Internet advertising may work better than print or broadcast media advertising for many things; but not necessarily everything. Always remember, the one thing that is constant about marketing is that products or services need to be seen by a customer in several different places (traditionally, marketers aim for three places).

The Return on Investment (ROI) needs to be well worth your efforts. Measuring, evaluating, monitoring and adjusting constantly will ensure that you do not waste a large portion of your online marketing budget on online ads that simply are not attracting the right customers.

Experiment - when something works, keep doing it, but monitor results, and if they slip, reconsider and be prepared to change where you spend your advertising budget.

  • A bad ad will not work; even if it is in the right place
  • A good ad will not work if it is in the wrong place

The dynamics of advertising are constantly changing. If you find a place that works well for you this month that does not necessarily mean it will work well for you in a few months’ time.

  •  Internet advertising will get business because you are attaching your business to a page where there is a lot of traffic from a demographic that has a high likelihood of doing business with you.
  • If it is working for you, it is likely that your competitors will discover that fact fairly quickly and start advertising in the same place, or perhaps take some other initiative to attract visitors away from the page you are generating business from.

Some sites generate a lot of their revenue from advertisers (e.g. large search engines and social media sites). Those sites have an inherent interest in sustaining the value of their advertising; and as such, the value of advertising on these sites (e.g. Google and Facebook) may be more stable. Even these sites will have strong competition from emerging companies who have a desire to take market share from them.

If you want to get sustained benefit from internet advertising, you do need to continually monitor, and adjust your advertising campaign.

  • Watch the level of business generated from ads, on a weekly basis using programs such as Google Analytics.
  • When advertising is not profitable, stop it, or at least alter it.
  • Look at the content of your ads and compare with other ads on the same site or page. Change your content regularly to ensure you have an advantage over the competition.
  • Do not advertise unless you are prepared to, and capable of monitoring your response. Watch your competition, and react quickly to make necessary changes.

What are the components of an effective internet advertisement?

  • One that gets viewed a lot
  • One that gets viewed mostly by the type of person you do business with (your target market)
  • One that attracts attention away from everything else on the page it appears on (so it does not fade into the background)
  • One that gives you maximum views per dollar spent; and maximum clicks back to your web or social media page from the ad
  • One that sees you achieving your online goals, such as building a database, increasing brand awareness or converting more sales. 

Many of the large search engine advertisers such as Google and Bing provide detailed user guides to assist you setting up your ads. Basically you are bidding for a place to have your ads display on the first page. The more common keywords that you select, the higher the bid you will need to pay. This is another reason to search for unique keywords that relate to your product that may not have been picked up by similar businesses- meaning your cost per click will be less. The more you are willing to bid, the more likely your ad will display on the first page. There is a danger that you can quickly spend your daily advertising budget, if you do not monitor your bids and keywords effectively. 
An advertisement will be most successful in relevance to the key words that people are using and whether the page that you are advertising is also reflecting what you are selling. Your ideal position for an advertisement is for it to be located on the first page of search results. Many people rarely go beyond the first or second page of their search results and if you are competing for the first page, this could be quite a costly exercise.

In order for your ad to be effective, you would need to select effective and simple copy that demonstrates what you are advertising. The landing page that you are sending people to from your ad should also reflect the topic/ product that you are advertising.

So that you can ensure that your advertising budget is spent effectively, you would need to ensure that your keyword selection is unique, fitting the target audience and representative of your audience. Google will display the most relevant ad with the highest bid as the first search result within that region/ location in which you are advertising.

Your advertisement can be targeted at mobile or desktop users, language, location- country, state, town. You can select whether your ad is displayed on search engine results or other locations. This is important to ensure that you are targeting your advertising where you want people to buy (based on your ideal demographic). There is no point selecting the whole world as this is not targeted enough and would not provide you with an effective return on investment.

Some common terms used in Online Advertising to get you started are:

  • Cost- Your spend per day

  • Average CPC- This is the average cost per click- this is where you would be charged each time that someone clicks on your ad. 

  • Max CPC- You can set how much you are willing to pay for a bid on a click.

  • Click Through Rate (CTR)- The number of times that your ad is clicked on divided by the number of impressions that your ad receives.
    Impressions- How often your ad is displayed in search results.

  • Clicks- How many people click on your ad and is a good indication of how well your ad is doing. 

  • Average Position- Where your ad is ranked in comparison to other ads. This is the location where your ad will be displayed in search results.

  • Conversions - How many clicks are converted into a sale or another goal (such as completing an online form).

  • Keyword- Words that internet users will type into search engines in order to find the information that they are looking for.

  • ROAS- This is the conversion value you get, divided by the cost of your ads. 

Who are you Reaching?

Internet marketing may be less likely to be local or even regional. It is most likely to be global. It is possible to focus on a national market through the internet; however, it is almost inevitable that you will draw some degree of attention from people outside of your country, no matter what you do. For example, if you promote a product in a local newspaper, it is highly unlikely that people outside of the local area will hear about the product; but if you promote a product online, it is highly likely that you will raise interest in many different countries, even if you do not intend to do so. 

Even though this may be the case, having an idea of your target demographic is a great way to ensure that your marketing resources and efforts are not wasted. Once you know who your target demographic for your website should be, this can influence what the website looks like, the kind of information that is displayed, where you advertise, when you advertise and the words and language that you choose to use.