Online Display Advertising: The Art and Science

In a digital era where attention spans are shorter than ever, capturing the interest of potential customers is an art.

Enter online display advertising, the modern way to visually showcase brands and capture attention in a cluttered online landscape.

With the vast reach of the Google Display Network, businesses can target their message to the right user at the right time, leading to measurable results.

However, as we shall explore, the reliance on third-party cookies brings its own set of challenges.

Join us as we unravel the world of online display advertising and discover the secrets to its success.

online display advertising

Online display advertising is a form of online advertising that utilizes visual elements such as text, logos, videos, photographs, and graphics to promote a brand.

It can be seen on millions of websites, news pages, blogs, and platforms like Gmail and YouTube through the Google Display Network, which reaches 90% of internet users worldwide.

The success of display ads relies on targeting the right audience at the right time with the right message.

Some benefits of display advertising include measurable results, advanced segmentation, precise remarketing, and mobile-friendly formats.

However, the biggest challenge lies in the reliance on third-party cookies and potential crackdowns by web browsers.

Key Points:

  • Online display advertising utilizes visual elements to promote a brand
  • Display ads can be seen on various websites and platforms through the Google Display Network
  • Success of display ads relies on targeting the right audience with the right message
  • Benefits of display advertising include measurable results, advanced segmentation, precise remarketing, and mobile-friendly formats
  • Biggest challenge is the reliance on third-party cookies and potential crackdowns by web browsers.


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💡 Did You Know?

1. Online display advertising started as simple banner ads in the mid-1990s and got their name from the resemblance to physical banners hung in conventional advertising spaces.
2. The first online display ad appeared on in 1994 and generated an impressive 44% click-through rate, marking the early success of the format.
3. The first click-through rate (CTR) record for online display advertising was set by a Macy’s banner ad in 1996 with an astonishing 78% CTR, far surpassing any contemporary campaigns.
4. Online display advertising is powered by ad servers, which are responsible for delivering ads to websites. The first ad server, called Focalink, was developed by Dave Zinman and launched in 1995.
5. Prior to the invention of ad-blocking software, some users were known to take extreme measures to avoid online display ads, such as turning off images on their browser entirely or using custom scripts to remove ads from websites.

Introduction To Online Display Advertising

Online display advertising is a powerful form of online advertising that promotes a brand visually, using text, logos, videos, photographs, or other graphics. It allows businesses to showcase their products or services on various websites, news pages, blogs, and popular Google sites like Gmail and YouTube. The objective of display ads is to capture the attention of potential customers and drive them to take action.

The Power Of The Google Display Network

When it comes to online display advertising, the Google Display Network (GDN) plays a crucial role. With its massive reach, the GDN has the ability to connect businesses with over 90% of Internet users worldwide. It offers a vast network of millions of websites, news pages, and blogs where advertisers can display their ads.

Furthermore, the GDN extends its reach even further by including popular Google sites such as Gmail and YouTube in its network.

The GDN’s extensive reach ensures that businesses have the opportunity to target a broad audience and increase brand awareness. By placing ads on relevant websites and pages, advertisers can effectively target users who are likely to be interested in their offerings. This targeted approach increases the chances of reaching the right user at the right time, leading to higher ad engagement and conversions.

To summarize, the GDN provides businesses with a powerful platform to reach and engage with a massive audience. Its vast network of websites and inclusion of popular Google sites allows for effective targeting and increased brand visibility.

  • The GDN connects businesses with over 90% of Internet users worldwide
  • It offers a vast network of millions of websites, news pages, and blogs
  • Gmail and YouTube are included in the GDN’s network.

Key Factors For Successful Display Ads

The success of online display ads lies in targeting the right user at the right time with the right message. By understanding their target audience and segmenting it effectively, advertisers can create personalized campaigns that resonate with potential customers. Advanced segmentation options provided by various advertising platforms allow businesses to refine their targeting based on factors such as demographics, interests, and browsing behavior.

Another important factor for successful display ads is precise remarketing. This strategy focuses on targeting users who have previously shown interest in a brand or its offerings. By delivering tailored ads to these users, businesses can nudge them towards conversion and reinforce brand messaging. Remarketing campaigns have proven to be highly effective in boosting ad performance and increasing conversions.

Additionally, it is crucial for display ads to be mobile-friendly. As more users access the internet through mobile devices, it is essential for ads to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions. Mobile-friendly ad formats ensure that ads are displayed correctly and provide a seamless user experience across all devices.

  • Online display ads should target the right user, at the right time, with the right message
  • Understanding the target audience and effective segmentation is key to personalized campaigns
  • Advanced segmentation options allow businesses to refine targeting based on demographics, interests, and browsing behavior
  • Remarketing targets users who have previously shown interest in a brand or its offerings
  • Tailored ads can nudge users towards conversion and reinforce brand messaging
  • Remarketing campaigns are effective in boosting ad performance and increasing conversions
  • Display ads should be mobile-friendly to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions
  • Mobile-friendly ad formats ensure a seamless user experience across all devices.

