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The Four C’s to boost your Banners’ Click Through Ratio

By Joelene Wickens-Orlando
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2004

The results are in! Banner advertising raises awareness, builds brands and can drive traffic to your website. Having banner ads is to get the attention of the end user to click on the ad so they will end up on your main website. So, how do you do this effectively? Let’s go into detail on the Four C’s to help you keep up with the trends of banner advertising.

Colors affect the eye differently. Using bright colors can attract the user’s eye, which contributes to higher response rates. The key thing when choosing colors is that you need to choose carefully. If you spend a considerable amount of time on the Internet, you can see that yellow, green and blues are the most common colors that are used for banner ads since they are pleasing to the eye and the content is easy to read within those colors. Colors that are in hues of red, black, gray and purple are too dark, and it makes it harder to read the information in it. Do your research and find which colors you would like to reflect your website and make sure that it will be enticing for the end user to click on as well.

Give a benefit for clicking on your banner. Keep the message short and to the point. The approach of keeping it concise on the banner ad is similar to one you would use for a highway billboard. Keep it simple and not so wordy. Stick to one message and get it across in the animation or content. For example, "Do you want more traffic?" or "Need help with taxes?" It can be in the form of a question, or a statement. Once they click on your banner ad, they will find the answer right on your website. Make sure that the ad will take the visitor directly to that page within your site.

A call to action is known to raise response rates. Simple phrases such as "Click Here" or "Visit Now" and "Enter Here" tend to improve response rates by 20%. These phrases should be strategically placed in the ad, preferably on the right side. This is where the eye is normally drawn.

The real nice thing about banner ads that there isn’t too much creativity involved since you’re working with an area that is relatively small to begin with. Making sure that you select an appropriate color is the big factor in banner ads. The second factor is that the creativity comes in the form of
designing. For example, a creative strategy is to design a trick banner ad, in which the graphics look like links or buttons. As long as the banner ads take the viewers to the kind of site they’re expecting when they click on it, clever "trick" banner ads are acceptable enticements to get people to
click. There are other creative solutions that you can use, but the key thing here is when you design the banner ad, make sure you test it considerably to see what kind of click through ratios you are receiving. If you find that it isn’t working, then you need to change the design or the approach you’re using. A good place to get started is to find banner ads that appeal to you and see how they work.

With these short and simple tips at your disposal, you should be able to come up with some real effective banner ads by following the Four C’s to boost your banner ad click through ratios. The most effective banner advertising campaigns are a combination of branding and click through strategies. Both types feature a call to action and offer a clear benefit to the end users. Any web site that has a clear benefit and actually delivers on that benefit will get positive branding and results with potential customers.

About the Author
Joelene Orlando is a Web enthusiast and a staff writer/consultant for eMarketing Answers with a broad knowledge of topics covering Internet marketing and communication strategies for both consumer and small business owners. ( is dedicated to providing free, comprehensive emarketing resources and online promotion tools.


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