A man grinning and covering his eyes with his hands.

If your brand or business has ever had a special announcement to make such as an offer, an event, a new product or service, or a change in operations, you might have placed a temporary banner on your homepage or on your entire site. Banners are a commonly used way to make this type of announcement in a way that is meant to get the attention of the user, and can also be added and eventually removed without disrupting the design/content of the rest of the page.

While a banner is a great way to make an announcement like this, there is a pitfall that can get easily overlooked if the element is not designed, developed, and placed professionally. This pitfall is something called banner blindness.

Depending on the individual users’ habits, a user may pay selective attention (or not pay attention) to certain elements of a web page, such as a banner or ad. They may ignore them (or become blind to them) while looking at the content they came to the page for, or they may scroll right past them in a hurry to find the content they seek.

Your announcement is important to your business and for your visitor, so you want to ensure that they don’t miss it. Here are a few ways that you can avoid banner blindness.

Avoid the traditional ad appearance.

Whether or not your banner is actually an advertisement, try to not make it look like the type of banner ad that displays on SERPs, social platforms, and other sites that display ads for monetization purposes. Frequent web users are well acquainted with the looks of these ads and are most likely to ignore them.

Make sure your banner is well branded and consistent with your site design (color scheme, typeface, etc) so it isn’t disruptive. Instead of using a bright contrasting color or vibrant photo to get their attention, consider enlarging the text, including a CTA, or placing a button that draws their attention to it while giving them confidence that it is a part of your brand and your site design and not an intrusive ad.

Test your placement and style.

If you’re not sure how effective your banner is, consider running an A/B test. This split testing shows two different ad types to the same audience to determine which version they prefer or respond to. While you can’t prevent banner blindness completely, you can use this test to see which ad types get your audience’s attention more often and generate more engagement. You can use this information to fine tune your ad and future ads to prevent banner blindness as much as possible and guarantee optimal results.

Standard Web Banners

Full Banner468 x 60
Leaderboard728 x 90
Square336 x 280
Square300 x 250
Square250 x 250
Skyscraper160 x 600
Skyscraper120 x 600
Small Skyscraper120 x 240
Fat Skyscraper240 x 400
Half Banner234 x 60
Rectangle180 x 150
Square Button125 x 125
Button120 x 90
Button120 x 60
Button88 x 31

Other Common Banner Sizes

Button120 x 30
Small Banner230 x 33
Large Leaderboard728 x 210
Large Leaderboard720 x 300
Pop-up500 x 350
Pop-up550 x 480
Half Page Banner300 x 600
Blog Button94 x 15

Consider alternative formats.

If you’re finding that your banner ad or announcement is being entirely overlooked by your audience or is underperforming, consider alternative formats or placements. While the intent of the banner placement at the top of the page is to get the users attention right away, you’re at risk of them scrolling immediately and missing it altogether, so sometimes placing the ad or announcement lower on the page or in another format can be more effective.

Here are some alternative placements and formats to consider:

  • Sidebar. Instead of placing a banner at the top of the page that they might scroll past, try placing the announcement in a sidebar, especially if that sidebar is sticky (scrolls with the page).
  • Middle of the page. If your banner’s style and design is generating engagement and attention from users who see it but the placement of the banner is the key issue, consider moving the banner to the middle of the page or a lower section. This allows your banner to still be visible and seen by users even if they scroll as soon as they land on the page.
  • Popup modal. Instead of placing the ad or announcement somewhere on the page itself where it can get lost amongst your other content or overlooked, consider using a popup modal that populates after a certain action (like a scroll point or button click) or a set amount of time. This is a great way to ensure that your visitor doesn’t miss it.

Make the most of your ads and announcements.

If you have a special ad or announcement that you want to make on your website, contact us today. Our digital marketing experts can determine the best style, format, and placement based on your target audiences and user habits, and our web design team can design, develop, and test them for you to ensure optimal success.