Display Ads

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As defined in the dictionary, display ads are “a large advertisement, especially in a newspaper or magazine, that features eye-catching type or illustrations.” However, this definition has not quite caught up to the digital age. Today, display ads are part of a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategy and are text-based, image, or video ads on a webpage that send users to a landing page.


  • Web ads
  • Interstitial ads
  • Pop-up ads
  • Expandable ads
  • Native ads

Types of Display Ads

  • Banner Ads: Images or GIFs which are placed on web pages in high-visibility locations like the front, bottom, or the side of a webpage.
  • Video Ads: Played before users can watch the video they are trying to view, typically between 30 seconds and a minute long.
  • Interstitial Ads: Interactive, full-screen ads that are placed at a transitional point in apps or webpages.

Elements of a Display Ad

According to Google, there are three critical elements of a display ad: the image, message, and design. The image must be relevant to what you are advertising, the message must be strong and concise, and the design should be appealing to the eye. Whether you are putting together a banner ad or rich media ad, these elements are critical to get right. Without these, users are likely to ignore your ad or not click through to the landing page.

Pros and Cons of Display Ads

Just like with all other methods and mediums of advertising, display ads have their benefits and their drawbacks. There are some aspects of display advertising that can be a disadvantage for businesses:

  • Cost. To run a display ad campaign, you will need to pay. The cost of a display ad campaign depends on where and when your ads are displayed. This should be calculated into your monthly marketing budget.
  • Ad avoidance. In such a digital world, users have been bombarded with ads on almost every site they visit. Users tend to ignore display ads presented to them or use ad-blocking software to prevent them from showing at all.
  • Fewer clicks. Display ads do not receive as many clicks as search ads.

However, there are several benefits of display ads, including:

  • Reach. By advertising through Google Ads, or even Microsoft Ads, you have the ability to place your brand on millions of sites. There’s no doubt your ad will get in front of eyeballs.
  • Targeting and retargeting. Google Ads and Microsoft Ads allow advertisers to define their target audience. Your ads will be put in front of the potential customers you’re looking for by specifying your audience’s demographics, location, income, and more. They can also be used for retargeting, which targets users who have previously left your website without purchasing anything in an effort to bring them back and complete a purchase.
  • Measurable results. Display ad platforms allow you to see exactly how many impressions and clicks your ads receive. Being able to track and measure your success allows you to determine your ROI on running display ads.

Display ads can be a beneficial online advertising strategy for your business if done correctly. If you have more questions about pay-per-click advertising and how display ads can help grow your business, contact SMA Marketing.

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