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Display advertising

A banner ad is a digital form of advertising delivered by an ad server by embedding an advertisement into a web page.

The aim of banner ad is to direct traffic to a specific website/webpage. At Quilter we mainly use banners ads to support brand campaign messaging.

Key considerations

  • Be clear about why you need a display banner and how it fits into wider campaign/marketing activity.
  • Know what ‘good looks like’ – set clear objectives and key performance indicators.
  • Think about the user journey: who will see the banner and where, and where do you want to take users to?
  • Never run display campaigns in isolation – check for other campaign activity targeting the same or similar audiences, to make sure we don’t ‘bombard’ people.
  • Need help? Speak to the Digital Marketing Team.


  • Always make sure you have sign-off by relevant teams and stakeholders BEFORE developing any banners. Making changes later on isn’t as straightforward as you may think.

Always consider where you want to promote your Display banners BEFORE having them built.

  • For most platforms, there is a file size limit. For example, Google display ads need to be under 150KB.
  • There are also rules that prevent your ads from having a white background without a border outline. This is to make sure ads are separate from the background of the website they are being served on.
  • Need help? Speak to the Digital Marketing Team.

Keep it simple

  • Many of the most common display ad sizes are small and contain too much information in a small space, which can be can be overwhelming, confusing or difficult to read.
  • Keep your messaging, imagery, and calls to action (CTA) as clear and simple as possible. A simple, clean design that uses white space and a clear hierarchy can be incredibly effective.
  • It can be tempting to use as many fancy effects as you can in an ad, but never underestimate the power of a simple design that is built on strong design principles and effectively communicates your message to the user.
  • Need help? Speak to the Digital Marketing Team and/or Creative Team.

Use high-quality assets

  • Use high-quality imagery (whether that means photography or illustrations), legible typefaces and ensure that any brand elements such as logos are especially clear and crisp.
  • In addition, it’s a good idea to export at the highest quality possible while still staying under the 150 kb file limit used by Google Ads. Always review exported images for quality before uploading.
  • Need help? Speak to the Creative Team.

Make it stand out

  • You want your ad to stand out from the page the visitor is viewing. Not just for aesthetic reasons, but also to ensure that your ads are approved by ad networks.
  • Display ads need to be designed so they have clearly defined borders, by bringing colours or images to the edge. This draws visitors’ eyes to the page as people naturally gravitate towards things in boxes.
  • If you are using a background that is white or may blend with the webpage, you can add a 1-2px grey border around all sides to define the edges. This helps set the ad apart from the background and gives it good definition that attracts the eyes.
  • Need help? Speak to the Creative Team.

Be relevant

  • As with all online marketing, display ads need to be targeted and relevant. It might be tempting to use a generic design and copy, but studies have shown that users are more likely to click on ads that they think are useful to them and their situation.
  • By understanding the target audience and what resonates with them, we can tailor everything from imagery to text to that audience. The Digital Marketing team can help you get this right.
  • Need help? Speak to the Digital Marketing Team.

Stick to the brand

  • First, it is vital to maintain consistency across all deliverables and create a unified image for the company. By creating banners with the same basic look and feel, the viewer instantly connects the new ad with the old ad and associates it with our brand. Users trust things that are consistent and reliable so we should be doing all we can to encourage that trust.
  • Second, consistency creates brand recognition and loyalty. A company’s brand should be applied across every touch point the user encounters and it’s important to see that through.
  • Need help? Speak to the Brand Team.


  • Every ad we create should be spell-checked and proofread before publishing. These ads are generally either a customer’s first interaction with our brand or used to encourage previous visitors to return to one of our websites. Neither of those things are likely to happen if we’re displaying an ad with a painfully obvious typo or grammatical error.
  • Need help? Speak to the Content Team.

Display sizes:

  • 250 x 250 – Square
  • 200 x 200 – Small Square
  • 468 x 60 – Banner
  • 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
  • 300 x 250 – Inline Rectangle
  • 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
  • 120 x 600 – Skyscraper
  • 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper
  • 300 x 600 – Half-Page Ad
  • 970 x 90 – Large Leaderboard

The only ad size that’s not available on desktop/tablet but is available on high-end mobile devices is:

  • 320 x 50 – Mobile Leaderboard

Google’s top performing ad sizes, along with a quick picture of how they look and where they show up.

  • Medium Rectangle (300×250)
  • Large Rectangle (336×280)
  • Leaderboard (728×90)
  • Half Page (300×600)
  • Large Mobile Banner (320×100)