Designing the Perfect Website Banner
Generally when you visit a website, you see a large image on the home page which reflects and sends out messages to the visitor what this website is about and what sections of the web page to visit. Getting the banners right and guiding your visitors can have an impact on your overall bounce rate. How do you come up with a winning banner for your website?
Message: First of all decide what message you want to give out in the banners. Do you want to inform you visitors about any offers, services or just give out your brand message? By understanding what message you want to position you will have a better focus on how to go about designing your banner that will increase conversions on your website.
Size: Decide on how big or small you want your banner to be. It can take up just the top part of the site, or your full page, or just the half of the page. Once you know what size banner you are working with, you can than collate together the information you want to present in this banner.
Design: The visual appeal of the banner image is important, imagine if you have a boring dull banner, besides not doing any justice to your website, what image and impression will it give out about your company, and on the other hand most likely divert the visitors away. The banner design needs to be attractive, striking and match the characteristics of your company and brand. It should make your visitors feel welcome on the site.
When designing your banner, do not rush into it, take your time to plan exactly how you want the banners to be, as this is probably one of the first things visitors will see when they come to your website.
When designing the visual appeal of the banner take into consideration the fonts and colors and the images that you use:
Fonts: Make use of good fonts, as this is an image you can be more creative with the fonts that you use, as the image will display in all browsers and you are not restricted to use certain fonts. Use fonts that have an impact on the visitor.
Color: Color also plays a big part, depending on the line of your business, and what message you are trying to give out, chose your colors wisely. Using light colors or dark colors, can trigger or emotions on your visitors and encourage them to do certain things. Choosing colors for your website banner can be quite difficult, and may require testing. So once you have got your layout set up, experiment with different colors to see which one works best
Choose your colors wisely, which will have a larger impact on your visitors as colors mean a lot such as:
Red: Excitement, Lively, Easily Bored, Hasty, and Passionate
Pink: Sensitive, Kind, Sweet Disposition, and Romantic
Yellow: Happy, Playful, Optimistic, And Spontaneous
Blue: Calm, Trustworthy, Loyalty, Serious, and Conservative
Green: Safe, Goodwilled, and Generous
Images: Images speak louder than words, and can be more powerful, at times I have seen effective banners with just the right background color and an image, which works very well. When placing images in your banner layout, you want to give out true impressions of your business, ideally use images that relate directly to your products and services rather than using stock images, as using stock images can send out artificial and unrealistic signals to your visitors.
Use image such as:
• Your office
• Your work place
• Your Team
• Your City / Country
• Your Products
• The service you offer
By having real images, which relates directly to your business, will make the visitor feel comfortable and also want to know more about your business. As they can see whom they are dealing with directly.
Call Of Action: What do you want your visitors to do when they see this banner. Do you want to initiate an enquiry, or start the sales process, or whether it is just there to give out information about your company, products and brand?
If you want your visitors to click on the banner, make it obvious for them, implement this into the design of your banner.
Functionality: Banners are creates using various methods, such as static image banners, or more advance banners which use scripts such as Java, flash, and CSS. Depending on what you are looking to present you will be able to decide which format the banner should be:
Static: An image banner, which does not rotate and is static. Something that you generally see on inner pages of a website.
Java Script: Generally banners developed using java script rotate after every few seconds, giving users a new banner to see, and form a business point of view making use of the space to present more information This type of banner is the one I generally recommend over others as its search engine friendly, and gives a good user experience.
Flash: An animated banner, which allows you to display high graphical animations in the banner. Unless you want to present a small graphical video not recommend this for just general information banners. As besides it taking awhile to develop, design and the cost factor behind this. It is not very search engine friendly. Only use flash when there is no other solution to what you are looking to portray. Having a flash banner from a visitor’s point of view can be very attractive and entertaining.
What Next: Once the visitor has seen your banner, they have got the information they need, or they have clicked on the banner and come to a new page on your site. What next. What do you want the visitor to do next? If they have clicked on your banner, you do not want to lose this visitor, look beyond just the visual appeal and the functionality of the banner. Ensure that it works for your business, and your visitors are not left lost.