Rich Media

Rich media are advertisements on the Internet, which in addition to text and images, also contain video elements or audio data. The goal of Rich Media is to achieve the user’s increased attention and willingness to interact.

General information

Advertising on the Internet is subject to constant developments. Advertisers fight for the attention of users and always explore all technical possibilities. Rich media is a constantly changing outcome of this process. Through the integration of videos, games, and other formats, users are interactively integrated into the advertising. In this way, not only clicks on offers will be generated but also branding will be strengthened, which can result in increased page impressions.

Thanks to rich media’s technical capabilities, this advertising media is ideal for long-term advertising campaigns.  

Technical requirements

To display rich media ads on the user’s computer at all, an Internet broadband connection and programs such as Flash or JavaScript is required. The HTML5 standard is especially designed for rich media, as the content can be loaded over a browser without additional plugins on any platform or device.

In the course of increasing mobile Internet usage, Rich Media was to be developed as a "mobile first" strategy for mobile devices. According to a statistical survey, more than half of Germans used the Internet on mobile devices in 2015.


Rich Media offers a wide range of possibilities for internet advertising. Rich media ads are usually larger than 40 KB and contain video files and features such as recommendations or a gallery view of images. You can include videos that appear when a website is viewed. Specially programmed Flash applications can encourage users to click on an offer. Several content levels are even possible. By combining HTML5 and Flash you can program microsites, which can appear as pop-up on other websites and generate clicks.

Some examples of rich media ads in advertising:

  • A banner ad with an integrated option to follow a company in a social network
  • An ad that expands when the mouse is hovered over it and displays a YouTube video of the advertising company and other information
  • Advertisements that contain a calendar that, after clicking on it, places an appointment in your own smartphone calendar

Examples of use in e-commerce:

  • Product presentations in 360-degree view
  • Product videos with content that the user can change himself
  • Virtual “dressing” for fashion online stores
  • Interactive video formats, in which the user has different selection options

The goal of Rich Media is always to produce user interaction. Users are not just supposed to look at an ad, but should be actively involved in it. In this way, identification between the user and the brand is made possible. As with other advertising mediums on the Internet, advertisers have various ways of target and track in order to increase their effectiveness and measure their advertising success.

Relevance to SEO

Search engines cannot read videos or flash animations. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the data, which cannot be crawled by the search engines get marked up in such a way that the search engines at least get an indication of the content. Succinct titles and subtitles help not only the search engines, but also the users. Text which is to be read by the search engines is preferably displayed or output in HTML. Ideally, Flash should be entirely dispensed with it for modern rich media content. Instead, HTML5 is recommended.

The use of rich media is closely linked to the usability of a webpage. Rich media should not entice users away from your website, but spark interest and attention. This increases the length of stay, which can have a positive effect on ranking. In addition, rich media ads should be used sparingly to prevent a website from being overloaded with advertising. Search engines can now estimate the ratio of actual content and advertising quite well. Usability includes Accessibility. Webmasters and advertisers have different ways at their disposal to design rich media ads so that they are accessible or barrier-free. For example, by means of reading programs (audio description) or synchronization of subtitles.

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