Benefits Of Display Advertising

Display advertising offers numerous benefits that make it a valuable tool for businesses. Firstly, it provides measurable results. Advertisers can track various metrics such as impressions, click-through rates (CTR), views, and conversions to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. This data allows businesses to optimize their ads and make informed decisions to improve their advertising strategy.

Advanced segmentation is another benefit of display advertising. Advertisers can define specific target audiences based on various parameters, maximizing the relevance of their ads. This targeted approach ensures that ads are shown to users who are most likely to be interested in the offering, increasing the chances of conversion.

Precise remarketing is a key advantage of display advertising. By strategically targeting users who have already shown interest in a brand or product, businesses can significantly increase the likelihood of conversion. Remarketing campaigns enable businesses to stay top-of-mind and re-engage users who may have previously visited their website without completing a purchase.

Display advertising also offers mobile-friendly formats, ensuring that ads are displayed seamlessly on different devices. With more users accessing the internet through mobile phones and tablets, having mobile-friendly ads is crucial for capturing the attention of this audience.

  • Measurable results: Allows advertisers to track metrics such as impressions, CTR, views, and conversions.
  • Advanced segmentation: Enables advertisers to define specific target audiences for maximum relevance.
  • Precise remarketing: Strategically targets users who have shown interest in a brand or product.
  • Mobile-friendly formats: Ensures seamless display of ads on different devices.

Challenges In Display Advertising

While display advertising has numerous benefits, it also faces certain challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the reliance on third-party cookies. Cookies track user behavior and play a crucial role in targeting users with relevant ads. However, with growing privacy concerns and potential crackdowns by web browsers on the use of cookies, advertisers need to find alternative methods for effective targeting and personalized advertising.

Another challenge is banner blindness. As users are exposed to a large number of display ads during their online browsing, they have developed the tendency to ignore or overlook these ads. This phenomenon poses a challenge for advertisers to create eye-catching and engaging ads that break through this barrier and capture the user’s attention.

Banner blindness refers to the tendency of online users to ignore or consciously avoid display ads. This phenomenon poses a significant challenge in online display advertising. Due to the overwhelming volume of ads they encounter, users have developed an internal filter that allows them to focus on the content they seek while ignoring irrelevant or distracting ads.

The impact of banner blindness is profound for advertisers as it undermines the effectiveness of their display ads. To combat this issue, advertisers need to create visually captivating and contextually relevant ads that stand out from the surrounding content. By incorporating innovative design elements, captivating visuals, and compelling messaging, advertisers can increase the chances of breaking through the user’s banner blindness and capturing their attention.

Effective Types Of Display Advertising Campaigns

Display advertising encompasses a variety of campaigns with different objectives. The most commonly used types of display advertising campaigns include Brand Awareness, Acquisition, and Retargeting campaigns.

Brand Awareness campaigns focus on increasing the visibility and recognition of a brand. These campaigns aim to familiarize the target audience with the brand’s name, logo, visual identity, and value proposition. By displaying ads across multiple websites and platforms, businesses can effectively reach a broad audience and establish brand presence.

Acquisition campaigns aim to drive targeted traffic to a website or landing page in order to increase conversions. These campaigns focus on attracting new potential customers and encouraging them to take a specific desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or completing a form. Acquisition campaigns often involve the use of compelling offers, persuasive messaging, and clear call-to-actions to entice users to engage with the brand.

Retargeting campaigns target users who have previously interacted with a brand but have not yet converted. By displaying tailored ads to these users, businesses can re-engage them and encourage them to return to the website and complete their desired action. Retargeting campaigns are highly effective in reminding users about their initial interest in a brand and nudging them towards conversion.

Google Adwords And Google Ads Overview

Google AdWords, now known as Google Ads, is a comprehensive online advertising platform that provides businesses with the ability to run various advertising campaigns, including both search and display ads. Through Google Ads, businesses can gain access to the Google Display Network (GDN) and Google Search Network.

The Google Search Network allows businesses to display text ads within the search results pages of Google’s search engine. This network targets users who are actively searching for specific keywords or phrases, ensuring that businesses reach an audience that is actively seeking their products or services.

On the other hand, the Google Display Network enables businesses to display visual ads across millions of websites, news pages, blogs, and popular Google sites like Gmail and YouTube. With its extensive reach, the GDN offers businesses the opportunity to connect with a wide range of users and increase brand visibility.

Google Ads provides businesses with various targeting options, allowing them to refine their campaigns and reach the most relevant audience. Advertisers can define specific demographics, interests, topics, or even target specific websites where they want their ads to appear. This level of control and flexibility empowers businesses to create highly targeted campaigns that yield better results.

The Role Of Video Ads In Display Advertising

Video ads play a crucial role in display advertising and their popularity has surged in recent years. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, are common places to find video ads. These ads can also be displayed within mobile apps and websites, providing advertisers with a wide range of platforms to reach their target audience.

The appeal of video ads lies in their ability to effectively engage users and convey brand messages in a visually captivating manner. Unlike traditional static or text-based ads, video ads can tell stories, demonstrate products in action, and establish emotional connections with viewers. These qualities make video ads highly effective at capturing attention and making a lasting impression on the audience.

