This article was written by Ted Dhanik

Display advertising is only as effective as the conversions that it delivers to your campaign, and you can spend a lot of money testing new ideas looking for a conversion. It’s easy to convince yourself that you just need to make the right tweak and conversions will flow. The reality is that there are several places you should start by looking into, then make improvements based on what you think needs to be changed. It’s also important that you engage in some competitive research. You never want to build an ad from scratch, but these tips will help your existing ads net more conversions.

Above the Fold

The term “above the fold” refers to an imaginary divide that occurs on a website, as though the site was a piece of paper and you folded it. This divide splits the page into two portions, with the top portion (the above the fold portion) showing on the screen without scrolling down. The first thing a user sees is whatever is above the fold, so it’s important that you put your most important content there. Purchasing ad space above the fold usually requires a higher investment in your keywords and placements, but it can be worth it for highly trafficked Web pages.

Optimize the Button

A lot of emphasis is placed on a call to action in banner advertising. This call doesn’t have to be a literal “Act Now” statement in your copy, it can be the button the customer clicks to visit the Web page. The entire banner will be clickable, but including an ovular button with “Buy Now” will help highlight that call. Try to be as specific as possible with the ad, too. If you’re offering information on insurance quotes, use something like “Get Quotes” or “Compare Rates.” You should also keep the messaging in your call succinct. You don’t want “Get Ten Free Quotes in Your Inbox.” That’s more suited for the title of an ad, or a line of copy. Instead, just use “Get Quotes,” or “Get Free Quotes.”


The headline of a text ad is the most important part, because it’s usually the first thing a customer sees before he clicks your link. On a banner ad, the headline must take the design of the banner into consideration. Like your call to action, use an effective burst of copy that motivates the user to purchase something. Questions are very effective, especially when the user can connect with them. Someone selling a weight loss supplement might ask something like “Tired of Love Handles?” Ideally, your headline should have the user nodding in agreement. Make your statement more effective and tap into what motivates that user.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik has over fifteen years of experience in both sales and direct marketing. To learn more about designing banner advertising, search for Ted Dhanik.

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