Display Advertising Guide

Display advertising is a type of online advertising that uses visual content, such as images and videos, to promote a product, service, or brand. Here is a brief guide to understanding display advertising:

  1. Know your target audience: Identify your ideal audience’s demographics, interests, and online behaviors to create relevant and engaging display ads.
  2. Choose the right ad format: There are various ad formats, such as banners, videos, interstitials, and pop-ups.
  3. Select the appropriate ad network: Research and compare different ad networks to find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
  4. Design effective ads: Use enticing headlines, attention-grabbing visuals, and clear call-to-actions to attract and encourage users to click on your ads.
  5. Monitor and optimize campaigns: Track your ad performance regularly and make necessary adjustments to improve conversion rates and ROI.

Following these guidelines, you can create compelling display ads to help you reach your target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive conversions.

Overview of Display Advertising

Display advertising is an effective way to reach out to potential customers actively interested in your products or services. Display advertising is a great way to engage potential customers and direct them to your website. It can also be used to target particular customers by using the right metrics. This guide will discuss the basics of display advertising and how to get started.

Explanation of Display Ads

Display advertising uses banner or graphical advertisements placed on third-party websites and apps to promote a product or service. These ads can be static, animated, or interactive and contain text, images, audio, and video elements to capture the audience’s attention.

Display ads can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, allowing businesses to reach a more relevant audience. These ads can be bought through programmatic advertising platforms, which use real-time bidding to display ads to consumers based on their interests and behaviors.

Display advertising is an effective way to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive website traffic
  • Generate leads

Creating visually appealing ads that align with your brand’s message and appeal to your target audience for maximum impact is essential.

Pro Tip: Always monitor ad performance metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per click to optimize your ad campaigns.

Benefits of Display Advertising

Display advertising is a popular and effective way to promote your product or service to a broader audience. Here are some of the benefits of display advertising:

  1. Increased visibility: With display ads, you can reach a larger audience across different websites and devices.
  2. Targeting options: Display ads allow you to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, ensuring your message is relevant to the viewer.
  3. Brand awareness: Display ads help build brand recognition and understanding by showing ads on relevant websites and various devices.
  4. Creative flexibility: Display ads offer a range of creative options, such as images, videos, and animations, to make your ad stand out and engage viewers.
  5. Cost-effective: Display ads are usually cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising, making it easier to reach your marketing goals without breaking the bank.

Display advertising can be a powerful tool for growing your business and reaching new customers.

Types of Display Ads

Display ads come in several different types, each with its unique format, goal, and design specifications. The main types of display ads are staticanimateddynamic, and rich media ads.

  • Static Ads: These are the most common display ads, comprising a single image or a set of fixed images. They are easy to create, affordable, and suitable for small businesses or startups with a limited budget.
  • Animated Ads: As the name suggests, these ads animate, featuring multiple images that change quickly to create the illusion of motion. They are perfect for grabbing the audience’s attention and increasing engagement.
  • Dynamic Ads: Dynamic ads are tailored to the user’s behavior and search history, ensuring a more personalized experience. They utilize real-time data to show the user the most relevant product or service.
  • Rich Media Ads: These are the most interactive and engaging display ads featuring video, audio, animations, and other multimedia content. They are ideal for boosting brand awareness, increasing conversions, and providing an immersive experience to users.

By knowing the different display ad types, businesses can select which format best suits their advertising goals and budget.

Planning Display Advertising

When planning your display advertising campaign, you need to consider the following:

  • the purpose and goals of your ads
  • the target audience
  • where the ads will be displayed
  • the budget

Remember that display ads must be attention-grabbing and visually appealing, so a practical design is essential. Let’s look at how to plan a successful display ad campaign.

Defining the Target Audience

Defining the target audience is crucial in planning display advertising that resonates with your audience and drives conversions. Here are some tips to help you determine your target audience:

  • Conduct market research to understand your potential customers’ demographics, interests, pain points, and purchasing behavior.
  • Analyze your existing customer data, such as website analytics, social media insights, and CRM data, to identify patterns and trends.
  • Create buyer personas representing your ideal customers, including their demographics, behaviors, and motivations.
  • Use segmentation tools to group your audience based on their similarities and differences, such as age, gender, location, and interests.

