Banner advertising - the basics you need to know!

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Banners have become the most popular means of advertising on the Internet. You can organize your banner advertising for free through banner exchange programs. (Read more about this in Banner exchange article). If you decided to pay for your advertising it is better to do some research on where your advertising dollars would have the best return.

Here are some terms used in banner advertising:

Impression:
One (1) impression occurs each time a banner is displayed on a screen. Also known as a "View".

CPM:

Cost Per Thousand impressions: This is the unit of measure by which most banners are sold, the important distinction here is to understand that you are buying in bundles of 1000 impressions and not by the number of times the banner is clicked on.

Click (or Click through):
All banners act as a link (or "URL") to the web site of the advertisers product or service. This means that anyone viewing the banner may choose to click the banner and be taken to that web site. A "Click" occurs when a person does indeed click a banner and visit the advertisers web site.

CTR:
Click Through Rate. The ratio of "Impressions" to "Clicks" usually expressed as a percentage. eg. 1% This means that for every 100 times a banner is displayed - one person clicks on it. The industry average is under 1% and is approaching 0.5%. However, quality art with a good message on your banner, combined with relevant context with the page that the banner is displayed on, can raise this to 2% or greater. Exceptional results of over 3% can be achieved with highly targeted campaigns

CPC:
Cost Per Click. Some web sites will sell banner space based on a payment method measured by the amount of Clicks the banner receives. eg. A CPC of $0.50 means that every time the banner is clicked the advertiser pays the web site fifty cents. Some advertisers prefer to buy this way as they are only interested in achieving click throughs - the web site prepared to sell banners in this way may reserve the right to reject your product or the actual banner art - as poor product or art means that neither party will get results but the web site incurs the most risk (opportunity cost) compared to a CPM transaction, where as the advertiser risks little.
General Rotation / Run of Site:
Banners on General Rotation are displayed at random across any part of a web site to any site visitor. Also know as "Run of site" these campaigns tend to be the least expensive because they are the least targeted
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What you need to consider, if you decide to buy banner advertising

Where to advertise

  • Single site advertising
    If you found a site that has the same type of visitors that your potential clients and not competing with you on the same service market it might be a good idea to check advertising options. For example, if you are running a website selling tours to Italy, then banner advertising on the info portal about Italy can be very effective.
     
  • Network-wide advertising
    Many popular websites sell their space on the website to advertising networks. Advertising network then can offer you banner advertising on few sites in the same category or in all sites of the network. This means that your banner will appear on dozens or even hundred sites that have agreement with the network. Here are links to some of the biggest and most popular advertising networks: Fastclick; Burst Media; ValueAd; AdScholar; DoubleClick.

Targeting

  • Targeting your advertising means showing your banner ad to a visitor, who might be interested in your product /services. Example with advertising of tours to Italy on the info-portal about Italy goes here as well. You can do targeting by category (for example Business, Finance, Insurance, Travel) or geographical targeting (only for US residents, Europe, China etc).
    If you buying banner advertising from advertising network, then targeting is very important, as you don't want you banner impressions to run out in vain on some site that cannot possible bring you potential visitors.
    You can do targeting by both criteria even if you advertise on a single site. Limit you banner placement to certain categories and you can also ask to show your banner only to visitors from certain location. Good ad serving software can check IP and show different ads.

Ways of banner advertising

  • Buying impressions - you buy certain amount of your banner impressions. Normally the minimum buy starts from 5 000 impressions and some sites or networks can require a minimum buy of 50 000 impressions. You banner will be rotating on the site(s) until it will be shown this number of times.
     
  • Buying fixed placement - this can be arranged if you advertising on a single site, you buy advertising space for your banner on the site for a certain period of time. You are not given in advance number of impressions your banner will get, but normally sites can predict this judging from their statistic reports. If you buying fixed placement, no other banner will be shown on this reserved place while your campaign lasts.
     
  • Buying clicks - instead of buying number of impressions you buy number of clicks on your banner. For example if you are buying 100 clicks on your banners, your banner will be rotating on the site(s) until it will be clicked on 100 times. This is more preferable way of advertising, since it means you are buying actual visits to your site (even if click not always means unique visitor - someone can click on the banner twice and this would mean 2 click, unless ad software counts only unique clicks on the banner).

Banner size & place

  • The most popular size still is 468x60. However skyscraper ads (120x600 px) are getting more and more popular for ad advertising. The bigger the ad the more chance it stands to get noticed.
    When you are buying banner ad you can expect that your banner will be placed on the visible spot on the site and not buried somewhere in the bottom or hidden with other images & text.

The cost

  • The prices for banner advertising may vary depending on place & type and other special conditions of advertising
    Single site advertising: Small sites can charge from $1 to $10 CPM, and $0.01 - $0.05CPC. Fixed placement can cost from $25 to $100 per week (depending on banner size & website popularity).
    Bigger sites that have hundreds of visitors a day can charge from $12 to $40 CPM and $0.20- $2.00 per click. Fixed placement on the big portal can cost you from $300 to $1500 per week.
    Rates can go down significantly if you are buying in big volumes.
    Network advertising: Prices here vary depending on targeting and volume of buy. You can get Run of network (non-targeted advertising) for as low as $0.1CPM and highly targeted by category can cost you from $5 to $15 CPM depending on the volume you buy. Cost per click can be from $0.05 to $1.50.

That's about it. I think we covered the most important aspects of banner advertising. If you have any queries or think of another info on the subject, let us know and we will gladly update the article.

 

 

 

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