Online advertising refers to the use of the Internet, often through blogs and other distributed media, to promote business. Online advertising is often considered a part of cost-per-impression marketing as it requires the least amount of direct human contact between the company and the customer. It is also often used to create awareness for upcoming products and services. Online advertising differs from traditional marketing in that the user does not have a physical product to purchase, but can instead only make purchases online, and the advertiser only pays for traffic that passes by the website. Online advertising also uses many of the same strategies as regular advertising. For example, advertisers can use search engine optimization (SEO) to boost websites’ rankings in search results, paid advertisements on major networks such as Google and Yahoo!, and paid inclusion in e-mail and content emails.
Online ads are usually small text or picture ads placed on specific sites to attract users. The number of these ads displayed on a website is called “visibility,” and advertisers can choose to pay per click or per impression, or a combination of both. Online ads are usually targeted toward the interests of the user with whom they are displayed, as opposed to traditional advertisements that are not customized for any user.
There are several kinds of online advertising methods and formats available. Pay-per-click (PPC) programs are designed for advertisers to bid on keywords related to their products or services and to track the number of times each keyword appears on a Web site. Keywords can be chosen with an eye to optimizing ads for search engines, or they can be randomly chosen to provide a more diverse exposure. Keyword targeting capabilities are another important factor when choosing an advertising program. Most PPC ad providers offer some form of data collection targeting capabilities, although some do not have this functionality at all.
Another type of online advertising is display advertising. Display ads are generally small images that may be presented on a Web site or in a popup window. Publishers who decide to display ads on their Web sites should consider carefully what audience will be exposed to the ads. If too many people will see a display ad, it may cause fewer people to click on links within the content of the page, or to visit the advertiser’s Website in the first place.
YouTube is another area where online advertising is concerned. Video advertisements, like those that appear in search engine results, allow advertisers to create a short ad with a short clip, which may be uploaded to YouTube and then used in a number of different ways. One of the advantages of video ads is that they are very easy for users to ignore, and they can be quickly and easily disabled by the viewer. However, other cons of YouTube include the fact that it takes time to generate good quality videos, and that the demographics of those viewing YouTube videos make them particularly difficult to market to.
All of these points are important for those who choose paid advertising methods. However, there are also a number of cons of online advertising. For example, those who want to use display ads or video ads may have difficulty finding an audience for their product or service. Some of the demographics of Internet users can make it difficult to reach individuals who may be more receptive to advertisements on television.