4 Simple Mistakes in Online Ad Design

      by Ron Forseth

Advertising is expensive. Make the most of it. Avoid these design mistakes that hurt ad effectiveness.

1. Reversed out text.

Light text on a dark background almost always gets a lower click-through rate. Use it sparingly. Dark text on a light background pops—and is easy for the brain to process.


2. Low contrast typeface.

This is hard on the eyes and hard to process. It’s the visual equivalent of fingernails on the chalk-board—and it drives users away! The darker the foreground and the lighter the background, the better. Try black on white!


3. TMI—Too much information.

The goal is a click, not an education. Offer the education on your site; it’s much more affordable. Drive for the action in your ad.


4. Forgetting a call to action.

If you want a visitor to do something, don’t make them guess. Click, Like. Download. Request. View. Whatever you want them to do, suggest that they do it.


When it comes to ad design, results must take priority over aesthetics. The goal is not simply to impress but to engage. Avoiding these ad design mistakes will help you get a better return from your advertising investment.

Ron Forseth is a church marketing expert with 15 years of experience in digital advertising. He served six years as the General Editor of SermonCentral.com and as founding Executive Editor of ChurchLeaders.com. He has consulted with hundreds of advertisers in developing successful online and print marketing campaigns. Ron is the Vice President of Business Development for Outreach, Inc., the Advertising Director for Outreach magazine and General Manager of Outreach Media Group.

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