Should I advertise on my website?

I get a lot of enquiries from my clients who receive a high volume of traffic, who would like to use their website for advertising space. I have always been slightly cautious of this approach as I feel if you don’t get it correct, the website you have worked so hard on will actually put visitors off and make them click elsewhere.

I decided to do some research so it wasn’t such a grey area and here are my findings…

Deciding whether or not to advertise space on your website depends on a couple of things:

  • Who your target audience are?
  • How would they react and would they benefit from advertising?

Once you have the above information, this will help you choose relevant adverts for your visitors. They are more likely to bring you revenue if the ads are something they are interested in.

How do I work out what to charge?

Pricing based on actions

Working out the cost to advertise on your site depends on how many unique visitors you receive per month. Obviously the more visitors, the more you can charge.

The amount varies but one way you can work this out is by working out the number of impressions the advertisement would get (i.e. the number of visits) and then give it a CPM (cost per thousand).

Smaller websites have a CPM of about £1 – £3 so for every thousand impressions the user would pay this amount. If your site had 10,000 unique visits, you could charge £10 – £30 per month for the advert.

There are other models available including cost per click (CPC) based on every click on the advert and cost per action (CPA) which is based on a click which then results in an action (i.e. a purchase).

Using advertising networks

Another way to advertise is to use a third party network such as Google AdSense which provides code to display on your website. You receive a small commission for each click.

Getting the most from your ads

A successful ad campaign is based around many factors but here is are some guidelines to generate the most revenue:

  • Testing
    Test different artwork (call to actions, size, shape, colour), banner placement and different offers including pricing so you have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
  • Tracking
    Know your goals and set up tracking that you know who’s clicking on what and where your advertising traffic is coming from.

In summary, advertising on your website can be a little daunting but if you know your audience well, what they would like to see, charge the correct amount, test, test, test and track, you shouldn’t go too far wrong!

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