10 best practice tips to help create effective online adverts

From text-only to interactive-rich media, whatever the format or size of ad there are some universal tips that can serve as a helpful checklist when creating online adverts.

1. Define your purpose.

What is it you want your ad to achieve? For example, are you looking to raise awareness, drive traffic, increase sales or grow your database? Clearly defined goals and objectives enable you to focus your efforts and create a more powerful message.

2. Who are you targeting?

Be very clear about who it is you are aiming your advertising at. If you try to be all things to all people you’ll end up with a low conversion rate. Different audiences respond to different messages. Think about your target audience and what will engage their interest.

3. What is your key message?

Your key message should be clear, concise and reflect your goal, leaving your audience in no doubt about what your advertisement is about. Don’t be tempted to entice people in with something that has no bearing on the purpose of your advertisement; they won’t appreciate being misled.

4. Spend time on content

Often you’ll only have a few words or moments to get your message across so make sure they count. The AIDCA model has been around a while but is still a useful acronym to follow when writing copy.

  • Attention. What will grab your audience’s attention? This is where a strong headline comes in.
  • Interest. Develop interest so people will want to find out more.
  • Desire. What benefits will create a desire or need for your product or service?
  • Conviction. Reassure potential customers that they’re making the right decision.
  • Action. Always include a clear ‘Call to Action’.

5. Appealing layout and design

Even the best message in the world will slip by unnoticed if the design and layout of your advertisement is poorly thought out.

  • Keep the layout clear and clutter free.
  • Incorporate bright colours. and if space allows. include engaging images.
  • Use easily readable fonts.
  • Headlines and sub headings should differ in size to your body text.
  • Keep to the standard ad sizes. Checkout Google AdSense for the top performing sizes. 
  • White backgrounds can get lost if there is no clearly defined border or frame.

6. Brand consistency

Brand consistency reinforces your advertising message.

  • Include your logo even when space is at a minimum.
  • Avoid using random colours and fonts. Keep to the same fonts and colour palette to build brand recognition.

7. Take an integrated approach

Don’t look at your online advertising in isolation. Take an integrated approach across all your platforms. The more coherent and recognisable your marketing messages, the better impact your campaign will have.

8. Call to Action

You’d be surprised how many ads don’t carry a clear call to action. Don’t mince your words. People should be left in no doubt about what it is you are asking them to do. For example, ‘Shop Now’, ‘Register Here’, ‘Find Out More’.

9. Think about your landing page

A well-designed landing page can lower your bounce rate and will help increase conversions. For each campaign you run, create a specific landing page that accurately reflects that particular message or proposition.

10. Test and measure performance

How well are your ads performing against your original goals and objectives? The more you test, measure and tweak the better your online advertising will perform. Remember it’s fine to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

These few tips are simple to implement but will allow you to focus your efforts and help you create more successful online advertisements for your business.

Simon Horton is the founder of ShopIntegrator, a hosted shopping cart ecommerce plugin that makes it easy for anybody to add an online store onto their existing website, blog and Facebook page, all without any coding.



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