Online Advertising: What To Consider Before You Sign-On

Social media has created a world wide haven to engage, share and manifest news. Newspaper subscriptions are becoming a thing of the past and online advertising is increasingly dominating the marketing landscape.

If you are a small business owner, how do you determine the key channel to advertise your brand online? First and foremost is doing your due diligence by researching the sites you are targeting to place your ad. Is the site turning up in search engines, in particular is it one of the top three or four in the list? If it does not turn up at all, take a pass because if their site is not turning a result in a search neither will your ad!

Here’s a list of the most common advertising methods to purchase:

  • CPM (Cost Per Mille), also called “Cost Per Thousand (CPT), is where advertisers pay for exposure of their message to a specific audience. “Per mille” means per thousand impressions, or loads of an advertisement. However, some impressions may not be counted, such as a reload or internal user action.
  • CPV (Cost Per Visitor) is where advertisers pay for the delivery of a Targeted Visitor to the advertisers website.
  • CPV (Cost Per View) is when an advertiser pays for each unique user view of an advertisement or website (usually used with pop-ups, pop-unders and interstitial ads).
  • CPC (Cost Per Click) is also known as Pay per click (PPC). Advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their listing and is redirected to their website. They do not actually pay for the listing, but only when the listing is clicked on. This system allows advertising specialists to refine searches and gain information about their market. Under the Pay per click pricing system, advertisers pay for the right to be listed under a series of target rich words that direct relevant traffic to their website, and pay only when someone clicks on their listing which links directly to their website. CPC differs from CPV in that each click is paid for regardless of whether the user makes it to the target site.
  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or (Cost Per Acquisition) advertising is performance based and is common in the affiliate marketing sector of the business. In this payment scheme, the publisher takes all the risk of running the ad, and the advertiser pays only for the amount of users who complete a transaction, such as a purchase or sign-up. This is the best type of rate to pay for banner advertisements and the worst type of rate to charge.

Next thing to look for is the number of ad options the site offers. Are they strictly text ads? How many ads are posted on each page? Is their site mobile compatible so ads can be viewed on cell phones? There are a number of ad types but here’s a short list of those most widely used:

  • Floating ad: An ad which moves across the user’s screen or floats above the content.
  • Expanding ad: An ad which changes size and which may alter the contents of the webpage.
  • Polite ad: A method by which a large ad will be downloaded in smaller pieces to minimize the disruption of the content being viewed
  • Wallpaper ad: An ad which changes the background of the page being viewed.
  • Trick banner: A banner ad that looks like a dialog box with buttons. It simulates an error message or an alert.
  • Pop-up: A new window which opens in front of the current one, displaying an advertisement, or entire webpage.
  • Pop-under: Similar to a Pop-Up except that the window is loaded or sent behind the current window so that the user does not see it until they close one or more active windows.
  • Video ad: similar to a banner ad, except that instead of a static or animated image, actual moving video clips are displayed. This is the kind of advertising most prominent in television, and many advertisers will use the same clips for both television and online advertising.

Now that you have determined your method and picked out your ad type, you need to choose the right website to place your ad. As mentioned above, doing a search for the business and/or advertising agency through the major search engines is definitely a step in the process. The other part of your research to help uncover their online presence is checking them out in the social media arena. Are they actively established on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Do they have a blog and consistently post viable and rich content? Is there an option to sign-up for a regular monthly newsletter and is advertising in their marketing campaigns an option?

After the research is done and you are ready to post your ad with the business, pause for a moment and check their pagerank before doing so! Google pagerank is the measure of an internet page, expressed as a numerical value, from PR0 to PR10, with PR10 being the highest possible PageRank (PR). Visit, type in the URL to the page you are considering posting your add, click the “check PR” button, add the Anti-bot code, then click the “verify now” button to return the pagerank result.

This is a lot of information to consider and absorb for those new to the internet online advertising medium. But not to fret, there is an array of tools and resources out there to get you started including businesses specializing in this area to help people get the most out of their advertising budget. For PR and marketing, check out Madison+Main, an an award-winning marketing and new media firm that provides creative solutions for emerging companies. And for social media help, contact Daulton West Jr., Social Media Champion, with any questions you have relative to targeting the right online networking channels.

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