What are Display Ads and how to turn them into conversions

In the not so distant past advertising was a much more diversified endeavor. You had television, newspapers, billboards, radio, etc. all in a somewhat equal measure. Now, most of these methods simply don’t have the reach they once had and are therefore simply obsolete. A majority of advertising has moved to the web, and it’s just a matter of time when you’ll start showing ads on your blog.

With the advent of smartphones and accessible, fast internet, we’re online easier than ever before. Sometimes it’s targeted, but other times it’s just browsing. These “aimless” visits to the world wide web are the ones specifically targeted by modern marketing strategies. One of these is display advertising which will be the focus of the article. So, let’s see what it is, what it does, and most importantly, how you can turn it into conversions.

What is display advertising?

As we’ve already mentioned, display advertising is a marketing method/strategy used to attract potential visitors and turn them into customers. In essence, it’s a call to action that entices the target audience to follow the provided link. There’s no limit to where they can be used, it can be websites, blogs, social media platforms, nothing is off-limits, with the ultimate goal of generating leads and sales from your blog.

Display ads

In the beginning, these ads were text-based, but because of the highly competitive market, nowadays they’re usually animated or shown as video clips to diversify themselves from the competition. Once the ad is clicked on, the visitor is taken to a landing page where the action can be performed (a purchase, or subscription for example). Most of the time targeting campaigns are charged on a per-click basis, so you’ll need to crunch the numbers and see if it’s profitable from your end. Figure in the potential number of clicks with their cost and compare it to the potential gain per customer before diving headfirst into the process.

Alternatively, these same methods can be used to bring back people who have visited your site(s) before. You’re looking to “retarget” them into coming back and taking the same action. Let’s say you have a sale on shirts and someone makes an order. You’d want to target that person again when you’re having a sale on other types of clothing like pants, socks, sneakers, etc. If they were satisfied with the first time around, there’s a high chance they’ll come again, building up your repeat business numbers, which are essential for success.

Types of display ads

  1. Banner ads – coming to you directly from the past, the banner ads got their name from, you’ve guessed it, physical banners. They usually appear on top of sites but can also be found in vertical alignment on either the left or right side of the page. In most cases, they’re of a simple design, but with enough colors to make them stand out.
  2. Interstitial Ads – these types of ads appear before you get to the site you’re looking for. It can be a full-page redirect or an overlay on top of the page you’re looking for. People tend to mistake them for pop-ups, and while they do share some similarities, they’re different things altogether.
  3. Rich media ads – when we’re talking about format rich media ads can be presented as the aforementioned banner or interstitial ads. The thing that defines them is the content. Namely, in rich media ads, you’re presented with fields where you can immediately input data without ever being redirected to another page. Think of registration forms where you insert your name and email to sign up in order to participate in a giveaway for example.
  4. Video ads – the name says it all. Video ads are gaining popularity at an exponential rate. You’re offered short clips that try to entice you into trying a product/service etc. Promo videos on YouTube, before the actual video starts, are the most prominent example of video ads, even though they aren’t the only ones.

Display advertising and conversion rates – the connection

Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on what you can expect from display advertising it’s finally time to dig into how it relates to conversions since this is what you want. It doesn’t matter how many people come to page, if they’re only going to pass by and thus keep the conversion rate low.

Well, there are several reasons why display ads can have a beneficial effect on your conversion rates. First of all, they’re highly adaptable, as we’ve seen with the four main types. Adaptability means that you can mold them for specific purposes, and specialized campaigns are always more fruitful than general campaigns. Furthermore, if you’re using Google Ads, and chances are you will be, there’s a host of features you won’t get elsewhere. You’ll be able to reach more people since everyone uses Google nowadays. Not only will you be able to reach them, but with the platform’s help, you’ll get to target specific demographics, locations, age groups, etc., and like we’ve said targeted campaigns have proven to be more successful. Finally, all the data Google collects is also at your fingertips. With Google Analytics, everything can be measured and eventually boiled down to quantifiable numbers, that can then be used for anything you need.

Since no method is perfect, the same goes for display ads. If your conversion rate is suffering despite all the features display ads bring its time to check a few things on your end. A low conversion rate could mean low-quality traffic. Maybe your targeting parameters need tweaking or your approach needs updating, either way, go back to the numbers and try to implement a new campaign strategy based on them. One other thing worth considering in case you have lower conversion rates is the landing page. Adds are just the first step that gets potential customers to your door, the page they’ve been brought has to seal the deal – maybe alternate designs or functions are in order after all.


Conversion rates are the true measure of a well-run business. Any steps you take before are wasted if you can’t close the deal. However, you do need to get potential customers to the proverbial doorstep and display ads have proven to be one of the statistically most efficient methods. Be sure to use them and see the positive changes to your business as well.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top