Online Advertising Services
Many businesses are turning to online advertising services for assistance with up-to-date and innovative web marketing techniques and strategies. Over the past several years, the internet has become a reliable and secure place for consumers to shop. This has led many entrepreneurs to launch online companies that cater to a niche target audience. On the other side of the spectrum, giant international businesses have set up website stores in addition to their physical retail locations to capture a share of the internet shopping market. In between are all kinds of companies, agencies, and firms that have set up websites. Some of these, such as a small town flower shop, may be mostly informational in nature. Perhaps the local florist provides information on how to place an order for delivery, a telephone number, the hours of operation, and a map to the location. Others provide similar information about themselves as well as offering products or services that can be purchased online. Most of these business owners and managers will need to use a variety of promotional strategies to keep current customers coming back and to attract new customers to the site. These owners and managers can turn to one of the many online advertising services when they need assistance with the task of marketing and promotion.
Marketing experts promote several different techniques to increase visibility of one's website. Many online advertising services offer assistance with most of these strategies, though some firms may specialize in a specific function, such as email marketing. An entrepreneur or business manager will want to research the various strategies that are recommended to which ones will best help achieve his goals and objectives. A very small company, for example, probably won't have the financial resources, or the need, to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a large marketing campaign. Let's say, a stay-at-home mom makes embroidered bags by hand and she sets up a website to sell her innovative creations to others. Our entrepreneur is like the famous Proverbs woman: "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks" (Proverbs 31:17). But after the bags are completed, the knitting entrepreneur needs to get potential customers to visit her website without spending much money. Her solution may be to participate in online forums and chat rooms. Perhaps she'll even research how to use keywords and meta-tags to increase the site's rankings with the major search engines. Our embroidered bags designer may even go through the process of getting her site listed in various directories. Our entrepreneur can do these marketing techniques without contracting with any online advertising services.
A larger company, however, may need a larger outreach and have the financial resources to pay someone else to do the time-consuming tasks of utilizing search engine optimization techniques and website directory submission. Let's say this company sells calendars, stationery, mugs, and other gift items. They have a broad assortment of products to promote for any gift-giving occasion. By contracting with one of the online advertising services, the company turns the task of marketing and promoting its website to professionals. In addition to the search engine optimization basics, the advertising firm may develop an email marketing strategy that distributes a monthly newsletter to customers. The firm may provide a template to the business owner so that he can design the monthly newsletter or he may pay the additional costs to have the advertising firm take care of this task, too. In any event, the distribution list is created by adding email addresses of website visitors who have agreed to receive communications from the company. This is known as opt-in or permission-based email marketing. In addition to helping the business owner or manager with the creation of the distribution list and regular communications, online advertising services should also provide an analysis on whether a particular newsletter or message resulted in visitors or sales. This type of information helps the owner or manager to know what types of messages work best for the particular products or services being offered by the company.
Weblinking, press release distribution, and up-to-date content are other strategies offered by many online advertising services. Experts know that search engine rankings go up when related sites are linked to and from a client's website. For example, the entrepreneur who designs and creates embroidered bags may negotiate with other internet companies that sell other handmade or embroidered items to link to and from her own website. Since these websites sell related items, the search engine rankings may be improved. When the internet gift store owner launches a new product line, his advertising firm may distribute a press release to certain websites announcing the news. The press release may then appear on these websites with a link to the internet gift store. Up-to-date content refers to articles on a certain topic. Here again, the entrepreneur can write articles on such topics as the inspiration behind certain designs or knitting techniques for beginners and experts. A financial advisor may host a website with contact information and articles on such topics as getting out of debt, choosing a mutual fund, or the difference between term and whole life insurance. Content-rich websites tend to move up in search engine rankings. Here again, the professionals offering online advertising services can help pinpoint exactly what strategies will work best for a given company. The professionals will consider such factors as the industry, the size of the business, and the goals and objectives of the owner or manager. Armed with this information, the professionals can advise an appropriate marketing strategy to increase market share and revenue.
