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An Ultimate Guide to Display Advertising

How many times have you visited a website and noticed those banner-like boxes? You may have been intrigued and clicked on it that later took you to another page or you may have been annoyed by the sheer number of it. Those boxes are called display ads which contain texts, images, and videos. It is not surprising that many may have missed the importance of those boxes. However, fear not! This article traces everything you need to know about display advertising and display ads: definition, examples, the art of effective targeting and so much more. 


A guide to display advertising


Moreover, it is important you know about this concept and its inner workings if you are interested in digital marketing as display ads have their own set of strategies and campaigning. It is also the most effective way to promote a brand or a product in this internet-driven day and age. 


What Is Display Advertising?


As we said before, Display Ads are texts, images, videos, or gifs in the form of boxes displayed on websites. They are mainly used to spread awareness about a brand, promote a product or a service and urge the user to click on the Ad. They appear on third-party websites and contain a URL that will take you to a website that has additional information about the product. Some Display Ads also come in the form of games or puzzles to entertain the user.


Display Advertising is a way of making the audience ready to click on such ads that leads them to a website that will encourage them to purchase a product or a service. This type of advertising is largely based on campaigns designed specifically on a Cost-per-click basis. 


The underlying element is visuals which makes it a great way of marketing as it helps reach a larger audience at the same time. Some renowned ads have used all types of displaying ads such as images, texts, gifs, puns, puzzles, and videos. They can be displayed on various social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Google. 


Display Ads vary in both sizes and shapes, but the foundation of it lies in the user demographics, keywords, and specific targets that help the expansion of the ad and its effectiveness. Therefore, each type of Ad for each platform will have a different strategy depending on the brand.


Once the user sees your ad and clicks on it, they are taken to the website and get converted into a purchasing customer if luck favors you. This is done with the help of Display Ad Networks. The image, audio, or video is placed on a website for a certain amount of money that the campaigner will receive. 


Display Ad Networks 


Display Marketing involves interacting with various display ad networks. A display ad network aids in targeting your niche audience depending on the demographics you want. They place your ads on websites for users who fit your specifications. For this, you need to know the major display ad networks present for your choosing: 


  • Google Display Network 
  • Twitter Audience Platform 
  • Facebook Audience Network 
  • Media 
  • Apple Advertising 
  • Adknowledge 


Also, Read the Fundamentals of Google Ads


Types and Examples


There are many types of Display Advertising based on their formats and target audience. This type of advertisement is totally dependent on its visuals so it’s important to experiment and see which works out for your brand or product. 


1. Traditional– images with text that are commonly structured horizontally in a square shape or a skyscraper size. This is the basic form of advertisement with just text over the image.  

2. Responsive– this display ad involves text headlines, images, descriptions, and the logo. The ad network arranges the ad according to the size and place. It also helps establish the best format for the target audience. 

3. Native ads -these ads don’t look like ads but they are designed to look similar to the content present on the website. 


Different Forms of Ads: 


1. Video: YouTube and Instagram are common yet famous examples of video ads but nowadays you also see them on websites and blogs. It is one of the most engaging and capturing forms of ads. They are known to be more memorable, informative, and urging than any other form. 


2. Interstitial: These ads are excellent at grabbing the attention of the user as they are spread all over the screen. They come in the form of a separate webpage before the user is taken to the original page. It is very efficient for mobile users. At a time, they can also be irritating as they have a habit of constantly reappearing when you’re scrolling. The ads that you see in the middle of a game or an app are these ads. 


3. Banners: As the name suggests, these ads stand out on websites because of their banner-like design. This strip of the ad contains images and URLs. You will usually find them at the top of a webpage. This is the most common form of ad you will see. 


4. Rich Media: Rich media involves ads that have videos, audio, and clickable components, all engaging with each other to make it more appealing to the user. 


Ad Formats: 

  • Static– a single motionless image with text.
  • Interactive– games or puzzles that require the user to engage.
  • Animated– gifs or 5-10 seconds of video.
  • Floating- ads that keep appearing as you scroll.
  • Expanding- they start out small and then get bigger and bigger when clicked or scrolled on.


