecatching version of the traditional banner.
- Skyscrapers (120×600 pixels) – a tall, thin advert that appears down the side of the page. These are a popular choice as they remain in view as the reader scrolls down the page.
- Medium rectangles (300×250 pixels) – these tend to appear within the usual ‘content’ area of the webpage, with the text flowed around them.
A good banner advert campaign might include a mixture of different sizes and positions for your banner ads.
Different banner ad formats
As well as thinking about the size, you should consider whether you want your banner advert to be static or animated:
- Static banner ads are a single, still image, usually incorporating text.
- Animated banner ads allow for a limited amount of animation, to catch the reader’s attention.
- Flash banner ads are more sophisticated and let the user interact with the advert – for example, by rolling over it. They move more smoothly and appear more professional and less intrusive
You can also incorporate sound into your banner advert.
So which format should I choose?
Studies show that animated banners perform better when it comes to grabbing attention. Flash banner adverts are generally best for engaging the user – although they are much more expensive to develop and aren’t supported by some brands of smartphone and tablet device.
Bear in mind that the more complicated the advert, the more it will cost you – you will almost certainly have to employ a website marketing specialist to design Flash adverts for you.
Take particular care using non-Flash animated banner ads, or if you want to incorporate sound, as readers can find these features irritating and they may harm your brand image. If you have a limited advertising budget, it may be better spent on designing a professional, eye-catching static ad in a range of sizes.