If your enterprise publishes its own Website or blog, you may be interested in making some money out of it. While there are plenty of options for offering online advertising, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind before you step into it.
Not all advertisement programs are alike -- they differ in terms of business model, payment structures, and reliability. Choosing the program that best suits your needs takes some evaluation.
When you rent out space on your Website or page to advertisers, they may either pay you a flat amount of money for the space, or your payment might be linked to certain conditions, including the following:
CPC (cost per click) or PPC (pay per click). The advertiser pays the site owner for each click the user makes on the ad that redirects the user to the advertiser's Website. The payment is only made when the user clicks on the ad irrespective of how many times the ad is viewed.
CPV (cost per view). The advertisers pay for each unique view of the ad. Normally, this is more suitable for pop-up ads where the ad has a lot of content.
CPM (cost per mile) or CPT (cost per thousand impressions). This is an extension to the CPV model, wherein the Website owner gets paid a fixed amount for every thousand unique impressions or views of the ad. It doesn't matter if the user clicks the ad or not.
CPA (Cost per Action or Cost per Acquisition) or PPF (Pay per Performance). The advertiser only pays the website owner when the user purchases something or signs up for a service after being redirected by the ad.
Because a click on the ad or a sale has a lot more value than a view of an ad, CPC and CPA usually pay more for each transaction. However, it's pretty difficult to get clicks on ads, so a lot of publishers prefer the CPV or CPM models. Many a time, the advertisers offer you a combination of two or more of these models at the same time.
Once you've decide on the revenue model, it's time to think about the type of ad you can place on your page. The most common form of online ads is the banner ad, which is simply a rectangular strip containing a single or multiple ads. A banner ad can be placed at the top or bottom (in which case it is called a leaderboard) or sides of the page (a skyscraper). At times it may also be put in the middle of the page amongst the text or other contents.
Although the larger the number of ads, the more money you're likely to make, it's also important to keep the user experience in mind. A larger number of ads on all sides may make the page look cluttered and turn the user off from your Website.
Ads can contain static text or animation. They may also be interactive and allow the user to perform certain actions within the ad. While research has shown that animated ads capture far more attention than static ads, sometimes animations can be obtrusive and may spoil the user experience.
In recent years, advertisers have been very creative with online ads and we have seen the use of things like floating ads (which move across the screen as the user is scrolling) and pop-up ads (where the ad covers the entire screen until the user closes the ad).
When you choose to sign up with an advertising program, the advertiser will place ads on your site that closely match your content and are likely to appeal to your viewers. As a publisher, the more attractive and closely targeted your Website's ads are, the more chances you have of getting clicks on them.
Advertisers differ in their ability to match their ads with your content. Some of the most popular and well-established advertisers are successful because they generate ads that strongly appeal to a site's users. An advertiser's targeting and appeal to your users should be one of your main considerations in choosing a program.
There are some things to watch for as you step into online advertisement. One is ethics: If you click on ads yourself or ask others to do so, this constitutes fraud, and a large number of publishers lose their accounts each year for it.
At times, ads might be offensive to users or link to sites that make the user download malware or spyware. While popular and well-established advertisers won't do this, there are still chances that some companies might end up putting offensive or objectionable ads on your Website.
— Taimoor Zubair works as a software engineer at a leading BPO solutions company in Pakistan.