Once you've developed high-demand content and you've got highly-targeted traffic showing up, what ads will result in the most money for you? What is the best way to monetize the content of your website? This site will help you decide between using ad networks or trying to sell your own advertising directly. Pay-per-click advertising, display ads, and affiliate programs will all be explored.
Click or Impression? Which is Best For You?
Most website owners want to be paid every time a web visitor lands on a page -- this is called impression advertising or CPM (Cost Per Thousand) advertising. However, most starting/beginning online advertising programs will only pay you when someone CLICKS on an advertisement -- the web visitor has to respond or take some kind of action. We'll examine both these ad types on this site.
How to Place Automated Ads on Your Website
One of the easiest ways to put ads on your website is going to services like Google, Adbrite, Infolinks and Kontera -- often called ad networks. Once you've established an account with an ad network, they will provide you with a small snippet of code that you add to the web pages you want to run ads on. This code essentially tells the ad network where to show the ad on the page, it is essentially a target container on the page that will be filled automatically with an ad.
The companies analyze the underlying meaning of each web page (contextual analysis) and then automatically send an advertisement (text link, banner, video) ove the network to be displayed automatically on your page. Each company has a different set of options which you can normally control and specify. Normally, in the beginning, you will only be paid when a web visitor sees and clicks on the ad (CPC - Cost Per Click ad or CPA - Cost Per Action ad), but once you have traffic and a well understood audience, advertisers may be willing to provide you with banner or display ads and pay you for every web visitor who sees the ad (CPM - Cost Per Thousand impression ad).
How to Put Affiliate Advertising Links on Your Website
Affiliate programs are available from companies like Commission Junction or Amazon. They are very similar to the automated ads above, but they are slightly more focused at understanding the type of web visitors that come to your web site. For example, if your website is about new technology gadgets, a company like Amazon will want you to put ads that will funnel people to their gadget shopping pages. You only earn money when web visitors click on the ads (link or banner). Depending on the particular affiliate marketing program, will get paid when web visitors: 1.) click an ad, or 2.) fill out an online lead form, or 3.) buy something from the affiliate ad provider.
How to Sell Ads Directly on Your Website
The third way to put ads on your website is to sell them directly. Returning to our earlier example above, if you have a website that is about technology gadgets, you can go to technology web gadget manufacturers and propose to have them pay you to advertise their products on your site. You can use free ad serving services like OpenX to serve and track the ads. How you get paid, click or impression, is up to you.
How Much to Charge for Ads on Your Website
The price you can get for your ads depends on the objectives of the advertiser and the quality/volume of your web audience. Some advertisers are looking for sales/leads (they'll only pay you if people click on the ad) and others are looking for "branding" (they are happy to have your web visitors see the ad). If you can prove through web analytics and visitor comments that there is a great "fit" be banner ads on your site, you'll be able to command higher pricing. You may be able to charge a monthly fee, just like rent, for a space on your pages. You get the money whether one or a million people show up. Of course, you won't get the money for very long if no one shows up.
Infolinks AND AdSense: The Perfect Combination for Website Monetization- Reuters - September 8, 2009, Infolinks, in a press release, claims they are the perfect compliment to Google AdSense for your website.
Will Fewer But Bigger Ads Rejuvenate Display Advertising? - BusinessWeek - March 10, 2009, new display ad formats will allow more creativity and higher pricing according to Rob Hof at BusinessWeek.
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Don't Skimp on Their Ad Budgets - Knowledge@Wharton - November 26, 2008, more words of wisdom to not cut online advertising budgets when the economic chips are down.
Now is the time to put the advertising pedal to the metal - Inside Tuscon Business - November 25, 2008, Lionel Waxman discusses the counterintuitive notion of businesses ratcheting up online advertising budgets in the face of economic uncertainty.
Is the End Near for Display Ads? - AdWeek - November 24, 2008, Mike Shields writes about how display ads, whose value is often questions because of their unmeasurability, may fall further out of favor during the online advertising economic recession.