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Frequently Asked Internet Advertising Questions
by Shelley Lowery Copyright 2003


If you're marketing a product on the Internet, developing a successful advertising campaign is an important part of your success. 

However, this is an area in which many Internet marketers struggle. 

For this reason, I have devised a list of the most frequently asked advertising questions I have received.

Question:  I'm new to the Internet and have been seeing a lot of terms I'm not familiar with. Can you tell me what ROI means?

Answer:  You can find just about any Internet term you can imagine at Net Lingo.

Here are a few common advertising terms used online:

ROI - Return on Investment 
USP - Unique Selling Proposition
Conversion Rate - The number of visitors compared to the number of sales 
CPM - Cost Per Thousand (Associated with ezine advertising)

Question:  What, in your opinion, is the most effective form of Internet advertising?

Answer:  In my opinion, ezine advertising is the most effective form of advertising used on the Internet. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also provides a great way to reach your target audience.

The key to using ezine advertising effectively is to target your audience and track your response. You must test the effectiveness of both your ad and the publication in which you're advertising. This will enable you to determine which ads are pulling the most response and which publications are providing you with the highest response rates.

The Directory of Ezines provides a complete online searchable database of ezines that accept advertising. This directory contains all the information you'll need to effectively place your ads. There is a $39.95 per year membership fee.

If you're looking for a low cost alternative for purchasing ezine advertising, Ezine Ad Auction will enable you to bid on ad space in targeted ezines.

Question:  Is banner advertising still effective?

Answer:  Although banners are no longer as effective as they once were, they're certainly not obsolete.

A few months ago, I tested the effectiveness of several different banner designs and click through rates. The overall results of my test concluded that the effectiveness of banners has definitely declined over the past few years. However, with over 12,000 click throughs delivered, banners can still be very effective.

The banners used in my test were as follows:

=> Static banner with a text ad 
=> Animated banner with a text ad 
=> Static banner with text and the words "Click Here" 
=> Static banner with blue underlined text 
=> Static banner with text and a drop down box image with submit button

Can you guess which banners were the most and least effective? The results may surprise you.

Here's how the banners preformed:

3.0% - Static banner with blue underlined text 
2.2% - Static banner with text and a drop down box image with submit button 
1.0% - Static banner with text and the words "Click Here" 
0.9% - Animated banner with a text ad 
0.2% - Static banner with a text ad

Question:  When designing advertising banners, is there a standard size used on the Internet?

Answer:  Yes, here are the standard banner and button sizes used on the Internet:

Standard Banner Sizes:


Standard Button Sizes:


Question:  Can you tell me how I can test the effectiveness of my banners?

Answer:  In order to test your banners, you'll need to use a script to display your banners and track the number of exposures and click throughs. 

I use a great script called Web Adverts. 

To test the effectiveness of your banners, divide the number of exposures by the number of click throughs.

Example Formula:

100 exposures divided by 25 click throughs = 4:1 ratio

A 4:1 ratio specifies that the banner is clicked on once for every four exposures. The lower the number of exposures compared to the click throughs, the better.

Question:  I know that ezine advertising is an effective form of advertising, but can you tell me about some other advertising options?

Answer: There are many forms of advertising you can utilize on the Internet. For example, there are a number of programs referred to as "Pay Per" programs.

These programs include, pay-per-click, pay-per-lead and pay- per-sale. 

Pay-per-click programs will enable you to advertise to your target audience and only pay for results -- you pay a set amount for each visitor that is sent to your web site. The most popular pay-per-click program is the pay-per-click Search Engines. You can learn more about pay-per-click Search Engines here.

Pay-per-lead programs will enable you to only pay for leads. These leads may be potential customers that fill out a registration form, enter a sweepstakes, or download a free product trial.

Pay-per-sales programs are simply affiliate programs. Affiliates are paid a set commission for each qualifying sale.

You can find a number of Pay-Per programs here.

In addition to the above Pay-Per programs, you can purchase pay-per-click banner ads. There are several companies online that will place your banner within their network and charge you a set fee for each click through. 

Value Click 

AdDynamix Pennyweb 

Another popular advertising technique used on the Internet is pop-windows.

Although the effectiveness of pop-windows has declined (due to software programs that prevent them from loading), pop-windows can still be an effective advertising tool. 

For further information on using pop-windows, you may read the following articles:

Create Your Own "First Visit" Pop-Window 

Pop-Under Windows - The Latest Pop-Window Trend

Question:  I'd like to track my advertising response rates, but I'm not sure how to do it. Can you help?

Answer: The easiest way to track your advertising strategies is to use a script that will track the number of clicks a specific link receives.

Below are some ad tracking resources to assist you in your testing and tracking endeavors.

Ad Tracking CGI Scripts

LnkinLite - If you're looking for a simple way to track click throughs, then LnkinLite may be your answer. This free script will enable you to easily keep track of the number of clicks a specific link receives. Instead of using your standard link within your advertising, you can use a link created by this script. It will track the number of click throughs and instantly redirect your visitors to your URL.

Willmaster's ProLinkz - This powerful script is a link creator, tracker, disguiser and manager all in one. It will enable you to create uniquely coded links that redirect to any URL you specify and count all hits and referers. Cost - $45.00

When testing your advertising strategies, keep in mind, a strategy that produces results for one person may not produce results for you. There is no 'set in stone' strategy that works for everyone. You must develop your own style and technique and test your results to determine what works for you.

Take your time and develop a strategic advertising plan that produces results. Testing and tracking will be the key to your advertising success.

Copyright Shelley Lowery 2003.

Shelley Lowery is the author of Web Design Mastery - An in- depth guide to professional web design. And, Ebook Starter - A complete ebook design kit. Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a free subscription to Etips and receive a free copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies."


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