Billboards changed how we advertise, starting in the 1830s and becoming more widespread over time.
About 160 years later, on October 27th, 1994, AT&T transformed billboard advertising. They bought a rectangular ad space on HotWired.com, basically creating the display ad and bringing the billboard idea to the internet.
In 2021, people spent a whopping 522.5 billion US dollars on internet ads worldwide. The prediction is, by 2026, this spending will skyrocket to $836 billion.
This means there’s tough competition to showcase your product to customers and persuade them to click.
In this post, we’ll explore different types of display advertising and what qualities make an effective one. Plus, we’ll share some examples of display ads to give you ideas.
What Are Display Ads?
Display ads, commonly called banner ads, are little ads that show up in many spots on websites, like at the top or on the sides.
These ads aim to grab the reader’s interest and guide them to a landing page or product page.
This paid media type has 4 basic parts:
- Visual/Creative: A picture, animation, picture, or another kind of visual design that grabs the reader’s interest.
- Headline: A big line of text that goes well with the visual and creative elements to catch the reader’s eye.
- Copy: Extra material that backs up the headline and guides the reader to the CTA button.
- Call to action (CTA) is a button or link that encourages the user to click. This takes the visitor to a landing page, website, or in-app destination.
Also, make sure to put your company logo in the banner ad so people know who’s running the ad.
Nowadays, over half of all internet users access websites using their phones or tablets. Because of this, the latest big change in banner ads is focusing on making them work well on mobile devices.
When you optimize for mobile, you can reach people using smartphones and tablets without making their devices slow or showing annoying ads.
Search Ads vs. Display Ads
Search advertising uses a “pull” strategy. This means the ads show up in front of users actively searching for something related to what you provide. The goal is to attract them to the next page. Search advertising forms the base for the advertising part of search engine marketing.
Display Ads, however, have a more direct impact. You can present them to customers who, for instance, are browsing a blog related to your field or close to it.
These individuals might not be actively seeking what you provide, but you are introducing your brand to them.
As evident, every type of ad serves a specific goal. When setting up pay-per-click campaigns, it’s generally advisable to blend search and display advertising for optimal results.
Benefits of Display Ads
Google Display Ads offer a visually stunning toolbox to reach a massive audience across the web. Here’s how they can supercharge your marketing.
- Looks good.
- Offers different targeting options.
- Functions well as part of a broader strategy.
- Reaches a large audience through the Google Display Network.
- Simple to update, test, and keep tabs on.
- Boosts click-through rates, conversions, and client retention.
- Can attract customers from competitors through effective remarketing.
Types of Display Ads
Advertising displays come in different shapes and sizes, depending on who you want to reach and the type of ad. You can easily mix, match, and test until you find something that works well.
Before choosing ad formats, it’s crucial to figure out who you want to reach with your display ad campaign.
Here are some traits of the people you might want to target with your banner advertising:
- Demographics: Aim for people using basic details like age, gender, and income.
- Contextual: Aim at users connected to the topic of certain keywords, your site, or your ad subject.
- Search Activity: Aim at people based on what they’ve searched for on Google.
- Geographic: Concentrate on where your customers are, like the city or state.
- Retargeting: Aim at folks who’ve visited before or based on what they did earlier, like checking out specific pages on your site.
Once you’ve figured out the group you want to reach, the next step is picking the best way to show your ads.
The choice of format can depend on your audience, but it’s also a good idea to try out different formats and see which one gives the best results.
Check out these commonly used display ad formats:
- Static: A traditional advertisement featuring a picture or background, along with text and a call-to-action.
- Animated: A simple video or animation, like a gif or WebM file of lower quality. The text and call-to-actions are generally similar to those in a stationary ad.
- Interactive: Allows users to interact with the advertisement, like moving an object around. This could boost involvement and clicks.
- Floating: An ad that appears on the screen and stays there while the user scrolls the page.
- Expanding: An advertisement that gets bigger when a user clicks or hovers their cursor over it.
- Video: Instead of a gif, which only repeats and has limitations like framerate, the complete commercial is a video.
Google Display Ad Costs
Running Google Ads can cost you anywhere from $100 to $10,000 each month. Typically, businesses spend around $0.11 to $0.50 for each click and $0.51 to $1000 for every 1000 impressions in 2024.
The cost of Google Ads varies based on factors such as your industry, campaign targeting, and the ad network you use.
Based on WordStream data, the usual cost per click (CPC) on Google’s display network is about $0.63. In comparison, the typical CPC on the search network is $2.69, which is over four times higher. As mentioned earlier, clicks from search networks are usually more profitable.
It’s important to remember that these are just average figures. Your real spending might be different based on your business type, who you’re targeting with your ads, and other factors.
Five Traits of a Great Display Ad
Ads on screens can seem quick and simple. On a regular day, a person sees more than 10,000 ads, but only about a quarter or less of them really matter to them.
You’re up against not just tough competition but also “ad fatigue.” People are so used to ads that their eyes tend to pass over them.
To get the most out of your investment, make sure you’ve nailed down these five features of a great display ad.
