Last Year Internet Ad revenue hit $31bn. Q4 saw the best quarterly result ever at $9bn with a 20% increase on spend from the same period in 2010.

Figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau, which is the trade association for online advertising showed:

  • 46.5% of the spend was on search advertising on websites such as Google
  • About 8.1% was on online classified advertising
  • 34.8% was on display advertising which includes banners and digital video commercials.

5 of the Best Online Advertising Methods Today

1. Websites and Blogs

If you want to make the best of online advertising then you need to have a website or blog. Most online advertising is geared to direct people to your website, a central hub if you will. A large percentage of internet users use the internet as their preferred choice to find information about goods and services. Your website or blog is a permanent shop window that is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Tip: Just having a website or blog does not mean you will get traffic, leads, sales. You need to be 100% clear on the purpose of your blog before starting.

2. Social Media Websites

Social Media websites such as Facebook and YouTube are constantly seeking to increase their advertising revenues. Both provide full details of their advertising possibilities on their websites;

Facebook allows you to select your audience by location, age and interests and to test out simple image and text based ads. It suggests that companies advertising on Facebook can:

  • Advertise their own web page
  • Create demand for their products by creating relevant adverts
  • Publicize an event such as a product launch or anniversary.

Payment is either made by “pay per click” or by “impression” (visitors see the ad whether they click it or not). You can set a daily budget that can be adjusted up or down at any time.

YouTube offers a host of resources such as “how to” Guides and advertisers playbooks that will show you exactly how to set up and run your first successful marketing campaign with it.

Twitter also recently announced that it allows users to place self serve ads. You can find out more about Twitter Advertising here

Tip: Any Advertising on social media networks should only be undertaken as part of a coordinated social media strategy. if you are still unsure read this: 13 Reasons Using Social Media for Business is Non Negotiable

Read more: How Effective Is Online Advertising

3. Banners and Display Advertising

Display Banners, or Banner ads, were the first major method used for online advertising. By 2009, they had dropped to less than 23% of online advertising spend as pay per click or keyword advertising became the predominant force.

Display banners still have merit and are good for special offers or for reinforcing a brand. Banner ads are small adverts that normally come in various rectangle forms. They appear on websites and serve as a link directly to the advertiser’s website: when you click on a banner your browser instantly redirects you to that site.

The popularity of banner ads is partly due to fact that they are simple to produce and publish. They are also highly measurable. Depending on the ad and the producer or service, advertisers can calculate the cost per sale – this is the amount of advertising money that is spent to make one sale.

4. Pay Per click (PPC) or Keyword Advertising

Search engines and many websites (including social networks sites such as Facebook and YouTube), carry small adverts with embedded URL’s. When someone clicks on these adverts, the company that put them there is charged. This is considered by many to be the best online advertising method by far and has been growing at a remarkable rate. Unlike traditional advertising pay per click is user activated. Users like it, because it costs them nothing and they only use it if there is something that attracts them.

The advantage of pay per click for advertisers is that they only pay for the actual click through to their site. With other methods of advertising, both offline and online, you have no particular idea of how much it will cost you to attract each visitor. A user that clicks through into your site is likely to be interested in what you have to say, because these users are actively looking for information or researching what you have to say, your product service or offering.

The largest Pay per Click advertiser by a long way is Google and they have a large library of information available to walk small business owners through the process of starting a successful PPC campaign. Google

Tip: As promising and as exciting as having instant customers sounds, don’t think PPC is as easy as it sounds! There are many different facets that you have to consider when designing and implementing a successful PPC campaign. Which if you ignore or get slightly wrong could have a significant impact on your investment.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

With the huge increase of companies operating online and selling on the internet there has been a dramatic increase in the competition between companies to get visitors to their websites. When carrying out research most people will only look at the first page of search results and quite often only the first two or three.

An article on Search Engine Watch shows that 36.4% of people click on the first result and only 2.2% click on result number ten, the last result on the first page.

Making sure your site gets high up in the search results is important to the success of your website. There are ways to improve your search engine rankings, and search engine optimization is the method of doing this.

Tip: Search Engine Optimization is a long term strategy one that will require constant attention. ( When your website starts to move higher in the rankings, those that you displace will try to recover their ground.)

The best online advertising methods can and will only be the best if you in fact have a sound, well thought out plan for your advertising campaign; whether that is SEO or social media. The simple fact is if you go running ahead online without due care and attention you could end up with a whopping great investment of time and or money for little to no return.

What are the best online advertising strategies or methods that you use for your business? Leave a comment below.

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