How do banner ads work?

Banner ads have been around since the early days of the internet. Designed to attract a potential consumer’s attention and promote brand awareness, the goal of banner ads is to drive traffic through to the advertiser’s site.

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What is a banner ad?

Banner ads are the rectangular ads you see along the top, bottom or down the side of a webpage and will be either static or dynamic. They will almost always serve as a link to the website of the brand they are promoting or to the product they are selling.

How effective are they?

The effectiveness of banner ads has been variable. Oversaturation of banner ads has led internet users to become ad-blind; who hasn’t been in the position where they have to actively ignore repetitive and intrusive banners to focus on the content they want to read? Negative experiences from ads that are inappropriate, notoriously difficult to close or obscure the main content of the hosting webpage have also contributed to a mistrust of online ads. There is little wonder that users install ad and pop-up blockers to allow a smoother and uninterrupted browsing experience, which has forced ad designers to rethink the way ads are presented

Better ads for the future

Digital advertising experts such as are striving to produce HTML banner ads that deliver a more positive advertising experience for users.

With the worldwide spend on digital advertising passing $600bn (£474bn) in 2023,, we can hope to see ads that fit more organically within the webpages on which they are placed and with greater relevance to the content surrounding them and to the user.

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With improvements in relevance and user-friendliness, this move from quantity to quality in banner ad design will help to restore trust in online advertising.

Stéphane is the founder of, a comparison service for traders. helps traders compare 20 Forex and CFD brokers in one place, through guides, reviews and comparison tables. These brokers include familiar names like AvaTrade, FxPro, FP Markets and eToro. Some of Stéphane’s first ventures were focussed on online dating, before pivoting towards affiliate marketing in the financial services space.