Banners are Dead!

Alastair Harris

Visitors: 128

Yes the title does need an explanation mark - in fact it needs a total explanation hence this article.

Many have cried out the death of banner advertising saying imbedded text links work better. Are banners dead?

One of the earliest and most popular forms of advertising on the internet are banners. A banner is a graphic link to another website site, they can be colour text, pictures, animations, flash, make noises, but all aim to do the same thing - get the surfer to go to the linked site.

There are many reasons for this. Firstly banners are immensely easy to use. One created which isn't too hard with the right banner creation software it is just a case of copy and paste. Loved by webmasters for their simplicity banners spread everywhere, and that is what part of their downfall. They became so common and so many of them were everywhere that the average surfer began to learn to ignore them - advertising fatigue.

Many attempts have been made to overcome this advertising fatigue, including increasing graphic or eye popping appeal. This includes high quality pictures of products, happy people or like advertising fare, or increased interactivity. This interactivity with the banner seeks to get the surfer to engage the banner through a game like “outdrink the college kid", “shoot the movie star" and other like ‘activities’. Perhaps the best banner I've seen in this category was a automotive advert in which the car changed from a family car to a race car by the move of your mouse. Obviously benefiting from the ability to use professional advertising agencies. The fact that such large companies as multi-national car companies put time and effort into banners perhaps will let your know that banners are not a waste of time.

Some banners have been immensely successful. ‘Adsense is dead’ was a prime example. Simple yet dramatic. The catchphrase created controversy and the skull was visually challenging. To anyone involved in adsense (half the net) it demanded to be clicked on. Such a banner however would quickly eat up its potential market (which was probably the intention).

What one must appreciate with banners that they tend to follow the 3% rule. This is the magic number on the internet which seems to be the average conversion rate no matter the ad. As an owner of an article directory I have a banner displayed per page - the average click through rate - 3%. Despite using a banner rotator with 50 plus banners the average rate is 3%. Some banners perform a little better, some a little worse, but the universal average is about 3%. Some people complain their results are much worse than this. I would question how many banners are they displaying? If you displaying 10 banners a page then of course applying the universal 3% law you would have to divide that by ten or an average of .3% per banner would then be acceptable. It could be argued by having two many banners displayed you lessen the affect. The human brain can only focus on so many things. By displaying too many banners at once you make it easy for the viewer to choose to ignore them all.

Remember the repeat visitor. Don't rely on just one banner. Although repeat exposure may produce a result, your visitor may become visually bored seeing the same banner over and over again and ignore it completely. Give them a choice of banners each time thanks to a banner rotator and you will find you overall results will be better.

Finally if your paying for banner advertising you need to be aware of the 3% rule. You then need to know the conversion figure of those hits. Only then can you work out advertising costs and therefore whether a campaign will be worth it or not, profitable or not.

In conclusion banners are still worthwhile, however they have been a victim of their own success. The secret is don't overkill on the banners. Use a banner rotator to display multiple banners rather than displaying many banners on the same page. Using banners of the same display size will ensure they always appear in the correct place and interfere with text or other page features.

This article is the property of Alastair HARRIS and his immediate family. It may be freely republished over the internet but must include original links.

Alastair HARRIS is the main promoter for article directory (visit ) and the getfinancialfreedom4u family of websites, blogs and projects (visit ) specializing in online business opportunities and education, income being generated by affiliate marketing, google, GDI, eBay, ebooks, clip flipping and more. Alastair is rated as an expert author on numerous article directories and is very open to assisting others on the internet


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