Native vs Display Ads

Display ads have been the king of digital advertising for quite a while. But then native advertising came into play and changed the game. Advertisers are always looking for ways to get to the user more efficiently and native ads offered a non-intrusive way to customers’ attention. While display ads still serve an important marketing purpose, they are now only one of the possible approaches. Thus, advertisers may be looking for both native and display ad inventory, depending on their goals, and publishers need to decide how to build their ad inventory in this ever-so-competitive landscape. 

Display Advertising

Often referred to as banner ads, display ads are still the most popular type of digital advertising nowadays. The rectangular boxes with advertiser message that links to a landing page are your typical display ads. They come in various sizes and formats, such as text, image, and video, some may even be interactive. Display ads have evolved over the years and offer more impactful ways of addressing the audience. Users, on the other hand, have become so used to them that they may often experience the so-called “banner blindness” – something advertisers are trying to fight. Enter native ads. 

Native Advertising

While typical display ads are easy to distinguish and pinpoint, native ads often look just like the rest of the content on the page. You can recognize them from their label – most often “Sponsored”, “Promoted”, or “Recommended”. Native ads are designed to blend with the elements on the website and feel like something that belongs there. This increases the chances for ad clicks as more users are likely to notice the advertisements. They are suitable both for desktop and mobile and their CTRs are usually much higher than those of banner ads. 

There are different types of native advertising and their classification may vary a bit from platform to platform. Let’s look at the native ads offered in Google AdSense:

Native In-article ads

As the name suggests, this type of native ad is created to blend within your article paragraphs. It works great on both desktop and mobile and is created with the user experience in mind.

Native In-feed ads

In-feed ads allow publishers to place ads, within their list of articles/news/products or other similar types of feeds, that look and feel like part of the content. They can be customized to look like the elements on your feed, thus providing a seamless and less intrusive user experience. Just like in-article ads, they are a great option to monetize your mobile traffic.

Native matched content

While in-article and in-feed ads are available to all AdSense-approved websites, matched content is limited to select publishers by Google. The format is essentially a content recommendation service, which can help you promote your content to your website audience. It helps boost time spent on site, page views, and ad impressions, and eventually your revenue.

How to choose between native and display ads?

In the world of ad tech it’s rarely a simple either/or choice, use it or forget it. More often than not, the answer is in a combination of tools and features, optimized for your audience, goals, and strategy. In the case of native and display ads, publishers don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other type, as they are used by marketers for different purposes. 

Native ads work best to drive traffic to the advertiser site, which means more clicks for publishers. However, this also means higher bounce rates on pages with native ads, which may negatively impact overall publisher revenue. Display ads are most effective for remarketing campaigns and from the publisher’s point of view are still a great revenue source, despite their lower click-through rates. 

In order to make the best decision for your website, it’s best to trust data. Meaning, run a few tests to see where and what type of native ads would be a good fit and bring you a revenue uplift. Test placing them on pages with naturally high bounce rates to minimize any negative effect of users leaving your site. And keep testing as your audience evolves and your content changes.

Deciding on your strategy for 2022?

Are you contemplating how to manage your ad inventory next year? If you need assistance with finding the best ad layout, optimizing ad placements, and maintaining ad quality, PubGalaxy is the right place for you. Get in touch with us to discuss your needs and how we can take your strategy to the next level together.