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Banner Advertising Cost Guide

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The cost of banner advertising has plummeted over recent years following the realisation that click-through rates are so low, many people finding them annoying, and the widespread adoption of pop-up blockers. Expected click-through rates are now in the region of 0.15% – 0.80%.

Consequently it has gradually become accepted that banner advertising is most effective for branding purposes rather than generating click-throughs. Therefore it is a marketing channel most suited for established brands when used as part of an integrated marketing campaign.

The Cost of Banner Advertising

The cost of banner advertising is usually calculated on a ‘number of impressions’ basis, with one impression signaling one page view by a web user. Alternatively some sites do charge a one-off fee for a set period of time.

The cost has declined significantly over the years and can be anything from £1 – £20 per thousand impressions, the exact amount depending on the size and position of the banner advert, and the audience of the website that you’re advertising on. A banner advertising campaign will usually last for a duration of at least 1 month.

Banner advertising is also one mechanism that websites can use to promote themselves for free. Banner exchange networks work on the basis that for every 10 times you show a banner on your web site, your banner is shown a number of times on another site, usually 7-8 times. If you have a highly effective banner then this form of free advertising can be of benefit, and, as your website gets more visitors your banner is shown more often, increasing brand awareness and click-throughs further.

Banner Design

Designing banner ads is relatively cheap. Small banners can cost as little as £6 with larger banners priced from £20. Banners should usually be designed with the same colours that your website has in order to mirror your site and provide a branding effect. However, using colours that complement the website that the banners are being displayed on generally results in higher click-throughs, as does using bright colours.

Usually you should have animated banners designed as these tend to get 2-3 times more click-throughs than static banner ads. However, in contextually relevant environments, such as news web sites, blogs and newsletters, static banners can work better.

Always provide a call to action in your banner ad design. Words such as ‘click here’ work well, but a special offer of some kind may work better. ‘Free’ also provides a very strong call to action.

It’s worth considering exactly where you want people who click on your banner to be taken to. To be most effective consider designing a landing page which expands on the information or the offer mentioned in the banner ad.

Also, bear in mind that after 2-3 weeks the click-through rate will begin to fall, so keep content fresh and introduce new banners frequently.

Finally, if designing banners for an affiliate scheme be sure not to mention your domain name on them. Affiliates don’t like this as it introduces the possibility of web users remembering the domain name and visiting the website later through typing it directly into their web browser, resulting in the affiliate not being rewarded.

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