How to Promote Your Website
Banner advertising is a curious beast. In the world of online marketing, there are two schools of thought. One dictates that banner advertising doesn’t work and that eventually conversions (the percentage of customers coming to your site through a banner that subsequently make a purchase) are going to get so low that they disappear completely.
The other dictates that banner advertising will be around forever and is the best way to build online branding.
The main issue people cite when attacking banner advertising is that the number of people clicking on banners is actually declining. However, an interesting comeback to this is that it’s more likely that people’s perception of banner advertising is actually maturing, bringing banners closer to the way that billboards and television adverts work.
Consider this; when you see an advertisement for BMW on television, do you immediately phone up the 1-800 number on the screen to learn more about BMWs? Rather, do you find yourself thinking about BMWs – is the purpose of advertising to build brand awareness and make sure a particular company or offering is in the forefront of your mind? Banner advertising started off by enjoying excellent click-through rates because it was a new thing. Today we find that banners are probably just a good way of getting your name out there.
To determine if banner advertising is right for you, there’s no alternative to just trying it to see if it works. There are, luckily, a number of ways to see if banner advertising does work.
The easiest and quickest ways to get your banners on other sites is to join a banner exchange program. These programs allow you to put together banners that are then served on other sites, in exchange for which you have to put banners for other sites on your site. There’s usually some form of ratio system in play, meaning that you have to show two or three impressions for other sites before yours is served on some other site.
The most popular is the Link Exchange Banner Network, which is now part of Microsoft’s bCentral. Link Exchange offers you the ability to place a 468×60 pixel banner on your site and a 2:1 ratio, meaning you have to show two banners for each one of yours that is displayed. Link Exchange is currently the largest banner network with 550,000 members. It also offers targeting to specific industries and, starting soon, geographical areas.
Remember, although we’re talking specifically about Link Exchange here, there are a number of banner exchange programs out there that may better suit your needs. Make sure you research thoroughly before committing to a specific program.
The only caveat with these banner swap services is that they want to market their own service just as hard as they want to market yours. This means that each time you see one of their banners, you’ll see a advertisement for their own service alongside. However, banner exchanges are usually very cheap (often free) and easy to set up, so they’re usually worth trying in the first instance, unless you have cash j and intentions for a larger strategy. Most services give you a simple snippet of HTML to add to the pages – Link Exchange’s is just a few lines.
Here's the HTML code:
<iframe src=”http://leader.linkexchange.com/XXXXXXX/sliowiframe?” width=468 height=60 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 hspace=0 vspace=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no>