Over 900 million people use the World Wide Web. Global annual expenditure on online advertising is approximately $10 billion. This is a very small percentage of the total amount of about $450 billion spent on all advertising. Online advertising is designed to pay for start-up and operational costs, subsidise free access to costly content and provide a profit. The print media has successfully used a similar method for many decades, plus one advantage: paid subscriptions.
According to the latest theories, advertising sends signals to the marketplace that the advertiser has the means to spend money, that he is solid, reliable, a leader to be counted upon, an honest, stable company. But if care is not taken, this message can get lost in online advertising. The Internet is flooded with free advertising so that paid advertisements don’t always get the necessary recognition of credibility. Also users often resent the intrusion of banners and popups etc. with the result that Web advertising is sometimes ignored. But this situation is likely to change and clutter-free, improved methods of online advertising will probably emerge.
Some advertising methods
Online banner advertising
Banners are the long flag-like ads found at the top, sides or bottoms of many web sites. A site providing a banner can only guarantee that people will see it. There is no guarantee that anyone will read it or click on it to access the web site. The more appealing the banner, the higher the chances of a “click through”. This can be achieved by offering information or products of value, or by making the banner attractive enough to encourage a person to click on it for more information. The average click-through rate is 2 to 3 percent.
There are two main categories of banner advertising: paid banners and free banner exchanges. Paid banner advertisements
A web site may be advertised on search engines and directories. This allows targeting of specific segments of a large audience. It can be specified that a banner is shown if a particular topic is searched for, such as business, clothes, computers, marketing, travel, sport, etc.
Free banner exchanges
A banner exchange is a service designed to help advertise and promote a web site. As a member, it is possible to display banner advertisements from other exchange members on your web site. In return, a banner will be displayed across the banner exchange network. These are usually automated systems which keep track of click-on rates and all other statistics regarding banner display.
These are also banners, but are the tall vertical adverts found to the left or right of a web site.
Popups and popunders
A popup is the advertisement which suddenly appears - “pops up” – in addition to the web site that has been opened. A popunder is the same thing except that it is loaded under the web site and first appears when the web site is closed.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising
Pay per click advertising is a relatively inexpensive way to drive targeted traffic to a web site. Using search terms specifically relate to that web site, people looking for the product or services offered can be targeted. Payment is only due if someone clicks on the advertisement and is transferred to the web site. For web site visitors it works just like any other search engine. For the advertisers, it’s an excellent way to drive highly targeted traffic in an inexpensive way. With PPC advertising, the advertiser can “bid” how much to pay per click. The higher the bid the higher the appearance in the search engine.
Overture, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo, is one of the leading PPC advertising companies. It promotes prominent placement in search-engine results and a clever, cost effective way to sell a product or service online. Payment on results leads to the best advertising rate of return. Overture, formerly called GoTo.com, was founded in 1997 by Bill Gross. In 1998, the company launched its sponsored search service enabling advertisers to bid for search result placement on keywords relevant to their individual businesses. The company's full range of search-based products and tools helps bring together businesses and highly motivated customers.
The World Wide Web is full of newsletters, on all subjects imaginable, distributed to thousands of members. An advertisement in these publications is an inexpensive way of reaching a specific target group.