What are banner ads and how do they work?

Advertisements today are an extension of digital marketing. You can use ads to promote your business, brand, or service to potential customers. To do so, you need to create ads that target the audience you want to reach.

An ad is a visual representation of a message or offer. Commonly used in online advertising, banner ads have been around for decades. They’re one of the most common advertising formats on websites and search engines alike.

If you’re new to this space, check out these frequently asked questions about banner ads:

What are banner ads?

A banner ad is an advertisement that appears on a website or in a search engine’s search results. For example, if you visit Expedia’s travel site, you may see a banner ad on their homepage. This ad is an ad unit—a single frame of an ad—placed on a webpage.

Banner ads are probably the oldest type of online ads. These ads are usually rectangular in shape and are usually around 160 x 240 pixels. They also usually have a fixed position, meaning there is no way for you to scroll past them.

As a result, you may see many of these ads on many websites and search engine results pages.

How do banner ads work?

Banner ads allow you to place an ad on websites and search engine results pages. This means that these ads appear on pages across the internet, on apps and other websites. When a person visits the page where your banner ad is displayed, the ad will automatically be downloaded to his/her device.

Depending on the browser used, this will occur when the person clicks on the ad. This will prompt the device to download the ad and display it at the same time. Although the download happens as soon as the person visits your site, it’s common for many people to not notice it. That’s because many people are used to seeing ads or even don’t notice them when they’re in a hurry or distracted.

Why use banner ads?

Banner ads are a great method of advertising because they are very easy to create, they can be placed on many different websites, and they are displayed on many devices. These types of advertising are great for reaching an audience across many devices and websites. That’s because you don’t have to create a single ad that is viewable by anyone. Instead, you can create a series of ads that are viewable only by people who have the device that downloads the ad.

This means that you can reach a much wider audience than if you used other types of digital advertising. Banner ads may also be useful for increasing website traffic. They may help drive people to your site via search engine results and increase your online traffic.

Advantages of using Banner Ads

Easily trackable - You can track how many people have viewed your banner ad and where they came from. This can help you improve your campaigns in the future.

Wide reach - You can place your ads on many different websites and apps. This means that you’ll be able to reach a lot of different people and increase the likelihood that they’ll become customers.

Rich media - Most ad networks allow you to include images, videos, audio, and clickable links in your banner ads. This makes your ads more engaging and likely to be viewed.

Offer value - Banner ads are likely to have a higher price than other forms of digital advertising. That’s because you’re paying for the attention of your ad’s audience, rather than for a specific amount of time.

Disadvantages of using Banner Ads

  • Ineffective - If your banner ads are not effective, no one will see them and they won’t lead to any sales.
  • No control - If you don’t like the ad networks or ad providers you use, you can’t easily change this. There is no way for you to choose the ad networks that you want to use.
  • Limited targeting - Banner ads are usually not as targeted as other types of digital advertising. That is, you can’t use a lot of targeting options to find the exact audience you want to reach.

Tips for creating effective banners ads

  • Keep it simple. Simple ads are easier to create, create a better impression on visitors, and are more likely to be clicked.
  • Use images. Most ad networks allow you to include images in your banner ads. This makes your ads more engaging and likely to be viewed.
  • Keep it short. Most people scroll past long ads, so keep them short and sweet. The typical human attention span is only around two seconds.
  • Optimize your design. The design of your banner ad affects how much people see it. That is, your design affects the size and position of your ad.
  • Test. Test your ads as much as possible. This will help you find out what ads are working and what needs improvement.
  • Don’t give up. Ad networks and ad providers come and go. If your first ad campaigns don’t work, don’t give up!


In this digital world, digital marketing is a necessary strategy to achieve business goals. And among the many types of digital marketing strategies, there is no doubt that banner ads are one of the most effective.

Banner ads are easy to create, deliver, and track. They also let you reach a wide audience on numerous devices, which means that you’ll be able to easily drive more traffic to your site.

These are just some of the many benefits that come with using banner ads. And with so many people searching online and visiting websites each day, it’s important that your business gets seen.

Cathleen Wheeley
Cathleen Wheeley

Friendly zombie aficionado. Certified social mediaholic. Evil travel ninja. Infuriatingly humble coffeeaholic. Pop culture expert.