An Intro Into Display Advertising

May 29, 2018

Have you ever been on a website and seen those banner ads along the top or sides of the website for services or products?

What you are seeing are called display advertisements.

Display advertising is a blanket term for a few different types of visual advertisements on a website. This broad category can be broken down into a few main types: 


  • Site placement advertising: This is when a marketer/advertiser chooses the site they would like to advertise on.

  • Contextual advertising: This is when you advertise your product or service on a website with similar content – such as promoting cooking utensils on a recipe website.

  • Remarketing advertising: These ads appear when a user has already been to your website. A service uses cookies to track the visit, and then your ad would appear on another website they visit. Ideally this causes the user to return to your website. This would be done through a marketing network like Google Display Network.

    These display ads come in multiple sizes. Google lists the top performing ad sizes as 300×350 (medium rectangle), 336×280 (large rectangle), 728×90 (leaderboard), 300×600 (half page), and 320×100 (large mobile banner).

    Display Ad Creation Best Practices

    These ads can be extremely beneficial in getting the word out about your business or reminding people to come back. However, it takes a bit of work to create ads that are unique enough to stand out and that clearly represent your goal.

    Keep it Relevant

    Your ads need to attract your audience while accurately depicting your main objective. You want to be eye-catching, but not annoying.

    You also want your ads to correspond with whatever your landing page is. For instance, if the user clicks on a banner ad for a raincoat sale, it should link to the raincoat section on your ecommerce site, not just your homepage.

    Remember Mobile

    Throughout the history of display ads, they have been created for desktop first and mobile second. However, according to recent eMarketer research 70.5% of all display ads in the US are mobile. Meaning, depending on the audience you are trying to target, it may be important to flip that mentality – designing for mobile viewing first.

    Google Marketing 3 Cs

    Google recommends using the “3 Cs” when it comes to creating display ads:

    • Compelling

    • Concise

    • Clear

    You want your ads to stand out, get your message across and have a clear call-to-action. Use high-resolution images. Display ads are very compact, so your pitch and CTA need to be brief.

    How to Start with Display Advertising

    If you’re looking to get in front of a specific audience, you can certainly directly approach a website or publisher on your own to see if they have site placement advertising options. For instance, if you’re an event planner, you could approach your local chamber of commerce about advertising on their site.

    One the other hand, depending on your marketing goals, a third-party service may work better for you.

    Google Display Network

    This is the display ad division of Google AdWords. Google Display Network offers over 2 million websites that your ad can appear on. It also promotes ads across other platforms like apps and mobile-based programs.

    They use contextual and remarketing advertising to target your audience.

    Their guidelines can be somewhat strict to adhere to, but this is one of the largest audiences you will be able to reach.

    Facebook Audience Network

    With over 1 billion users worldwide, Facebook offers a huge audience for digital marketing. Their ads not only appear on Facebook, but other high traffic apps and sites.

    If you are already using Facebook advertising for your business page, transitioning to using the Audience Network is fairly simple. allows you to display ads on the Yahoo! Bing Network, which may not be as large as Google’s but they claim that they reach 46 million unique searchers who aren’t using Google.

    If you’re looking for ways to expand your reach and get new leads, display ads are a great tool to add to your marketing toolbox.

    Give us a call at (407) 682-2222 for a free strategy session with one of our expert digital marketers if you’d like to learn more about how display ads and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can work for your business.

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