Online Advertising SolutionsIn about the year 2002, pay per click internet advertising was introduced by giant search engines as a component of online advertising solutions for the business community. Advertisers, especially those businesses with very small advertising budgets, were intrigued by the model which allowed them to pay a small amount each time someone clicked on their ad or sponsored link. As part of the process, the advertiser bids on specific keywords and the amount of the bid determines the placement of the ad or sponsored link. The highest bid gets top placement. Of course, one benefit is that the bid amount isn't paid until the click occurs. But that wasn't the only benefit. The entire world of marketing and advertising has changed over the last several years. Though the change accelerated with the technological advances of the internet, it began earlier than that with an increase in media outlets, including cable channels, satellite radio, and periodicals. At a much earlier time in American history, the vast majority of adults watched three television channels, listened to local radio broadcasts, and magazines such as Life, The Saturday Evening Post, and Good Housekeeping seemed to dominate. Advertising in these mass markets needed to appeal to a variety of people and interests. All that has changed. The marketing world calls it fragmentation and the industry spends a great deal of money and time figuring out all kinds of demographic niches.
Fragmentation means that people are more likely to pursue specific interests and hobbies. Aspiring chefs and the culinary-challenged watch the cooking shows; history buffs watch the history shows; and watching sports seems to have never gone out of style with many American men -- though now they have even greater options. Radio programs from far-away places can be accessed via satellite radio or through the station's internet website. The periodicals market still includes general interest magazines, but there are many magazines, newsletters, and even ezines that appeal to very specific niche groups, such as collecting the latest fad or raising rats as pets. No matter how obscure someone's interest, it's very likely that there are websites and other media catering to that interest. This is why pay per click internet advertising appeals to businesses. By bidding on relevant keywords, the advertisements for the company's products and services will appear on the websites that the target market is most likely to visit. Company management can feel confident that the advertising budget is being used wisely to reach those people who are most likely to be interested in buying what they offer. Even a tiny mom-and-pop operation out in the wilderness can set up a website selling something unusual such as pinecone pastries and use online advertising solutions to find potential customers.
The pinecone pastries example, admittedly, is far-fetched. But it is amazing how many different ideas that entrepreneurs can come up with for their ventures. With a website and online advertising solutions that include the purchase of relevant keywords, they can market their goods and services clear around the globe. However, that kind of market outreach isn't always an advantage. A plumber or a mobile dog groomer probably wants their customers to be within a reasonable distance from their own place of operation. The pay per click internet advertising selected by these sole proprietors can ensure that the ads they place are within specific geographical boundaries. Another benefit is that the programs are designed to track visits. From the statistics provided by the pay per click program, the business owner knows how many visitors have come to his website via a particular ad, how long the visitor remained on the site, and whether the visitor made any purchases. With this data, the owner can calculate such important figures as the cost per visitor and the conversion rate (when a visitor becomes a customer) for each ad. By determining which ads have higher conversion rates, the owner can make intelligent decisions regarding his promotional campaigns.
A great deal of money is spent by companies trying to persuade customers to purchase goods and services. In 2005, $12.5 billion was spent on internet advertising just in the United States. Experts estimate that $29 billion will be spent for online marketing in the year 2010. This kind of spending means that website ads are the fastest growing part of the ad industry. The internet has proven, in just a few years, to be a remarkable medium for bringing together buyers and sellers. The potential for growth continues to astonish as more entrepreneurs start up new ventures and more customers feel comfortable and secure making online purchases. "Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death" warned the writer (Proverbs 11:4). Any time large amounts of money are involved, the greedy and unscrupulous find ways to get some of it. In the case of fraudulent pay per click internet advertising, even the naive seem to get caught up in what really is cheating. It's common for the large search-engine companies to recycle ads to other sites. Unfortunately, some of these sites are not legitimate and the people behind them set up what are known as paid to read (PTR) rings. Individuals get paid to click on one ad after another, all day long, allowing the site's owner to gain a fraction of the pay per click dollar. Those fractions add up enough, however, that it can be a lucrative enterprise. Academics and consultants studying this issue estimate that between ten and fifteen percent of ad clicks are fraudulent, costing companies approximately a billion dollars a year. Company managers need to be aware of both the benefits and pitfalls of online advertising solutions to ensure the marketing budget reaches the legitimate target market for the products and services being offered.