By defining your target audience, you can create display ads that are more relevant, targeted, and effective in reaching your business objectives.

Defining the Advertising Objective

Defining the advertising objective is a crucial first step while planning display advertising. It helps advertisers to create an effective campaign by identifying what they want to achieve through the advertisement.

The advertising objective can be defined by answering the following questions:

  • What is the primary goal of the advertisement?
  • Who is the target audience for the ad?
  • What is the message that the advertiser wants to convey to the audience?
  • What action should the audience take after seeing the advertisement?

Defining the advertising objective lays the foundation for the entire campaign, including selecting appropriate ad formats, targeting options, and metrics to measure the campaign’s success. In addition, it helps advertisers to design ads that appeal to their audience and drive the desired action.

Pro tip: Set a clear and measurable advertising objective to gauge the success of your campaign accurately.

Understanding Ad Sizes

Display advertising is a powerful tool to attract potential customers to your website, but to make the most of it, it’s important to understand ad sizes and their impact on your campaign’s success. There are several ad sizes to choose from, including:

  1. Medium Rectangle (300×250): This size is one of the most popular and effective as it fits well with different types of content and devices.
  2. Leaderboard (728×90): This size is ideal for placing ads at the top of a website’s header or footer section.
  3. Skyscraper (120×600, 160×600, 300×600): This size is perfect if you want your ads to be placed on the sides of a website’s content.
  4. Square (250×250, 200×200): This size best suits small ad space on a website’s sidebar.

Choosing the right ad size can have a significant impact on the success of your campaign. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the size and placement of your ad and the type of content it will be placed next to.

Creating Display Ads

Display advertising can effectively promote your product, increase your brand’s visibility, and generate leads for your business. However, creating effective display ads requires knowledge of both the creative and technical aspects.

This guide will take you through creating display ads and explain the essential components to consider when planning and executing a successful ad campaign.

Choosing the Right Image

Choosing the right image is a crucial step in creating effective display ads. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect image for your ad campaigns:

  • Choose images that are relevant to your product or service. For example, if you advertise a restaurant, use delicious food images.
  • Use high-quality images that are visually appealing and eye-catching.
  • Ensure that the colors in your image match your branding and the color scheme of your website.
  • Choose images that are the correct size for your ad format to avoid stretching or pixelation.
  • Test different images to see which performs best and adjust your ad campaigns accordingly.

Pro tip: Consider using A/B testing to compare the performance of different images in your ad campaigns. It can help you determine which images drive the most clicks and conversions and refine your ad strategy.

Designing the Ad

The design of an effective display ad goes beyond just creating a visually appealing layout. It requires strategic planning, attention to detail, and a solid understanding of your target audience. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when designing your display ad:

  1. Use contrasting colors and bold typography to grab the viewer’s attention.
  2. Have a clear and concise message that communicates the value proposition of your product or service.
  3. Use high-quality and relevant images that resonate with your target audience.
  4. Keep the design simple and uncluttered, avoiding too much text, graphics, or animation.
  5. Use a strong call-to-action that encourages viewers to engage with your ad and take the desired action.

By following these tips, you can create an eye-catching and effective display ad that grabs the attention of your target audience and drives your desired results.

Writing Ad Content

Writing ad content for display advertising can be challenging, but you can create effective, attention-grabbing ads that convert with the right approach. Here are some tips for creating display ads that stand out:

  1. Keep it simple: Display ads have limited space, so focus on a clear, concise message that is easy to read and understand.
  2. Use attention-grabbing visuals: Use bright, contrasting colors and high-quality images to draw the viewer’s attention to your ad.
  3. Include a compelling call-to-action: Encourage the viewer to take action with a clear, impactful call-to-action.
  4. Consider the context: Tailor your ad content to the context in which it will be displayed. For example, an ad for sunscreen would be more effective on a summer-themed website.

With these tips, you can create display ads that capture attention, convey a message, and drive conversions.

Targeting in Display Advertising

Targeting in display advertising involves finding the right segments of your audience who are most likely to interact with your ads. For example, you can target users based on demographics, interests, location, etc. In addition, various targeting methods can help you reach a different audience.

In this guide, we will discuss some of the more commonly used methods of targeting in display advertising:

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is a targeting in display advertising that uses information about a user’s online behaviors and interests to deliver relevant ads. Behavioral targeting is accomplished using tracking technologies that monitor a user’s browsing history, search queries, and other online activities to build a profile of their interests and preferences.

