Sunday, February 3, 2008

A peek at Digital Advertising Banners

My last post mentioned the various Web Advertising deals that take place between advertisers and publishers. This post will help us understand what is pivotal in ensuring that these deals are successful. You must have come across various advertising banners displayed on websites like Yahoo, MSN etc. We will now take a closer look at the different kinds of Web Banners present today.

1) Banners and Skyscrapers: Banners were one of the first Web Adverting units introduced in the Internet. They are complied of specific measurements which can range from 234*60 to 468*60 pixels. They are created from JPEG, GIF images and will generally be displayed on the top just below the heading of a website or at the bottom. However while scrolling down the webpage we might loose sight of them as they are mostly displayed on top. Skyscrapers/Sidebars on the other hand are tall Ad units displayed on the right or left portion of the webpage making them visible throughout the scrolling process. They are mostly displayed as 120*600 pixel banners. It is therefore essential to select the kind of banner you want to display on your website depending on its CTR (Click through Rate). Google Adwords and Adsense make use of various banners that are displayed on its search results and publishing websites respectively.

2) Floating Ad Units and Multimedia Ads: Floating Ads are displayed once a visitor lands on the homepage and these units are known to travel on the page during the scrolling process. They are usually designed in Macromedia Flash to draw the attention of the user and entice him to click. However they can be annoying for a lot of users as they completely superimpose the text area on the Webpage. Multimedia or Unicast Ad is typically displayed as an animated video/audio message designed especially to replicate a television.

3) Popups and Pop Unders: Popups are banners that are displayed in the form of a new browser window displayed onto our screen. It is immediately displayed after a user visits a website. However a Popunder browser window opens itself underneath the parent website usually getting unnoticed during the initial entry to the website. Again they are designed primarily to grab the user attention and encourage him to click. These Ad units are known to be more successful than Banners and Floating Ad units in terms of getting more clicks.

4) eCommerce Widgets: A Widget is a snippet of code that can be embedded in a website and it is the latest inclusion in the ever-growing Web Advertising field. For e.g. An Amazon widget can added to a webpage for selling books, software etc. The Widget advertising model almost follows the PPA (Pay per Acquisition) which is described in my last blog post. So if a user buys a book through a widget embedded on a website, the publisher will be entitled to receive a portion of the Book cost. I recently read an article mentioning about a Widget called the ‘Paypal Storefront Widget’ which is especially made for Blogs and Social Networking websites. This widget offer services such as in-widget shopping carts, product description, thumbnail gallery etc. Unfortunately this widget is only available for Typepad Blog users. Widgets like these help tap the enormous potential of eCommerce and with such tools Internet can only get better.

These were some of the banners which are the most prevalent today and it should be noted that there will be newer and more creative Web banners that will hit the Internet sooner or later. Having more and more of these banners on your webpages will obviously enhance your earnings but we should always draw a line between the acceptable and uncomfortable user experience which according to me is of the utmost importance. I hope you like this post and if possible share your opinions.

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