The Advantages of Online Advertising

Posted by Amy Peveto on December 13, 2010

Research indicates that forcing advertising on uninterested people is a waste of time and money. Features like DVR and other on-demand programming are becoming more popular, enabling consumers to skip advertisers’ messages.

This puts businesses in a bind: how can we advertise if no one is paying attention to commercials or print ads?

Businesses need to go where the customers are -- and with nearly 71% of the US population online, the Internet is the place to be.

In many ways, the movement from traditional advertising is great for businesses. Here are three distinct advantages that make it worth the effort.

Search-specific ads

Much like Netflix, online advertising is on-demand. A user who searches with the phrase San Antonio orthopedic surgery is going to see ads for orthopedic surgeons, and not for petting zoos or pharmaceuticals.

When advertising online, businesses have more control over where an ad is placed and who sees it. Those who see your ads are interested in your business, and are interested in it right now. This saves your business money and improves your ROI because you’re not presenting to thousands who have no interest in your product.

Instead of casting a wide net, programs like Google AdWords allow businesses to target only their desired market, which leads to higher-quality leads and customers.

Pay for clicks, not impressions

A business owner who advertises in the paper pays for that space, even if the paper doesn’t sell.

With online, or Pay-per-Click, advertising, PPC, an ad can appear an unlimited number of times in a day, and the advertiser will pay only for those who actually click on the ad. If a particular ad receives no clicks, the owner will not be charged a penny.

As a bonus, those who do click on the ads are people who are already interested in the promoted product or service. By allowing advertisers to target a specific customer base, PPC helps marketers improve their ROI, because those who see and click on your ads are more likely to become customers.

Tracking site visitors

While Pay-per-Click and AdWords allow advertisers to target ideal markets while keeping costs low, they also put crucial information about those ads and customers at the advertisers’ fingertips.

Perhaps a certain ad has a high rate of clicks; tracking programs allow the advertiser to track ads’ bounce rates, or the percentages of people who came to the site and then promptly left. Metrics can be deceiving: a high click rate may sound good, but a high bounce rate is an indicator that a website’s visitors are not finding the content for which they are looking.

By looking at the metrics on impressions, click-through rates, bounce rates, and other numbers, an advertiser has the opportunity to improve their landing pages, as well as their ads and keywords.

PPC allows an advertiser to discover information about the people who are clicking on ads. A tracking program can pinpoint the geographical location of visitors and what keywords they used to find you, as well as how long they remained on the site and which pages they visited.

Final thoughts

Google AdWords is compatible with any website, and can give site owners insight into their visitors’ minds. These programs can also give business owners ideas on how to optimize ads, keywords, and content, which leads to more visits, conversions, and customers.

Online advertising allows advertisers to target their ideal market, often at a lower cost than traditional advertising. Combined with the ability to reach those who are already interested in a given product or service and its superior track-ability, it’s no wonder that online advertising has left its traditional counterpart struggling to measure up.


What reasons for online advertising did I miss? What are you doing to advertise where your customers are?

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