Here learn more about Adwords Marketing


Some Examples of Display Ads: 


  • Animated Ads/GIFs
  • Rich Media Ad
  • Banner Ads
  • Static Ad
  • Interactive Ad
  • Interstitial Ad


Display Ad Campaign Techniques and Tips


If you want to get your ad displayed then you need to be aware of some of the techniques that are used in a display ad campaign. You must abide by the best practices of the display advertising process. 


Goal Setting


Setting a goal for your display ads can take you a long way into the digital marketing sphere. Planning out ads should always be considered a long-term goal. It is not just about planning the ad or designing it or working on the content and the format. You have to set concrete goals by using numbers and percentages so that you can collect and look at the data. It helps you understand your budget, your competition, and lets you enhance your ads. 


Keep it Simple 


This is one of the most important tips to keep in mind when you are running a display ad campaign: 

  • Your ad should be simple, appealing to the eye, and compelling. 
  • Make sure you use bold lettering to make your words clear. 
  • Don’t make misleading ads by using complicated italics and fonts. The idea is not only to present but also to provide clarity.  
  • Imagine your ad as a billboard. You only have a few seconds to grab the user’s attention so make the headline crip and direct. 
  • Use specific language to make it seem urgent such as “before it’s too late”, “limited time offer”. 
  • Add awards and certifications that the company has received to establish a sense of trust. 
  • Don’t clutter. Leave enough space on the ad. It should look inviting rather than intimidating. 
  • Make the message clear, attractive and take a look at the audience data and incorporate that into your ads.
  • Don’t use too many formats and overdo the display ad.
  • Internet users love buttons. When everything is clickable, your CTA should be the same. Make sure your CTA describes exactly what it leads to.


Landing Page 


Your landing page should be fast and serve its purpose. This page is responsible for converting the user to a buyer. Therefore, it is best to follow the rules of the landing page during the process of display advertising. 


  • The landing page should contain one message that is simple to understand and designed in a way that users can navigate easily. Information should be brief. 
  • Similarly, CTA should always be visible within the user’s eye line. 
  • Check how successful videos are performing and how they are impacting the speed or conversion rates. 
  • Make sure the display ad and the landing page have the same design and color scheme. The idea is to prepare them beforehand and give them a similar experience on the landing page, so match your ads to your landing pages.
  • They shouldn’t be intrusive and disturb the user. The best way to avoid this is to disable the automatic play for videos and audio. 
  • Make sure the exit button for the ad is clear and bold.


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Display Ad Targeting is a major player in display advertising. Targeting a specific and the right audience is the reason why your desired users see the ads in the first place. If you don’t get the targeting right you will be displaying ads for users who are not interested. You need to target the right people at the right time with the apt message.


Don’t think you can only appeal to one type of audience for a brand or a product. For example, if you are selling eyewear, you can appeal to both style and comfort independently. So, you can target people who are looking for comfortable eyewear in your ads rather than style or vice versa. This process can be complex but it is necessary. 


  • Use different ads for different people: take help of user demographics like gender, interest, age, etc, and divide your audience based on that. 
  • Select the right Keyword: This will let you target a specific audience by using target keywords or phrases that are related to your product/service. If you use the right keywords, the display ad network will match it with the site where it is published. 
  • Plan the placement of your ad: while choosing where to place your ad, you are free to place it according to your brand’s nature. For example, if your ad has to do with shoes, they can be placed in various fashion blogs. 
  • Use the data google collects: Google will accumulate data on its users’ interests and run display ads based on what they are looking for on the search engine. For example, a user interested in reading books may also be looking for bookshelves. Internet-based ads will always display your ads on the pertinent pages. 
  • Retargeting/Remarketing: this allows you to target those who have already visited your websites. 


Remember that you must also keep in mind the audience you shouldn’t and don’t want to target. They are called display targeting exclusions. Putting up ads on irrelevant websites will only give you less CTR. 


Measuring Display Advertising 


With the help of display advertising metrics, you can measure the success of your ad campaign. It helps you determine the effectiveness of your ad and maintain consistency. Moreover, you will be investing a lot in display advertising so you must know you are getting something in return. Following is a list of four important metrics that you can use to measure your display ad campaign’s success: 




This is the way to find out how many times your ad appears on a website. If the no. is high, it means your ad can reach a wider audience. In contrast to that, if the impressions are low, it means there is an issue. So, whenever your ad is visible on a website, it is an impression. It is the number of times it’s been distributed to the users.


