What Does Display Ads Mean? [Defining Display Advertising]

Defining display ads

Are you struggling to decode the complex world of online advertising? One frequently used term that might have you scratching your head is “display advertising.” Believe it or not, this refers to those attention-grabbing ads designed with engaging visuals that appear on websites and social media platforms.

This blog post will demystify display advertising for you, from explaining its purpose and types to highlighting its benefits and drawbacks. Ready to become an expert in digital marketing? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Display advertising is a way to market products online using visual ads like videos/ especially YouTube videos, images, and text.
  • There are different types of display ads, such as remarketing ads that target previous website visitors and personalized ads tailored to specific individuals.
  • Display ads are different from native ads because they stand out more and aim to grab attention, while native ads blend in with the platform they’re on.
  • Pros of display advertising include increasing brand visibility, quickly conveying messages, easy creation and placement of ads, reaching customers at different stages of the buying journey, and good value for money.
  • Cons of display advertising include some audiences disliking or ignoring the ads, limited design options compared to other ad formats, low click-through rates, and conversion rates.

What is Display Advertising?

Display advertising refers to the practice of promoting a product, service, or brand through visual ads that are displayed on websites, social media platforms, mobile apps, and other digital mediums.

Definition of display advertising

Display advertising is a way to market any products on the web. It uses things like videos, images, and text ads that you can see on websites. These are often called banner ads. They show up on all kinds of digital platforms like social media sites or mobile apps too.

Marketers use display advertising to talk about their brand and get more people to visit their site. With these types of ads, they hope to get more leads or make more sales. To make sure the ads reach the right people, marketers pick who sees them based on things like age, online habits, or what content they look at most often.

Types of display ads (remarketing, personalized, contextually targeted, site-placed)

Display ads come in different types. Here are some examples:

  • Remarketing ads: These ads target people who have previously visited a website or shown interest in a product or service. Remarketing ads are a very effective strategy.
  • Personalized ads: These ads are tailored to specific individuals based on their demographics, interests, or browsing behavior.
  • Contextually targeted ads: These ads are shown on websites that have content related to the ad, ensuring that the message reaches the right audience.
  • Site-placed ads: These ads are placed directly on specific websites chosen by advertisers. This allows them to reach their desired audience more effectively.

Difference between display ads and native ads

Display ads and native ads are two different types of online advertising. Display ads are visual advertisements that appear on websites, social media channels, and mobile apps. They can be in the form of banner ads, images, videos, or text.

On the other hand, native ads blend in with the surrounding content and look like a natural part of the platform they’re placed on. Unlike display ads which are more eye-catching and attention-grabbing, native ads aim to provide a seamless user experience by matching the appearance and style of the platform they’re displayed on.

This subtle difference in presentation makes native ads less intrusive and more likely to be seen as helpful or informative rather than promotional.

Pros and Cons of Display Advertising

Display advertising offers various benefits such as increasing brand awareness, conveying messages quickly, and reaching customers at different stages of the buying journey. However, it also has drawbacks like audience dislike and low click-through rates.

Benefits of display ads (brand awareness, quick message conveyance, easy creation and placement, reaching customers at every funnel stage, good value for money)

Display ads have several benefits that can help businesses achieve their marketing goals. Some of the key advantages of using display advertising include:

  1. Brand awareness: Display ads can increase brand visibility and recognition by reaching a wide audience across various websites and digital platforms.
  2. Quick message conveyance: With visual elements and concise copy, display ads can quickly convey key messages to potential customers.
  3. Easy creation and placement: Marketers can easily create and place display ads without requiring extensive technical skills or resources.
  4. Reaching customers at every funnel stage: Display ads can target audiences at different stages of the marketing funnel, from awareness to consideration and conversion.
  5. Good value for money: Display advertising offers good value for money as it allows businesses to reach a large number of potential customers while optimizing their budget.