Here are some benefits of behavioral targeting:

  • Improved targeting accuracy: Using real-time data, behavioral targeting helps advertisers better understand their audience’s interests and deliver more relevant ads.
  • Higher engagement and conversion rates: By serving ads more relevant to a user’s interests, behavioral targeting can increase the likelihood of clicks and conversions.
  • Cost-efficient advertising: By targeting only those users who are most likely to be interested in their products, advertisers can save money on wasted ad spend.

Behavioral targeting is a powerful tool that can help advertisers boost the performance of their display ads and maximize their ROI.

Geographical Targeting

Geographical targeting is a crucial aspect of display advertising that allows advertisers to focus their ad campaigns on specific locations and demographics within those locations. By utilizing geographical targeting, advertisers can increase their ad relevance and minimize wasted ad spending while improving their overall ROI.

Here are the key elements of geographical targeting in display advertising:

  • Location: Advertisers can narrow their ad targeting to specific cities, regions, or countries.
  • Demographics: Advertisers can target specific age groups, genders, languages, and ethnicities within their targeted locations.
  • Interests: Advertisers can reach audiences with specific interests and behaviors relevant to their product or service offerings.

Geographical targeting enables advertisers to create personalized and effective ad experiences based on location and preferences for their target audiences.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting is a form of display advertising targeting users based on the webpage content they view.

Here’s how contextual targeting works:

  1. An advertiser creates an ad campaign and specifies a set of keywords related to their product or service.
  2. An ad network displays the ads on websites containing those keywords, targeting users likely to be interested in the advertised product or service.
  3. For example, suppose an advertiser is promoting a new line of skateboards. In that case, they might use keywords like “skateboarding,” “thrasher,” or “kickflip” to target users who are reading about skateboarding or related topics.

Contextual targeting can effectively reach a specific audience and increase conversion rates, especially when combined with other targeting methods like demographic or geographic targeting.

Pro tip: When setting up a contextual targeting campaign, use various relevant keywords to increase the chances of reaching your target audience.

Choosing Ad Networks and Platforms

Choosing the right ad network and platform for your display ads can be difficult. With so many options, it can be hard to determine which will best meet your needs. To help, we’ve put together a guide on the pros and cons of each network and the different types of available ad platforms. Keep reading to learn more.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network is a powerful platform for businesses looking to expand their online reach and engage with potential customers through display advertising.

With access to over 2 million websites and Youtube channels, Google Display Network allows businesses to create visually stunning and highly targeted ads displayed to users based on browsing history, demographics, and interests.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Google Display Network campaigns:

  • Use high-quality visuals and compelling ad copy to grab the user’s attention.
  • Define your target audience and use targeting options to reach users most likely interested in your product or service.
  • Monitor your campaign performance regularly and adjust as needed to improve your ROI.
  • Use A/B testing to test different ad variations and optimize your campaign for maximum results.

Using Google Display Network with other advertising platforms, businesses can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to their website, and ultimately boost revenue.


AppNexus is a powerful ad platform offering advanced tools and displays advertising features. It provides real-time bidding technology, machine learning algorithms, and cross-channel ad inventory management tools to help advertisers reach their target audience effectively.

Here are the benefits of using AppNexus:

  • Enhanced audience targeting: AppNexus uses advanced algorithms to identify and target specific audiences based on browsing behavior, location, device, and demographics.
  • Real-time bidding: With real-time bidding technology, advertisers can bid on ad space in real-time auctions to get the best price and placement for their ads.
  • Cross-channel integration: AppNexus offers a central dashboard for managing ad inventory across multiple channels, including display, video, and mobile.
  • Enhanced data analysis: AppNexus provides in-depth reporting and analytics tools to help advertisers track their ad performance and optimize their campaigns for better results.

Pro tip: When choosing ad networks and platforms, consider your specific advertising goals and budget, and choose a platform that best aligns with your needs.


AdRoll is a popular display advertising platform offering various ad formats, targeting options, and optimization tools to businesses of all sizes. It allows advertisers to target audiences based on their behavior, interests, and demographics across different channels, including social media, email, and desktop and mobile web. AdRoll’s features include dynamic product ads, retargeting, cross-device, and conversion tracking.

