Understanding Internet Banner Advertising

Banner advertising is an effective way of getting your advertising message seen on the Internet. Banner ads should not be your only online form of advertising, but they are an essential part of your online advertising mix.

This article assumes that the reader knows what a banner ad looks like, but do you know how they work, and how you can derive benefit from them? Let’s define a few terms before answering these questions.

1. “Page views” or “page impressions.” These terms are interchangeable and they refer to the number of times that a page within a website has been displayed on a website.

2. “Banner view.” Like a page view, a banner view is the number of times that a banner has been displayed on website.

3. “Click through.” A click through is the number of times a website visitor has “clicked” on a particular banner ad and was transferred to the website of the banner advertiser.

4. “CTR.” CTR is the acronym for “click through rate,” which is the ratio of the number of banner view versus the number of times visitors have “clicked through” to your website. CTR is expressed as a percentage, so a click through rate of 1% means that for every 1,000 banner views, 10 visitors have clicked through to your site.

5. “CPM.” CPM is an acronym for “cost per M,” where “M” is the ancient Roman numeral for 1,000. Translation: CPM is the price your business will pay to have its banner advertisement displayed 1,000 times on a website, e.g, the cost of 1,000 banner views. So, for example, if the CPM to advertise on a site is $80.00 your business will pay $80.00 for every 1,000 banner views.

6. “ROS.” ROS is the acronym for “run of site,” which simply means that a banner ad is displayed on every page in a website, as opposed to being displayed only in a particular category of a website or only when a particular keyword is entered into a search engine.

Everyone who is in charge of a advertising or marketing department (that’s you if you’re the sole shareholder of the company) knows that advertising is, in large part, a numbers game. The more frequently your message is seen or heard, the more likely the consumer is to purchase your service or product. Take Mattress Mac with Gallery Furniture , for example. If you live in the Houston area, or if your radio can pick up the signal of almost any Houston area radio station, you cannot go a single day without hearing or seeing an advertisement for Gallery Furniture. Peppering your senses with constant reminders that “Gallery Furniture Saves You Money!” has enabled Mr. McIngvale to build his single location furniture store into an empire. (Of course, advertising alone won’t do it; you still must have a quality product or service). I have no scientific data to support this assertion, but I’ll make it anyway: I’m willing to bet that Gallery Furniture is known to more people in the greater Houston area than any other single business. How did that come to be? Mattress Mac understands the advertising numbers game and plays it better than anybody else.

Banner ads are a numbers game. The industry standard click through rate for online advertising in general is around .5%. Not 5%, but .5%. Doesn’t sound very encouraging for your banner ad campaign, eh? Well, there are ways to significantly increase the CTR of any given banner. The best way is by targeting a particular banner ad to a narrow audience, an audience that is looking specific for a product or service just like yours. Highly-targeted can boost your CTR to as much as 2%-3% or higher and significantly increase the traffic to your website.

Another valuable purpose of the banner ad is branding. Intertwined with the messages Gallery Furniture delivers about particular sales events or types of furniture is the company’s consistent and recognizable logo, color scheme, and tag lines. Your banner advertisements can, and should, perform the same function; they should be designed using your company’s logo and colors, at a minimum. Sometimes incorporating the tag line is the way to go, but other times you may want to advertise a particular special offer, product, etc. The important thing is that you take advantage of the numbers game by continually displaying your name, logo, and colors. The more visitors that see you, the more they will come to associate your name with your type of product or service, and the more likely they will be in the future to buy from you.

Online Banner Advertising

Online banner advertisements are rectangular advertisements which appear on websites and vary a lot in the way they look and what they are about. But they all share the same common objective to encourage a viewer to click on the ad and then be taken to the advertisers website or squeeze page.

Banner ads are available in many different sizes and are measured in ‘pixels’. A pixel is the smallest unit of colour that makes up images on a computer screen. Popular sizes are long banners that run horizontally across the page (full banner at 486 x 60 pixels), large square box banners normally located at the side of the page (250 x 250 pixels) and button banners, normally with several grouped together (125 x 125 pixels).

The size of ad banner you choose fro your work from home online business is dependent on your budget, the position of the banner in the website, the amount of traffic to the website and how long the banner will be online.

What Makes a Banner Ad Effective?

As with all advertising, an effective banner ad is the product of a number of different elements.

Firstly, your banner ad must be congruent with the website. In other words, if your work from home online business is about helping people to make money online it is doubtful that you will have much response if you place your banner on a website about dog training.

The objective of the banner ad is to ‘sell the click’. Make sure that your message is about a want, desire or concern about your product or service, so that viewers are encouraged to click on the ad to find out more. Ideally, you want to aim at receiving one to five leads per day from a banner advertisement.

