Website advertising is a big business, whether you’re advertising your website on other sites, hosting ads for other sites and vendors, or both. Online advertising takes a more of a cooperative approach than other types of advertising. With online advertising, competitors aren’t afraid to share their traffic with other websites, as that usually translates to more traffic for them. Whether it’s in the form of an ad banner, a pop-up ad, or a hyperlink, website advertising has proliferated the internet, and changed the way we surf.
One of the oldest and most recognizable forms of website advertising is the ad banner, which is typically in the form of a horizontal box headlining the web page, but can also appear along the bottom of the page or vertically on either margin. Using graphics, text, and sometimes flash or audio, ad banners beckon viewers to click on the ad, which will then transport them to another site.
The two main factors to consider when deciding which website you should host your ad banner on are the amount of hits the website receives, and its demographics. For example, while a website that receives a high volume of traffic may increase the odds of your ad banner being seen, an unrelated demographic may decrease the odds that it will be clicked on. A website that attracts the right demographic, has a fair amount of traffic, and charges reasonable ad rates is the ideal space to host an ad banner.
Pop-up ads and pop-under ads are windows featuring ads which open automatically when you visit a website which hosts them. Pop-up ads open in front of the main website you’re visiting and obscure its pages, while pop-under ads are slightly less obtrusive and open behind the main window. Pop-up ads are notorious for annoying web surfers, as the viewer must click the “X” on the corner of the window – which is often purposely obscured – in order to close them. Most contemporary browsers and firewalls include a setting which blocks pop-up ads from appearing.
The easiest form of website advertising to design is a text hyperlink, which is simply a word or phrase that links to another website when clicked on, and is sometimes underlined or a different color. Hyperlinks are not always used for advertising, however, and are often used by bloggers or other online writers to reference material on another website. The more “incoming” links that a website has, or the more websites that link to it, the more relevant the website is considered by search engines, which consequently rank it higher amongst other websites of its kind. Because of this, many websites participate in “link exchanges,” which simply entail websites linking to sites which link to them.