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What are the pros and cons of banner ads?

Visit any website that contains advertising and you are almost guaranteed to see at least one banner ad. While these types of ads have been around forever, their popularity has never really waned. There is a reason why affiliate programs provide you with banners to use for promotion, and that is because they are still a great marketing tool. If you are thinking of putting together an advertising campaign of your own, or placing ads on your site to earn revenue, you definitely want to know all the pros and cons that come with banner ads.

Pros

Ad Design - The most obvious reason for using banner advertising, as opposed to other ad formats, is because they are so incredibly easy to work with. All designers, including beginners, can easily put together a banner that satisfies all basic requirements and successfully attracts visitor attention. They can be sized to fit the space where they will be placed, and are easy to change if you feel that the banner is not getting the results you anticipated.

Ad Server - If you want to have your advertisement placed on an ad server, the banner ad format is universally accepted by all ad servers, which means you will not struggle setting up the ad as you may with more complex formats like Flash, Rich-Media, or Video. Pricing a banner ad is also simple because all ad companies frequently handle this format and have a set price already defined.

Visitor Experience - People are used to seeing banner ads on websites, and generally view them as one of the least intrusive advertising formats. The average website visitor is less likely to have a negative reaction to a banner ad than they would have with a pop-up, a fly-in or an interstitial ad.

Webmaster - Placing a banner on a website is usually as simple as knowing the URL that it points to, and the image location of the banner. You can literally have a banner placed on your site in a matter of seconds, and you do not have to be a technical expert in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, or Flash in order to do so. More advanced ad formats like Rich-Media ads and those that involve complex coding can become very problematic if you need to troubleshoot them for any reason at all.

Cons

Ironically enough, it is the things that make banner ads so popular that also present the biggest problems for advertisers. As we mentioned earlier, banner ads have been around in one form or another for more than twenty years. They are the perfect example of something that suffers from familiarity, as internet users are now so used to seeing them that they have developed a sort of banner blindness and simply ignore them. This can cause lower click through rates and lower overall ad effectiveness.

As such, some advertisers think that adding movement or blinking text to their banners will draw attention, but all that usually does is irritate viewers. What you are generally left with is a form of advertising that delivers even worse click-through rates and subsequent purchases. In conclusion, banners are simple to make, serve, and administrate but should be complemented with other forms of advertisements to improve overall ad campaign effectiveness.

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