The logic behind banner advertising and how it works

banner advertising
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This post is updated on 3rd March 2021

Banner advertising is known to be one of the most popular forms of advertising online.

It’s no news that most it is also the most effective way of adverting online among many other methods of advertising but how does it start and how can online advertisers and publishers benefit most from it?.

In this article, we are going to explain what is banner advertising, how it started, and how effective is banner advertising.

Historically, the first banner ad was created on October 27 in 1994 on Wired Magazine (then it was called

The message on the simple but innovative banner ad states “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will”. the aim was to send traffic to the AT&T website. Now that you know how it all started, let’s jump into it.

1. What is Banner Advertising?

The primary aim of banner advertising which is also known as display advertising is to direct potential customers to a website or a specific landing page.

Giving it visually and attractive, banner ads are usually used for promoting brands across different advertising platforms by simply sending traffic from the host website to the advertiser’s website or landing page.

Today anyone can start a banner advertising campaign through Google Adwords or Ad networks also called display network.

2. what is Banner Ad?

A Banner Ad is a web banner crafted by the advertiser and displayed on a website or a webpage that consists of an image (.jpg, .png, .gif) or of a multimedia object (usually created using Flash or HTML5).

Depending on the technology used in creating banner ads, it can be a static banner ad or an animated banner ad.

The static banner ad can be a simple image or a visual that is acting just like an ad but technically it takes you to the advertiser’s website or landing page of the advertisement once you click on it.

One of the most asked questions about banner ads is “What is an animated banner ad?” because of this, we decided to answer the question here as follows:

An animated banner ad (or web banner) is a type of digital advertising that is delivered by an ad server.

The aim is primarily similar to the static banner ad: to get noticed on the website and make the user click on it.

Also, you can call the animated ad a programmatically generated display or sequential visual that creates the illusion that the objects in the image are moving.

To learn more about banner ads, watch the video below.

3. How do Banner Ads work?

The logic behind banner ads is simply to direct traffic to the advertiser’s webpage, website, or landing page which result to more sales, brand awareness, conversions, lead generation, etc.

The most common function of banner ads is they must be clickable and send the visitor to the desired destination.

This brings us to the next question about banner ads which “why should I use banner Advertising?” the following lines give a brief explanation of why you should use banner advertising.

1. Brand awareness – it helps to give your brand the online and off-line exposure that helps grow your brand awareness so people can easily recognize your products and service which leads to more sales and possibly more profitable.

Big brands such as Amazon, IBM, Apple, Target, and Nike among so many others used banner ads to grow their business.

2. Lead generator – it allows you to build your customer list. As a stater, a banner ad can help you to get more users to signup and try your products or services and at the same time maintain a massive list of emails you can reach anytime when you have new products or services listed on your website.

3. Retarget your audience – by using tracking tools, you will be able to re-target visitors who came to your website and did not signup but show some interest.

For more information on how banner ads works and the best way to use them, watch the video below

4. Is banner advertising effective?

One great advantage of online advertising generally over traditional ones is that it is to measure its effectiveness in comparison to the money spent on it.

Regarding banner ads, the main effectiveness indicator for measuring banner ad campaigns is the click-through rate.

The click-through rate (CTR) is calculated simply by dividing the total number of users who clicked on the banner by the number of times the ad was shown to them (impressions).

For example, a marketer can say a particular ad unit has a click-through rate of 4% or 5%.

That means that out of 100 impressions delivered, the banner was clicked on four or five times respectively. Therefore, the higher the CTR is, the more effective we can say the advertisement is.

5. Standard banner sizes for advertising

I am sure you come across various kinds of banner sizes, which are designed to fit specific spaces on the publisher’s web pages.

This helps reduces the amount of work advertisers face when creating a lot of banner ads.

When you browse across the Internet it’s likely for you to encounter all kinds of banners in all kinds of sizes.

Lucky for us, there are some standards too, and their role is to reduce the amount of work for agencies when faced with the problem of creating many banners and similar sizes for different publishers.

