Google Display Ads
10 min read

Web banner ads give you the edge in online marketing that you need to stay ahead of the competition.

Way back when the Internet was young “banner ads” were rare. Those strips of text and visuals that encouraged you to “click here.” The first ever banner ad was an AT&T ad in 1994 and it cost them over US$30,000 to run. Printing out the data and highlighting it is how they tracked the clicks. We’ve come a long way since then. Now 25 years later online Display Ads are an over $13 billion business in the US. Most of that belongs to Google. Best of all, you can now track and manage the interactions by the user. This helps determine the effectiveness and success of the creative.

How do banner ads differ from search ads?

The key difference is appealing branding. A picture is a thousand words. Rather than describe your product or service, you can show them. The new car, the awesome shoe, the happy family consuming the product. Its selling the sizzle and not the steak. A search ad can help people get information about your brand. Banner ads or display ads converts them by showing them, not telling them.

Why use banner ads at all?

They appear on websites that interest your target. So while scrolling they may come upon a piece of creative that attracts their attention. The ad is specifically targeted to them since they are already there consuming content. So half the battle has already been won. This is not a system where you place an ad and “hope for the best” there is real data and science behind how the ad is delivered. With data and creativity you can be sure that you are positioned correctly to convert a customer.

Hard data backs this up. This isn’t “gut feelings” or “theory”. Its proven. Take a look at some of these stats:

  • Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network. (comScore)
  • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
  • Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand- and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media)

A medium rectangle banner ad (300px x 250px) is seen by over 40% of your audience and the click throughs are generally 1%. So for every 1,000 times the website shows an ad 10 people click it. That’s a large number. Especially if the website like a news site or current events website has tens of thousands of visitors. You can see the potential of Banner Ads in your marketing silo.

The original AT&T ad cost them $30k in the days of the nascent web. Now banner ads in the Google Display Network are much cheaper. Here are some interesting stats for you to consider:

  • The average cost per click of an ad on the Display Network is under $0.58. It costs you less to get a click than ever before.
  • The average cost of an advertisement on Google Ads (AdWords) is $2.32 per click on the search network. Compare that to the average cost per click of an online Facebook ad which is $1.72.
  • To serve up an ad on Facebook will cost you $10 and the typical CPM (cost for impression) for an Instagram ad is closer to $5.

Its cheaper in the long run to run banner ads on the Google Display Network. Its also within your best interest to consider the Google ad network. They have a longer reach and more websites in its inventory than Facebook. Facebook and Instagram are good for specific strategies and audiences. But to get your message out there, banner ads are the way to go.

The first and most obvious benefit of the Google display network is its reach. With over 2 million websites in their display network, this greatly increases the exposure and reach of your adverts.

Neil Andrew – Is the Google Display Network Worth It For Your PPC Campaigns?

Display ads and landing pages: A winning combination

The original AT&T ad sent you to a page with useful links. Don’t forget Google search and even Yahoo didn’t exist at that time. Giving users “something” back was always the goal. This idea still holds true. I discussed this in an another article about landing pages. You must always “give back” as “payment” for the click. This can be in the form of a free download or even coupon code.

But to stand out in the crowded marketplace you need to first draw the attention of the user. A hard sell would work but not for long. What you need is a more creative approach to standing out from the competition. Advertisers who do this for a living know the trick of the trade. You can word your banner ad to speak to the benefits.

A note on Graphics & Messaging

Don’t use traditional press ads for your Google Display Web Banner Ads. You do not have the space nor the time to catch the audience in a display ad. Using the same techniques from traditional media is putting a square peg in a round hole. The strategy must always be digital first. Your goal in Google Display Banner Ads are to get conversions. Sign ups and downloads. Some sort of data capture. Things that you do not get from a traditional piece. Think about it. When was the last time someone called you first answering a traditional press ad? I am pretty sure they message you on WhatsApp or Facebook before you get a call.

The more engaging the ad, the better the clicks. The more people you can bring down the funnel to buy. There are three things that you need to run a successful Google Display ad campaign:

  1. A clear message about your product or brand.
    This cannot be overstated. Remove any extraneous info from your ad. This includes phone numbers, social media links and “disclaimers”. You want to get to heart of the matter. This is the offer, this is the call to action.
  2. Striking Visuals.
    If you can use more personalised target visuals for your target market even better. Visuals that have an emotional hook attracts attention. Appetite appeal also works. Make the viewer want what you’re offering.
  3. A clear call to action and distinctive button to encourage clicks.
    As an internet user for the last 30 years, most of us know a visual cue of a “button”. We know, instinctively what a “button” is. If it doesn’t look like a button then you won’t click it. So why ask your potential customers to go hunting, or searching for a button to click? A clear clickable area with a call to action is necessary in banner ads to convert to customers.

Some Display Ads I have done:

Image Carousel effect 300×250

Before & After Slider 300×250 pixels

Image Carousel effect 728×90

Terra Caribbean 300×250

Terra Caribbean Search-Find 300×250

Terra Caribbean 728×90

Terra Caribbean Search-Find 728×90

Types of Web Banner ads.

The most popular sizes are:

Size in PixelsDescription
300 x 250Medium rectangle
336 x 280Large rectangle
728 x 90Leaderboard
300 x 600Half page or large skyscraper
320 x 50Mobile leaderboard

All banner ads need to be less than 150k. That means it’s important to be clear with the messaging and visuals. Building responsive ads that can also appear in other sized formats is necessary. With the Google Ad Network this done by default. Responsive animated ads with interactive elements help capture your audience. In short a well designed, well formatted ad is what you need to get above the competition.

How much do these cost?

Very little. You can do it yourself using a template, knowing everyone else has used the same boring template. Or you can create a custom built ad that communicates exactly what you want to say. For $US200 for two banner ads in the sizes listed above. This includes adding animations and making them Google Display Ad complaint. I’ll even throw in a third for free that you can use at no extra cost. I write the copy and the call to actions, you supply the imagery and the branding.*

Banner Ads on the Google Ad Network works

The more engaging the ad the better the clicks. Display Ads can boost the performance of your campaign. It increases your ROAS (Return On Advertising Spend). Engaging ads guarantee click throughs and conversions. The use of call to actions that entice the user and animations to wow them, will ensure you get clicks. Google Display ads use a variety of tech to ensure engagement. There are image carousels and parallax scrolling effects. They can use simple 3D elements and even video in an expandable format. So stop creating uninteresting ads. Get in touch today and let’s create some awesome effective Google Display Banner Ads.

If you’d like to know more about what Google Display ads can do for you check out this link.

If you are interested in doing some more interactive type web banners. Get in touch by filling out the form below.

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*special conditions apply, cost for 3 banner ads design and execution, changes and revisions not included. Get in touch for more details.