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What to look for when it comes to Ads on your Website

Recently I was asked about profiting from ad placement on a website. This is a topic that many website administrators and site owners ask when they set up a business related website. This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on so many variables. Some of those variables are Website Traffic, the Type of Ad being used and the Audience you are targeting.

Website Traffic

No matter what choice you pic for ads (in-Text or graphics ads) you need to have huge amounts of traffic. A goal for profitable website traffic, would be to rank under 100k and to have a few hundred visitors to your site per month. A website is pretty-much “invisible” until it breaks that 100k mark. If you looked at, you will not even see any traffic information until your site is ranking under 100k.

Types of Ad and how they pay

There are many companies that offer affiliate links that you can use to advertise on your website for a profit. The problem becomes which affiliate programs do you choose, to make the most money. From what I have seen with companies like Linkshare or Commission Junction, even when you join their affiliate programs, you have individual vendors that pay differently for links to their products. So one vendor may charge a flat $5-10 per sale, while another vendor would charge 10-15%, for a similar item.

Some in-Text ads like ones you get from InfoLinks, will not give you 100% control over which keywords are used as ad links or what percentage you will get from the keywords being clicked. Ads like these depend largely on your content. You may have more content related to specific keywords that happen to pay more, based on how popular that keyword is that month. Unfortunately, these kinds of ads don’t offer much in the way of allowing you to estimate how much you will make for any given time.

Graphic ads have a more consistent view and the ads do not have to match the content. You can go to LinkShare and get the code for a rectangle graphic ad for an Xbox and the same ad will appear on the site you place it regardless if your site is about Pet Care or Laundry Detergent.

With all the options to pick from, which Ads you finally choose will all depend on how they pay out (PayPal or Check, etc.), when they pay out ( each week, day, month, etc.) and how you choose to advertise ( text ads or image block, etc.). I would suggest you first think about what image you want to have your site maintain, then work from there and see what kinds of advertisement you feel will fit into your site. You should have ads that complement the content of your site, if you hope to get any clicks. Decide how you prefer getting paid, some website administrators or website owners don’t mind waiting on a check at the end of the month, while others may want payments earned transferred to their PayPal accounts each week.

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The Audience

The audience must be taken into consideration when choosing your ads. If you have a site that is mostly a blog site with a lot of writing and text in general. It may help to have one or two graphic ads on a sidebar or below the header but above the content. Also, 2-3 in-Text links can be a good addition. You do not want to overrun your site with a lot of ads. Web surfers tend to stay away from sites that have lots of ads, they are not taken very seriously. You should always try to keep a balance with the content of your site having the most weight. A younger audience may be more attracted to graphic images than an in-Text ad. If I have a site that is heavy into Flash, an in-Text ad will not be of any use. Try to use a variety of different ads before settling on the one that works. You should be able to track the ads performance in Affiliates like AdSense or InfoLinks. Viewing the ad performance can tell you what works and what doesn’t.

When it comes to ads on your website, you have to take into consideration your Website Traffic, the Type of Ad you are displaying and the Target Audience you are trying to reach. You want to have a steady flow of visitors, the right Ad that fits your site and knowledge of the audience you want to reach. You may find that you will constantly look for newer or better affiliate programs when it comes to ads on your website. Google’s AdSense is always a good place to start but you have to read their rules carefully. One mistake and they will close your account. Also, they don’t pay as high as other afilliate ad programs, but again you have to do research based on your own needs. You can always use a mix. Have different types of ads for your site and others for e-mail marketing.

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