Use banner ads in your pay-per-click campaign

Pay-per-click banner advertising enables businesses to reach potential customers with eye-catching, graphically robust display ads while still enjoying the benefits of search engine advertising.

Of course, most people think about online search engine advertising (and yes, people are thinking about online search engine advertising) when they think of text ads that appear on Google's search engine pages and other search engines. These three-line ads are the mainstay of pay-per-click advertising programs. They are a very effective tool for luring Internet users to your website for your specific products and services.

In fact, these "word ads" are so synonymous with pay per click advertising that Google calls its pay per click program Google AdWords. However, these text ads are not the only form of paid search advertising. Banner ads can be an effective as well as instrumental component of a pay-per-click campaign in addition to text ads.

Let's start with the basics: What are banner ads?

Banner ads have their name from one of the first and most popular types of online advertising - the long, horizontal rectangles that often sit on top of a web page, usually above the website masthead or logo area. Unlike text ads that consist exclusively of words and numbers, banner ads include graphics, images, and even animations. They can be simple and uncomplicated or very creative. In any case, they should attract attention so that netizens who see these ads actually read the content.

In addition to the long horizontal format described above, which is formally called the "Leaderboard", banner ads can be formatted in a variety of sizes and aspect ratios. A quick surfing session on the Internet, and you'll probably see dozens of banner ads and the wide variety of forms that advertisers use.

How do these ads fit into the context of a pay-per-click advertising campaign? Is not there the place the owners of the websites they appear on sell? Usually not.

Thousands of sites participate in the Google AdSense program, where Google essentially "rents" space on websites to display banner ads. In this context, Google works as a placement agent, where advertisers can view banner ads on thousands of websites without having to work directly with each site.

More importantly, these banner ads are only for users looking for content relevant to the products and services you promote. For example, suppose that you manufacture and sell patio umbrellas, and that you use banner ads as part of your pay-per-click advertising campaign. Now, when an internet user visits a home and garden website and reads an article about how to decorate his patio, the banners for your company's umbrellas can be displayed to that relevant consumer. In essence, ads are shown on websites and on specific websites based on the relevance of your ad.

Banner ads work well as a supplement to the more common text ads that appear on search results pages. They are particularly useful for increasing the visibility of a brand or product among a consumer target group at a very low cost. That's because the average CTR for a banner ad is only about 10 percent of the CTR of a typical text ad. So your banner ads can serve hundreds of thousands of people and you only pay for a few clicks.

In the pay-per-click store, we often recommend banner ads as part of our PPC management services to customers who want to build brand awareness, but who require more conventional branding tactics - such as billboard, television or magazine advertising - are prohibitively expensive.

The lesson here is to consider other forms of pay-per-click advertising as text ads when developing your PPC advertising program. And seek the guidance and support of a professional company that provides PPC services, including the development of banner advertising.

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