In the never-ending quest to make money online, every website owner wants to get traffic to their website fast.
The main problem they face: finding traffic that converts into buyers without breaking their bank.
In their haste to get the traffic they need, many website operators start throwing money at the problem buying ads and exhaust their advertising budget without any meaningful profit (unless you count the person they paid for the advertising).
The following three rules should help any business, big or small, make money with their online advertising.
** Set An Online Advertising Budget **
Most businesses, especially smaller ones with only a few people (or even one person), don’t operate with an advertising budget.
The advertising money gets spent when everything else gets paid, or worse, they spend money on advertising without a plan so they’re basically gambling with their money.
By setting an advertising budget, you can factor it into your overall business picture and it gives you a yardstick to measure results.
If you budget $500 a month to advertise and look for ways to spend that money wisely, then your business will grow more predictably than if you advertise sporadically and then wonder why you don’t operate with a predictable income stream.
** Follow The Numbers **
Unlike offline advertising on billboards, magazines or in direct mail, you can track virtually all aspects of an online ad, including: how many people saw the ad; how many people clicked the ad; how many sales and how much revenue the ad generated.
Since you can track everything, you can test various phases of the advertising process.
Regardless of whether you operate a real estate agent website, sell an ebook, or hawk your plumbing services online, you can and should measure each phase of the advertising process.
If clicks on your ads fall below expectations, then work on your ad until it generates a healthy click-through rate turning viewers into website visitors.
If you don’t convert very many of the website visitors you get into buyers, then your site needs work to do a better job of selling people.
By following the numbers, you can see where you need to focus in the online sales process.
The number one rule of online advertising: use a unique tracking link for each and every one of your ads, preferably one that tracks not only unique visitors, but also sales.
This might add an extra 5 or 10 minutes of work to placing each ad, but it will allow you to see which ads make a profit (so you can run them again) and which ads don’t (so you can change or cancel them).
** Go Beyond Pay-Per-Click **
Google AdWords and Overture, the Web’s top pay-per-click advertising sources, have made people lazy.
Many website owners never go beyond buying advertising from these two. However, a whole world of advertising exists buying ads on websites targeted to specific niche audiences.
For more, check out http://www.adbrite.com, a leading broker of online text link and banner advertising.
Copyright 2005 Jim Edwards