How to Make a Banner Ad? How to Create a Banner Ad in 2021?


Apr 16, 2021

Updated Apr 16, 2021


A working web banner design is necessary for a company to be able to create effective banner ads. Careful application of various design guidelines is the main focus of banner design in general. To understand all of the necessary parts of an effective web banner design, it is important to know what web banner design actually means.

Viewst template examples #1

Web banner design is one of the marketing forms that affects many different banner types. An effective banner design implies creating banners that are as clickable as it gets.

Banner advertisement in general means various ad-related images showcasing products or brands and containing a link to the advertiser’s website. Banner advertisement is often used to efficiently raise brand awareness with relatively small expenses.

Tips on how to make a banner ad

While some of the finer details are heavily dependent on the advertising field in question, it’s possible to point out some general tips and guidelines to help companies with being more consistent about their advertisements. Our list includes ten such tips, as follows:

1. Banner size

While there are a lot of different banner sizes, some of them tend to perform better than the others. Google Adsense themselves list the following ad sizes as the most effective ones:

  • 728x90 – “leaderboard”, tends to perform well when placed above the main content of the page, has more inventory available than most of the ad sizes;

  • 320x100 – “large mobile banner”, most effective for mobile ads, often used as an alternative for either 300x250 or 320x50;

  • 300x250 – “medium rectangle”, one of the few ad sizes that does not lose its effectiveness in both mobile and standalone forms, also has increased ad inventory when compared with the most of the competitors;

  • 300x600 – “half page”, one of the fastest growing ad sizes, allows for more visually impactful message due to its size;

  • 336x280 – “large rectangle”, less effective than some of the competitors, works well when used at the bottom of the page or as a page break.

ad size templates

2. Simplicity

It’s useless to try and create visually complex advertisements when all you would receive most of the time is barely a glance from a viewer. This is why keeping your content simple is the preferred technique, it’s supposed to be easy to recognize in the first place.

3. Consistency

If your ad does not match the theme of the target page that you’re referring to, your potential customers might get confused with that. Always make sure that your brand is consistent in both web design and ad design departments.

4. File size

All of your efforts in making a great advertisement would be wasted if it won’t be able to load properly before viewers scroll down or close the page. This is why the regular recommended file size for banner advertisement is 150 kb or less.

5. File format

There’s only a handful of file formats that are commonly used when it comes to banner advertisement. For example, Photoshop works with JPG, GIF and PNG file formats, while Google Web Designer handles HTML5 files most of the time. Additionally, Flash ads are also out of the picture nowadays, due to both the general age of the technology, and the fact that Flash’s official support has already ended some time ago.

6. Imagery

Only relevant images are supposed to be used in your banner advertisements. Abstract concepts won’t be able to signify your business advertisement as the unique one.

Stock photo licenses work well for this purpose, if you can’t afford more costly options, such as professional photography. There’s also the fact that using imagery is not necessary in the first place, and sometimes you can express far more with just a nice typography and a creative message.

Viewst template examples #1

7. Hierarchy

A correct balance of several important parts is also necessary for your banner advertisements to do their best. There are three basic parts that are involved in a regular banner ad:

  • Logo. Brand awareness is built through adding your company’s logo to your advertisements. Logo is not supposed to be more visually dominant than the proposition or the CTA.

  • Proposition. Product showcasing belongs to the proposition part, and it’s also often using some or other means of attracting visitors, such as prices, discounts, and so on. Takes most of your banner’s free space.

  • CTA. A clear focal point of the banner, the Call-to-Action is supposed to be something that invites users to perform an action, such as clicking on the advertisement. The most common phrases are “learn more”, “watch now”, “get started”, etc.

8. Animation

Animated banners tend to bring more attention to themselves than the classic static banners. There’s no need for complex animations, either, since it’s possible for extensive animation work to distract viewers from the actual message of the advertisement.

9. Placement

The target placement for your banner ads may change depending on the banner size used, but the most effective ad placement for the majority of them is above the main content of the page and close to that content, too.

10. Color

Another interesting point that you should keep in mind is the relations between color themes of the banner and the emotions that they represent. While the topic of color associations is subjective and differs greatly in different cultures, here’s how Western audience takes specific colors:

  • Blue represents trust, intellect and safety;

  • Brown represents seriousness, nature and toughness;

  • Red represents passion, excitement and anger;

  • Black represents prestige, power and mystery;

  • White represents simplicity, purity and innocence.

Other examples include orange for playfulness, purple for wisdom, gray for neutrality, green for health, and so on.

Best practices for how to create a banner ad

Your advertisement campaign should not be restricted to only one banner at a time. Different sites with different audiences react differently to the same banner, so you should create different versions of your banner and test them against each other.

Viewst template examples #2

Additionally, keeping statistics about your performance is also an important thing, since you won’t be able to measure your success or adapt to the ever-changing market without knowing how your ads actually perform at the moment.

One more important matter to discuss concerns advertisement networks. More often than not companies are not sure about where they want their advertisements to be placed on. This is where advertising networks come in, covering multiple different websites that you can spread your banner ads on. Here are some examples of popular advertising networks:

  • Google Adwords

  • Adify

  • Yahoo! Advertising

  • ValueClick Media

  • BuySellAds

  • Fusion

  • Project Wonderful

  • The Deck


  • AdOn Network

  • Commission Junction


Banner ads serve as a surprisingly effective field of advertisement, and yet it’s not that easy to use all of its potential. A lot of different nuances and tips are involved in the process of creating your most effective banner ads. This article might fix that problem, serving as a source of tips and best practices on how to make the most out of your banner ads.

Founder, CEO at Viewst
Founder, CEO at Viewst
Founder, CEO at Viewst

Victoria is the CEO at Viewst. She is a serial entrepreneur and startup founder. She worked in Investment Banking for 9 years as international funds sales, trader, and portfolio manager. Then she decided to switch to her own startup. In 2017 Victoria founded Profit Button (a new kind of rich media banners), the project has grown to 8 countries on 3 continents in 2 years. In 2019 she founded Viewst startup. The company now has clients from 43 countries, including the USA, Canada, England, France, Brazil, Kenya, Indonesia, etc.

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