While browsing my Twitter feed this morning, I saw a Tweet from someone who said she was disappointed that she paid $45 for a banner ad at a website, and only got 4 clicks through to her site. While $45 is not a lot of money, when you're Indie, every penny counts, so you want to do what you can to make sure that every ad dollar you spend at least pays for itself. Here are some simple things you can do to make the most of your online advertising budget.
First, remember that quality is better than quantity. Make sure you advertise on a site where there is a niche of people who are interested in your products. If you sell anti-aging cosmetics, there's no sense is posting your ad to a general women's website with 1 million page views a month when you can post it at a women's baby boomer website with 50,000 page views a month.
Second, make sure your ad conveys a clear message and tells site viewers what to do. People's eyes move quickly over website content and if your ad is confusing or does not have a call to action, it may be overlooked.
Third, be fair to the site owner. Don't place your ad at a spot on the page where no one ever goes because it's the least expensive location, and then expect it to deliver for you.
Finally, if you know your target market is at the site, ask the site owner for suggestions on how to improve the ad's performance. Would a change of color make a difference? How about adding the words “click here” or another suggested action for the reader to take? What if you changed a few words or moved the graphic to a different location? While there's no guarantee that your ad will perform well at any given location, chances are that, if you ask, the site owner will work with you to improve click through results so you can both benefit. If that's not the case, then take your advertising dollars someplace else.
Question: Can you offer some tips based on your online advertising experiences? If so, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below.