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How to Advertise a Website Online

Objectives from advertising online include traffic for ad supported sites or immediate sales for merchant/affiliate sites, or "branding" for future sales. There are quite a few ways to go about advertising including:

1. Pay per click search engines

2. Pay for Inclusion for Search Engines

3. Pay for Directory submissions, Yahoo, Looksmart

4. Pay CPM or CPC prices for banners, skycrapers, buttons, or text links from ad networks or individual publishers.

5. Pay CPM or CPC prices for popups or popunders from ad networks or individual publishers.

6. Longterm sponsorship of content sites or sections for a flat fee

7. Running your own inhouse affiliate pay per sale program

8. Running your own inhouse affiliate pay per click, lead, or impression program

9. Using a third party affiliate network to run your cpm, cpc, cpa, and cps offers.

1. Pay per Click Search Engines

Pay per click search engines are search engines that show a given text ad in response to a specific query from an internet user. So for example when someone searches for web hosting at Yahoo a collection of ads from the overture pay per click search engine are presented along with the regular search results. With pay per click advertising you might end up paying more per click than you would with banners or popunders and related measures. But inspite of this your traffic in theory should be more targeted. Someone who types in a keyword phrases like "buying pet supplies" for example is likely to be far more interested in actually buying pet supplies than someone who is on an unrelated site and is basically convinced to click on an ad about pet supplies because it looks interesting. On very very specific types of products and services pay per click advertising may be the only way to reach the small narrow audience that is truly interested. Phrases like "data recovery" have a very high cost per click rate on overture often far more than $10 per click. But this is because those who enter such a phrase are very likely to be interested in very expensive data recovery services. How else can you reach such people except on data recovery sites if there are any? Summing up pay per click advertising may be an effective means of advertising with a minimum amount of effort but you need to keep an eye on the cost of the visitors pay per click engines bring to you vs what they can generate for you profit wise.

Popular pay per click engines include

Overture. - the world's largest provider of pay per click search results. Overture supplies results on MSN search, Yahoo, Altavista, Lycos, and numerous other portals. Overture charges a minimum of 5 cents a click on all phrases one can bid on with the listings paying the highest per click appearing first. Generally only the top 3 or 5 listings from Overture are syndicated to its partners so being in the top 3 or 5 is important if you plan on using them.

Google Adwords - a pay per click ad solution that ranks its ads according to the pay per click rate and the click thru rate. So ads that people respond to more will appear higher than ads no body clicks even if the ads no body clicks on have very high cost per clicks. Google adwords are in use by Google, AOL Search, the ISP Earthlink, and the Canadian ISP Simpatico, and other portals including Yahoo Japan. The top three listings from Google adwords are what shows up at AOL search, and Earthlink.

Findwhat - probably the number three provider of pay per click engine results after Google adwords and Overture.

Goclick - a pay per click engine that mainly gets its traffic from a large selection of small sites that uses the Goclick search box to earn money on a pay per search method or use Goclick's popunders.

Turbofind - a meta pay per click search engine deploying results from almost all pay per click providers except overture. Turbofind also allows advertisers to bid on terms that appear before partner provided pay per click results. The traffic to turbofind primarily comes from the searchtraffic affiliate program which pays 6 cents per click to webmasters for each visitor sent that clicks through on a search result.

7search - a small pay per click engine that mainly gets traffic from a large selection of small sites that use them as a revenue generator.

Kanoodle - a pay per click engine whose partners include dogpile, metacrawler, Netzero, and Turbofind

Sprinks - the pay per click engine that powers and its related properties.

Ah-ha - small pay per click engine whose results are often found in search engines deployong pay per click results from more than one provider.

* Links to More Pay per Click Search engines and Information about them.

2. Pay for Inclusion for Search Engines

Pay for inclusion is when one pays a search engine to include their urls in their search database. The advantages of doing this are primarily that you get faster feedback on how changes to a url affect its ranking on a given engine. Some search engines only accept url submissions via paid inclusion. You can tweak your way to better results in theory with pay for inclusion as compared to free listings as well. If your pages have reasonable link popularity and content you really shouldn't have to pay to include them in a search engine unless you plan to use the pay for inclusion thing to help tweak their rankings.

