Online Advertising

Lesson Introduction

With the huge growth of the internet, email & the world wide web we have seen a huge growth in how businesses advertise themselves.

Online advertising is the use of the internet for the purpose of promoting a business’ products and services. There are several different methods of online advertising that are used in the modern online world that we will look at.

In this lesson we will learn the features of:

  1. Search Engine Adverts
  2. Banner & Popup Adverts
  3. Email Marketing
  4. The Affiliate Model for Online Advertising

Media Attachments: Presentation

1. Search Engine Adverts

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engines are a big way of advertising online because a huge quantity of traffic to a website is gained through search engines. In fact well over 50% of website traffic comes from search engines.

Many companies pay thousands of pounds performing search engine optimisation to get their website at the top of the search engine results pages. This is because if you’re at the top of the search results then you’re more likely to be seen and visited, so you can sell your products or services.

However you can also pay a search engine to have links to your website appear at the top of the results for certain search keywords.

With these search engine adverts you will normally only pay the search engine when someone clicks on the link, this is known as pay-per-click. This payment can be as little as a few pence per click but could be as much as a few pounds, depending on how popular the key terms you choose are.

Further Thought

Go to the Google Keyword Planner and use the “search for new keywords” tool to find the cost of different ad campaigns on Google.
You’ll need a Google login but it’s free if you don’t have one.

2. Banner & Popup Adverts

Pay per Click

Banner and pop-up advertisements are adverts that usually appear on the top or sides of a webpage and are often animated to grab your attention.

Many services will automatically change the adverts on a website to ones you are particularly interested in, based on your browsing history. This way users of the site are more likely to see an advert for a product that is relevant to them and will increase the chances of a successful sale.

However these types of adverts are often unpopular with internet users as they are normally brightly coloured and animated which can be distracting.

Banner & pop adverts also normally use the pay-per-click model of payment.

Further Thought

Do you go on a website that uses banner adverts?
Have you noticed that the adverts are related to topics you’re interested in?
Ask a friend to go to the same site, do they get different adverts that are relevant to them?

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is where business use email to send adverts to potential customers.

This is best when sent to customers who have specifically requested for these emails. An example of this is when you sign up for a website they often ask if they can send you emails to advertise products that you might be interested in.

However often unsolicited bulk emails are sent out to people, this is known as spam. These spam advertising emails don’t target products you might be interested in but rather send the advert to a huge number of people in the hope a few people might buy. Products sold through spam adverts are normally not legitimate products.

Further Thought

Do you get adverts for products or services to your email?
Did you request these adverts or are they spam?
Why are you more likely to click on the non-spam email adverts?

4. Affiliate Model & Pay-Per-Click

Many businesses that sell products online run affiliate programs to get other websites to advertise their products.

A website can signup to the affiliate program of another business and they will receive special tracker hyperlinks. These tracker hyperlinks, when clicked on, don’t just send the person to the businesses website, it also informs the business which site they came from.

So if a website adds the tracker hyperlinks to their site and a visitor clicks on one of the hyperlinks, the business that they are sent to knows which site they came from so that they know who to pay. This type of advertising is known as the affiliate model.

As we have mentioned, many online advertising methods, including the affiliate model, use a payment system known as pay-per-click or PPC for short.  This works as follows:

  1. A website displays an advert for another business.
  2. If a user clicks on the advert they are redirected to the other business’ website.
  3. The original website will receive a payment for that successful click through.

As you can see this means that you only pay for your advert to be displayed if someone actually clicks on the advert to visit your website. This payment is normally less than a £1 per click but can vary a lot.

Further Thought

The affiliate model doesn’t just use pay-per-click.
Find out what other payment models are used by affiliate advertisers.

Key Terms

Search Engine Optimisation – the process of applying a variety of techniques in order to raise a websites search engine rankings and thus improve its visibility in search results.
Keywords – words or phrases that describe a website. They are used by search engines to match an appropriate webpage with a search query.
Pay-Per-Click – a payment model where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
Spam – unsolicited bulk email that is sent out for the purpose of advertising, phishing or spreading malware.
Affiliate Model – an advertising method where a website displays an advert for another company and is paid for driving traffic to the advertisers site.

Lesson Summary

So to summarise what we’ve learnt in this lesson:

  • Online advertising is a big part of online services and common methods of online advertising include search results, banner adverts & email marketing.
  • Search engine adverts allow you to pay a search engine to have links to your website or products appear at the top of the results for certain search keywords.
  • Banner & popup adverts usually appear on the top or sides of a webpage and are often animated to grab your attention.
  • Email marketing is where business use email to send adverts to potential customers. These are ideally only sent to customers who request the emails but often unsolicited bulk emails, known as spam are sent out to people.
  • Pay-per-click advertising is a common payment model for online advertising where a payment for an advert to be displayed is only made if someone actually clicks on the advert to visit the advertisers website.
  • When one website displays an advert for another company and is paid for driving traffic to the advertisers site, this is known as the affiliate model.

Further Recommended Reading

Up your revision and ace your tests with these recommended books for preparing for your BTEC First online tests.

BTEC First in I&CT: Student Book – Pages 6 & 7

Buy now

BTEC First in I&CT: Revision Guide – Page 3

Buy now

BTEC First in I&CT: Revision Workbook – Page 3

Buy now

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