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Internet web ads  - the different types

Online advert types - A beginners guide

Written/updated by Thomas Skov Iversen

There are plenty of different advert types to choose from when it comes to online advertisement. It is important that you choose the right types for your web site, so that they will blend in with the other content of the site and not appear annoying to your visitors. In addition it is also crucial that you position your ads strategically correct on your site, so that they will be seen by as many visitors as possible.

Google provides some guidelines of where to put your adverts. You can read about them here. And if that is not enough, we at have also create a small beginners guide describing the top 5 best advert positions. Read our article here

Below i will try to explain the most widely used advert types and how they work:

- Banner adverts

A banner advert should be placed in the top of your page. These advert types often offer some kind of product or service. By clicking these banners your visitors will be redirected to the page of the advertising party. A banner advert typically pays you per click (PPC) or per 1000 impressions(PPM) (For definitions se here: Online Advert payment methods ).

- Pop-up adverts

This is one of the old scholl and outdated methods, as many anti virus programs and browsers nowadays have pop-up blockers activated. That is also why it is not recommended that you use this kind of advertising, as it besides being outdated, also constitutes a serious source of irritation for your visitors.

- Floating adverts

These adverts is displayed as the first thing when visitors arrive at your site. They will float on your site for about 10-20 seconds, making it impossible for visitors to ignore them. These adverts works well as they cannot be ignored, thereby generating a high click rate. However, you should always remember that these kind of advert types often annoys your visitors and they might end up avoiding your site in the future!

- Unicast adverts

A unicast advert is a video advertisement which your visitors can watch when they arrive at your site. They often play for 10-30 seconds, and contain information about a product or service that the advertiser wants to sell or brand. They work a bit like TV commercials, only differing by the fact that you are able to click the unicast advert if you want to know more. Consequently these adverts are very effective with a click percentage of about 5. Affiliate programs such as Google Adsense offer these kinds adverts. You can read more about Adsense here.

- Takeover adverts

This type of adverts "takes over" your site. To "take over" means creating a coherent advert message for the whole site. An example of an takeover ad could be a specific brand that is advertised everywhere on your site thereby creating a cohesive message. These ads can be banners, videos, pictures - all promoting the same brand or product. Especially affiliate networks offering profound company campaigns often let you use takeover adverts.

- Context adverts

Context adverts is used on web sites, where the adverts is supposed to blend in with the rest of the web site content. Context adverts are probably the most widespread type of online adverts at the moment. Context adverts will display content specifically targeted at your visitors. This is made possible by a robot which "scans" or "crawls" the content of your website for keywords and thereby determining what adverts to serve. Google Adsense was the first affiliate program to offer this type of advert. Adverts like these can be inserted into your site using a simple javascript, making them very beginner friendly.

Before being able to place any adverts on your site you need to become part of an affiliate network and use their affiliate program. This part of profiting from your website will be explained here: Affiliate programmer.

An example of an affiliate site is this danish site about a-kasse priser. Notice how the site does not look like its advertising for anyone. However, it acutally is! If you press a link, you will be taken to an advertiser. The site is a so called comparison site and all links to external sites being compared are affiliate links, links that in turn earn the website money.

Sources: Advertising on the Internet 2nd Edition by Robbin Lee Zeff   ,   E-Business and E-Commerce management by Dave Chaffey

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