Do not use loads of busy graphics and, although this sounds odd, do not try to sell – use your message as a solution to a problem. For example, if your work from home online business is about weight loss you could say something like “If you want to loose weight but can’t – click here for the proven method that has helped thousands of people”.

Link the ad to a squeeze page with an opt-in form that provides a little more information and encourages the viewer to submit their name and email so that they can get even more information about your product or services. Ideally this information should be provided free of charge. Then, when they enter their details, they will be on your list and your auto responder emails will do the rest.

You need to establish a relationship with your customer before they will buy from you.

A few other tips include, putting your banner ads at the top of the page, rather than farther down and ensuring that the website that you are adverting on receives sufficient traffic. If your home online business is aimed at a competitive market, such as the make money online market, then I would recommend that you consider websites that receive more than 10,000 visitors per month.

You can check the traffic on websites at a number of different online sources.

How to create an online banner ad

Once you have chose a website on which to advertise for your work from home online business, you will have to supply the artwork for the banner. This is normally supplied via an upload to a link that that website owner will provide you. Often, your affiliate partner or merchant for your home online business will have ready made banner artwork for you to upload to your chosen website. All you have to do is supply the link to where the viewer will go when they click on your ad.

There are also several free online banner creators where you can create your own ad. You can also outsource the creation of your banner graphics. There are many online resources available.

How to book an online banner ad

Most websites will have an area where it will provide details of the costs to advertise on their website. If not, you can contact the website owner direct and ask for details.

To save contacting loads of different websites to find out their rates and statistics, there are several ‘broker websites’ who provide all the information for you. It can save time as these websites provide all the info on costs for a huge variety of different websites.

The cost of banner ads is calculated in two ways. One is for a set period of time (normally 30 days) and the other is for the number if impressions (ie, how often the ad is shown). If you are just starting out with your home online business, I would recommend that you opt for a set period of time. This way you know exactly how much you are spending over what period of time.

Does online banner advertising work?

Some web ‘experts’ say that banner advertising is not effective and some say that it is a very successful way to drive traffic to your website.

As mentioned before, online banner advertising is like any other type of advertising. You must ensure that your banner gets the attention of your target audience and creates interest in your product or service. The ad must encourage the viewer to want to find out more and thus take action by clicking on your ad.

If your banner ad has got somebody to click on it, then it has done its job. It is then the job of your squeeze page or the website page to where you have sent the viewer to do its job. And that is a whole other story.

How Can A Small Business Benefit The Most From Banner Advertising?

It’s true that most forms of advertising are suitable for big businesses only. Since big companies don’t have any budgetary constraint, they can easily invest some serious money into any kind of advertising and realize their goals easily. Things are not that smooth for those entities that lack budget as they can’t enjoy privileges available to big brothers of the domain. Take the case of banner advertising where small businesses can’t spend beyond a point and this limits their chances of getting good-looking banner ads on a regular basis. And this mars their prospects and prevents them from reaching to their target audience in a desired manner.

More so, banner advertising can be leveraged fully by only those businesses that have a team of graphic designers working for them and crafting charming ads one after another. All this takes money and this is where cash-strapped entities get lagged behind in the race. Quite clearly, the odds are heavily stacked against those that lack the resources to advertise themselves properly across channels on the internet. This is also the major reason why only big companies go on and garner all the rewards to be had on the internet. This is how the market works and this is how brands are created.

So, the question is bound to crop up, can’t small entities survive in this chaotic world where big brands easily benefit from banner advertising? They can indeed survive provided they know the ways to benefit from the advancements of technology. Such businesses should explore the market and try to find some ways or tools to get on the right side of banner advertising. They can take heart from the fact that there are tools in the market that help design banner ads of choice. Such tools are a one-time investment and then, they can help businesses get banner ads of choice on a regular basis.

These advanced tools are available in the market with the purpose of helping those businesses that lack advertising budget or means. Using them, anyone can create some really awesome designs for their banner ads. Using these tools, small businesses can create multiple designs and choose the most attractive one from the lot. In a way, these tools create opportunities to take brand ideas and messages forward and reach to the target audience even without spending anything substantial. What’s more, they save money and efforts that are otherwise required in maintaining a staff to create banner ads of choice.

Quite clearly, a small business can get a feature-rich banner design tool and realize its banner advertising goals with ease. Having such a tool means the business needn’t depend on a team of graphic designers to get awesome designs for their banner ads. It also means that the business needn’t spend on a regular basis to get ads and take their brand ideas to more users on the internet. In overall, we can see how a tool lets businesses get transformed on the back of great banner ads.