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What Type of Advertising Space Formats Should I Sell on my Website

Aug 21, 2008
There is considerable debate over which types of Internet advertising are the most effective, and how ads should be situated on a webpage to maximize revenues. To a large extent, you will need to tailor your website to the mindset of your target audience to consistently keep your advertising revenues at a significant level.

So for starters, what kind of advertising are you displaying on your website? Is it predominantly Google AdWords and similarly unobtrusive, subtle advertising? Or are you allowing banner ads and pop-ups for the most part?

Needless to say that for many, pop-ups are far and away the most annoying advertising that people have ever come across online. Pop-ups are used because they grab someone's attention and, for this grabbing, they are cheap to the advertiser. The problem is they put people off. Some pop-up advertising has tried to be more subtle by floating across the page, then parking itself in the middle where the user can't read much until the ad is either clicked through or "X'd" out. All the same, it's generally best not to use pop-ups; they can give your website a very bad reputation.

Banner ads and videos can be highly effective even though they are still somewhat in-your-face. These don't get in people's way like pop-ups; they feel they have a lot more control about paying attention to them or ignoring them. What's more, these kinds of ads can be aesthetically appealing. Magazine-style block ads have been shown to work well online, too.

So now the question arises: where is the best place for them on your webpage? Banners work best if they are across the top of the page but are VERY understated. If a banner is flashier, it's most effective at the bottom of the page, although it is the general consencus that simple banners (and not highly animated ones) work best.

It is true that by placing banners at the bottom of your page where they are less likely to be seen, means the percentage of those who do see them and click them goes up. So, why is this? Well, it is understood that the website reader feels she got to read the information she sought first without being bothered and this results in higher clicks. Therefore it is sometimes a good idea to repeat the same banner at the top and bottom of pages to capture all comers! Banner ads can also work well if they appear in the middle of a page, but cannot be seen until the reader scrolls down.

Block ads should be placed on your website precisely like they are in magazines: in the left or right margin in a relatively narrow column. It is also worth mentioning that these ads are usually effective when they blend in and match the colour scheme and design of any text and images close to them.

As for Google AdWords and similar services, it is difficult to say with any certainty where they are best placed other than to say they should be higher up on the page, not toward the bottom. It is, however, most effective to show fewer in one spot than more. The web pages that show what seems like a waterfall of AdWords tend to be more off-putting to people; they will try to ignore the bombastic waterfall, even if it is subtle. Placing a section that shows three to five of these in the left or right margin, or in both margins, seems to work well. However, Google AdWords ads should not be made to show up too small and will ideally match the font and type size of the text on your page.

If you use videos, the most important thing is NOT to have them automatically start playing when someone visits the website. Give people the choice to click them and play them, as it is important to give them some control of what they watch and listen to. Videos that start to play automatically can sometimes be even more off-putting than pop-up ads, especially if the visitor has their speaker volume up too loud.
About the Author
This article May be used on other sites but this resource box and all live links MUST be left intact Andrew Long writes content for advertising websites and runs a subscription service for webmasters and website owners called ARC, which includes topics about Advertising For Your Website and Advertise On My Web Site.
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