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The Complete Guide to Online Advertising

Advertisements are a great way for online publishers to be make money. However, for someone getting started with online advertising it can be extremely confusing. There are lots of different advertisers, types of ads which you can display, payment models such as CPM, CPA and CPC, and different ways of getting paid.

The advertiser section of this site contains details of the many different advertisers, hopefully helping you to choose one that suits your needs. This guide hopes to cover the rest of the details, such as what certain advertising specific terms mean, and what types of advertisements might be the most suitable for your specific website.

Payment Models

There are basically three different ways in which advertisers reimburse publishers for displaying their ads. These are known as CPM, CPC, and CPA.

CPM means Cost Per Thousand Impressions (M being the Roman numeral for thousand). An impression means your ad is being seen by a a visitor to your site. Therefore if you're being paid on a CPM basis the more people that see the advertisements the more you earn. CPM advertising is generally a good choice for websites that receive a high volume of traffic in a general niche where it is difficult to cater your advertisements to one set of targeted demographics.

Because CPM offers a good metric for comparison you'll also see eCPM, which means equivalent CPM. So if you're displaying ads on a CPA or CPC basis you can quickly and easily see how much your making per 1000 impressions.

CPC means Cost Per Click. This is where advertisers display ads on your site, often through a medium such as Google Adsense, and you get paid every time a visitor clicks on an ad. This is a great way to put up advertisements that are relevant to the content of your websites. Many webmasters have found success by driving targeted traffic to their websites monetized with CPC advertising.

When displaying CPC ads an important metric is your CTR, or Click Through Rate, meaning the percentage of visitors that click on the ads. Obviously the higher this number is, the higher your earnings.

CPA means Cost Per Action. An action can mean different things depending on the offer being advertised, with the action usually coming in the form of a lead or a sale. Affiliate Marketing is considered CPA, and while it is difficult to master the profit potential for professional affiliate marketers is virtually unlimited. CPA advertising generally works the best when you have highly targeted traffic searching for the products that you are advertising.

The payment model that will suit you best depends on your visitors, the type of site you have, the main sources of your traffic, and other factors that we'll discuss more in depth later in the article.

Types Of Advertisements

There are many different types of ads that you can display, from simple text links to full page interactive banners. Choosing which advertisements to display is going to require testing different advertising models in order to figure out which type is the most profitable for your specific website.

While more subtle advertisements are less likely to earn you as much money, large in your face type of advertisements tend to annoy visitors, which can drive them away from your website. Less visitors means less revenue potential, so scaring your visitors off is the last thing that you want to do.

Text links are the most basic form of advertisements, being simply a text link to a website. Text links are very easy to blend into your site naturally. Many affiliate offers tend to be text links. Text link ads are available from ClickBank and Text-Link-Ads.

Banner ads are probably the most common type of advert seen on the web. While they can be very effective in attracting attention, many web users are now “banner blind” since they are so used to seeing them all the time. They are popular for a reason though, banner ads can be very effective, and work well for certain types of advertisement. The most common banner ads seen on the internet are from Google AdSense

Pop-up advertisements are another very common form of advertising, and involve a new browser window being opened containing the ad. While the pop-up will definitely be seen by the visitor, these types of advertisements can be very annoying and turn visitors away from your site. Pop-up ads are still quite effective in certain situations, such as when you are building a newsletter or being paid on a CPM basis for the pop-ups viewed by your visitors. CPX Interactive offer pop-up ads, in addition to other formats.

Peel away ads are relatively new and an innovative approach to advertising. The ad appears as a graphic that resembles the corner of a piece of paper, usually on the upper right hand side of a website. The user is enticed into “peeling” away the web page in order to view the advertisement that lies underneath. Very few ad networks currently support this type of ad, but it is possible to use software to generate them yourself.

In-text, sometimes known as in-line, advertisements are when relevant keywords are linked to advertisements directly on the page. This form of advertising has shown to be very effective, since all of the advertisements on the page are non-intrusive yet highly relevant to the user. Chitika offer in-text ads.

Full page advertisements, sometimes referred to as pop-under ads, are shown in between pages on your site. These types of ads can be effective. Although they tend to be less intrusive to visitors than pop-up ads, they are usually not well received by visitors.

Pay per install programs, such as ZangoCash, are another common form of advertising. This form of advertising is considered somewhat of a gray area in the online advertising world. The software that users install is considered spyware by some, and displays relevant ads to the user as they surf the internet. While it can be lucrative, you have to make an ethical decision whether or not you want to be forcing adware onto your users computers.

Increasing Profit

It is easy to choose an advertiser and start displaying ads on your webpage. You may be wondering which one will make you the most money, or how you can increase your advertising profits. The truth is that there are so many different factors that will determine the amount of money you make from advertsing. The only way to really find out is try it out!

Test different advertising methods, as well as using a little bit of common sense. For example, if your website primarily visited by young adult males then dating affiliate programs might be a good idea. If your website receives large amounts of untargeted traffic then it may be in your best interest to monetize your site with CPM ads, since you get paid by page views.

Don't limit yourself to one type of ad. You're perfectly entitled to display ads from different networks at the same time. You could display CPM ads right next to CPA affiliate links. The CPM ads will ensure you always make some money, as long as your site it getting some traffic, while the CPA ads will make you much more money if and when your users take the required "action".

While it may seem like more hard work up front, testing out different advertising methods to find out what works best for your website is well worth the effort once you find the most profitable method for your specific site.