1. The Right Audience Targeting
First and most important, your ad needs to resonate with the people you want to reach. To make that happen, start by accurately identifying your audience.
This means you should do some research to figure out who your target audience is. After that, choose the right targeting options for the display advertising platform you’re using.
(If you want an easier approach, just target people who have already shown interest in your brand – a “hot audience.”)
2. An Optimized and Persuasive Landing Page
Advertisements don’t operate in isolation. If your website’s main page isn’t up to par, even the most fantastic banner ad won’t be worth the investment.
A smarter approach is to design your landing page before launching banner ads. When your landing page is well-optimized and persuasive, envisioning a customer’s journey through the process becomes much simpler.
This way, coming up with banner ad ideas becomes much more straightforward and compelling.
3. Appealing Visuals
The pictures in an ad play a crucial role because they grab the reader’s attention.
In some cases, this means using moving ads. Movement tends to catch the eye of any visitor to a website.
But, by targeting effectively, using color and white space wisely, creating a stylish design, and having a short, catchy headline, you can still grab people’s attention even with a picture that doesn’t move.
Take the time to create the ad, no matter the type, to make sure it’s neat, easy to understand, eye-catching, and matches the brand.
4. Clear, Simple Headline and Copy
Banner ads have limited space for text. To avoid overcrowding, you can only use a few words in your copy. Each word in the copy needs to have a clear purpose and guide the reader toward the call to action.
Despite the limited word count in the headline, it has to be interesting enough to grab the attention of a distracted reader and encourage them to read further.
Even though the headline is short, it might take a few tries to get it right. You may have to write and revise your content a few times to find the most effective version.
The good news is that you can quickly test different versions of the same ad by comparing click-through and conversion rates. This allows you to optimize your ad for better results.
5. Clear CTA
In the end, make sure you have a compelling call-to-action to seal the deal with every click.
Make it consistent with the rest of your message. For instance, if you’re a car insurance company aiming to prompt possible customers to request quotes, “Get Your Quote” usually works better than “Learn More.”
Keep in mind, your CTA has less space than the headline and might have graphics, so it’s crucial to do thorough testing here.
Four Excellent Examples of Display Ads
Now, you know the benefits of display ads and the basics of making a successful one.
Let’s check out some great examples of display ads to give you inspiration.
1. Amazon Display Ad Example
The giant online store is known for its great product ads, and they indeed have some good ones. But what about when Amazon hires a lot of people?
With many of their places using machines and some reports saying the workload is a bit much and the working conditions aren’t the best, it’s important for their ads to talk about these things.
This ad does just that. One big worry for folks working in the infrastructure industry is how much they get paid. Even though Amazon can ask a lot from their workers, they do pay them a good amount over what most people make nationally. The Call to Action also casually invites you to join their team, highlighting a team-oriented and fun work environment.
2. Square Display Ad Example
Square made a smart choice by using black and white for text, creating a noticeable and clean look that grabs the reader’s attention. They use space effectively, making the ad look neat while still conveying important information.
When it comes to simplicity in wording, the headline’s size makes it stand out compared to other text sections.
As a result, Square goes for a clear and benefit-oriented title. This helps minimize distractions and directs attention to a fantastic offer for small business owners.
Due to its wide rectangular shape, this Square ad seems to fit perfectly at the top of a webpage.
3. FreshDirect Display Ad Example
FreshDirect runs an online grocery delivery service.
This advertisement is clearly aimed at those who know about FreshDirect, targeting folks who have checked out their website. It urges them to take action.
Even though the ad lacks a catchy headline or detailed information about FreshDirect, it can still be effective. Offering a discount upfront is a smart idea for a retargeting banner ad, and FreshDirect only needs to specify the discount amount.
Moreover, the wording for the “Call to Action” button is effective. It prompts the reader to use the code right away.
The design is impressive as well. Despite having many objects and words, the display ad doesn’t look overcrowded.
Similar to Square, this FreshDirect ad would likely appear at the top of a web page rather than on the side.
4. EmblemHealth Display Ad Example
We’ve got this ad that shows up on dictionary.com – it’s kinda like a floating sign.
The writing for this ad is really simple. It puts the company’s logo and tagline in the top right corner, so you know who they are, but it doesn’t make a big deal out of it.
The headline of the ad says, “Get health coverage” – it’s straightforward and grabs your attention, making you want to keep reading.
Below that, it talks about a benefit and then there’s a button that stands out from the ad’s background. The button says something like “Take action now” in a way that makes you want to do something.
Creating and setting up display ads is quite simple, and they can reach a large yet targeted audience on websites they enjoy visiting.
However, many of your competitors may have already used display ads, so you’ll need to adjust and test your individual display ads and overall campaigns to get the most out of your investment.
Another vital part of a comprehensive PPC campaign is search ads. Combining search and display can boost brand awareness and position you at the top of search results when buyers look for your products and services later.
The GREAT Guest Posts can handle the entire PPC campaign for you. We will generate a steady flow of leads while you focus on what you do best. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help.