Choosing Ad Networks and Platforms has become an essential component of any digital advertising campaign, and AdRoll offers a wide range of products adaptable for different budgets and marketing goals. Whether you want to promote a new product, generate leads, or increase your brand awareness, AdRoll’s combination of advanced targeting, optimization, and reporting tools can help you achieve your marketing objectives.

Measuring Display Advertising Success

Measuring the success of your display advertising campaigns can be a challenge. It’s essential to track your campaigns’ performance to see what works and what doesn’t. There are several metrics to help you measure the success of your display advertising campaigns, such as:

  • Impression Share – measures the percentage of time your ads are shown when they are eligible to show.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR) – measures the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it.
  • Cost per Click (CPC) – measures the cost you pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA) – measures how much it costs to acquire a new customer from your display ads.

This article will discuss the different metrics and how they can be used to measure the success of your display advertising campaigns.

Understanding Key Metrics

Understanding the key metrics of CTR (Click-Through Rate), CPC (Cost Per Click), and Conversion Rate is essential for measuring the success of your display advertising campaigns.

  • CTR: Click-through Rate measures the number of clicks on your ad divided by the number of impressions. A higher CTR indicates that your ad is resonating with your target audience.
  • CPC: Cost Per Click measures the cost you pay for each click on your ad. This metric enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your ad spend and adjust your budget as necessary.
  • Conversion Rate: Conversion Rate measures the percentage of people who click on your ad and complete a desired action, such as purchasing or filling out a form. A higher Conversion Rate indicates that your ad effectively drives valuable actions by your target audience.

Analyzing these metrics can help you optimize your display advertising campaigns and make data-driven decisions for future efforts.

Measuring Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS)

Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) is a crucial metric to measure the success of your display advertising campaigns. ROAS measures the revenue generated due to a specific amount spent on advertising.

To calculate ROAS, divide the revenue generated by the ad campaign cost. For example, if a campaign yielded $10,000 in revenue and cost $2,500, the ROAS would be 4:1 ($10,000/$2,500 = 4).

Knowing your ROAS can help you determine the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and make data-driven decisions about future marketing investments.

It’s essential to remember that ROAS is not the only metric to consider when measuring display advertising success. Other metrics, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per acquisition, should also be considered with ROAS to get a complete picture of campaign performance.

Split Testing Ads and Landing Pages

Split testing ads and landing pages is a critical step in measuring the success of display advertising campaigns. It involves creating multiple ad or landing page variations and testing them against each other to determine which performs best. By doing so, advertisers can optimize their campaigns to improve their click-through and conversion rates.

Here are some best practices for split-testing ads and landing pages:

  1. Identify the critical elements of the ad or landing page to test, such as headlines, images, calls-to-action, and form fields.
  2. Create multiple ad or landing page variations that differ in only one or two elements, keeping everything else consistent.
  3. Use a tool like Google Optimize to run the A/B tests and track the results.
  4. Analyze the data to determine which variation performed the best and make changes accordingly.

Advertisers can ensure their campaigns are optimized for maximum success by continuously split-testing ads and landing pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is display advertising?

A: Display advertising is online advertising that uses visual ads like images, videos, and banners to promote a product or service on websites or social media platforms.

Q: How do display ads work?

A: Display ads use targeting methods like demographics and interests to show ads to specific groups of people as they browse the internet or use social media. When users click on the ad, they are directed to the advertiser’s website or landing page.

Q: What are the benefits of display advertising?

A: Display advertising helps businesses reach a wider audience, improves brand awareness, and can lead to increased website traffic and sales. It also allows for more targeted advertising and can be cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising.

Q: How do I create a display ad?

A: You can create a display ad using an ad creation tool or working with a digital advertising agency. Ads should include eye-catching visuals, a clear message, and a call to action to encourage clicks and conversions.

Q: How do I measure the success of my display advertising campaign?

A: The success of a display advertising campaign can be measured through metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS). These metrics can help determine the campaign’s effectiveness and inform future advertising decisions.

Q: What are common types of display ads?

A: Common display ads include banner ads, pop-up ads, video ads, and social media ads. Each type has advantages and disadvantages; the best type for a business depends on its advertising goals and target audience.

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