Drawbacks of display ads (audience dislike, minimal design, low click-through and conversion rates)

Display ads also have some drawbacks that marketers should be aware of:

  • Some audiences may dislike or ignore display ads, especially if they find them intrusive or irrelevant to their interests.
  • Display ads often have limited design options compared to other ad formats, which can limit creativity and visual appeal.
  • Click-through rates for display ads tend to be lower compared to other types of online advertising, meaning that fewer people click on the ad to learn more or make a purchase.
  • Conversion rates for display ads, which measure the percentage of people who complete a desired action after clicking on an ad, are typically lower as well. This means that even if someone clicks on a display ad, they may not follow through with a purchase or sign-up.

How to Measure Display Ad Performance

To measure display ad performance, businesses can track metrics such as impressions, reach, click-through rate, and conversion rate.

Metrics for measuring display ad performance (impressions, reach, click-through rate, conversion rate)

Display ads can be measured and evaluated using different metrics. These metrics help marketers understand how well their ads are performing and whether they’re achieving their goals. Here are some important metrics for measuring display ad performance:

  1. Impressions: The number of times your ad is shown to users.
  2. Reach The total number of unique users who see your ad.
  3. Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it. It indicates the effectiveness of your ad in generating interest.
  4. Conversion rate: The percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, after clicking on your ad.

Best practices for effective display ads

To create effective display ads, there are some best practices you should follow. First, make sure your ad has a clear and compelling headline that grabs the viewer’s attention. Use relevant visuals and colors that align with your brand identity.

Include a strong call to action (CTA) that encourages viewers to take the desired action, like clicking on the ad or making a purchase.

Additionally, optimize your ads for mobile devices since many people browse the internet on their smartphones. Test different ad formats and placements to see which ones perform best for your target audience.

It’s also important to continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your display ads using metrics like impressions, reach, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate.

Examples and Uses of Display Ads

Industries such as e-commerce, travel and hospitality, automotive, and retail can greatly benefit from display advertising by showcasing their products or services through visually appealing ads.

With the right creative strategies and techniques, display ads can effectively capture audience attention and drive traffic to websites or landing pages.

Industries and businesses that can benefit from display advertising

Display advertising can benefit various industries and businesses. Retail companies, such as e-commerce stores and brick-and-mortar shops, can use display ads to showcase their products and attract customers.

Travel and hospitality businesses can promote their vacation packages or hotel deals through visually appealing ads. Financial institutions, like banks or insurance companies, can utilize display advertising to build brand awareness among potential customers.

Additionally, educational institutions can leverage display ads to reach prospective students and highlight their programs or campus facilities. Overall, any business that wants to increase its online visibility and engage with a wider audience can benefit from display advertising strategies.

Creative strategies and techniques for display ads

Display ads can be highly effective when they are creative and strategically designed. One strategy is to use captivating visuals that grab the viewer’s attention and make them curious about the product or service being advertised.

Another technique is to create a clear and compelling call to action that encourages viewers to take immediate action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Additionally, using targeted messaging based on audience demographics or browsing behavior can help increase relevance and engagement with the ad.

Finally, it’s important to optimize the landing page where users are directed after clicking on the display ad in order to ensure a seamless user experience and maximize conversions.


In conclusion, display advertising is a form of online advertising where marketers use visual ads to promote their products or services. It includes banner ads, videos, images, and text placed on websites, social media channels, and mobile apps.

Display ads help increase brand awareness and drive website traffic while offering targeting capabilities and the ability to measure campaign performance. So next time you see those eye-catching visuals on websites or social media platforms, remember that they are display ads working to grab your attention!


1. What are display ads?

Display ads are visual advertisements that appear on websites, apps, or social media platforms in the form of banners, images, videos, or interactive content.

2. How do display ads work?

Display ads work by targeting specific audiences based on factors like demographics, interests, and online behavior. They are designed to attract attention and encourage users to click on them for more information or to take a desired action.

3. How effective are display ads?

The effectiveness of display ads can vary depending on various factors such as ad design, targeting strategies, and audience engagement. When implemented correctly, they can increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and generate conversions.

4. Are display ads the same as search engine ads?

No, display ads and search engine ads (such as those shown on Google) are different. Display ads focus on visually capturing the attention of users browsing websites or apps while search engine ads appear when someone searches for specific keywords related to an ad campaign.

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