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Ask a question. For example, 'Can Ginko Biloba increase my memory potential? Visit Stacy's Herbal Shop to find out!' Spark interest, and visitor will click banner for answer.
Use ALT attribute in image tags of your banners. Many people surf with images turned off. The ALT attribute will describe content of banner and can bring people to your site, even if they can't see image!
Target your banner to similar websites. Your banner will pull better when associated with an appropriately key worded websites.
Do you want antique shoppers to visit your site? Choose a banner exchange for antiques. If banner implies an offer, product, or service presented within specific and targeted context, that banner will get clicked more often.
Overall, surfers refuse to click on banners because banners look like... banners.
A secret to try... make banners that don't look like banners. Make a promise with your banner ad, and deliver. Your visitor will not be irritated by being "fooled" so long as they ultimately get what was promised. If surfer doesn't get what s/he was looking for you will see a very poor conversion ratio.
Banners that look like internet interface elements (drop down menus and other elements customers are accustomed to clicking on) are known to generate high click-through rates.
Change your banners often. After a few hundred thousand impressions a banner becomes stale and it's click-through rate will drop. Be systematic. Track your banners constantly.
You need to know what works and what doesn't, and that this can change daily. Keep those banners that work well so as to rotate them back at a later date.
Banners take up valuable web real estate. Do you have high traffic pages you are failing to place ads on? What are your CGI 'on fly' pages doing? Your search pages are prime also.
You are not limited to banners. Use your favorite search engine to find button exchanges and link exchanges as well. Check out these sites for free exchanges.
http://www.123buttons.com/ http://www.go2mypage.com/bp/ http://up4u.com/ez/ http://www.popunder.com/ http://www.buttonxchange.com/ http://www.tulipxchange.com/ http://site.linkbuddies.com/ http://ban-x.com/
Let's not leave without a few tools to make our banners with. These tools can be used for other applications as well. Be creative.
MS Gif Animator http://mrzone.com/freeware/microgif.html 3D GIF Designer http://www.pysoft.com/downloads_fr.html Harm's Tiles http://www.users.qwest.net/~sharman1/stile99.htm Web Paint http://www.barentsnett.no/webpaint/
Banners are still being used, though their potency is diminishing, nevertheless haven't you seen banners and buttons that caught your eye? The limitation to using banners are yourself, but isn't this is true of anything.
Dale Sexton owns & operates 'PageCrafters.net', & publishes 'Small Business Tools magazine'. Both focus on tools & tips for small business. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Sign up for 'SBT magazine' at: http://pagecrafters.net/newsletter.html