Popular pay for inclusion programs include:

Inktomi - this search engine accepts no free url submissions. You have to use paid inclusion to submit here. If your url is in looksmart or Zeal it automatically is a part of inktomi. Pages with good link popularity tend to automatically be picked up into Inktomi too. So even though you can't submit directly to Inktomi for free you should be able to get in for free eventually. Paid inclusion just lets you get in sooner. Inktomi is only important as it provides search results for MSN search.

Fast - this search engine allows free submission as well as pay for inclusion.

Altavista - this search engine has low traffic and accepts free listings as well as pay for inclusion

Teoma - this search engine provides results on and can only be submitted to for a fee via paid inclusion

3. Pay for Directory submissions, Yahoo, Looksmart

To pay for a directory listing means you pay a fee for the right to be reviewed for possible inclusion in a given directory. Looksmart now charges per click on url's that make it into their directory so a directory listing from them is more like regular advertising than anything else. Yahoo requires commercial sites to pay for review for possible inclusion in their directory. If accepted you will have to pay the fee again every year to remain in the directory. If you can generate more than the $299 fee yearly in profits off a listing it might be worthwhile. Most traffic from yahoo now comes from search which is provided by Google so a directory listing in Yahoo is not nearly as important as it used to be.

4. Pay CPM or CPC prices for banners, skycrapers, buttons, or text links from ad networks or individual publishers.

Regular untargeted banners and skycrapers can be had for dirt cheat prices now as compared to what they once were. In many instances for general interest items and sites untargeted banners can yield better results than costly pay per click engines on some terms. In 1999 or so banners were selling for $4 per 1000 easily on Flycast and other adnetworks with very little targeting. Now almost every adnetwork will sell regular banners for $0.50 to $1 cpm with a lot of targeting. If you don't care as much about targeting and can accept Non US, Canada, and Uk traffic banners can easily be bought for 0.20 to 0.50 cpm. Individual publishers also often will sell their banner/skycraper and related inventory very cheap and since they usually only get 50 to 65 percent of what an adnetwork charges advertisers to place ads on their site you can often pay less than adnetworks charge to get even more targeting because you can offer the publisher more. Below the scroll ads or ads at the bottom of a page can be had for very low rates but since they are less likely to be responded to almost no adnetwork except those that charge per click can sell advertising of this sort, same holds true for publishers. This type of ad can be had very cheap. With online ads if you are paying just to show an ad or paying CPM you should make the ad as interesting as possible to get the greatest response. If you are paying per click be as specific and as uninteresting as possible to screen out all but the most interested of prospects who you wish to click it since you are paying only for clicks.

*View this sites coverage of CPM and CPC programs for publishers to buy these types of ads as they are the same networks that value concious advertisers purchase ads from.

5. Pay CPM or CPC prices for popups or popunders from ad networks or individual publishers.

Popups and popunders are far more expensive than regular types of graphical ads that are common. They generate incredible click thru rates and can be good for helping to sell high grossing items or as an effective means to make sure a site's visitor sees your ad and does not overlook it as they can with banners. Popunders are almost full page ads than appear beneath the current browser window a person is viewing. Popups are ads usually not full page that pop in front of the screen a visitor is viewing and force the visitor to either close the ad or click it before they can proceed. People quickly close popups but popunders are usually actually looked at because a person is done doing what they were doing and is not interrupted to deal with your ad. Prices for once per visitor or once per session popunders from adnetworks vary from $1 to $10 per thousand or so with most selling for $3 to $4. Publishers usually only get 50 to 65 percent of this so if you deal direct with publishers and not adnetworks you can get a much lower rate. Popups sold in a once per visitor fashion usually sell for $1 to $5 per 1000 or so and often you as an advertiser only are required to pay for those that fully load and not the ones closed before they could load. Uncapped popups and popunders which can be shown on every page a person views sell for far less than once per session or visit ones. Uncapped popups and popunders can be purchased easily for $1 to 3 per thousand or far less.

* Visit this site's coverage of popup and popunder networks for publishers for places to buy these types of ads as they are the same networks that value concious advertisers purchase ads from.

