It is well worth learning how to maximise your banner advertising effectiveness, as it is a strategy that can bring in a lot of leads at a low cost. It is one of the oldest forms of marketing on the internet, and shows no signs of ever going away.
The basic process of placing a banner ad is as follows:
- Choose a congruent and relevant landing page (or create one)
- Choose a congruent and relevant banner (or create one – you may want to outsource this)
- Search Google for congruent, relevant websites to advertise on, and do further research to make sure they get a lot of traffic.
- Contact the owners of the sites that you have chosen and negotiate an agreed price and size for your banner.
- Send your banner and your landing page URL to to the site owner
- Track and test the performance of your advertisement
To improve your banner advertising effectiveness it is vital to concentrate on the congruency and the relevancy between your banner ad and the landing page. If you banner has a message related to "Free Training" on it, and then your landing page has a headline and message about a business opportunity this will confuse the person and 9 times out of 10 they will leave the page immediately.
There are a variety of standard sizes for your banners ranging from 728×90, 160×600, 250×250, 468×60 and 125×125. These sizes are all measured in pixels.
I have found that ugly or outrageous banners tend to perform much better than professionally designed "beautiful banners". The professional looking banners are all over the internet and most people tend to ignore them.
A common mistake is to use banners that have lots of flashing lights or dollar bills flying everywhere. Banners that are full of hype usually have the reverse effect and are not recommended. It is best to create a banner that looks different and original, even if it looks like a 4 year old has created it. The ugly, bizarre or outrageous banner creates curiosity and will get more clicks in most cases.
It is always a good idea to put a face on your banner as well. It doesn't have to be your own face, but people tend to trust banners more if they have a face on them. It is a great way to brand yourself as a leader though if you do put your own face on the banner.
Finding a suitable website to place your banner is not too difficult. Start by typing in some relevant keywords into Google and start writing down some of the websites from the first page that you think may be suitable. Once you have a list of about 20 possible websites it is time to start seeing if these websites get enough traffic to make it worthwhile.
A great place to check which sites get sufficient traffic is on Compete.com, where you simply type in the website that you want to analyse into the box on the home page. On the next page you will be able to view extensive data giving you everything that you need to know about traffic to that particular website.
And of course the other option is Alexa.com, where you will be able to see how high the website is ranked. You should be aiming for a website ranked at least in the top 500,000 in Alexa, but ideally in the top 100,000 if you can.
In most cases you will find that a website on the first page of Google should receive a lot of traffic and be ranked highly in Alexa, but it will not always be the case. This is why it is necessary to do a bit of further research.
Once you have picked out the site or sites that you are interested in advertising on it is time to start contacting the owners of the websites to discuss paying them for advertising on their site.
It is recommended to stick to a fixed cost rather than a performance based cost particularly if you are new to this . Usually a fixed cost will last for an entire month and you pay an agreed amount no matter how many clicks your banner gets.
You could also pay per click, per impression, per conversion or per sale but these types of pricing structures can be very expensive and blow your budget. You might want to consider these types of ideas after you have found an advertising campaign that is consistently working well and you are keen to start scaling it out. But until you are sure it is a winner it is important to stick to a fixed pricing agreement.
And last but certainly not least it is absolutely vital that you track everything and set up split tests with your landing pages to see exactly what is working and what is not working. Split testing can be done with a landing page rotator which can be found by just doing a Google search. If you are using a good internet marketing system it should include a landing page rotator.
There are plenty of tracking services out there, but the quickest and easiest is to use a URL shortener such as http://bit.ly which will give you all of the basic tracking data. Or if you want something more professional that goes into a lot more detail you can try http://getclicky.com.
Keep tracking , tweaking and testing until you find out what does work, and most importantly don't give up after a couple of weeks. This type of strategy can take a while to become profitable and requires patience and consistent action.
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