What is Display Advertising?

  Updated on August 1, 2023 by Ruben Buijs

Display advertising refers to the practice of using visual advertisements, such as banners, images, or videos, on websites, apps, or social media platforms to promote products or services. These ads are typically placed strategically to capture the attention of the target audience and can be found on various online platforms, including search engines, social media networks, and websites.

Examples of Display Advertising

Display advertising encompasses a wide range of formats, including:

  • Banner Ads: These are rectangular or square ads that appear on websites and typically feature graphics, text, or a combination of both. They can be static or animated and are often placed at the top, bottom, or sides of a webpage.
  • Pop-up Ads: Pop-up ads appear in separate windows or tabs and can be seen when a user visits a particular webpage or performs a specific action.
  • Video Ads: These ads are short video clips that play before, during, or after online video content, such as on YouTube or streaming platforms.
  • Native Ads: Native ads blend seamlessly with the content of a website or app, making them less intrusive and more engaging for users.
  • Social Media Ads: These ads are displayed on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and can take the form of images, videos, or carousels.

Importance of Display Advertising

Display advertising plays a crucial role in lead generation and online marketing for several reasons:

  1. Increased Brand Visibility: Display ads allow businesses to reach a wider audience and increase their brand visibility by appearing on popular websites or social media platforms.
  2. Targeted Advertising: Display ads can be targeted based on various factors, such as demographics, interests, or browsing behavior, ensuring that they reach the most relevant audience.
  3. Improved Conversion Rates: Display ads can be highly effective in driving conversions as they provide an opportunity to showcase products or services visually and entice users to click or engage.
  4. Brand Awareness and Recall: Consistently displaying ads to the target audience helps create brand awareness and increases the chances of customers remembering and choosing your brand when making purchasing decisions.

How to Use Display Advertising

To make the most out of display advertising, consider the following steps:

  1. Define Your Goals: Determine the objectives you want to achieve through display advertising, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales.
  2. Identify Your Target Audience: Understand your target audience's demographics, interests, and online behavior to create highly targeted and relevant display ads.
  3. Choose the Right Platforms: Select the platforms that align with your target audience's preferences and habits. This could include popular websites, social media networks, or industry-specific platforms.
  4. Design Compelling Ads: Create visually appealing and engaging ads that grab attention, communicate your value proposition, and entice users to take action.
  5. Monitor and Optimize: Continuously monitor the performance of your display ads, track metrics such as click-through rates and conversions, and optimize your campaigns to improve results.

Useful Tips for Display Advertising

Consider incorporating these tips into your display advertising strategy:

  • Use eye-catching visuals and compelling copy to capture attention and communicate your message effectively.
  • A/B test different ad variations to identify the most effective design, messaging, and call-to-action.
  • Leverage retargeting to display ads to users who have previously visited your website, increasing the chances of conversion.
  • Optimize your ads for mobile devices, as a significant portion of web browsing and online activities occur on smartphones and tablets.
  • Continuously analyze and refine your targeting options to ensure your display ads are reaching the most relevant audience.

Related Terms


What is display advertising?

Display advertising refers to the practice of promoting products or services using visual ads on websites, mobile apps, or social media platforms.

How does display advertising work?

Display advertising works by placing visual ads, such as banners or videos, on websites or platforms that have ad space available. These ads can be targeted to specific audiences based on demographics, interests, or browsing behavior.

What are the benefits of display advertising?

Display advertising offers several benefits, including increased brand visibility, reaching a wide audience, targeted advertising, and the ability to track and measure campaign performance.

What types of ad formats are used in display advertising?

Common ad formats in display advertising include banners, pop-ups, interstitial ads, video ads, and native ads that blend with the website or app's content.

How can I target my display advertising campaigns?

Display advertising allows targeting based on various factors, such as demographics (age, gender, location), interests, previous online behaviors, or specific websites and apps where you want your ads to appear.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my display advertising campaigns?

To measure the effectiveness of display advertising campaigns, you can track metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through rates (CTR), conversions, and return on investment (ROI) using online advertising platforms or tools.

Is display advertising suitable for small businesses?

Yes, display advertising can be an effective marketing strategy for small businesses as it allows targeting specific audiences, offers flexible budget options, and provides measurable results.

What is programmatic display advertising?

Programmatic display advertising refers to the use of automated technology and algorithms to buy and optimize ad placements in real-time, ensuring more efficient and targeted campaigns.

Can display advertising help increase website traffic?

Yes, display advertising can drive traffic to your website by placing ads on relevant websites or platforms, attracting potential customers who may click on the ads and visit your site.

How can I create effective display ads?

To create effective display ads, it is important to use compelling visuals, concise and clear messaging, a strong call-to-action, and consider the target audience's preferences and interests.

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