Is online advertising the future for many large businesses? With social media and search engines taking over how we communicate, it was only a matter of time before advertisers tippled that this was the place to market their services to vast volumes of potential customers instantly. As a result we’re facing a large influx of online adverts across the web, but where are the best places to get your businesses voice heard?
The giant of search engines, Google is effectively funded by advertising pulling in billions every year through its wide variety of advertising revenue streams. Google has taken this to the extent that it offers advertisers a range of pre-built platforms allowing them to advertise directly to their users.
Effectively, Google is the top dog in online advertising through their dominance and range of options:
AdWords allows you to custom tailor your adverts to your website so that they appear in search results. These are the adverts which appear above standard listings with a yellow background. These can be tailored by keyphrases so that unlike traditional advertising, you have a great deal of control over who is actually seeing your adverts. As a result these ads are as a whole very relevant to the recipients, making them more likely to click and make a purchase. Another benefit of this platform is that you do not pay for your adverts to be displayed, only when they are clicked. Furthermore, you can tweak your adverts over time making them more effective and even reduce the cost.
AdSense is an opt in form of advertising whereby website owners can choose to allow adverts such as yours to display on their website. The intended result being that your adverts will be able to appear on a site that is extremely relevant to your industry. To use this you simply setup your AdSense account and Google will match you up with relevant sites to display on.
The display network has many similarities to AdSense in that it is about putting your ads on the right sites in front of the right people. This is a far more comprehensive approach suited to large advertisers looking for comprehensive display advertising. This included a variety of sites associated with Google such as YouTube where you can display video adverts and images throughout a host of respectable websites with guaranteed traffic volumes.
While advertising has a somewhat limited scope on Facebook at present, this is something that they are looking to change in light of their rapidly declining stock value. Sponsored advertisers currently appear on the right-hand column of the sites layout and the ability to ‘Like’ businesses does provide some advertising stream but this will be expanded soon. In the near future Facebook intends to include advertising within the wall postings of users. It remains to be seen how effective this will be for advertisers and in particular, how well it is accepted by users.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
While this is not a straight forward ‘post the advert – see the advert’ solution it does constitute what can be an extremely effective way of advertising your business through search engines. One focal point of SEO is to get your website appearing at the top of search engines natural listings for a variety of terms that your business wants to be found for. This is done through a wide range of methods that centre around link building and site optimization in order to boost yours sites strength and profile. Unlike AdWords paid listings, this method is a more permanent solution as despite initial costs; it will make your site itself stronger meaning that you can continue to turn a profit from natural listings after you have finished using your SEO company.
These are all excellent ways to advertise your business online. While some will be more suited to some businesses than others, I would suggest looking into them all in some detail so that when you do make a choice you make the right one for you.
James Perfew is a banner print designer. He regularly creates exhibition displays for a host of large businesses.