As a consumer, I spend more time searching the web for random information and trends rather than researching one specific product. Searching the web is usually my shopping time, so multiple browsers are always open as I jump from one Google search to the next. If you think about it, this is the usual behavior for most online searchers, and that’s why display advertising is so important. Display ads allow you to put your business in front of consumers where they spend the majority of their time – browsing online. Taking advantage of display advertising for your business is a must when it comes to reaching customers online and growing brand awareness.
Display Advertising Explained
Display ads are the visual advertisements usually on the sides or top of your web page that have some type of call to action. They appear on various websites listed on a consumer’s search engine results page (SERP), but not when a consumer is actively searching for it. For example, display ads on Google will appear on websites within the Google Display Network. These can include blogs, YouTube, Gmail, and any website a consumer clicks on from their Google search results. And display ads on other networks allow you to reach consumers on a host of other websites where they’re shopping, reading the news, and more.
Types of Display Ads
Display ads encompass a range of different ad types. Banner ads are simple, general awareness advertisements that you can implement to expose your brand and familiarize searchers with your business. If you have a specific message you want to send to a targeted audience, objective to grow your business, or just want to get your name in front of potential customers, utilizing banner ads is the way to go.
Have you ever been shopping online and then opened Instagram only to find an ad with all the products you added to your cart moments before? Or seen a banner ad with a pair of shoes you left in your cart? This type of display ad is known as retargeting, and it’s a great way to remind customers about your business (or the products they didn’t purchase!) once they leave your website.
Or what about receiving an ad on your phone from a nearby business when you’re out running errands? This type of display ad is known as geofencing, which allows you to target customers in specific locations on their smartphone through apps.
How it Works
So now that we know where display ads appear, let’s talk about how they work.
Display ads track a user’s behavior in order to know what type of ads to put in front of certain customers. Their main function is to drive clicks and conversions, so having a clear, simple, and strong call to action is important to drive customers to your site. For example, let’s say I’m searching the web and decide to browse on one of my favorite clothing sites only to be redirected to a competitor’s site by a display ad that says, “Semi-annual Sale.” This would be an effective display ad because it’s clear, short, and to the point. And let’s face it, who can ignore a good sale?
Along with a call to action, display ads should be visually eye-catching and link to an optimized landing page. Let’s say a consumer clicks on a display ad to start a free trial with a fitness studio. When the customer is directed to the website, relevant information such as how to sign up for the free trial, a phone number, and hours of operation should be easy to find. Remember, customers are clicking on your ad for one reason, so link them to a page that makes sense and encourages conversions.
Target Your Audience at Multiple Angles
Display advertising is a great way to get your business in front of consumers that are already on web pages, but what about hitting them at all angles of their path to making a purchase? Combining display advertising with other strategies like search marketing gives your business more of a chance of staying top of mind. When it comes to choosing advertising strategies for your marketing campaign, you want to take the right approach to staying relevant, so customers remember your business first when they are ready to make a purchase.