Display Advertising: Everything You Need To Know

Display Advertising: Everything You Need To Know.

October 18th, 2019

Digital display advertising is one of the best-known forms of online advertising, and it continues to form a crucial part of the wider digital marketing landscape. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at display advertising, covering its benefits and drawbacks, the importance of targeting, display ad networks and the role of display advertising as part of a broader digital marketing approach. Let’s get started.

What is Display Advertising?

Display advertising is a common form of paid digital advertising that involves displaying visual advertisements such as images, banners, video content, flash and text online. Most display ads are aimed at enticing a user to click – an action which will usually take them to the ad’s corresponding landing page. As such, display ads can play a role in generating business and strengthening brand awareness.

Display adverts are most commonly found on websites themselves. The vast majority of Internet users will have seen scores of these advertisements appear throughout the web, illustrating the popularity of this specific form of online advertising.

Types of Display Advertising

Users react to different types of advertisements in different ways, and the world of display advertising is no different. For this reason, display ads can take on many shapes and sizes. Apart from differing in what type of content is displayed (such as video, images or text), display ads also come in a variety of formats. Some of the most common display formats include:

  • Banner ads

  • Billboards

  • Portraits

  • Mobile leaderboards

  • Skyscrapers

Examples of Display Ads

There are countless examples of display ads to be found across the web, with some of the most popular examples being static image banners, GIF ads and animated HTML5 ads.

Static Ads

Static images are often viewed as the most standard display advertisement, displaying a single static image. You can find more examples on Bannerstack.


GIF ads and HTML5 ads introduce animation into the mix, which makes for a more engaging advertisement. GIF advertisements are created by playing a specific sequence of images in a visually appealing and interactive way. For this reason, GIF advertisements come with a number of benefits. Apart from enjoying a higher click-through rate (CTR) in comparison to static display ads, GIFs are relatively easy to create as well as being well-suited to mobile.


HTML5 ads separate themselves from other forms of display advertising through their immense versatility. As the name suggests, HTML5 display advertisements are created using HTML code. For this reason, HTML5 ads can be applied across virtually every operating system or browser. At the same time, their ability to incorporate several files and images as part of a single advertisement ensures they produce a visually appealing result in an efficient way.

Display Ad Networks & Targeting

Advertisers eager to try their hand at display advertising will most likely do so through a display advertising network. In essence, display ad networks allow advertisers to target ads as well as attract a new target audience. Well-known examples of these networks include Google AdSense, Apple Advertising, Facebook Audience Network and mMedia.

Once you’ve selected your preferred network, you will be given the opportunity to target users who fall within a certain demographic. Selecting the right demographic will help increase the odds of your advertisements getting in front of your target audience.

Data available to these networks also allows advertisers to target users based on their specific interests, which in turn plays a crucial role in generating those all important conversions. For example, display ads can be targeted towards users who have shown previous interest in a specific product or brand, helping advertisers to remarket their services more effectively.

The Benefits of Display Advertising

Although the world of digital display advertising has gone through a number of changes in recent years, this form of online advertising continues to offer would-be advertisers a number of significant benefits. These include:

  • Affordability: display ads offer a relatively affordable way to reach consumers online.

  • Targeting potential: the wealth of data available to display ad networks offers advertisers a wide variety of targeting options, especially in comparison to search marketing.

  • Retargeting potential: by using cookies to recapture users who have previously engaged with the ad, display ads offer significant potential for retargeting.

  • High visibility: display ads often enjoy a large online reach, helping to strengthen brand awareness among digital consumers.

  • Ability to track: the performance of digital display ads can be easily tracked using tools like Google Analytics, providing marketers with valuable data on improving their digital advertising efforts.

The Disadvantages of Display Advertising

Much like other digital marketing tactics, display advertising comes with its own specific set of drawbacks. Potential disadvantages include:

  • Relatively low click-through rate (CTR): According to Smart Insights, CTR for display ads stands at around 5 clicks per 10000 impressions, which is relatively low in comparison to various other types of digital advertising.

  • Ad blockers: the ever-increasing usage of ad blockers has meant that more and more users are avoiding online advertisements. This development undoubtedly represents a challenge to the digital advertising world as a whole, and display advertising is no exception.

  • Relatively low conversion rate: According to research by WordStream, the average conversion rate for display advertising in AdWords stands at around 0.77%. For this reason, display ads are often considered to be more suited to attracting a lower number of targeted customers as opposed to focusing on bringing in large numbers.

A Broad Approach

No single digital advertising tactic is enough to maximise your online success in and of itself, and display advertising is no different. Display ads are at their best when used as part of a broader digital marketing approach, which may include search marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, social media and more.

The trick is to leverage the specific benefits of each approach as best as possible, and marketers who are able to successfully do so are sure to reap the many benefits of online advertising.

If you would like to learn more about display advertising, or the other PPC services offered by Champions Digital, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team via [email protected]. Alternatively, speak to a member of our team directly on 0845 331 30 31.

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