Advertising online can be a quick, cheap and easy way to draw in potential customers. However, choosing the right spot can be tricky.
Firstly, to advertise online you almost certainly need a website. Most people browsing the web for information are reluctant to pick up the phone and call you unless they are satisfied your products and services are what they are looking for. Typically they will come to this decision after visiting your website.
Types of Online Advertising
There are many types of online advertising including:
- Banners advertisement – static or animated: This is a graphic advertising your products, services and website. Typically the graphic is linked directly to your website, so when clicked taking the user to your site. More details about banner advertising can be found below.
- Text advertisement: A simple text listing of your company details, including website, listed on a site. Sometimes a company or product profile is included in the listing.
- Business Directories: There are many online business directories for businesses to list there details. Many of these are also free. Most specialize in a product or service.
- Google AdWords: This service is growing in popularity, and can be quite cheap. More information on this can be found below. Your Google AdWord appears in the Google search page when certain keywords entered. More details about Google AdWord’s can be found below.
Where do I advertise?
You also need to consider where to advertise.
The answer to this question can depend on your products and services. Furthermore, you have to consider what your potential customers already have and what they might be looking for.
Take Internet Service Providers (ISP) for example. How many times have you seen an advertisement or web banner promoting an Internet Service Providers product while you’ve been surfing the web? Probably very few or none at all! Now think of how many times you have seen a television advertisement promoting an IPS’s product – hundreds of them! But why?
People using the internet obviously already have a service, and are less likely to change unless there is a really compelling reason such as extreme price benefits or quality of service. However, the person sitting in front of the TV may not have the Internet (hence why they are in front of the TV) therefore they are more likely to be a potential customer.
Secondly, television advertising is localized to a region where the ISP can service. Internet advertising is more difficult to contain locally, and may open them to leads they are not able to supply.
You need to think the same way with your advertising.
As an embroiderer, don’t advertise your embroidery services on a website that attracts other embroiderers. Clearly they have their own machines and are less likely to use your services.
However, as a digitizer or supplier to the embroidery industry, these sort of websites are perfect.
Consider advertising your services in a website that attracts local business to you, such as a local community service, sports club, or business directory websites.
If you are unable to support international business, then don’t advertising on websites that attract more overseas visitors then visitors from your region.
To Google or not to Google… - Google AdWords
Google’s extremely popular AdWords could be a great option for your business. However, consider the fact that your website and services can be open to the world!
You can localize the viewing of your advertisement to certain countries, which will give you a much more targeted approach.
Google’s AdWords work like this:
You create a small text based advertisement such as:
You assign keywords to your AdWord advertisement, so when people enter those keywords in Google, your Google AdWord appears under the Sponsored Links section.
Potential Google visitors may click on your advertisement, which will take them to your website.
As a Google AdWord subscriber, you are charged per-click of your advertisement. This rate varies however you can average US[Article].15 per click.
You can learn more about Google AdWords at http://adwords.google.com.
Website banners can be a great way to attract customers, but they can also be expensive. A website banner advertising plan can work in a few different ways:
A flat rate banner charge is the most predictable method of advertising. You know how much the cost is, and you can budget for it. You will not receive any surprises when your monthly bill comes in. The rate for a banner varies dramatically depending on the site. The monthly rate could vary from $10 to $500 per month.
Charge Pre View
Some sites charge you every time your banner is ‘viewed’. This does not guaranty that the banner was seen by the sites visitor, as you are charged every time it appears on a page.
Typically the fees are quite small for every view, however if the site gets 1 million visitors a day, even at 1 cents per view it’s already cost you $10,000.
Charge Per Click-through
Another common form of charging for a banner advertisement is via a click-through charge. For a click-through charge you are not charged for having the banner in place or for views. You are charged for every time a user clicks on the banner and visits your site.
The standard banner is 468 x 60 pixels:
Other popular sizes are:
Colors and DPI
Your banners will be viewed on the internet only, and not printed on paper. Therefore, you only need a resolution (DPI – Dots Per Inch) of 96.
Anything higher will be a waste of time, as it will not display ‘better quality’ on-screen, and increase its loading time.
In addition, use a color palette of minimal colors when saving your banner file. It is recommended you save your Banner as a GIF file, using an ‘Adaptive’ palette containing 256 colors.
This will optimize your banner for the Internet reducing the file size and loading time.
Animated banners can be attractive and draw in additional web surfers, however be careful not to go overboard. Limit the number of slides or animated screens you use, to avoid creating a banner with a huge file size. Also be careful not to animate it too fast. There is nothing worse than a fast animated banner such as:
In must cases, your banner advertising vendor will be able to provide you with reports outlining how many users saw your advertisement, and how many clicked on it.
These reports help you assess the success of your banner advertising.
Don’t be scared to copy
Look around websites that your customers frequent. Ask your customers when they place an order with you if they looked online and where. Listen to what they have to say, and if you find common websites being mentioned, consider advertising there.
See what your competitors are doing, and don’t be scared to advertise on the same site they are. If it is working for them, chances are it will also work for you.
The Internet is a fast, growing animal. The sites that were once popular may not be any more. Everyday new websites and new advertising opportunities arise. Constantly review your website advertising strategy, and make changes if you find it is not working.