What Are Display Ads?

Display ads are the digital replacement for newspaper ads… Reach the audience you want, when you want, and often with the budget that you want.

Display ads are the digital replacement for newspaper ads, they are a form of Pay Per Click advertising where your ad will display over a variety of places throughout the internet and you only pay for what gets clicked on. You know those boxes on websites, search engines and social media that are obviously advertising? This is how its done.

You can choose what sort of demographic will see you ad as well as the times and places they see it. You can target demographics by age, gender, interests, location, and a wide host of other options. You can have your ad appear from Facebook to CNN to niche blog sites to the ad locations in search engines. The width and breadth of your reach greatly increases when using display ads.

The downside to using display ads is that many people have trained themselves to ignore ads which means they will display many times but have a low click-through rate. This is both good and bad though as you do not pay for impressions, only clicks, and every time someone sees your ad it reinforces your brand in their mind.

The most effective display ads are visually stimulating yet simple with a clear message that links up to a landing page specifically designed to usher the prospective client into a sales funnel. It is also important to know the line between being stimulating and being annoying as prospective clients will overlook unremarkable ads and get frustrated by intrusive ads. Other best practices include staying on top of ‘Real-Time Bidding’ to make sure that your ads are chosen to display more often and to ‘remarket’ your ads to prospective clients that have shown an interest in you. Ever notice how ads follow you throughout the internet? You visit a few sites on camping and now everywhere you go you see hiking boots for sale? This is how it’s done, and you can do it too.

How is ROI measured?

There are many tools to assist in finding your return on investment for display marketing. Display marketing platforms keep track of how many times each of your ads was displayed (impressions) how many clicks it received and how many conversions came through those ads. It becomes a simple equation of ROI = (return – cost) / cost.

Effective display ads can have a high ROI despite the lower click through rate as you only pay for clicks, not impressions.

Who benefits from Display Advertising

Display ads are extremely useful for the initial step in the Buyer’s Journey, (seeing). Display ads will get your name and brand in front of your chosen demographic wherever they roam online giving you lots of exposure. If you employ ‘remarketing’ then your ads will ‘follow’ people who have shown an interest in your product / service so that when they do reach the point where they are ready to take action you will be on their mind.

Businesses that want lots of exposure or to just get their name out there will benefit the most from display ads.

Image Source: www.Kaushik.net


  • Gives you immediate exposure
  • Ability to ‘remarket’ to clients that have already visited your website
  • Target the specific demographics that matter most to your business
  • Extremely customizable to your unique business needs
  • Display ads for free, only pay when your ad gets clicked
  • Can access comprehensive analytics in real time


  • Display ads tend to have a low click through rate
  • Ad blocker apps will hide your ad from users


“A Beginner’s Guide to Display Advertising” ClickZ: Marketing Technology Transformation
“A Beginner’s Guide to Display Advertising” ThriveHive
“7 Tips to Master the Google Display Network” WordStream
“Do Display Ads Work? How Should You Use AdWords?” Rosh Sillars
“Display Advertizing for Small Businesses” Blue Corona


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