These are NOT just Ads.
These are examples of good Display Ads.
Display Ads are the second-largest advertising medium worldwide in terms of global ad spend, second only to TV advertising. Hosting display ads on your website is one of the best ways to earn more revenue using your existing website visitors. Display Ads consist of visuals such as images, videos, or text on a network of publishers' sites just like yours.
One major benefit of display advertising is that it increases brand awareness for advertisers. It has a wide reach across platforms and devices and provides contextual targeting options. This is perhaps why display ads are preferred by advertisers to promote their products or services. In return, whenever a visitor on your website clicks on these ads, it leads them straight to the advertiser’s landing page.
For publishers who get a constant flow of website visitors, who want to sell their ad space and earn revenue from website visits, knowing what display ads are, how to host display ads on your website, and some of the best display ads best practices is essential.
So the most obvious reason for publishers to host display ads is to monetize their website and earn revenue from advertising. Publishers can get paid for impressions(CPM), clicks(PPC), or every acquisition(CPA), according to the campaign they choose. Optimally, you should use a mix of different campaigns depending on your audience type and size.
Let’s first understand the various types of display ads available.
1. Banner Ads- They generally appear on top or bottom of the screen in a banner format. They are images with text to attract maximum clicks.
2. Interstitial Ads- These appear between two web pages after you click on a hyperlink. On closing the ad, you are taken to the original webpage you were supposed to be on. They are mostly used to advertise on mobile devices.
Rich Media Ad: Image Source
3. Rich Media Ads- As the name suggests, they can be of various types including images, videos, texts, forms, and other clickable elements, making them highly attractive.
4. Native Ads- These are subtle and highly contextual ads that blend with the overall content of the website. Because of this, you might sometimes notice that some ads are hard to identify and are often accompanied by the terms ‘sponsored’ or ‘powered by’.
5. Video Ads- Video ads are known to perform 18.4% better than static banner ads in click-through rate. With an increased consumer attention span on mobile, video has become one of the most preferred forms of display advertising.
Display Ads Best Practices You Need To Know
1. Mobile Optimization and Responsiveness
Many online publishers would agree that a display ad has a better cadence for mobile users. By 2023, mobile ad spending could hit $156.38 billion. Hence, it is imperative to study your audiences’ behavior- whether they are more active on desktop or on mobile. If it’s the latter, you should host display ads that are highly optimized for mobile.
Responsive ads for mobile should include good quality images. For best results, you should avoid hosting ads with images that are blurry, skewed, upside-down, unclear, include a border, color-inverted, or excessively filtered.
Ads should contain a proper logo of the advertiser’s brand along with a headline or descriptive text.
Moreover, ad formats like interstitial and video are more suitable for mobile ads as compared to simple banner ads.
However, if most of your website traffic comes from desktops then you need not focus too much on mobile advertising. But don’t hesitate to use the same best practices for mobile display ads.
2. Having a Proper CTA
A call-to-action basically convinces the interested visitor to click on the ad which takes them to the landing page where they are enticed to take actions like subscribe to a newsletter, install an app/ game, buy a product or service, etc. A Hubspot survey reported that personalized CTAs convert 42% more visitors into leads than untargeted CTAs. Hence, make sure that the advertisements that you are hosting have clear and targeted CTAs that help you maximize your revenue through maximum clicks.
3. Measure Results
Measuring the number of clicks, or checking the conversion rate from time to time will give you a fair idea of what’s working for your website visitors. You can use this data to further optimize your ad campaigns as a publisher. You can easily access the analytics on the dashboard if you’re using an ad network. More number of clicks means that your visitors are interested in the ads they see. This happens mostly in cases where publishers host highly contextual ads.
For example- if you are an online sports magazine, hosting ads related to sports equipment makes much more sense than random advertisements with no connection to your website’s theme.
4. Choose the Right Ad Network(s)
Choosing the right ad network as a publisher can make a big difference in your ad revenues. Knowing your audience’s demographics, age, income, interests, etc. can help you make the right decision. These are some factors that you should consider while choosing the ad network that fits your requirements-
- Minimum website traffic requirements set by the ad network
- The ad formats they offer
- Their CPM/ CPC rates
- Additional features like contextual targeting, direct header bidding, etc.
- Minimum payout and payment methods
5. Mix Different Ad Formats
By mixing and experimenting with different ad formats on your websites like banners, video ads, displays, and text that go according to your website’s theme, you can provide an enriching user experience. Also, native ads are a great way to advertise without the visitor realizing that it’s actually an advertisement.
Here’s an example of a native ad. If you look closely, among a collection of blogs, Entrepreneur, a famous business magazine, has displayed sponsored content. Most users overlook such ads. This is the magic of native advertising.
The key is to keep a check on what your website data is saying and implement multiple ad formats to obtain a maximum number of clicks without disrupting the user experience.
Bonus Tip: While displaying multiple ads, Auto refreshes are a useful technique for publishers with a good quality audience to get more ad impressions and hence earn more revenue. How does it work? Let’s say that a publisher with three ads on a page with a time-based auto-refresh of two minutes will have six impressions served to each user spending more than two minutes on the page.
6. Place your Ad Strategically
Banner ads are usually ignored when they lie on top of the screen or on places where the user expects ads to be present on your website. This phenomenon is called Banner Blindness. Image source
To tackle this, use a minimum number of ads instead of bombarding the visitor with ads as this might demotivate them to come back to your website. Use your ad space diligently and make sure the ads you are hosting are content-relevant. You can also try experimenting with various ad positions and observe the CTR you get for your ad placements in different areas on the screen.
Sticky ads are a great way to hold the user’s attention as they have an increased viewability without being intrusive. According to Publift, for mobile, horizontal ads on the top or bottom of the page perform best, whereas, for desktop, vertical ad placements on the left or right of the screen provide the best results. Ideally, sticky ads’ height should be less than 250px and the ads must take up less than 25% of the screen at any time.
Sticky ads - Source
One best display ad practice for mobile is to strategically place your ads so that they do not disrupt the user experience. Placing banner ads on top or bottom of the mobile screen is a common practice and does not negatively impact the user experience.
It is essential and advisable to A/B test your ad placement and constantly measure results to provide a positively optimized experience to your visitors.
We can conclude that constant analysis and optimization is the key to successful display ad campaigns for publishers. You need to figure out what fits your audience’s interests in the best manner. But the above display ads best practices can definitely help you understand the reasons behind making display ad campaigns successful.
Display ads best practices can help publishers generate better results, improve their overall performance, and are a great source of revenue for them.