And here is where the IAB standards come into play.
But we’ll talk more about ad standards in a future post.
Check the list below with the banner ad standard size:

Ad sizeNameWhere it’s featuredSupply
300×250Medium RectangleEmbedded within or at the end of articlesGood inventory
336×280Large RectangleEmbedded within or at the end of articlesGood inventory
728×90LeaderboardPlaced on top or in inserted in an articleGood inventory
300×600Half PageFeatured in the right or left-hand sideGrowing inventory
468×60BannerFeatured in small spaces inside or on the left in articlesLimited, declining inventory
234×60Half BannerFeatured in small spaces inside or on the left in articlesLimited, declining inventory
120×600SkyscraperFeatured in websites sidebarsLimited inventory
160×600Wide SkyscraperFeatured in websites sidebarsGood inventory
970×90Wide SkyscraperTop of website pagesLimited inventory
200×200Small SquareUsually featured in the right-hand sidebarLimited inventory
250×250SquareUsually featured in the right-hand sidebarLimited inventory

6. How to create a banner for advertising

Creating banners is no magic and does not require special skills. However, you need a bit of fast learning ability to watch a couple of videos on YouTube and you are good to go.

If you choose to use other automated resources online still fine, you will be able to use hundreds of free Canva banner templates Or still you can use the premium banner template on bannersnack.

The video below will teach you how to create banners using Photoshop

1. Who is your main target and what do you want from them? Before you design a banner ad you need to know who is your core audience and what you want from them.

You may want them to click on your website, or buy your limited sale product or try your service for free. Think about that!

2. What is your value proposition? This will help you write the text of your banner and also choose a good CTA button text.

3. Choose a Standard web banner ad size – Because the publishers are usually using the standard banner ad sizes on their websites. So, if you pick another size you limit the reach of your banner ad campaigns.

4. Use readable fonts – You want the user to understand what you want to offer and what he can get if he will click your banner ad.

5. Use high-quality photos – A very low-quality photo and image used in a banner ad can create mistrust between the brand and the user. 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them.

6. Use your brand colors – If you want to create professional banner ads and you want people to recognize your brand on the internet I recommend you to stay close to your brand color.

7. Don’t overcrowd your banner ad – The simpler the banner ad is the easier you can communicate the right message to your audience.

8. Don’t forget to use a branding element (logo, company name, or website) – It doesn’t matter how big you are in your industry, you need to use one of your branding elements to show the user that your company is behind that banner ad.

7. How do I advertise my banner?

Advertising your created banners is not difficult at all, there are a lot of platforms how there including Blogs that are relevant to your niche and also have a fair amount of traffic.

The most favorable banner advertising platform these days are Ad networks such as AdsTargets, Google Adwords, Yahoo and Bing Ads, and BuyAds among many others.

You can even use the link below to start banner adverting for a very cheap rate.

8. How to start effective banner advertising?

advertising generally requires some principles and knowledge for it to be effective advertising champagne, whether you are advertising using Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, AdsTargets.

You need to have a strategy on what you want to achieve with your Ad campaign, the great thing about banner ad campaign is the visual presentation of banner ads as it has the ability to use images and videos and can also allow the use of buttons, animations, colors and many more depending on the used technology.

so what are the most important things you must know before starting banner Ads.

1. What do you want to achieve from your campaign – think strategically about the product or service you are advertising and decide what you want your audience to know about it.

That’s the specific idea you can build your campaign on.

2. Determine your budget – Here you decide on how much you are willing to invest in your advertising campaign to get you the return on investment.
You may decide to spend $100 a day or $1000 a month to reach your specific target audience.

Since money is valuable, you need to scale your investment in advertising to get the best out of your campaigns.

3. Who is your audience – Understanding who your target audience is will help you create a better banner ad campaign? Knowing your target audience’s needs will help you design banners that will communicate the message in the best possible way to attract them.

You may decide to target your audience based on their location, age, gender, and interest depending on the products or services you are selling.


Banner adverting has earned created over the years for playing a strategic role in building most of the biggest brands we know today, for example, e-commerce giants like Amazon were one of the biggest spenders in the early days of Google advertising, Wall-Mart, Airbnb, Time Magazine and many others are a living testimony on how effective banner Ads could be.

Banner ads have proven to be one of the most effective forms of advertising since their invention. we hope you have learned a lot from this article.
Please let us know in the comment section what is your experience with banner advertising 🙂

Eugene Agoh

Eugene Agoh

Founder at AdsTargets | Online advertising expert | Search engine optimisation expert | Social media marketing expert.Eugene is a Passionate writer on topics relating to online advertising, branding and generally interested in creating digital marketing content. He is curious about the future of digital advertising.Follow Eugene on LinkedIn @ eugeneagoh

6 Responses

  1. Great article, just what I was looking for, all the necessary information about banner advertising and all an advertiser or a publisher need to know can be found there, thank you Eugene for sharing such great info.

  2. Fascinating and well explained article for banner advertising, it;s i learned a lot today about banner ads even far more than what i use to know. thanks for sharing this great insight

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