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Advertising on the web
By: Lata Budhran

Advertising your business in the correct manner is a sure shot key to success. Advertising helps you to reach out to a larger number of people from other websites. You definitely cannot expect these many people to come to you on their own. But Advertising is very, very COSTLY! And if you don't watch out, you may actually be going broke after paying your advertising bills, if your ads do not generate revenue. So, you should make sure you get value for your money.

With my own experiences in this field, I have drawn up some questions for Webmasters who are new to the field of Website Marketing. Take a good look at them EVERY TIME you make your advertising plan.

* Where are you placing the ad? Are you selecting the right kind of medium? It won't pay to place ads on websites when you have a business of an essentially local nature. A newsletter or an ezine catering to the needs of locals of your area will be a better choice. And better still, do not advertise on Websites and Newsletters just because everybody else is doing it. Ask yourself strictly- Do I really need to advertise online? Perhaps you will get better results by sponsoring a local event or a press release.

* What kind of ad are you placing? A Banner, a button, text? A banner ad may be the best when it is to be placed on the top of middle of a page. But, when your ad is going to be placed on a page which has too many other banner ads, a simple text ad will bring you more attention. Even attractively designed buttons on the side-menus generate a lot of clicks.
* Who is going to read it? Is this the TARGET AUDIENCE you wish to reach out to? It is very important to obtain the demographics of people visiting a certain website or reading a newsletter or ezine. By Demographics, I mean classification of visitors/subscribers according to their age, sex, occupation, interests, hobbies etc. That way, you can be sure that the people who will see your ad will buy your products/services. For e.g., for someone who is selling an e-book on Candle-Making, the best place to advertise will be Websites related to crafts & hobbies, WAHM's, online gift-shops etc. And the last thing you should ever do is place your ad for 'a dollar a week' at a website which has no records of its visitors to offer. I am sure you can spend that dollar on something better.

* What does your ad say? Is your message to the point? A stylish banner saying 'BOB's Place' can never persuade ME, at least, to click on it. On the other hand, if it says 'BOB's Place- The ultimate choice for Free Webmaster Tools', I'll definitely find myself clicking on it to see what he has to offer. In short, viewers do not have all the time in the world to surf the net by clicking on whatever they see. And those whodo, are mostly those looking for Free Stuff, who will NEVER spend a penny. You don't want to attract them, do you? It would help if you add a plain description of what your website is about, or a special holiday offer, or what's different about your product etc. In any case, please DO MENTION your product or service.

* Is your ad compelling enough? Would it make YOU click on it? Does the content make you curious enough to care to click on it to find out more? The best way to do this is to research. How do I do that, you ask? Well, it's very easy actually. For at least a week, whenever YOU click on an ad, save the text or the graphic to your hard disk. At the end of the week, go through them and try to find out WHAT made you click them. Was it the way they created a suspense, was it the Prices or was it unbelievable Offer they made? Then, gather together, what you liked best and try to mould it to suit your product/service. Don't lift words off somebody else's ad. Just pick up the idea behind it and get creative and form the outline of your own ad.

A few other things to keep in mind are to use Well-Made graphics ONLY. There is nothing worse than a badly done banner that affects your goodwill and it will be worthwhile to spend money on a good banner that you can use forever. Another thing is to ALWAYS compare prices of various websites or ezines keeping in mind what THEY offer you. Keep in mind the traffic, demography and click-through rate before you decide who's offering the best deal. More often than you think, you will realize that a website who is charging $10 more than the other is probably giving you TWICE the number of viewers for your ad! So, play smart and get the best value for your money.

About The Author

Lata Budhrani is a Web and Graphics Designer and the CEO of Elements Web Services. She specializes in Website Promotion and also publishes an ezine 'Web Elements' to help webmasters promote their websites effectively. Website: E-Mail:

Advertising on the web