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10 Tips to Design Image Ads for Better CTRs

Millions of people install ad-blockers quicker than Bill Gates makes money. Even more people have desensitized themselves to display ads altogether. This means that your design image ads must “punch their faces” harder than before. Here are 10 tips to help you design image ads to improve your click-through rates. 

1. Image Is Everything

The visuals you use in your ads can make or break them. Size dimensions are typically small, and you don’t have a lot of space to work with. To make sure your image takes center stage, say out loud what the visual is that would sum up the concept of your ad. If you can’t explain the image in a word or two, other people won’t be able to make heads or tails about your ads.

2. Structure

Good display ads follow a structure. This structure is:

  • Your logo
  • Your USP (ultimate sales proposition)
  • A representation of service
  • CTA button

This structure (or hierarchy) is important for design image ads because it keeps the ad distinguishable from the rest of the content on your pages. Ignite Visibility has management team for ads who will make the process of designing ads for best CTRs with ease.

3. Frames

Frames have the transformative power of drawing our eyes to them. Banner ads and images that are framed “stick out” from the rest of the page. This makes them a bit more susceptive to being focused on by users.

4. Give Gifts

On my walk home from work one night, a random stranger stopped me in the street. He gave me a $25 gift card for the PlayStation Network. His reason? He said “I wanted to do something nice for someone.” We, as people, adore gifts. Give users gifts such as discounts, coupons, ideas for creatable gifts, or giveaway a prize.

5. Color

When you think of Coca-Cola, you think red. Pepsi? Blue. McDonald’s? Red and yellow. Choosing a color palette for your image ads (as well as your business) is a subtle art. Studying the psychology of colors will make your ads more interesting to people, because you’ll be able to trigger their senses – thus increasing the chances of them following you.

6. Consistency

Does your ad match your branding? Does your landing page match your branding? Make sure that every element of the design ad—from the CTA to the landing page/video page/sales page—is similar to the overall message of your brand.

7. Don’t Be Stale

People love oddities. Quirks make businesses seem more personable and human, and not so corporate or faceless. Never be afraid of designing ads that seem “different” – we’re not trying to win awards, we’re trying to get customers to click ads. People see hundreds of ads on countless webpages a day. It’s easy to become lost in the “white noise” if your ads resemble every other design ad.

8. Simplicity

“Keep It Simple, Stupid” has been thrown around so much that it’s become cliche. With good reason: it works. Simplicity is underrated in today’s world where every business bashes customers with ads. Make every element of your design ads stripped down and minimalist – complexity is the enemy here. This fulfills Google Marketing’s concept of keeping things compelling, concise and clear.

9. Urgency

Marketers and copywriters have proven, time and time again, that customers and prospects respond to urgency. Amazon, for example, often lets you know that there are X amount of quantities in stock. Show people that unless they click on your ad now, they will lose the opportunity forever to get a great deal. Such as offering a 75% discount on a $2,000 seminar for the first 100 people who click the ad.

10. Message

Many businesses and brands make the mistake of cramming “too much” inside their image ads. Whether it’s in the form of graphics, images, or text: the message—to get the viewer interested—becomes muddled. Focus on the message of the ad by asking yourself “What do I want the user to do?” Then design your ad around what will make the user do what you want, in the fewest and cleanest ways possible.


Videos and animations have become synonymous with providing internet content. Even so, static image ads have their place. Ad design is no different than implementing other key design principles. It is space that you’re paying for: use it wisely to generate revenue or leads.

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