What Are Display Ads and How Do They Work?
Display ads are an effective form of digital advertising that use visuals to grab your ideal shopper’s attention and convert website visitors into paying customers. They boost brand awareness and increase sales through websites, apps, and social media.
One of the easiest ways to stay competitive in the evolving marketing is to know all of the digital marketing forms available to you.
We’ll walk you through the types of display ads, how they work, and give you examples of what they look like to set you up for success in your next campaign!
What are Display Ads?
Display advertising uses digital display ads to promote a product or service with images, text and videos. Any visual advertisement on a website counts as a display ad. These ads appear in places like the Google Display Network, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Remarketing ads, or retargeting ads, are the most commonly used display ads because they “go after” users who have already been on your website but have left without completing the conversion goal.
These ads work by placing a section of code onto your website that collects visitors’ browsing information — like which pages they visit and the actions they take on each page. Then lists of customer types are created and categorized into what ads would appeal to them. Next, it’s your turn to create your display ads based on the categories you want to target.
Contextual ads target people who are visiting websites relevant to your product or service. For example, contextual ads might show ads for gardening tools on a greenhouse website. Where the ad is placed depends on criteria like:
- Website themes
- Keywords and topic
- Language and location settings
- Browsing history from previous people who visited the site
Google will give you an option to choose placements through topic targeting, or you can let it determine the placements for your ads.
Choose a list of topics to pair your ad with similar pages on the Display Network or YouTube. You also have the option to exclude topics.
Site placement ads
Site placement ads are where you choose the website you want your display ads to run. You have options to choose to have your ad seen on the entire site, or individual pages of the site.
With a combination of site placement and contextual ads, you can choose a site and allow Google to pick the most relevant pages for your ad.
Personalized ads show consumers product or service suggestions based on their recent engagements with your website. These ads target users by demographics and interests from their browsing history.
Google has four types of personalized ads.
This is when ads are displayed to a large audience that is currently interested in your market. Think broad topics like “pet lovers” or “foodies.”
Custom Affinity Groups
These custom groups allow you to get more specific about the people you want to target in affinity groups. With topics like “corgi breeders” or “pizza enthusiasts” you reach a narrower, more targeted audience.
Custom Intent and In-Market Ads
These ads reach a smaller but more motivated audience. Custom intent and in-market ads target people who are actively looking for products or services like yours.
Similar Audience Ads
You can think of this as a “lookalike audience.” These ads target people with similar interests to the people already visiting your website. Google will look at your retargeting list and finds similarities to target your ads to.
Types of Display Ads
Marketing experts estimate that people see up to 10,000 ads per day. Display ads need quality visuals to draw potential customers’ attention. Below are four different options to try when setting up your next display ad campaign.
As you probably figured out, banner ads are the banner-like ads at the top or bottom of a website. They are simply hyperlinked images.
Rich media ads have interactive elements like video, audio and clickable points to make the ad more engaging.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Video ads on platforms like YouTube and Instagram attract a lot of attention and engagement.
Interstitial Ads show up as a separate webpage before you are directed to the original page you were trying to reach. These capture your attention because they take up the entire screen.
Display Ad Sizes
We stay on top of the top-performing ad sizes so you don’t have to. Include both text and image ads for desktop and mobile to get the most impressions and conversions on your ad campaign.
Here are the most popular Google display ad sizes:
- 250x250 - Square
- 200x200 - Small square
- 468x60 - Banner
- 428x90 - Letterboard banner
- 300x250 - Incline rectangle
- 336x280- Large rectangle
- 120x600 - Skyscraper
- 160x600 - Wide skyscraper
- 300x600 - Large skyscraper
- 970x90 - Large letterboard
Display Ads We Love
Spotify’s ads are instantly recognizable, have a clear call to action, and this one recognizes users’ pain point: listening to ads.
MailChimp’s ad is super shareable, catches attention right away, and they are actually pretty funny.
Disney+’s ad lets it's pictures do the talking. Even if you haven’t seen these movies, you know who these characters are. Offering a free trial to the best stories in the world — that’s some great copywriting!
Why You Should Try Display Ads
Display ads are a great way to get clicks, conversions and build brand awareness. With a variety of formats available, you can showcase your offer in different ways and find what works best for you.
The Google Display Network offers access to millions of websites across the globe. You’ll have the best success when you target the right user at the right time, and on the right website — which is why remarketing is your friend.
We believe that paid digital advertising is one of the best investments your business can make. With over 20 years of running ad campaigns, you can count on us for help with:
- Google and Bing (Microsoft) search ads
- Google and Bing (Microsoft) display ads
- Facebook and Instagram ads
- LinkedIn ads
- Twitter ads
- Pinterest ads
Get in touch with us here for a free quote and let’s see how we can grow your business together!