It shows how many users have seen your display. It helps determine the no. of times, the volume of the audience, and the CTR. When it comes to creating brand awareness, this is very helpful as it is mainly based on the user seeing the ad rather than taking an action regarding it. 


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This helps you calculate the no. of users who saw your ad. To put it simply, it tells you the unique number of views your ad receives. With this, you will also learn if you are showing the ad to the wrong audience or the right audience which helps you plan your targets in a better way. So, you won’t be wasting your money as well. 


Click-Through Rate 


Click-through Rate is the no. of people who click on the display ads. You can calculate it by the ratio of impressions and the no. of clicks. Moreover, it shows how engaging your ad is to the user. Currently, marketers pay a lot of attention to CTR. With this, they test new and creative ads if the CTR is low by changing the color scheme, design, or the re-targeting audience. 


Conversion Rate 


Conversion rate indicates how many people have been converted, that is, how many people have clicked on your ad, went to the landing page, and then decided to download an app or purchase your product or buy your service. The endgame is that they fulfilled the action you set out the ad for. 


If you have a low conversion rate it means the turnout is less and the landing page isn’t enhanced. In this case, you should go back to the targeting settings and target more specifically or fix the landing page by running tests, changing headlines, CTA’s, or even the initial offer you were giving out. 




All marketing involves some cost. ROI (Return of Investment) simply tells how much value your ad is able to generate and how much money you are making with the help of the ad. If you are making money more than the value of the campaign, then you are in safe hands depending on the rate of increase in value. 


Bounce Rate 


It is based on how the user acts once they are taken to the landing page. The percentage of visits to just that one page is Bounce Rate. If they clicked on your ad, it means the user was interested but once they arrived at the page, they no longer thought the page was suitable for them. This usually happens if the landing page is not what they expected, or there are some issues with the landing page itself. 


Frequently Asked Questions 


1. Is Google ads better or Facebook ads better? 

Although Google ads are able to derive a higher CTR compared to Facebook Ads, ad experts suggest that a blended approach is way better than choosing one over the other. As everyone is taking advantage of internet marketing, it makes more sense to cover all platforms rather than just covering one. Experts also say that both Google and Facebook can complement one another and the user can tailor their budget and strategy between the two accordingly. 


2. What platform is the best for Display Advertising? 

To elevate your ad campaign, you need to opt for a paid advertising network that helps with both PPC and large audience targeting. You may be tempted to use multiple platforms, which you can, but it’s best you get the hang of display advertising first.  

Until then, it is better to choose one from the following according to your budget and goals: 

  • Google Ads 
  • Bing Ads 
  • Facebook Ads 
  • Instagram Ads 
  • LinkedIn Ads 
  • Instagram Ads 
  • Pinterest Ads 
  • Amazon Ads 
  • Twitter Ads 


3. Does display advertising have any value? 

Display Ads manage to capture the eye of 90% of Internet users. Therefore, there is no doubt that display ads and display marketing contain great value. Display ads are not only visually appealing and urging, they also help deliver brand awareness and promote your product compactly. Moreover, they are cheaper than marketing your product on television as all you will need is an image and text to start this endeavor. 


4. What is advertising remarketing? 

Remarketing is a type of advertisement marketing that enables you to retarget a specific audience that has previously engaged with your website without taking the action you placed the ad for. It helps you keep your brand in the eyes of potential customers based on their website visiting behavior which is tracked with the help of cookies. 




And that is the end of our article on Display Advertising! For anyone who has an affinity for digital marketing, they must understand that display marketing has become an integral part of it. With the rise in online content, there comes the birth of new ways of promoting products and spreading awareness about brands and services. All this information may seem overwhelming at first but once you understand the concepts behind display ads, you will be able to make efficient and invigorating ads easily. You can also take up a digital marketing course to further develop your skills. 

A graduate of English Literature and Communication Skills, along with several Content Writing Certifications with an affinity for Content Creation. Keenly interested in Writing, Editing and Researching. Possess Creative Writing Skills like Script Writing, along with massive participation in college-level stages. Managed many competitions in college. A regular blogger and have a penchant for anything creative.

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