Display Advertising – Digital Marketing for Your Business

Display Advertising – Digital Marketing for Your Business


The first ad display was shown on the internet in 1994. Since then, these media ads have come a long way, not only in how they’re placed but also in their ad formats and exposure that they receive.

If you’ve ever browsed the Internet, especially sites like Facebook, you’ll be familiar with these kinds of ads, which are often in the form of banner ads.

In fact, display ads are all over blogs and other websites, social media platforms like Facebook, mobile games, and many other platforms. An advertising agency will be able to help you come up with an exciting display ad campaign. Is this the best move for your marketing campaign?

What Is Display Advertising?

The concept of display advertising is similar to billboards next to the road. It’s there regardless of whether you’re interested in the product or not. A display ad is where you place graphic ads with a click-through link on third-party websites, prompting audiences to click-through to your landing page. It’s effective as part of your marketing tools, but shouldn’t be used in isolation.

It will be shown on the site whenever someone visits the site. Statistically, you’ll get more unique visitors to your website, with 90% of internet users exposed to these types of display ads.

You have the option to choose who you’d like to target with these display ads, and you can decide what exactly you want to achieve through their use. You can also choose the type of display ad you’d like to use to achieve your outcome.

Display VS Pay-Per-Click

Display advertising is different from pay-per-click advertising such as Google Ads or Microsoft Ads. With display marketing, your ad will be visible on the website at all times.

Pay-per-click ads are linked to search terms, where specific keyword searches, so your ad will only be displayed on search engine results pages if someone searches for a particular term. This is an example of search ads, which are different from a display ad.

Take a look at this display advertising example against a pay-per-click advertisement for Pollfish.

Pollfish display advertising
Pollfish from CNN
Pollfish pay-per-click advertising
Pollfish pay-per-click advertising

What Do You Look At?

When you look into display advertising, there are different ad sizes of display ads to look into. There are various sizes and placements that you need to consider. For example, you can look at banners, text, or images, which will be placed on relevant third-party websites. There are even options of using video ads in your display advertising campaign.

The Three Types of Display Advertising

You can divide display ads into three broad types. The first is referred to as remarketing or retargeting campaigns, where the ad is placed in front of an audience network that has already visited your site.

The second type is called contextual advertising. Here, your ad will be placed on a site related to your product.

The third kind is site placement advertising. Here, the advertiser will choose the sites where the ads are displayed.


There are various sizes you should also consider when looking at display ads. Choose the size and orientation that will best display your product or service and give enough information so that potential customers click on the link. You can either choose a horizontal banner approach like the Pollfish example or a longitudinal one such as the one below for iStock.

istock display advertising
Taken from BBC

Display advertising is based on the push approach, where your ads are placed in front of people who aren’t necessarily looking for the product but might be interested. This, again, differs from the Google Ads approach, which is a pull approach, only targeting customers explicitly looking for the product.

The design is an essential part of the success of your display advertising. You should design ads that are relevant to your audience looking for your product, with imagery that is free from clutter.

Good copy is also crucial, as the copy is the part of the ad that convinces users that they need the product and click through to the landing pages. Make sure you include a call to action in your text ads. Many companies choose to use banner ads in their display ad campaigns.

Native Advertising Compared to Display Advertising

Native advertising is when you try to match the ad to the site so that consumers easily accept it. Suggested posts on Facebook are an excellent example of native advertising. It’s important to note that this still falls under the umbrella of display advertising.

The most significant difference between other forms of display advertising and native marketing is that native marketing tries to blend in on the site. In contrast, other forms of display ads are designed to stand out.

You can choose between these two types depending on your specific business needs. You have to use the right website, at the right time, in order to target the right customer. Your marketing platform is an important choice in your display campaigns.

The Success of Display Advertising

Display advertising has been successful over the many years that it’s been in existence. The fact that it’s in your face and you have to look at it causes many users to become more aware of the brand, along with the fact that it’s specific to a target audience. It allows your audience to visit the website even if they’ve never been aware of the product or they’re not actively looking for it.

