5 Tips for Creating an Effective Website Ad

5 Tips for Creating an Effective Website Ad

By: Peggy Doyle, CEO, GardeningKnowHow.com

In the world of digital marketing, website ads tend to have a bad reputation. While most people claim to dislike ads, the statistics actually tell us that website ads, also known as “display” ads, are simply misunderstood. In a 2016 study by HubSpot, 83% of users said they don’t think all ads are bad, but they wish they could filter out the bad ones.

Online ads are now over 20 years old, and they’re still around for a reason—they’re a customizable, cost-effective way to spread brand awareness to potential customers. Thanks to their versatility and price point, running a website ad campaign is a key component of most brands’ online advertising strategies. Here are some tips on creating an effective website ad that can actually drive clicks to your website.

1. Design With Your Target Customer in Mind

If you’re looking for deals on back-to-school clothing for your son, you’re probably reaching for flyers for Old Navy or Target rather than Talbots or Ann Taylor. Even though all of these stores sell clothing, the first two are specifically targeting their offerings to people like you. As soon as you look at the Old Navy flyer, you know right away who they’re speaking to: parents of school-aged kids who don’t want to spend a bundle on clothes that will only fit for six months. 

Your website ad should accomplish the same thing. Imagine your brand’s ideal customer, or “target audience”—their taste, their budget, and their interests—and design your ad to reflect those values.

2. Make It Mobile-Friendly

The research is clear: at least 58% of website traffic is now coming from mobile devices. If all those website visitors are accessing sites from tablets and smartphones, it makes sense to explore mobile-friendly ad sizes. Try choosing a size that work on desktop computers as well as tablet and smartphone devices (300×250), or make a few variations of your ad for different device sizes to gain maximum visibility.

3. Create Compelling Calls-to-Action

The call-to-action (or CTA) in a website ad is the digital marketing equivalent of “asking for the sale”. Essentially, it’s a line in your ad in which you explicitly ask your customer to do something. A basic CTA is something like “Click Here!”, but that’s hardly exciting anymore. Calls-to-action that work give your prospects an incentive to visit your website. When thinking of how to structure your CTA, think about what you’re offering your customer. Consider things like:

  • What sort of results can your product or service deliver?
  • How quickly can your customers expect to benefit from your product or service?
  • If you’re running a promotion, what is the offer and when does it end?
  • What problem does your customers have that your product or service can solve?

Use questions like these to write a CTA that makes your customer curious to learn more on your website. For example:

“Learn how PestAway repels rodents for up to 3 months.”


“Shop Our Fall Clearance Sale Now!”

Website ads with appealing, personalized calls-to-action consistently have much higher conversion rates (clicks and purchases) than ads with generic CTAs or none at all.

4. Focus on One Thing

A surefire way to get ignored is to try to stuff too much information into your website ad. Online users today are sensitive to ads and will often visually filter out anything that looks too desperate to sell them something. If you have multiple promotions happening on your website, each of them should have a separate ad. It’s always better to create a well-designed, to-the-point ad focused on one thing than try to over-sell yourself. 

5. Promote an Offer

A clever way to convince people to visit your website is to offer them a deal. Promoting a coupon code for a certain dollar amount off their purchase, or offering a percentage off their first order gives them a good reason to try your business out. Coupon codes are great for increasing conversion rates: 78% of consumers are willing to try a brand they don’t normally buy when they have a coupon. When visitors know they’re guaranteed a better-than-usual price, it’s an incentive to browse around and see what you have to offer.

Now that you know how to create an ad that resonates with your customers, the next step is to get it in front of them. By placing your ads on Gardening Know How, your ad will be seen by our audience of over 100 million gardeners per year. Each ad package gets your ad seen on our three websites: GardeningKnowHow.com, Blog.GardeningKnowHow.com, and Questions.GardeningKnowHow.com

Learn more today about how our ad packages can help your company grow.

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