Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Sergey Nekipelov from DesignContest.com.  We hope you find these tips useful as you develop creative strategies for your retargeting and advanced display advertising campaigns.

When they were first introduced, banner ads were a revolutionary tool for marketing on the internet. Banner ads are a cost-effect and efficient way of both marketing products and services of a company as well as providing a direct source of traffic to your site. However, excessive use of banner ads in recent years has caused consumers to overlook these ads, even avoid them, a term often referred to as “banner blindness.”

But, banner ads still remain a highly effective internet marketing tool when designed and used correctly. A well designed banner ad, properly placed, can drive increased traffic to your site, create brand awareness and ultimately boost sales.

Below are 5 tips for creating an effective web banner to successfully promote your site:

1.  Keep it Simple: Banner ads are displayed among a large amount of information and must often complete for the viewers attention. Your customer may scan the page quickly, only laying eyes on your banner for mere seconds. Make those seconds count. An ad that is simple and to-the-point will get your message across in a short amount of time.

2.  Keep your File Size Low: Web banners need to load quickly or they may not be seen. Make sure your file size is around 45-70kb so that it loads before your target audience has moved onto another web page and missed it.

3.  Include a Call-to-Action: Getting visitors to click on your ad could be as simple as just telling them to do so! Using a simple call-to-action, such as “Click Here” or “Find our More” reminds your viewer that there’s more information or even a special offer available with the click of the mouse.

4.  Build on Your Brand: Your web banner is a great way to build upon your brand’s image. Make sure to design your banner using your corporate colors, fonts, and aesthetic – and always include your logo and tagline. Even if the user doesn’t click-thru this time, they’ll recognize your brand in the future.

5.  Use Proper Placement: Make sure you place your banner ad on relevant websites, with customers that are already in the market for your product. You can be creative in your placement, advertising where your competitors aren’t, but make sure you’ve got the right audience.

Above all else, make sure your banner ad is designed to attract the right attention. Using crowdsourcing for your banner design is an excellent way to both get the design you’re looking for and to explore design options you may not have considered. Using DesignContest.com, for example, gives you direct access to tens of thousands of talented graphic designers with years of experience in effective web banner design. Create a simple design brief that outlines what you’re looking for and let designers compete for your business. The result will be a highly effective, well-designed, custom web banner that effectively captivates your audience and increases traffic to your site.