Tips On Designing Display Banners That Convert

Posted 28.09.2018

By Lucy Bradley

If you’re not familiar with Display advertising, it’s a digital form of advertising where promotional messages created by businesses, appear on third party sites, blogs and content platforms pages, such as publishers or social networks. The main purpose of display advertising is to support brand awareness and to influence increasing purchase intention of consumers.

Display ads can come in a range of formats, such as desktop & mobile in-stream ads; which are static ads or video ads that play before or during videos, hosted by the likes of The BBC, YouTube and more. Another popular format is Native advertising, native banners are ads that are disguised as featured or sponsored content on publisher and social networks. The most commonly known format are traditional display ads, which are static or animated image adverts that can appear across a range of advertising networks.

Measuring the success of Display Advertising depends on the type or format you choose to use. Different formats, types and placements will have different KPI’s, ranging from impressions and clicks to completed views of a skippable ad (view-through rate). You can read more about the different KPIs that are used to analyse display performance here.

Whilst it’s always important to start with finalising your campaign objectives, it’s also key to tie in your objectives with your display design. Your ad designs are going to influence the response or engagement you hope to achieve from your campaigns, which is why we thought it’d be useful to outline our design tips for creating display ads that convert.

I believe in leading with the bad and closing with the good, so it only makes sense to talk through what we believe to be 3 display design mistakes that are very easy to make:

Using Too Much Copy

Bad Display Banner 1

It’s hard to know where to look, from the inconsistent use of font colours, sizes and weights right down to the confusing calls-to-action. Either the URL or the button would have sufficed, and one strap-line would have gotten the message across just as concisely.

Having No Distinctive Link Between The Objective & The Design

Display banners that convert

For a mattress and bedding company, you would struggle to know instantly what this ad is promoting. Perhaps they were trying to create intrigue, however, they might get more non-qualifying clicks by doing this. Clear and straight to point messaging is critical and a huge part, your ads should increase intent, spark thought and influence.

Using Vague Messaging

Bad Display Banner 3

This approach is commonly used by well-known brands such as Apple & BMW for products that are highly anticipated. However, if you’ve never heard of barber foods, this ad would’ve been highly ineffective. It would have been better if the banner was to either provide more information about the product or to have attached an offer to the design.

It’s much easier to make these errors than to get it right, especially the first time you try designing engaging display ads. But by remembering the following three tips, you can be sure to see high or higher, qualifying response rates for your ads.

Only Use Short, Sweet & Prompting Copy

Good Display Banner Example 1

Harrods started running these ads as soon as the Autumn season began, what a great way to capture the moment in less than 5 words and to close with a straightforward call-to-action.

Make Sure Your Objective Aligns With your Design

Good Display Banner Example 2

A design to inspire budding professionals; the image is relatable and the copy uses highly captivating keywords.

Use Clear & Creative Calls-To-Action

Good Display Banner Example 3

A well designed location-themed design, which provides a useful and creative call-to-action.

Following these tips will not only ensure you create captivating ads, but they’ll also be a great representation for your business, brand and services or products you offer. However, If you still feel like you need guidance on designing display banners for better conversion rate, as well as setting up converting campaigns, feel free to drop us a line on and we can work together to draw up a plan for success.

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