Online advertising is something small and mid-sized businesses should explore to increase visibility, drive website traffic and generate inbound leads.
Online advertising complements your other online marketing activities, and can be especially helpful in filling a void while you work on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. It can also provide valuable analytics and insights to improve overall online performance and results.
Different advertising approaches are appropriate for different business situations – selecting the right approach is key. Three distinct online advertising opportunities are:
- Pay per Click (PPC)
Pay per click is a type of advertising available through search engine providers such as Google (Google Adwords) and Bing/Yahoo (AdCenter).
In simple terms, pay per click is based on a keyword bidding system. Advertisers agree to pay a “per click” cost per keyword. The ad is displayed (an impression) on the top or sidebar of search engine results pages. Costs are only incurred when the ad is actually clicked.
The strengths of pay per click advertising include being able to closely monitor results, and adjust budgets in real-time based on how the advertising campaign is performing. If you do a good job with developing ads and having well-structured and compelling landing pages, conversion (inbound leads) results can be very positive.
- Advertising on Social Networks
Advertising on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn allows businesses to take advantage of demographic information to target specific communities of interest. This form of advertising is typically based on a pay per impression model – costs are incurred each time the ad is actually displayed.
The strength of social networking advertising is that it can be targeted to precise demographics, and will only be seen by those who fit the specific profile.
- Banner Advertising
A banner ad is a form of advertising that entails embedding an advertisement onto a webpage – typically on a frequently visited site such as a news site. Banner ads drive traffic to the company’s website. They also enhance brand recognition.
The strengths of banner ads include their relatively low cost, and that they can be viewed by a large audience depending on the popularity of the site on which the ad is displayed.
The Bottom Line
Online advertising is a great tool for building brand awareness and generating leads, whether your website is appearing in organic search results or not. Strategic use of online ads can drive significant return on investment for your business.
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. He helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing, and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at [email protected].