7 Best Practices for Display Ad Success

With so many different marketing and advertising methods, it’s not always easy to know which ones to pursue. And if you’re like many businesses, your lack of past results has led you to swear off display ads. But it could be too soon to throw in the proverbial towel. 

Using the following tips and best practices, we believe you can significantly increase your return from display ads in 2020 and beyond:

Choose the Right Types of Display Ads

There are numerous types of display ads. You can use banner ads, sidebar ads, video ads, text ads, etc. And as you can guess, different ads serve different purposes. Make sure you’re carefully considering your goals so you make smart decisions that produce healthy and robust ROI.

On a related note, it’s a good idea to design for mobile first these days. While your desktop ads are beautiful, they don’t always resonate when viewed on mobile. (And it’s far more likely that they will be viewed on mobile.)

Set Your Targeting Options

The right targeting will ensure your ads get seen by the people who are most likely to click and convert. Retargeting is one of the best tactics you can use.

Ad retargeting works by directly targeting display ads to individual users who have already been to your website (but who have not converted). These ads typically come with much greater conversion rates, though it can take repeated exposure.

Choose Compelling Design and Copy

Every little detail of your display ad matters, including the color choices. Your brand’s colors will certainly come into play, but it’s also helpful to consider color psychology and make selections that will resonate with your audience.

Yellow, for example, is seen as youthful and optimistic. It’s a great option for grabbing attention. Blue, on the other hand, is all about safety, trust, and security. It’s a solid choice when you’re trying to establish authority. Black is sleek and luxurious. You get the idea; every color has a psychological association. Make sure you respect the connections.

Hire the Right Partners

Here’s the thing: You probably don’t have time to study and master display advertising. That’s not your business. You sell investments, leadership courses, sporting goods, or jewelry – and that’s where your focus should be. If you find it difficult to grasp the concepts we’re discussing, or if you simply don’t have the time to execute, you could benefit from outsourcing to a display ad expert. (Not only will it save time, but it also tends to produce a higher ROI.)


The longer you study display ads and different advertising strategies and tactics, the noisier it gets. One person tells you to use this tactic, while another expert tells you to do the exact opposite. The problem is there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. And if you listen to everyone, you’ll end up with complicated display ads that are ineffective and low returning.

The old KISS acronym (Keep It Simple, Stupid) certainly applies here. Messaging, imagery, and the CTA should all be as clear and streamlined as possible No fluff or distractions!

Analyze and Optimize

If you push out a set of three different versions of the same display ad, you might think you know which one is going to perform best. However, the data often shows something entirely different. 

Make a habit out of analyzing the numbers and optimize accordingly. Your audience will tell you what they like. Follow their lead, rather than trying to force-feed them something they have no interest in engaging with. 

Set Your Budget (and Stick to It)

You can spend an infinite amount of money on display ads. The challenge is knowing where to draw the line. Set your budget for a campaign and stick to it. Afterwards, you can go back and look at the numbers to determine whether you should reduce or expand your ad spend for the next campaign. 

Give Display Ads Another Try, Won’t You?

As a marketer and advertiser, it always makes sense to pursue the mediums that generate the highest ROI. However, sometimes it’s necessary to revisit your lowest returning strategies to see if there are ways you can improve your approach and get better results. With a few small tweaks to display ads, you may discover entirely new opportunities. Will you give it a try?