This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to advertise to people who won't click on links

People HATE to see advertising on the web, and most people certainly don't click on advertising links. Even people like me, who are in the industry, don't like the annoyance of web advertising getting in the way, cluttering things up, and asking me to "click here". How about no! No. No.

If you're trying to advertise on the web, and have invested in Google ads, you know by now that it's a waste of time, and money. There was a time when people did click on advertising links, but that was long ago, and systems like Adsense, which pay per click, are essentially worthless now.

Luckily, there is a solution, and it's been there all along - it's called display advertising. And it's the kind of advertising that you see in magazines. It doesn't bounce around, it doesn't ask you to click, it doesn't zoom in front of an article that you're reading. It's designed to be attractive, not annoying. It's done by pros, not by the typical "do-it-yourselfer" ad designer on the web. This type of design is what I've done, as a Graphic Designer, all of my adult life.

But before you hire someone to design an elaborate ad for the web, consider that it's less like magazine advertising, and more like billboard advertising. The message needs to be elegantly simple. If you imagine the speed that people are going on the freeway, you have to about double that to get the speed people look at things on their phone. If your message doesn't communicate in a heartbeat, you're lost.

Writing short ad copy, and compelling headlines, is an art form. Concise communication ain't easy. Think of the last time you explained something to someone - could you have done it in a sentence? Well, that's all you get for a display ad on Instagram.

If you haven't seen the display ads on Instagram, you've missed the big revolution. No, Instagram doesn't have "sponsored posts" or "what's hot!" in the stream, it just has stuff posted by the people who post. And since a lot of those people are in business, if they post photos, for example, of dachshunds, they'll put in a display ad every once in a while that may be as simple as mentioning where you can buy dachshund doggy treats, with a web address, or phone number, or something (that's called a contact point). Of course, if there are too many ads, or if they're annoying because they look so bad, people will unfollow on Instagram. And you don't want that, so don't be annoying!

I recommend that you have three things in your display ad 1) a headline 2) an interesting image (no, not stock images, please!) 3) a contact point, usually your web address, location, or telephone number. If you don't have a website, get one. People don't want to click to get to a website, but they want to get to it, and they will probably look you up on Google.

So, don't despair that old-fashioned "click here" ads on the internet aren't working. Hopefully they'll go away forever. Design around it! And how about a cartoon ad? I can do that for you! You'll find me on Google, just remember my name, Brad Hall, and that I do cartoons!