If you are a person who surfs the internet with any regularity, you are likely to be well accustomed to seeing banner advertisements of all sorts and sizes across many websites on the web. The fact they are such a common sight serves to prove that they must surely be an effective form of advertising, or else it is a relatively safe bet they would have disappeared from our screens many years ago, as advertisers flocked towards more effective advertising mediums that delivered a better return on investment.Indeed, banner advertising always has been and remains to be a very core part of most companies online advertising strategies. It is not the only online advertising format however – and the number of which is growing every day – so how are we to know whether banner advertising is right for us or should have a place within our advertising strategy? We must obviously look at the different merits of banners relative to other advertising formats.These days, pay per click (PPC) advertising is one of the most popular online advertising methods, since it generally delivers a very predictable return on investment and is immensely trackable. Advertisers are charged based on the performance of their advertisements, rather than just by how long they are run for or the amount of exposure they receive. Most PPC advertisements are text-based, however, and that means whilst they may be good for advertising product deals and offers and bringing in direct leads, they are less effective by nature at such things as increasing brand awareness.In contrast, banner advertising – being image based – is much more suitable for companies who wish to present their logo with their offer, or in cases where manufacturers may wish to increase brand or product awareness without directly selling a product or service to a customer.Since banners have the ability to leave a more lasting visual imprint of a product, service or brand in the potential customers mind, many advertisers who choose banner advertising for brand awareness rather than direct sales or leads may seek to pay a flat rate for their advertising exposure on certain websites. The price in such cases may be based either on the number of clicks or number of impressions (usually by the thousand). Either way, the cost of advertising in such a way is often much lower than if they were to go the more predictable modern route of choosing text-based pay per click advertising.Banners are often site-wide advertisements as oppose to page-specific. That is to say when an advertiser looks for websites on which to place their advertisements, they will often choose sites on which the overall theme or topic is relevant to their product, service or customer demographic. They will choose to advertise throughout the whole website, allowing them to gain more exposure than if they were to simply have their advertisements display on a single page of a website, as is often the case with text-based pay per click advertisements, which are usually automatically targeted towards keywords within the content of any given page.The fact that banners can be (and often are) very eye-catching and dynamic by nature and usually cheaper than pay per click advertising makes them an ideal advertising format for companies seeking wider and increased exposure, particularly for brand awareness rather than prompting a direct and immediate action from the customer. It is by far the most effective advertising form in terms of delivering results whilst keeping down costs when big advertising campaigns are concerned, or when one is trying to establish brand awareness and credibility over direct, immediate leads.