Banner Ads

 Advertising on the Internet - General
Online advertising is an efficient and proven way of increasing traffic (the number of visits) on your site. The use of banner ads (also called web banners) is a simple technique for integrating advertisements in predefined places on your site.

There are abundant free and paying advertising offers on the Internet.

Free offers are often based on a banner swapping mechanism. You display the banner of another site in your site and the other site will display yours. In this way, you can directly introduce your site or your products on another site and vice versa. There are Internet sites that are specialised in this approach to online advertising.

Paying offers (which are often based on an inserted Script) are more complex. They can allow you to define the types of advertisements that you want to display or exclude, they give you access to statistics and online tools to analyse the pertinence and the evolution of your advertising campaigns, etc.

Actinic does not endorse any particular site or company specialised in online advertising. To find these offers and services, use a search engine and enter the following expressions (this is not an exhaustive list): "free banner swap", "banner swap", "web banner exchange", "banner advertising", etc.

If you don't have the necessary graphic skills for producing the images for your banner ads, there are also many existing sites (generally paying sites) that will allow you to create and then download these images online. To find these sites, use a search engine and enter the following expressions (this is not an exhaustive list): "create a web banner", "create a banner ad", etc.
 Setting Up Advertisements on Your Site
It is important to be aware of the following statements and recommendations before setting up advertisements on your site.
  • Don't overuse advertisements. This can be intrusive and may irritate your visitors.
  • Before paying for advertising services, we recommend that you first familiarise yourself with the concepts of online advertising by using free offers. Use the advanced statistics function of your site to visualise the evolution of the number of visits to your site.
  • Choose a position (in the component properties) for your banner ads that is adapted to your site and your design. It is highly advised against using more than two advertising positions in your site.
  • If you choose to set up horizontal banners in your site header, then don't display your site header (see "Site Header Layout" in the administration page concerning the site header) and use the logo space of your site to position your logo.
  • Using vertical banner ads reduces the space allocated for the data area. If you use vertical banner ads, make sure you take this into account, especially when considering the size of the images that you use in your components and your WebBlocks.
  • There are certain pages of your site where banner ads will never be displayed. This is particularly the case of your shopping cart and all of the pages in the purchasing process (shipping options, payment, etc.). The display of advertisements in these pages can be tempting or irritating for a customer and they may be tempted to interrupt their purchasing act. For this reason, advertisements are banned from all of these pages.
  • You can display an "image" type banner ad to promote a special offer and use the associated navigation behavior to display a given product category form your catalog, for example. In other words, you can use the advertising mechanisms for your own site and your own products! By using the banner weight, you can alternate between 'outside' advertisements and your own advertisements. .
  • It is possible to randomly alternate the pages on your site to be displayed with and without advertising. To do this, create a new "custom script" type banner ad but leave the script editing zone blank. Enter an appropriate weight in relation to the other banners of the same orientation (horizontal or vertical). When this banner is selected for display (randomly in relation to its weight), no advertisements will be displayed in the page.
  • Further details about the weight system: The concept of weight is equivalent to the concept of percentage. If you have two advertisements, A and B, with a defined weight of 100 for each advertisement, this is the same as defining 50% for each advertisement in a percentage system. However, the advantage of using weight can be seen when you modify the number of banners. If you add an advertisement and you want it to be displayed as often as the others, all you have to do is to identically define its weight as 100. You don't need to modify the other advertisements. In percentage mode, you would need to define 33% for the three advertisements. The same logic applies if you want to "push" an advertisement for a few hours. All you have to do is to define an enormous weight in relation with the other ads. In a percentage system, you would need to modify all of the percentages.
  • Final and very important point: If you have two advertisements of equal weight, this does not mean that they are going to be alternately displayed. One may be displayed 3 times in a row and the other one will then take over. The selection method for the displayed advertisement is based on a random rule that naturally leads to a display that respects the weight definitions over a large number of displays and not necessarily for a test navigating through several dozen pages.
 A Final Recommendation...
To conclude, keep in mind that advertising is one of many ways to make your site known and to increase traffic. Other important activities, such as quality search engine optimisation (SEO) or the use of paying keyword campaigns, are all important when setting up a deployment strategy on the Internet.

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