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How does online advertising work?

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What is PPC advertising?

PPC advertising is where you target a particular search, like “Where can I buy red shoes” and you tell Google that you are willing to pay them $3.00 every time someone clicks on your advertisement for red shoes and you would like your ad to show up when someone searches for red shoes.

If you do this well and your ad gets in front of the right people, then every time they click on your ad and visit your website, you will pay Google $3.00. (Or whatever your bid was)

More than one ad usually shows up for each search. If your ad is well put together and you offer the highest amount, chances are good that your ad will show up first. If your ad is not as well put together or you aren’t offering the highest amount, then your ad may show up second, third, etc, or not even show up at all! Sure, that means you won’t pay any money, but it also means no one sees or clicks on your ads.

The key to Pay-Per-Click advertising is testing to see which ads actually produce visitors to your website that turn into customers. You can track which ads get clicked on more and which ones actually resulted in someone making a purchase or even filling out a form on your website. You can then look at the results and see exactly how much you had to spend to get a result, and based on that, increase it or work on the effectiveness of your campaign to scale up the amount of sales you get from this advertising.

Because you can track it so exactly, this is a very popular and effective form of advertising, but it does take patience and testing to get it right.

What are display network ads? (or what are banner ads?)

These are ads that show up on websites that are considered to be relevant to the subject of your ad. There are many websites that try to add revenue by selling ad space to Google. The idea is that they will attract visitors by posting content that is relevant to a particular kind of person, then this becomes a valuable space to sell advertising. Google has a vast network of sites that have agreed to this arrangement. You can then run ads on the display network that will show broadly to that audience. This is not as precisely targeted as PPC ads,  but depending on the type of business they can be very effective. The idea being that someone will see the ad, click on it, look through your site and become interested in your service or product. You will also hear the term “banner ads”. This is referring to the appearance of some of these ads as they sometimes look like an advertising “banner” that has been placed on someone’s site.

What is retargeting? or What is remarketing?

Retargeting ads refers to the practice of loading a piece of code called a “cookie” which stores data on the visitors browser. In retargeting this means that your browser will remember that they visited your website and then show ads for your site as they visit other places on the web. This is the type of advertising being used when you see those ads that somehow mysteriously “remember” that you were searching for a new pair of shoes or a new laptop.

This type of advertising is very effective when combined with PPC as most visitors are not going to be converted into customers after their first visit to your site. Retargeting ensures you keep on directing them back to your site so you can get a much higher percentage of your total volume of visitors to convert into paying customers.

Remarketing is also sometimes used to describe this method of advertising, but also includes such things as emailing past customers for further sales, or emailing visitors who left items in their shopping cart.