When you want to find new customers, what do you do? 10 years ago, you probably would have put an ad in the local paper, sent out some direct mail brochures or perhaps even tried knocking on doors.
Today, things have changed. A recent Digital Australia report from professional services firm Ernst & Young found Australians spend 10 hours and 24 minutes online each day. About 40% of those surveyed said they would rather conduct transactions online than by phone or face-to-face. What does this mean for you? You need to be where your customers are – online. The challenge is to stand out from the noise.
Start with website ads
Website ads – also known as digital display – are a form of online advertising. Next time you go to a large news website, keep an eye out. See the banner across the top of the page, or the ad in the sidebar? Those are website ads, and they give your business the opportunity to attract relevant customers to your products and services.
Website ads usually include a designed image or a photo and text, and they are displayed across websites, mobile apps and social platforms. When they catch a browser’s interest, they can click on your ad and will be taken to your website or chosen landing page. While there are some DIY options available, hiring professionals to help can help you optimise your budget and ensure your ads appear where your target customers will find them.
Why use website ads? Website ads can provide value to you in a number of ways:
- They drive more traffic to your website
- They drive sales of your products and services
- They can gather leads and subscribers
- They can increase brand awareness
Different types of website ads explained
Website ads come in many different sizes and serve different purposes.
- Leaderboard: A leaderboard (728 pixels wide × 90 pixels high) is placed above the fold or at the top of website pages. Keep in mind these ads perform very well because they appear above the main content.
- Half-page: A half page ad (300 pixels × 600 pixels high) is featured on the right or left hand side of a webpage. It offers a large section of space, in a portrait-style size, for promoting your brand messaging.
- Medium rectangle: A medium rectangle ad (300 pixels x 250 pixels) functions similarly to a half-page as, but is a smaller format. You will often find medium rectangles (referred to as MRECs) on the right-hand side of a webpage or embedded in emails.
- Large ads: Large ads (336 pixels x 280 pixels) are box-shaped ads embedded within or at the end of articles. Because they interrupt content, they have a very high chance of being seen by your customer. There is the risk, however, that your customer might be put off by that interruption.
- Wide skyscraper ad: A wide skyscraper ad (160 pixels x 600 pixels) is a tall, vertical ad that usually runs down the left or right side of a website. These ads shouldn’t be text heavy, as reading text vertically is unintuitive (for Western customers).
- Banner ads: Banner (468 pixels × 60 pixels) and half banner (234 pixels × 60 pixels) ads can fit into smaller ad spaces inside or to the left of articles where the leaderboard will not fit. Because of their smaller size, they aren't as effective as their larger counterparts, which demand more attention.
- Mobile ads: Mobile ads (320 pixels x 50 pixels) will give you the opportunity to target customers who browse on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Keep in mind this size will take up a large portion of the customer’s screen.
- Social ads: If your customers spend time on Facebook or Instagram, using social ads (254 pixels x 225 pixels) gives you the chance to display your digital ads and deliver your key messages in front of those relevant customers.
Once you’ve decided what ads you need, you can think about how many ads you want to appear on each page, as well as what text, background and colours you plan to use to grab your customers’ attention.