There are a lot of different places you can advertise online, but also different styles of advertising. One of the most used forms of digital advertising is the banner ad. Banner ads are also called display ads. These ads function as digital billboards, using imagery to get attention. The ultimate goal of banner advertising is to drive traffic to the business site.
These ads are placed on high-traffic places on web pages to create brand awareness and also click-throughs and purchases. A high-visibility location can include the front of a webpage but also the bottom or side.
They’re good for getting attention pretty easily, and they don’t use a lot of text. Instead, banner ads rely on multimedia and images to get messages across.
If a banner is horizontal, it’s technically known as a leaderboard. Vertical banners placed on sidebars are known as skyscrapers.
Below is a guide to everything else to know about banner advertising.
How Does Banner Advertising Work?
Banner or display advertising makes use of animated or static images, again placed on high-visibility areas of a website.
The concept of banner advertising is similar to traditional ads, except the payment from the advertiser is different from selling traditional ad spaces.
A host is paid for the banner ad through one of three possible methods.
One is the cost per impression. This means if you’re the advertiser, you’re paying for every website visitor seeing your ad.
The next is the cost per click, so in this model, the advertiser makes a payment for every site visitor clicking the ad and then visiting their site.
Then there’s a third option which is the cost per action. In the cost-per-action model, there’s payment for every website visitor clicking the ad who then goes to the website of the advertiser and completes a task, like making a purchase.
If you’re a publisher, it’s beneficial for you to place ads on your site because you’re monetizing your content.
With banner ads, ad networks match advertisers to websites that are interested in selling advertising. The ad networks manage what space is available, matching it with demand from advertisers.
The technology underlying the process is a central ad server.
The central ad server selects ads based on the visitors to the website. This information comes from keyword searchers the visitor has made and viewing behavior of the website.
Nearly all online advertising, including banner ads, uses programmatic bidding, which is real-time bidding technology. Companies with approval can bid on ad space during the time it takes an ad to load.
Display Ads vs. Native Ads
One key area of comparison in digital advertising is between display and native ads.
Native ads appear as part of the design of a webpage. They’re meant to fit into the “flow” of the page rather than being an obvious ad. Native ads will usually have a softer approach to selling and look more editorial.
These ads will frequently appear in social media news feeds as sponsored posts. They can also come in search results on search engines like Google, and they can be included as recommended content by discovery platforms.
Native ads engage with a high click-through rate, and they’re well-suited to driving traffic to a site, but display ads tend to be better for retargeting campaigns.
Display ads, including banner ads, are also cheaper per click than native ads in nearly every situation.
Setting Up Remarketing Campaigns
As mentioned, one of the best uses for a banner ad is for a remarketing campaign. Remarketing puts your ads in front of people who have already shown an interest in your site. Remarketing can make a bounced visitor into a lead, increase brand recall, and improve your rates of repeat visitors. These campaigns also improve the effectiveness of content marketing and SEO.
Around 96% of people who visit a website leave without doing whatever it is you want them to, so remarketing gives you a new chance to make another impression, and maybe several.
The Google Display Network is a group of sites where your banner ads can appear.
There are millions of sites in the network, and Google estimates its Display Network can reach up to 90% of people who are online.
When you’re using Google Ads to set up a remarketing campaign, you’ll first start by defining your audience. For example, maybe you set up an audience based on people who have visited certain pages on your site.
You can also set up something known as audience member duration, which is the number of days your ads will follow a user.
It’s important to create a great banner ad. The ad formats you use are important because of how the auction works. Different ad formats don’t compete against one another for positioning.
Think about creating copy that’s brief and to the point but resonates. If you can elicit an emotional response, that’s going to tend to get the most attention.
Google does want to make money, so it makes the most sense that they’re going to show ads most likely to get clicks. Google uses the Quality Score algorithm to determine the ads to show, what position they’ll display in, and how much an advertiser will be charged for each click.
There are big discounts for ads that have a high clickthrough rate, which is meant to be an incentive to get people to create quality ads. There are penalties if you have ads with low clickthrough rates.
You can work to create ads with high clickthrough rates by sending people to your highest-value offers, like free trials.
You can do a conversion path analysis to learn more about which pages on your site tend to result in a higher likelihood of a conversion to a lead or sale.
You should also strive to send people to your best content.
Finally, with banner display ads, you want to be strategic in how you manage your bids. You’re paying for each click, and you set a max cost per click you’ll pay, but you don’t want to buy every possible click. Instead, you should focus on the clicks that are most relevant to your business.