Spending on display advertising has been steadily increasing over the last several years.   Companies spend over $50 million in the U.S. alone on display ads, indicating the popularity of this medium.

Globally, in the past year alone, digital ad spending has increased by 12.7%, and this year, it is expected to increase by a further 20.4%.  With fewer people going outside due to the pandemic, businesses are finding it more advantageous to target their customers on their devices rather than out in the world.

display advertising spending
Taken from eMarketer

You can even use your Google Ads account for your display campaigns. There’s also research that demonstrates that display advertising yields the highest return on investment than most other types of internet marketing.

Make sure that you carefully choose the sites where you place your ads, as certain sites will carry a higher value. News sites, for instance, can be a more trusted source than others.


One of the main benefits of display ads is the fact that you can design them in almost any size. You can add graphics or choose to use just text. If you decide to use the Google Display Network, you can access millions of sites, which means that your reach is massive.

This contrasts with using pay-per-click ads, where you only reach people who specifically search for the appropriate keywords. You also have the ability to measure the success of the ads, including the engagement, and do A/B testing.

Once you sign up for display ads, you can choose your campaign goals. These options include finding leads, while many display advertisers also look into driving traffic to your site, or driving sales.

Like pay-per-click ads, you can choose your budget, select the maximum amount you’re willing to pay per click, and select the regions in which you’re interested. You can link your landing page to the display ad. It’s a valuable tool to work into your marketing campaigns, especially if you’d like to drive traffic to your sites.

The Importance of Your Website

Once you’ve channeled site visitors to your html5 landing page through your ad, potential customers must find an interesting site. The user experience is essential for the success of your advertising platform.

Mobile is Key

Your page must be mobile-friendly, as the majority of users browse different sites from a mobile device. Your ad should lead to your landing page, and not the internal pages of your site. You should also make your business email and other contact details prominent on your web pages, and that your site suits the message of your ad.

Mobile display ads
Taken from E-Xanthos

If your site doesn’t keep the attention of potential customers, the interest that the ad created was useless. It’s crucial that you invest in the design of the web page. Your site should be intuitive, clean and your products and contact details should be easy to find.

The Downsides of Display Advertising

Due to its popularity, you’ll find these display ads everywhere. People have started using adblockers in order to browse the Internet without being inundated with advertisements wherever they go. An estimated 763.5 million users have installed adblockers.

These adblockers will block any advertisement on sites that the user does not elicit. This software is prevalent for sites like YouTube, but, once installed, the apps will block all ads from any site.

Possible Solutions to Adblockers

Many websites have started using loopholes, where it will state that you can’t view the content while the adblocker is active. That compels an audience to add these sites to a list of exceptions to adblocking, and they will then see the ads on these sites. Unfortunately, it’s not a foolproof method, as many users will choose to navigate away from these sites.

Overload of Advertising

Another disadvantage to using this method is banner-blindness. Due to the sheer amount of ads that an audience sees during the day, especially on social media platforms like Facebook, they no longer notice the ad.

There are ways to get past this and getting audiences to view your ad, including using a remarketing campaign and an ad with rich media like interesting videos. You can also use rich media ads, such as video ads or inviting photos. As long as your ad stands out from the rest, you can still achieve high conversion rates.

Take Away

If your brand needs a boost, using display advertising is an effective method to grow your brand awareness and eventually close sales. This marketing method is not without problems due to the existence of ad blockers and the fact that an audience becomes selective in the content they notice.  This applies to both Mac and Windows computers.

Luckily, you can use methods to overcome these hurdles and still ensure the success of your display advertising campaign. One of these strategies is retargeting ads.

When you start a display campaign, you can choose what you want to achieve. Whether the purpose is an increase in sales or simply increasing traffic to your website, you’ll find that display advertising is one of the methods with the highest return on investment.

It’s important to note that a display ad is slightly more expensive than pay-per-click ads, although it works on the same principles. You can set up your budget and manage it daily.

Using various types of display ads, such as banners and video, is a helpful tool to drive traffic to your web pages and create brand awareness. Use the Google Display Network as ad networks to maximise your efforts. Since it’s not an expensive method, every business can try a display campaign to get their message across.


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