Marketing Terms

Banner Ad


A graphical web advertising unit.


Love them or hate them, banner ads are one of the dominant forms of advertising online. Due to the widespread acceptance of the standard 468×60 banner ad size, buyers can easily secure placements at most sites, and publishers can accept ads from most advertisers.

Banner ads were initially judged primarily on the basis of click-through rate (CTR). In the early days of the Web, click-through rates were generally much higher than they are now, perhaps due to the novelty factor. Other causes for the decline in CTR may include technical limitations, the awkward horizontal shape, poor banner design, an excessive percentage of run-of-network buys, and accumulated bad experiences of Web surfers.

“Banners never work” is a common refrain from the anti-banner crowd. Although click-through rates have gone consistently downward, the same can be said of banner ad prices. It is still possible to achieve a click-through rate many times the industry average by combining good placement and design. Combining below-average ad rates and above-average response rates can lead to an acceptable return on investment, just as in any other advertising medium.

see also: Digital Marketing Tools


IAB New Ad Portfolio


Display Advertising Stats 2019: SEMrush Study
SEMrush (May 3, 2019) sponsored

How to Uncover Your Competitors’ Ad Strategies with SEMrush Display Advertising
SEMrush (November 16, 2018) sponsored

Surprise! Badly Written Banner Ads Yield Bad Results
ClickZ (May 15, 2001)

In Defense of the Banner
ClickZ (February 27, 2001)

How to Design a More Effective Banner
ClickZ (September 19, 2000)

Sick To Death
ClickZ (January 8, 1999)

Related Terms

ad blocking, banner blindness, banner exchange, beyond the banner, button ad, HTML banner, rectangle ad, skyscraper ad, text ad, vertical banner, trick banner

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