What is Display Advertising?

A Guide to Display Advertising

What is it?
Display advertising involves an advertiser paying for an advertising placement on third-party sites such as publishers or social networks.

Who uses it?
Merchants who want to deliver brand awareness and traffic to their site in order to increase sales.

Why is it useful to an organisation?

  • Display advertising normally happens on high traffic websites
  • Display advertising makes behavioural targeting possible according to the type of key phrase typed when a potential customer searches for information. A relevant ad can then be placed based on the keyword searched.
  • They help deliver brand awareness, familiarity, favourability and a purchase.
  • A display ad can be used to capture data such as an email address by interacting with the user.
  • They can target a specific audience, by being placed on relevant websites.


  • Low click through rates – users can find ads intrusive and ignore them.
  • Brands can potentially be damaged in the consumers mind if they are placed against unrelated or slightly controversial content.
  • Can be expensive if conversion data isn’t used correctly.

Top Tips

  • Because the objectives of a display ad campaign can differ from actually searching for your product, you need to view your results with the proper set of metrics.
  • Target Your Audience – Identifying the types of consumer you want to target with your ads will help you get the most out of your display advertising campaign.
  • Create compelling banner ads – A clean design with bold colours and fonts will make your ad stand out on a crowded web page.
  • Write an effective call to action – Consumers will see your ad briefly on a site, so it’s important to draw them in with a single, compelling call to action
  • Optimise your landing page – A landing page is an important factor in your display advertising campaign, since it provides necessary information that consumers need to convert into a lead.
  • Track Your leads – Tracking the activity you get from your banner ads helps you determine how effective your display advertising is at driving new sales leads.

Page Impression – Occurs when someone views a web page.
Ad Impression – Occurs when a person views an advertisement placed on the web page.
Reach – the number of unique individuals who view an advertisement.
CTR (Click Through Rate) – The percentage of user who have viewed the advertisement and have clicked on it.
Ad Serving – term used for displaying an advertisement on a website. Often the advertisement will be served from a web server different from the site on which it is placed.
CTA (Call To Action) – A banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel.

Key Sites/Blogs