How to advertise online

Here are 10 top tips to boost the effectiveness of online ads:

1. Click here. When an ad calls on a user to "click here" or perform some other action, the rates that users click on the ads (click-through rates) are up to three times higher than usual, studies show. Other words that work are: "free," "last chance" and "press here."

2. Animation makes a difference. Compared to static ads, research shows animated ads that shake, rattle and roll have click-through rates that are 40 percent higher.

3. Size matters. Studies show that ads that are wider - 468 to 500 pixels wide - are clicked on significantly more than smaller ads.

4. Placement matters. Ads placed next to the right scroll bar (bottom right of first screen) have a 228 percent higher click-through rate than ads at the top of the page. Similarly, ads placed 1/3 from the top of the first screen have a 77 percent higher click through, according to a University of Michigan study.

5. Refresh ads frequently. After a few days, click-through rates drop. But when new ads appear, click-through rates jump again. Keep interest in the product by using new ads

6. Be clever. Sex, intrigue and good graphics still sell. Don't forget your sense of humor when designing and advertising on the Web.

7. Know your market. If college students use your site, don't sell ads for dentures. Sell pizza, music, books and fun -- what the students want.

8. Link to a specific page. Don't link to a home page. Link ads to a specific page that delivers the message the advertiser wants to offer.

9. Don't forget e-mail ads. If you push content to your users, don't forget to sell sponsorships or ads in e-mails. Users click through at higher rates from e-mail ads.

10. Sell branding. When selling online advertising, remember to highlight that the medium is useful in helping to brand a product or service because it helps to educate with information, it creates awareness and it generates a favorable image with the consumer.



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