Day 6: Affiliate Marketer’s Journey Towards Freedom – Does Banner Advertising No Longer Work?
We’ve probably all heard the term ‘banner blind’, however, banner advertising is probably still one of the easiest ways of making money online. No technical skills are required and it’s very easy to set up. However, there are a few things you need to take into consideration when purchasing banner space. Rather than just taking my word read on to find out how I managed to get a whopping 71.43% CTR!
According to WordStream Average click-through rates for banner ads […] have been on the decline, but common wisdom is that a CTR above 2% is commendable. The average CTR is much lower (around 0.25%).
Two days ago, I went ahead and purchased a banner space through BuySellAds on a financial news site to promote my affiliate offer in the Internet marketing niche (not your typical choice for a make money online offer!). The site that I decided to go for is not even getting enough traffic for data to be collected but taking into consideration that it only cost me $25 to have it displayed for 30 days there’s not much risk involved, especially that I’ve tested it earlier on with a different type of offer and a completely different banner getting a decent CTR (click-through-rate) of 3.86%.
TIP #1: When purchasing a banner space go for a fixed amount where you pay a fixed amount for 30 days rather than pay per 1,000 impressions – that way you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending (This is very important especially if you’re new to banner advertising!) In the right hand column you can see the different payment options including a fixed amount per 30 days or per each 1k impressions as displayed on BuySellAds:
TIP# 2: Avoid rotating banners ads – you’ll have probably noticed by now that some publishers (site owners that sell banner advertising space) sell rotating ads – what this means is that rather than having your banner displayed all the time it rotates and you share the same banner space with a few other advertisers, which is a bit like sharing a room which you want to avoid at all cost!
TIP #3: Check how much traffic a site is getting by using a free tool www.similarweb.com You should aim for at least 60k per month to get a decent amount of clicks. Bounce rate (the lower the bounce rate the better as what this means is that visitors are more likely to visit a few pages rather than just one) and average time spent on the site is very important too! (this reflects the quality of the content – the more time they spend on the actual site the better). After all, you want to advertise on sites with a high quality content that engages its users.
TIP #4 Think outside the box. The fact that you’re promoting a make money online offer does not necessarily mean you should advertise on sites about Internet marketing (as you probably already know by now this can turn out to be quite costly!), instead think outside the box and experiment with different types of sites. What I’ve found works great with these type of offers are financial news sites and conservatives’ sites (which can come as a big surprise!)
How Did My Experiment Go?
This came as a huge surprise to me but two ads after my ad went live and I’m getting a whopping 66.67% CTR!!! (unheard of i the industry!). See my stats below (click on the image to enlarge):
However, as you probably know by now, not all clicks were created equal. My biggest takeaway from this experiment is that a high CTR is NOT your aim. Why? While I had an EXTREMELY high CTR (and while it’s still too early to stay as it’s only been two days since my banner ad went life) this does not necessarily translate into a high opt-in rate (as of today no opt-ins whatsoever, however, as I’m getting more clicks this might soon change). So what initially seems like a great advertising space is in fact (at least for now!) a complete waste of time and money.
TIP #5: Make sure your banner is EASY to read, don’t use any fancy fonts (If it’s difficult to read for you there’s a good chance others will find it difficult to read too!)
TIP #6: Use colours that stand out against the site’s background, e.g. the dominating colour in my banner is red which makes it stand out against the grey background of the site
Why Did I Get Such A High CTR?
First of all, the banner I decided to choose stands out against the rather boring background. Secondly, it’s easy to read (no fancy fonts or small print difficult to read). Third, it’s high quality. Personally, I prefer simple and ugly banners vs. glossy ones as I find them to work best! What is more, my ad is positioned right above the search box (you’ll be surprised how many clicks you can get if you place your ad right above the search box!). This works great mainly because it’s visible in the top right on their homepage and every time a visitor searches a specific term they see my ad.
TIP #6: Ad positioning is extremely important! You don’t want to display your ads in the graveyard of the site (read: below the font)*. Either aim for leaderboard banners or top right (e.g. above the search box). Also, make sure it’s visible on every page a visitor visits by checking relevant posts (you’ll find that on some forums or sites your ad will be displayed only on their homepage/main page but once a visitor visits related pages your ad is no longer visible).
*below the font means in the footer of the site after scrolling down to the very bottom of the page
How Can My Campaign Be Improved?
Currently, I’m getting a whopping 71.43 % CTR (yes, you read correctly!) when industry’s standard above 2% is commendable! While a high CTR is always desirable it’s not the be-all and end-all, especially if you’re not getting a good amount of opt-ins or sales. After all, at the end of the day you don’t want to spend all your advertising budget just to get clicks that you can’t even monetise on! With that being said, I’m going to keep tweaking it to make sure that my ad is congruent with my landing page as this could be one of the reasons why I’m not getting any opt-ins or perhaps my landing page does not convert that well after all. Another possibility is that the quality of traffic that I’m getting is low or perhaps I’m targeting the wrong type of audience!
I’ll keep you posted on the results of my experiment!
Please share your comments below.