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Display Advertising Best Practices

Digital Marketing28 May 2024

Effective display advertising not only boosts brand visibility but also enhances user engagement and conversion rates. At FirstPage Marketing, we understand the nuances of crafting compelling advertisements that capture attention and deliver results. This article explores display advertising best practices that can help elevate your campaigns and ensure they resonate with your target audience.

Understand Your Audience

Before creating display advertisements, it is important to first understand your audience. Who are they? What are their interests? What problems do they need to solve? By answering these questions, you can tailor your ads to speak directly to the needs and desires of your audience, making them more relevant and appealing. Make sure to utilize analytics tools to segment your audience and gather insights into their behaviour and preferences.

Design for Impact

The visual impact of your ads plays a crucial role in attracting viewer attention. Use high-quality images and a cohesive colour scheme that aligns with your brand identity. Ensure that your advertisements are not only aesthetically pleasing but also easy to read and understand. Clever use of space, eye-catching fonts, and a clear call-to-action (CTA) can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your display ads.

Banner Sizes and Formats

Selecting the most effective display ad formats is essential for maximizing the impact of your advertising efforts. The format you choose should align with your campaign goals and target audience. Some of the best display ad formats, along with their optimal dimensions, include:

  • Banner Ads: Commonly used across websites, these ads offer flexibility in design and placement. Standard dimensions include 728×90 pixels (leaderboard), 300×250 pixels (medium rectangle), and 160×600 pixels (wide skyscraper).
  • Interactive Ads or Rich Media Ads: These include dynamic elements like video, audio, or other interactive features to engage users more deeply. Dimensions can vary widely, depending on the complexity of the content.
  • Leaderboard Ads: Positioned typically at the top of web pages, these ads are great for capturing immediate attention. The best dimension for leaderboard ads is 728×90 pixels.
  • Skyscraper Ads: Located along website sidebars, they are ideal for delivering detailed messages without interrupting the user’s viewing experience. Common dimensions are 160×600 pixels.
  • Native Ads: Designed to blend in with the website’s content, these ads aim to enhance the user experience by mimicking the look and feel of natural content. Dimensions are not fixed and should complement the layout of the hosting page.

What Not to Put into Display Ads

When crafting display ads, it’s crucial to not only focus on what to include but also on what should be avoided to maintain compliance and effectiveness. Here is a list of advanced tips on what you should not put in display ads:

  • Avoid Misleading Content: Ensure your ads accurately reflect the product or service offered. Misleading content, such as promising results that are not typical or exaggerating features, can lead to consumer distrust and legal issues.
  • Steer Clear of Excessive Animation: While animations can grab attention, overly flashy or rapid animations can be distracting or even annoying to viewers. Keep animations subtle and ensure they don’t detract from the main message.
  • Limit the Use of Text: Display ads with too much text can appear cluttered and may fail to engage users. The recommended text coverage is usually no more than 20% of the ad’s overall space. Make sure the text you use is clear and to the point.
  • Be Cautious with Sound: Automatically playing sound can be intrusive and lead to negative user experiences. If using audio, consider setting it to play on user interaction, like a click, rather than autoplaying.
  • Avoid Overuse of Capitalization: Using all caps can make ads look aggressive and spammy. Use capitalization sparingly to emphasise key points without overwhelming the viewer.
  • Comply with Brand Guidelines: Always adhere to the brand guidelines of the platform you are advertising on. Non-compliance can result in ads being rejected or pulled down after they are live.
  • No Intrusive Pop-Ups: Avoid formats that mimic pop-up behaviour, which can interrupt the user experience and lead to high bounce rates and poor ad performance.
  • Refrain from Sensitive Content: Stay clear of imagery or text that involves politics, religious fervour, or other sensitive topics unless they are directly relevant to your brand and handled with care.

Optimize for Devices

With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, it’s essential to ensure that your display ads are optimized for all devices. This includes making sure that ads load quickly and look good on different screen sizes and resolutions.

Leverage Targeting Techniques

Leverage advanced targeting techniques to maximize the impact of your display advertising. These techniques include contextual targeting, where ads are displayed based on the content of the website, and behavioural targeting, which serves ads to users based on their past online behaviour.

Monitor and Adjust

Finally, the key to successful display advertising is continuous monitoring and adjustment. Regularly review the performance of your ads in terms of click-through rates, engagement levels, and conversions. Make sure to also use A/B testing to try different designs and messages to see what works best. Be prepared to tweak your campaigns in response to analytics data to optimize performance continually.

If you are overwhelmed with display ads and want to run a successful campaign, you should turn to the pros. At FirstPage Marketing, we can set up, run, monitor, and optimize your display campaigns for you. Get in touch with us by filling out our online contact form to get started on creating the ideal display ads for your wants and needs.

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