10 tips to create display ads with high click-through rates

January 11, 2016, written by Kavita Kovvali

Display ad spend is surging as it becomes an increasingly necessary channel for brands of all sizes, eMarketer reports that this is the year when display ad spend exceeds search ad spend for the first time in the US. Read more to see our top tips on display ads with high click-through rates.

They’re not the only one to report this and a recent post in Marketing Land furthers this by stating that 2016 will be the ‘Year of Display‘.  This means that teams have to be ready to meet this demand.

It doesn’t need to be hard to create display ads that hit your targets. If you haven’t made many, it’s easy to over-complicate what you need to do when trying to create engaging ads across all shapes.  Clients have expectations and want to see their brand presented in the best way to draw people to their sites or stores, matching their specific brand style and communicating their specific message. 

Source: eMarketer


Start by setting yourself a clear goal, plan which shapes you’ll be working with, the devices the ads will they be seen on and who the target audience is. We’ve used our collective decades of experience, taken a look at results from our platform which has over 6,000 users and the wider industry.

Here are our top 10 tips to create display ads that drive high click-through rates:

1. Background colours

Put the logo on a flat colour background and not on gradient as that won’t work on all templates, clean and sleek ads are more attractive.

display ads with high click-through rates

2. Clear and short messages – engage viewers effectively, too much text will look cluttered and people usually make a decision about the ad within seconds, so make sure your messaging clear.

3. Simple typography  make it clear and easy to read so that the viewer understands your message and can interact.

4. Strong call-to-action strong – be obvious, put it on a button or change the font style and ensure your audience knows exactly what they need to do next.

5. High-quality images – always use professional, high-quality images, viewers are accustomed to to display ads now and a blurry, pixelated image will instantly make the wrong impression and will detract from your message.

6. Ads with offers – these are more compelling than those without so try to put in some creative messaging and not just pricing.

7. Brand identity – make sure the brand style comes across in the ad. People will remember logos, colours and associate that with your brand, so make it memorable and consistent.

8. Text and images ratio – take into account the 20% rule for text in images within the ad, the most engaging ads have incredible pictures, so focus on that.

9. Showcase products – if you want to promote a product, then showcase it in ads, advertisers have experienced over 50% conversion rates by doing this as you’ll only have people who are definitely interested clicking it.

10. Transitions – If you’re working with ads that transition, keep in mind how much time you have before the viewer gets distracted, keep total animation under 15 seconds.

For a simple and creative solution that factors in all these tips and helps you create display ads that are engaging and responsive, we recommend that you use the award-winning Localstars ad platform which holds over 300 researched and tested templates that make it quick to create multi-format digital ads with high click-through rates.