For some companies and individual professionals, the Internet is used for the bulk or all of their advertising. In many cases, people choose Internet advertising because there are opportunities to reach a large number of viewers, in a variety of ways, for free or for very reasonable rates. Internet advertising options include pay-per-click advertising and business directory listings.
Many print advertising options require people to pay for a certain amount of space with no guarantee that anyone will pay attention. When placing an advertisement in a newspaper or on a billboard, for example, a company generally pays or agrees to pay a specified amount before their message is displayed. Pay-per-click Internet advertising does not usually work this way.
Pay-per-click advertising offers advertisers more guarantee that people are paying attention to their messages. With this option, advertisers are typically only charged when a person clicks on their advertisements. Otherwise, the advertisements can rest free on any number of web pages.
There are several types of pay-per-click advertisement styles. There are links that can be placed in the body of an article. There are text boxes that can be placed along the sides, tops and bottoms of web pages. There are also embedded links, which tend to eliminate the distractions from the content that some other options cause.
With an embedded link, a keyword is associated with an advertisement. For example, in a travel article, the word "hotel" may appear. That word may be highlighted, denoting a link. When clicked, it may show and advertisement for a particular hotel. Only at that time is the advertiser charged.
Some Internet advertising follows the traditional method where advertisers pay for exposing their messages. These generally work like newspapers and billboards. An advertiser is given so much space for a certain amount of money, which is usually paid monthly or annually. Some web pages may have rules that require advertisers to conform to certain standards. Others may accept any type of advertising as long as the space has been paid for.
Social networking sites offer a unique form of Internet advertising. Social networks sometimes allow people to build pages similar to miniature websites. On these pages, individual professionals or companies can promote and display their work and products. They can also create videos that serve as commercials. Other social networking sites can be used for Internet advertising because people can make announcements with links that draw viewers to another site that pertains to work or products.
Online business directories work similar to a traditional phone directory. They allow businesses to list themselves and their contact information. Some allow advertisers to display their logos and to give a brief description of their services. Online business directories are often free but some may charge fees for each listing.