8 Tips To Build The Best Static Display Ad Creative

Display ads are everywhere you go on the web, and the prevalence of display ads are becoming greater and greater. However, many of us install ad blockers to get away from them, or we simply scroll past them and actively ignore them to get away from the busyness of too many ads. That is why it is so important to make sure that your ad creative catches the user’s eye, feels relevant to them, and convinces them to complete an action.

With so much competition, display banners must cut through the noise of your competitors’ ad creative. Banner blindness is real, and people won’t even notice your display ads if they aren’t eye-catching or relevant to them. 

Below, are 8 tips to use display creative best practices to capture your audience’s attention so you can raise brand awareness, earn more website traffic and new customers. 

1. This may seem obvious, but it’s super important: ensure your ads are correctly formatted for your advertising platform of choice.

If your ads can’t run properly, the following seven tips won’t be helpful to you at all! Check out the ad specification guidelines for any platform you are planning to run display ads on and make sure your ads are correctly formatted. Google display ad specs can be found here.

2. Branding and content must be consistent, from ad to webpage. 

Making sure that the branding of your ad matches the landing page is vital to ensure high action rates. Also, make sure that the landing page content matches the ad content. 

Imagine you are the user: you see a display ad for a pair of shoes. You would like to look more closely at them, so you click the ad. When you reach the landing page, it has a completely different logo than was on the landing page and the shoes in the ad are nowhere to be found. Quite predictably, you would bounce, or leave the site immediately. Prevent wasting your ad dollars and repeat after me: consistent branding and content are key! Learn how to build high converting landing pages that are relevant to your ads.

3. Always make display ads mobile-first.

73% of online traffic was attributed to mobile devices in 2018 and it continues to rise. This means it’s more important than ever to make display creative that is optimized for mobile, since that is where the bulk of your website traffic from ads will come from. The most popular mobile sizes include 300×50, 320×50 and 320×100 and fit most phone screens.

4. Include a clear call to action (CTA).

While this tip may seem obvious, including a call to action that is relevant to the brand and easy for your audience to understand is crucial to earn valuable actions and engagement.

For example, if you are running display ads for a local restaurant that shows delicious pictures of food, that may look nice, but what are you trying to get your users to do? Raise brand recall? Click through to view the menu? View restaurant locations? 

If you aren’t clear on how you want your audience to take action, then they won’t, which raises the question: why are you spending ad dollars at all? Figure out your CTA, every time, and make it clear.

5. Add a promotion.

What helps boost click-throughs and convince your audience to complete your call to action? A promotion! With engaging visuals and a clear CTA, adding a promo can be the extra cherry on top to cut through the visual noise and entice your audience to take action on your ad. This is an especially valuable tip for retargeting your audience. If they have clicked onto the site before but haven’t converted, hitting them with a promotion may be the extra push they need to take action and convert.

6. Make sure your creative displays clearly on all devices. 

Pixelated creative makes us sad. Seeing a display ad may be the first time someone will meet your brand, and first impressions are everything. Account for retina display screens by exporting your creative assets at 2x the resolution, or opt for HTML5 files.

7. Incredible copy that is attention-grabbing and easy to read beats incredible visuals, every time. 

We’ve talked a lot about visuals, but outstanding copy and proper font is the most important thing to cut through the noise. Why? Because your audience wants to be spoken to in a way that is clear, easy to understand, and most importantly, speaks to something that is relevant to their lives or solves a problem for them. 

Ask yourself: what’s in it for the audience? And then keep it simple.

Choose your font wisely. When you create display ads in a variety of sizes, big and small, you must consider how your font will display in each size and on each device screen. Always go for easy to read font. It’s also important to pay attention to serif and sans-serif fonts. 

Want to learn more about successful paid search campaigns? Read our blog post to find out why copy is so important.

8. Test, test, test!

Want to test out different versions of copy or static versus animated display creatives? You’ll never know for sure if you don’t test it. Swapping out creative regularly to test performance of different copy, design, colors, or even fonts can help you gauge creative success and boost your campaign performance.