Understanding Display Ads: The Best Ad Formats and Their Performance Metrics
In this article, we’ll explore what display ads are and delve into the best ad formats available, highlighting their demand, viewability, click-through rate (CTR), and overall performance. We will also suggest to the publishers which ads to use for the best revenue.
What are display ads?
Display ads are graphical advertisements that appear on websites, apps, or social media platforms. They can take various forms, such as banner ads, interstitial ads, native ads. These visual ads aim to attract users’ attention and promote products, services, or brands. We usually use the word display to distinguish these ads from video ads.
What are the typical ad formats for display advertising?
- Banner Ads: Banner ads are rectangular advertisements that are typically placed at the top, bottom, or sides of a webpage. They are one of the most common and recognizable ad formats. Banner ads offer various sizes and can contain static images, animated graphics, or even video content.
- Interstitial Ads: Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that appear between content transitions, such as when moving between web pages or app screens. These ads often provide immersive experiences, as they occupy the entire screen and demand users’ attention.
- Native Ads: Native ads blend seamlessly with the content of a website or app, matching the surrounding design and layout. They offer a non-disruptive user experience, making them more likely to be engaged with by users. Native ads can take the form of sponsored articles, product listings, or in-feed ads.
Understanding the performance factors
When evaluating the overall performance of display ads, it’s essential to consider the campaign goals and target audience. Banner ads are versatile and cost-effective, making them suitable for various campaign objectives. Interstitial ads, although more interruptive, can have a strong impact during content transitions. Native ads, with their seamless integration, tend to have higher user engagement and longer exposure.
Which are the performance factors that a publisher should consider?
The publishers must understand that the best the advertisers perform, the more they will be willing to pay to display ads on the publishers’ sites. For this reason the publisher should focus on the following points.
- Demand: place display ad units with the largest demand. 300×250, 728×90, 970×250, 300×600, 320×100 (mobile) are the most targeted pixel sizes from the advertisers. Connect as much demand as possible, using header bidding together with Google Ad Exchange and Amazon Advertising demand.
- Viewability and CTR: if the ads are not visible to the visitors or appearing in hidden places, the CPM will drop fast. Ensure that the ads are always visible and receive a good number of clicks (high click-through rate or CTR). For this reason best performing display ads are:
- Anchor ads: sticky ads which anchor to the page, covering part of the content, and usually have a closing button.
- Interstitial ads: full-screen ads that appear between content transitions. They have the highest CPM but they appear only once per session usually.
In conclusion display ads offer a range of formats to engage and attract users online. Each ad format has its own strengths, and their performance depends on factors such as demand, viewability, CTR. But publisher must understand that they have to work together with the advertisers. Publishers and advertisers are not opponent but this is a win-win game: the more the advertisers reach the client’s campaign goals, the more they will be able to allocate high spending demand on the website and the publisher’s revenue will increase. Display ad units in the best positions, use the formats with the highest demand, use header bidding and don’t cheat yourself (no ads overlaps, no hidden placements) 😉.