The 5 Banner Image Tips That Drastically Improve CTR

Improve your banner CTR with design tips that make your content stand out.
by Tamryn Mounier · April 2022


    So, you’re looking to improve your CTR on your banner ads? You’ve come to the right place.

    In this article, we will go over the importance of CTR metrics, and how to improve the CTR with a few design tips and tricks. The aim of this article will be to implement design principles and strategies that will make your content stand out and push traffic from your images to your website.

    Image design, ad copy, and URL are all the ingredients needed to create a powerful eye-catching ad that will bring traffic to your website. The measure of how impactful and useful your ads are will depend on your CTR metrics.

    First things first, let’s fully understand what is a click-through rate and why they are important to measure.

    What is CTR?

    Click-Through Rate is a ratio that shows how often people who see your ad or free product listing, end up clicking the button.

    CTR can be measured by the number of clicks brands receive on their ads per number of impressions.

    In other words:

    CTR = ( #clicks/ #impressions ) x 100

    For example, if you had 25 clicks, and 100 impressions, your CTR rate would be 25%.

    Important to note, each ad and the free listing has their own CTR rate, depending on the product offering, image, and ad copy.

    Similarly, a CTR is also going to vary from one platform to another, and that is mainly due to the focused intent of each social network. For example, a business product will have a higher CTR rate on Linkedin, over the same product advertised on Instagram, which would be better suited for lifestyle products.

    Why is CTR important?

    CTR is important to gauge the performance of your ad, copy, and product to the audience.  As a brand, it’s important because it measures the effect of your marketing and campaign efforts, and how well they are resonating with your audience.

    A low CTR rate indicates that your offer doesn’t interest the audience, or simply put- the advert is not enticing enough to create an action on behalf of the user.

    On the other hand, a high CTR rate indicates that the right combination of copy + caption + image is creating interest to the users.

    Naturally, finding the perfect combination of ad copy and image style is a process that requires numerous trials and tests. This is precisely why CTR is such a valuable tool for marketers, it brings us one step closer to:

    1. Understanding your audience’s needs
    2. Understanding what copy bings higher traffic
    3. Understanding how to promote products for the future.

    In essence, the more your keywords match the ad and the offering, the higher likelihood a user will click on your ad after searching for a keyword phrase.

    Now that we’ve gone over the definition and importance of a CTR, let’s go over how to boost your CTR.

    1. White space is your friend

    Whilst it may seem urgent to include all the juicy information, unmissable product offers, and context information in one image, less is better.

    An internet users’ attention span is 8 seconds. Yes, you read that right. You’ve got less than 8 seconds to catch a user’s eye, so make your ads count.

    White space refers to the areas around your design that are free from symbols, texts, and images, they help direct the viewer to the important pieces of information.

    On your next design, focus on grouping text and images neatly to improve legibility.

    Bear Tip 🐻 Declutter an image by removing any unnecessary symbols, decoration, borders, and noisy background patterns.

    Take a look at the contrast between the following two images. Which stands out the most?

    Images examples of the importance of using white space

    Focus on using clean templates that make your CTA stand out and deliver higher CTR results.

    The benefit of using clear brand templates is that is creates a strong brand presence and a greater memory recall. Remember, less is better.

    The clearer the image, the easier it is to follow, take action, and remember.

    2. Contrast to emphasize importance

    Contrast ensures that your design will be interesting. In graphic design, contrast is used to communicate a message or inspire action.

    The contrast in images can be used with opposing color combinations, text sizes, typography fonts, and shapes.

    Images showing the impact of contrast on images

    Bear Tip 🐻 Keep images on brand and experiment with contrasting colors. For example, select your brand colors, and find the opposite on the color wheel.

    Colortools is a great tool to find contrasts, whilst contrastchecker is helpful to get a glimpse on how well the colors contrast.

    3. Understand your brand and audience

    Have your brand kit ready to go! Your kit should include color hex codes, fonts, logos, symbols, anything that makes your brand stand out.

    This also includes having a set style, maybe it’s modern surrealist, Goth-chic, comic book inspired, whatever it is, consistency is key.

    Also equally as important; understand your audience.

    In order for a product offer to resonate, you need to understand your customer’s pain points and goals. Once you have a good handle on their desires, create content and copy that aligns with their goals.

    Moreover, you have to ensure that the product offered, and the promotional adverts are consistent and in alignment with one another.

    4. Images are worth a million words

    Images are able to convey so much more information at a glance, more than a text copy ever could. Therefore, invest in good-quality images that are in line with the product offering.

    Moreover, images should be bright and include contrast with the text copy to grab the viewer’s attention.

    Difference in banners using images vs. no image

    Images are a great resource to showcase product capabilities or state the mood the advert is trying to convey.

    Although images are a powerful tool, they have to be used wisely. Only use images, that are relevant and that accurately portray the product. The last thing you want is to overpromise or underdeliver the product being sold, both lead to a frustrated potential customer.

    5. Personalize the CTA

    Every banner image that is used to promote  a product and generate traffic needs to have a purpose.

    The purpose serves as the north star for the CTA copy, as well as the information that must be added to the image.

    To communicate the intention of the image, write smart and easy-to-understand content that solves a pain point and pokes interest. Take a look at the example below, notice how the CTA is attached to the product offer.

    As such, consider customizing and playing around with brand language on the URL. Not only does it help the links become click-friendly, but also increases link trust and boosts CTR.

    Template for the customised URL links

    In conclusion

    CTR is a great indicator to measure the effectiveness of adverts. As such, keeping track of metrics is crucial for marketing efforts in the future.

    Make your images demand action with a few tweaks in design, and watch your CTR improve.

    • White space is your friend
    • Play around with contrasts
    • Understand your brand and audience
    • Images are worth a million words
    • Customize your URLs

    Most importantly, the customers are your biggest guidance. Always test and find out what works best for your product.

    About the authorTamryn Mounier@TamrynMounier
    Tamryn specializes in inbound marketing for High-growth SaaS start-ups. She is interested in the role technology plays in business development and social integration.

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    The 5 Banner Image Tips That Drastically Improve CTR
    The 5 Banner Image Tips That Drastically Improve CTR