Advertising For Small Business



21 August 2015


Constantly improving the performance of your Affiliate website is one of the tasks that takes up a lot of time for most professional and successful Affiliates. Optimising advertising placements in a way that ensure the most sales should also be one of the things that you do for your own site. This tutorial will take you through some of the things you can do to improve your own Affiliate website. More specifically we will concentrate on optimising your site in order to improve the click through rate (CTR) on the Affiliate banners and text links on your site.

There are two basic ways for a visitor to click through to a Merchant from an Affiliate's website. Banner ads are probably the most obvious and most common way. The other way is of course, text links. Let's look at each of them separately.

Banner Ads

Banner ads are simply graphics advertising a Merchant program or product that you place somewhere on your website with the hole that people will click on them out of interest. There are a few ways to optimise your banner ad placement.

Banner ads "above the fold" perform better than banner ads "below the fold." The "fold" is simply the bottom of the screen on the page you are viewing. If something was "below the fold" then you would have to use your mouse to scroll down the page to see it. Now, with banner ads, they are more likely to be clicked on by visitors when they are above the fold, so it is good practice to place them somewhere near the top of your page.

Now there are a few different spaces at the top of a web page that get a better CTR. For example, banners in the left column will generally do better than banners in the right column. Small banners at the very top of the left column have a good CTR. If you want to use a rectangle (468x60) banner, then it is best to place it at the top of your page, but under the navigation (assuming you have a horizontal navigation list). Or you can place it immediately under the title if your content has a title for best results.

If you have a content website with stories or reviews (like a blog for example), banners that are inserted as close to the content as possible will usually perform well. Also 468x60 banners that are inserted immediately after the content (ie. at the bottom of the story) will often do reasonably well - especially if they are relevant to the content.

Bad places to put banners are below the fold and in the right hand column. Banners at the bottom of the right hand column will usually perform the worst on a page.

As for the type of banner ads you choose to use on your site, you should remember that dynamic banners (ie. banners with movement on them) tend to get a better CTR than static banners.

Text Ads

Many people don't realise that, used properly, text ads can actually outperform banner ads in increasing CTR. There are a few things you should remember about using text ads in order to ensure the maximum CTR possible though.

As always, make sure that your text links are relevant to the topic at hand. If you are writing some type of relevant content about the product or service of a Merchant than use relevant words as the anchor text of your text links.

As for placement, if you have a content website then there are a few things to think about. A review or story should usually include three text links (to the Merchant) to maximise CTR. A text link towards the beginning of the content, a link in the body and a link towards the very end of the content will give your readers a good chance to click on them and ensure that at least some of them do.

The other trick for text links is that often they will enjoy a high CTR if they are placed in the navigation bar of a page. That is usually in the horizontal bar at the top and bottom of the page or in the vertical navigation that many pages have at the top left.

Now, while these tips should guide your placement of links and banners on your site in order to increase your CTR, they are a guide only. The success of these guidelines will vary from site to site and, as with everything about your site, you should continually test and compare in order to improve.

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