Getting to Know the Online Advertising Landscape
Learn the many methods to advertise your business online.
As a brick and mortar business, you have many classic types of advertising to choose from, and these have been in use for decades and even centuries. You could advertise your store in a newspaper, radio spot or create a television commercial, for example.
Now that the Internet has replaced much of offline media, online advertising has created a new way to share information about your business. Whether you’re advertising your store’s physical location or you have an Internet-only business, the online advertising landscape offers many opportunities for getting the word out. The following are some of the most common methods for advertising online.
According to the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication, Google accounted for 62.9% of all search engine traffic in 2009. Since Google holds the lion’s share of traffic, it’s also one of the main methods for advertising on the Internet.
The Google AdWords program lets advertisers create a small ad that will then display on any website that has content related to your ad. Ads appear alongside popular blogs and websites all over the Internet. AdWords works on cost-per-click (CPC) advertising. You set a maximum amount you’ll pay every time someone clicks on your ad. Then, when clicked, that money goes to the publisher that displayed your ad.
Advertising your business on other websites isn’t limited to just a small banner on the side of the page. Text link advertising integrates links to your website directly into the content pages of participating publishers. Companies like Text-Link-Ads.com provide advertisers with a wide range of niche sites on which to publish your ads. Instead of CPC pricing, most text link advertising requires a one-time fee for your ads appearing on a page for 30 days.
Your business may be better suited to advertising on blogs. This is the case for small businesses or blogs looking to broaden their reach. Contact a blog advertising network, such as BlogAds.com, to place your banner ads on the blogs of you choosing. You’ll usually pay one fee for the time you choose to advertise on the blog. The big plus side to blog advertising networks is that you choose exactly what websites on which to display your ad. This isn’t the case for Google AdWords, for instance.
Social media and social networking sites are swiftly becoming the new and popular way to advertise a business online. If you want to advertise on these sites, each company provides their own advertising methods. On Facebook, you can pay a set fee for an advertising space inside the sidebar of members’ pages. On Twitter, you can purchase a sponsored tweet that appears at the top of members’ twitter feeds.
If you’re advertising on the Internet, your business likely has its own website or blog. A good way to get traffic to your website is to optimize it for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) involves creating unique content on your website that integrates common keywords that people use to search for businesses like yours. When done correctly, your website will appear near the top of relevant searches. If you’re already well-versed in SEO, you can use this skill to improve your website on your own. If not, hire a writer that specializes in SEO to handle it for you.
As a business, you can use any or all of these methods to advertise online. If none of these appeal to you, you can also contact individual websites and blogs directly to ask if you can advertise on their site. Most websites will have sponsorship deals for companies that they believe in.
Just remember that the online advertising landscape is always changing. Don’t be afraid to try a new method to get the word out about your business.