6. Longterm sponsorship of content sites or sections for a flat fee

This is how offline media often works in practice and if you are clever you can offer sponsorship methods for content sites that can be very attractive and that don't even take away from the site's current revenue generating methods! A sponsorship could mean all ads on the site are from your company. To do this would mean you would have to be paying the site more than the currently get from all their other adnetworks/affiliate programs/ sponsors for this to even make sense to them. But if you just pay to have your company name mentioned beside the site's logo on all pages the site really has to give up nothing revenue wise. But you in turn could be part of the site. Instead of a site being it could be Sponsored by Your Company as a logo with all its regular ads. Sponsorships can be just in the form of a line of text under select site sections mentioning your company. Dedicated visitors of a content site will visit the sponsor site if it relates to the site they enjoy even if the ad that gets their attention about you is very small. You don't have to use giant graphical ads to generate effective brand recognition and leads for your site as the sponsor. Sponsorships can also mean that the sponsored site creates whole sections of content to prep its visitors for the types of content/products or services that your site offers. Sponsors of any form are hard to come by for message boards so negotioating a simple line of text with your company name on a site's message board pages might be easy to arrange for very very little money. With sponsorships the aim is long term association with an industry leader more so than immediate sales or traffic to your site. With sponsorships if you don't require a set amount of influence on a given particular site but want what you can get cheap you can inquire about buying the sites defaults if they use an adnetwork. Many sites have difficulty selling more than a few ad impressions per visitor via adnetworks and would be happy to sell their defaults very cheap even for a set price. You could buy these and get influence with some element of the site's traffic that had difficulty working with the untargeted type of ads that most adnetworks are based on.

7. Running your own inhouse affiliate pay per sale program

All this really requires is a will and some software. Depending on your needs you might need to have software custom created. If you don't require the best of tracking and don't expect on having lots of affiliate websites sign up to try to sell your stuff or whatever service your site has there are other means of creative tracking. Firstly if you only have a few affiliates you can use your merchant account or paypal shopping pages. You only have to use a slightly different price to distinguish your sales from those of your affiliates. If you can only muster 100 quality affiliates you could have the amount you charge for items be say 21.01 21.02 21.03 according to the affiliate that referred the sale. Then with some basic math you could work out what affiliate was responsible for what sale. Another way to track sales is to have an arrangement where by you will give a customer a discount for mentioning the affiliate that referred them. This would mean to allow your affiliates be able to post things like mention referred you or mention discount 2 for 10% off. When a customer mentions that as part of their order form you can know which affiliate to give credit to for the sale. Offline media track affiliate sales in this fashion all the time. The positives of running your own affiliate program is there is no risk. If you produce no affilaite sale you pay nothing other than the cost of setting up whatever solution you have set up. There are no monthly fees that affiliate networks will charge you and if you make an affiliate sale its easy profit for the host merchant if set up rightt. To be succesful with your own affiliate program you should actively try to market it to the best sites that you think could do well with it. To get quality affiliates you will have to make your offer appear legitimate as your site will not have the legitimacy that comes with an affiliate network backed offer.

8. Running your own inhouse affiliate pay per click, lead, or impression program

Similar to running your own pay per sale is running your own pay per click, lead, or impression program. With advertising in this fashion there is more risk of fraud as compared to pay per sale. A person either provides adequate credit card information and a sale goes through or it doesen't. You only have to pay for credit card sales that clear. With pay per lead, impression or click programs affiliates could use clickbots, or fill out forms themselves from mutliple ips and other such nonsense that can give the appperance of a legitmate ad impression or ad click, or lead for your program. You will have to screen affiliates more for an in house affiliate program of this sort and have some technical knowlege and software to look out for fraud. The possible advantage of offering pay per click, impression or lead programs on your own is you can pay less than you would from a formal affiliate network. The downside is that you will have to market your program to actually reach the sites that would consider using your program. An affiliate network would have better technical means to screen for fraud in pay per click, lead, and impression programs than you will usually as well.

9. Using a third party affiliate network to run your cpc, cpa, and cps offers.

When you use a third party for any form of affiliate offer this is different from regular advertising in a network where you pay for broad reach. With an affiliate network your programs are meant to succed not on their general appeal but on their appeal to a select group of sites that find they do well with them. In CPC programs if your ad is very related to an affiliate site your ad might perform very well for them even if you pay less per click than a general untargeted banner would. A 3 cents per click super related text ad will outperform a 30 cents per click general run of network banner for many affiliates even though the amount they are getting per click is less. With cost per action programs or cost per sale programs an affiliate network can present them before a large audience of website publishers.that you would never even consider. Such networks usually have setup fees and monthly minimums and fees which are a percentage of transactions. These are all costs of doing business if the network can help you achieve legitmacy and find affiliates that work well for your offerings.
*Read More about Affiliate Networks