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Common Banner Mistakes to Avoid

Apr 19, 2021 by Nikita Verkhoshintcev

Banner advertisements are part of every digital marketing campaign, but they can be a challenging medium to crack. First, a banner has only a few seconds to make an impression, with many other contents are competing for the audience’s attention.

Banner blindness is also a growing phenomenon that interferes with digital marketing. Internet users ignore banner ads altogether because we perceive them as disruptions that interrupt our browsing experience. On top of that, nobody wants to waste their marketing budget on poor advertisements because each failed banner is money wasted.

Effective banner ads can make your brand shine, but it takes careful planning. Here are some common banner design mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Too Much Text, Not Enough Visuals

The objective of a banner ad is to capture a click in the shortest possible time. Too much text on a banner is the quickest way to turn off your target audience.

Remember, a banner is like a signpost to your website, so keep the text at a minimum. Instead, use an eye-catching graphic or image, keep each line of text between 50 and 60 characters, and stick to a maximum of three different fonts.

This way, your banner will be more readable and present a clear, unified design. Capture the essence of your ad content in a sentence or two, and then use prominent text size to carry the most important information.

2. Ineffective or Weak Call to Action

As you choose the text for your banner, pay attention to the call to action. Your graphics will attract your viewer's attention, but what do you want them to do after that?

Steer clear of clichés and generic calls to action like "Click Here." Instead, try "Shop Now," "Sign Me Up," "Learn More," or "Download Now," depending on the purpose of the ad. Always test different versions of your call to action and place them prominently on your banner. Avoid long, wordy or complicated calls to action.

3. Using Poor Quality Images

Banners that look dull and pixelated are a complete turnoff to viewers. This is usually because the designer used raster images instead of vector images.

Vector images are sharper and suffer less distortion on any device. Use high-resolution images for the best results. Test the visuals and text on different screen types to understand how each design appears to target audiences.

Also, avoid generic stock images as much as possible because they indicate a lack of creativity. The best advice is to use one large, striking, original image on your banner. That will be enough to catch the eye and leave enough room for text and call to action.

4. Mismatched Colors

Ineffective color combinations are a sign of poor banner design. Clashing colors hurt the eye, and too many colors indicate that the designer is an amateur or unprofessional. Combine your colors to improve your banner's readability and match the colors to the brand's color palette.

Go for a color scheme with a maximum of three colors, and experiment with light, dark and bright variations for the overall theme of the design. Where possible, do an A/B test with each version of your banner to see what resonates the most with your audience.

5. Misaligned Elements

A lack of alignment makes a banner look messy and disorganized. On the other hand, absolute perfect symmetry can feel artificial and lack that intuitive flow that draws the eye.

A great tip is to use grids to arrange all the elements of the banner. Aim for neatness in the overall design. Each banner placement requires different dimensions, such as landscape or portrait ads, or whether it will appear on any of the sides of the selected page.

One style of alignment might not work for all the rest, so edit your designs accordingly. Watch out for scale as well to avoid the banner elements looking stretched and distorted.

6. Mismatched Banner and Landing Page

An ineffective banner produces confusion or anxiety in the audience. A common mistake in banner design is having a different value proposition from the landing page. Your audience will feel cheated if they click through your banner to find something else on the other side of it. Avoid this mistake by choosing graphics and text on your banner that match the landing page content.

Match your business tone or brand voice, the product names and offers, and the brand colors. This gives your end-user a seamless transition from the banner to the site.

7. Inappropriate Banner Choices

Base your banner design and placement on marketing data. Inadequate market research leads to poor choices. For example, possible common mistakes are:

  • Spending time and energy creating an animated banner where a static one would be preferable.
  • Applying generic ad copy techniques, which don't appeal to your audience.
  • Focus too much on the aesthetics and miss the purpose of the banner, which is to convert clicks into sales.

A great banner stays relevant to the marketing objective without compromising on design principles.

8. Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

Designing a banner is one of many other digital marketing tasks, which means you are up against many other effective forms of advertising that do not provide room for errors or miscommunication.

A banner needs just one typo to get all the wrong attention. Review your banner content thoroughly, and get a fresh pair of eyes to go over it before committing to the final product.

9. Assuming White Space

White space or negative space play a different but impactful role within a design. Negative space is an element that directs attention to the content and eliminates distractions.

Since most website backgrounds are white, your banner can feature seamlessly on any placement. Bright or colored backgrounds may grab attention, but white space is much easier on the eye.


These common banner design mistakes are all easily avoidable. Ensure that your banner uses high-quality images, and keep the text short and sweet. Test repeatedly to see what works for your target audience and don't shy away from creative approaches too. Keep these tips in mind to create winning banners every time.

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