Research has shown that shorter video ads can be even more impactful than longer ones. For instance, three 6-second bumper video ads were found to be 107% more memorable and generated 134% more purchase intent than a single 30-second TrueView ad. This suggests that advertisers should focus on creating concise and compelling video ads that make the most of viewers’ limited attention spans.

Metrics For Measuring Display Advertising Success

Measuring the success of display advertising campaigns is crucial for advertisers to optimize their strategies and make data-driven decisions. Several metrics play a vital role in evaluating the performance and effectiveness of display ads.

Impressions indicate the number of times a display ad appears on a user’s screen, providing insights into the reach and exposure of the ad. By tracking impressions, advertisers can assess the visibility of their ads and observe how frequently they are being displayed to the target audience.

Click-through rate (CTR) measures the number of clicks an ad receives relative to the number of impressions it generates. It is an essential metric for gauging the ad’s relevance and the likelihood of users engaging with it. A higher CTR indicates that the ad is compelling and effectively capturing the attention of the target audience.

Views or viewers are key metrics for measuring the success of video ads. Views represent the number of times a video ad is played, while viewers indicate the unique number of individuals who watched the video ad. These metrics provide insights into the reach and engagement of video ads, enabling advertisers to assess their performance and make necessary adjustments.

Conversion is a critical metric for measuring the effectiveness of display ads. Conversion tracks the actions that users take after interacting with an ad, such as making a purchase, submitting a form, or signing up for a newsletter. By tracking conversions, advertisers can measure the direct impact of their display ads and determine the return on investment (ROI) of their advertising efforts.

In conclusion, online display advertising offers businesses a powerful tool to promote their brand visually and reach a wide audience across various websites and platforms. The Google Display Network stands out as one of the leading platforms in this space, providing access to a massive pool of Internet users worldwide. Targeting the right user at the right time with the right message, along with implementing effective types of display advertising campaigns and measuring success through key metrics, are crucial elements in crafting successful display ad campaigns. However, advertisers must also address challenges such as banner blindness and adapt to changes in targeting technologies. By leveraging the benefits of display advertising and overcoming its challenges, businesses can achieve their marketing objectives and drive conversions in the online landscape.

  • Impressions: Number of times a display ad appears on a user’s screen, providing insights into reach and exposure.
  • CTR: Measures the number of clicks relative to impressions, indicates ad relevance and user engagement.
  • Views or viewers: Metrics for measuring success of video ads, provide insights into reach and engagement.
  • Conversion: Critical metric for measuring effectiveness of display ads, tracks user actions after interacting with an ad.
  • The Google Display Network provides access to a massive pool of Internet users worldwide.
  • Key elements for successful display ad campaigns: targeting, effective campaign types, and measuring success through metrics.
  • Advertisers should address challenges like banner blindness and adapt to changes in targeting technologies.


What is display of online advertising?

A display of online advertising refers to the various formats and compositions of advertisements used on the internet to attract users’ attention and drive traffic to specific websites. These ads are typically a combination of text, visuals, and URLs, allowing customers to explore further information or make purchases. The versatility of display ads enables businesses to captivate audiences with static or dynamic elements, including images, videos, and changing text, also known as rich media ads. With these diverse formats, online advertising effectively engages users and facilitates interaction between businesses and potential customers.

What is the main goal of the online display type advertising?

The main goal of online display type advertising is to visually promote a brand message through the use of various mediums such as text, logos, videos, photographs, or graphics. By targeting specific user demographics, this form of advertising aims to increase the effectiveness and overall success of a campaign. The visually appealing nature of online display advertising helps to capture users’ attention and generate greater brand awareness, ultimately driving more traffic and conversions for the advertiser.

What is targeted online display ads?

Targeted online display ads are a form of digital advertising that focuses on reaching potential customers by using specific criteria such as demographics, interests, and online behavior. These ads are strategically placed on websites and social media platforms where the target audience is most likely to be present. By tailoring the ads to the preferences and characteristics of the intended demographic, targeted online display ads aim to maximize the chances of engagement and conversion, ultimately leading to higher sales and brand awareness.

How effective are display ads?

Display ads can be highly effective in reaching a large audience and increasing brand visibility. Despite the relatively low click-through rates, they serve as valuable touchpoints in customers’ awareness and consideration stages of the sales funnel. Display ads provide an opportunity for businesses to create visually appealing and eye-catching content that captures attention and generates brand recognition. Moreover, with advanced targeting options and tracking capabilities, advertisers can ensure their ads are displayed to the right audiences, thereby increasing the chances of conversion and driving a positive return on investment.

While it may seem that the numbers don’t paint a convincing picture, it is important to consider the broader impact of display advertising. These ads play a vital role in building brand awareness, maintaining top-of-mind presence, and contributing to the overall customer journey. By combining display ads with other marketing efforts and strategies, businesses can create a cohesive and effective marketing campaign that brings about long-term results. So, despite the seemingly modest statistics, display ads remain a powerful tool for businesses looking to expand their reach and connect with potential customers.