We’ve all heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

First impressions count. A potential customer’s first interaction with your brand will set a precedent for the type of engagement they plan to have with you for the foreseeable future—that’s a lot of pressure!

Oftentimes, advertisements provide an individual’s first exposure to a brand. Whether it’s a TV commercial, billboard or banner ad online, these ads are a brand’s opportunity to express who they are, what they offer and why anyone should care.


Posting ads online is by far the most popular method of advertising. They’re popular for good reason, too:

  • Instant interaction: Audiences can immediately “click” to continue engagement with a brand.
  • Demographic targeting: Advertising online gives you the flexibility to play with multiple platform type in an effort to find the right audience for you.
  • Cost effective: In comparison to advertising through traditional media channels, advertising online reaches a significantly higher number of people for a fraction of the cost.


The popularity of online advertising is unfortunately the channel’s greatest downfall. With so many brands flocking to this method of advertising, there is a significant amount of clutter. The biggest challenge in pursuing online advertising is to rise above the clutter with a sleek, efficient advertisement.

Ensuring Efficiency

Use standard banner sizes

When using AdWords or other retargeting ad services, you typically have a few options for the types and sizes of ad space available. According to Google Adsense, the most successful sizes are:

  • 336×280 Large Rectangle
  • 300×250 Medium Rectangle
  • 728×90 Leaderboard
  • 160×600 Wide Skyscraper

Make it pretty

The initial appearance of your ad could dictate whether or not a viewer even bothers to read it. Make sure you choose appropriate colors that are conducive to easily-viewable text and are consistent with your brand. Avoid making your ad look too cluttered. Use only the most necessary design elements. When in doubt, err in favor of negative space.

Optimize your content space

There are three main things that your advertisement needs to communicate:

  • Who you are
  • What you’re offering
  • What the viewer should do

Don’t over think this—you have a limited amount of space with online ads and the more text you use, the less likely a viewer will actually engage with the ad. Answer these questions as briefly as possible. For example:

  • Who? (Logo)
  • What? SUMMER SALE! 20% off all sale items
  • How? (Button: “Shop now!”)

It’s honestly that easy. Short, sweet and to the point—that’s the rule of thumb.

Entice the viewer

Your ads should be visually appealing and informative, but should also instill a sense of urgency in the viewer. Adding “for a limited time,” or “shop today!” will encourage viewers to instantly interact with your brand as opposed to making a note of the ad for potential shopping needs later.

When venturing into the realm of advertising, it’s important to avoid ineffective website solutions that eat your team’s time and resources. At Digital Flavor, we provide Retargeting Services that include strategy, design and implementation of online ads for a particular promotion, product or announcement. Check out our inbound marketing products to see how your web marketing could be more effective today!