What is a Banner Ad?

A Banner Ad, also known as a display ad, uses either a fixed or moving image to motivate users to click onto another website. The goal is to promote a brand’s products or services. The image can be either a .jpg, .png or a .gif. It all depends on the intention of the advertiser or web developer on whether to use one technology over another. Banner ads appear across all platforms.

How Does a Banner Ad Work?

  1. It is visual

    A banner ad works best when it displays a compelling or even funny image. The image can be fixed or moving in some way, as in animation. Some banner ads use a brand’s colors to grab attention. But all banner ads want to motivate users to click the link in the ad in order to drive traffic to a different site. Once there, the user is exposed to new products or made aware of the brand in some other way. By increasing brand awareness, banner ads can generate leads that will, hopefully, turn into conversions.

  2. It has clickable content

    All banner ads have one thing in common. They need users to click somewhere on the ad to get to the website with all the information on the goods and services. Sometimes the content can be a mini-game that engages users to click. Other times, the photograph on the ad uses an iconic image that works off emotionality.

  3. It appears on high traffic websites

    Most banner ads drive traffic from websites that display attention-grabbing, creative content. These sites tend to be high traffic websites, as well. On these kinds of websites, it is important that the advertiser designs a banner ad with polished, high caliber imagery and fonts that are easy to read. It should also be easy for users to find the clickable content on the banner. Overcrowding a banner with distracting or irritating content can work against the advertiser and their brand.

Why a Banner Ad Matters

  1. It helps advertisers to know their audience

    An ad designer needs to have an idea of who they are targeting with their ad. More than that, the designer or advertiser should know in advance what they want the user to do after they click on the banner. The offer, if there is one, should be clear in the text. By understanding the audience, the banner ad functions more effectively. It’s not another form of online clutter.

  2. It measures effectiveness

    When a user clicks on a banner ad, the advertiser can measure how effective the ad is. The Click Through Rate (CTR) can actually indicate how well the banner is driving traffic. For example, if 100 users view a banner ad and four users click on it; the click through rate is 4%. Knowing this metric can help advertisers grow their business.

  3. It is easy to create

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to create a banner ad. The most basic items you need are your computer and a good internet connection. But make sure you understand the kinds of images that will encourage your users to take the action.