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Promoting Your Web Site with Banner Ads

A banner ad is a graphic advertisement (typically about one-inch by six inches on a computer monitor) that displays on a Web page. When a user clicks on the banner ad they navigate to the advertiser's Web page. Infertility organizations can purchase banner ads on infertility Web directories or in search engines. 

When purchased from search engines (e.g., Google or Alta Vista), banner ads are typically bought in conjunction with keywords. The process works as follows: an infertility organization buys, for example, the keyword "infertility" and supplies a banner ad to the search engine. Then when an Internet user enters "infertility" into the search engine, the advertiser's banner ad prominently displays at the top of search engine's Web page. This tactic allows for targeted marketing in search engines.

Banner Ad Tips

  • If you operate a local infertility clinic which primarily pulls patients from your local area, then purchasing a banner ad which is shown nationally is not a wise use of your advertising dollars.  The reason is this:  assume you operated a clinic in New York.  If a potential patient in California saw your banner ad, they would not be likely candidate to visit your office, yet you would have paid for them to see that ad.

  • The more your services are national in scope, the more a national banner ad becomes a practical option.

  • When a user sees a banner ad on a Web page and clicks on that banner, then that action is considered a click-thru. In the last couple of years, the banner ad click-thru rates have fallen. So, if you are going to post a banner ad on a site, ask the site owner what the click-thru rate is (see articles below).

  • You might want to consider an alternative to a banner ad, such as a page sponsorship.

IHR offers banner ads and page sponsorships to infertility organizations.

Banner Ad Thoughts from Dan Janal

The following information in this section is from Dan Janal, an internationally respected Internet marketer, professional speaker and seminar leader and author of several books including, "Dan Janalís Guide to Marketing on the Internet" (John Wiley & Sons, 2000).

"Banners are useful for building brand because of the repetition factor. You can place the banner on many targeted sites and people to gain attention. Then the tried and true maxims of advertising and repetition take over!

People see it once and it barely registers in their minds. People see it again and read it seriously for the first time. People see it one more time and pay attention. People see it yet again and recognize your logo and colors. People see it again and remember your slogan. People see it one more time and rank you as a leader. People see it again and wonder if they need the product. When people are ready to buy, you come to the tops of their minds.

At least that's the main theory of advertising for the past 200 years! Savvy marketers from 100 years ago say that 21 repetitions are needed to make the indelible impression.

Imagine seeing the following message in a banner on your favorite car-resource site:

Volvo means safety. Volvo means safety. Volvo means safety.

You see this banner message so often, it writes an indelible mark on your brain.

Then, one day, you are in a car accident and the car is totaled. Fortunately, you can walk away. You receive your insurance settlement and head down to the car dealer. Now's your chance to buy that cool BMW Z-3! But as you pass showrooms of car dealers that always seem to be built on the same stretch of highway, you see Volvo's sign and think, "Volvo means safety."

Do I want to be cool, or do I want to be safe?

Branding takes effect!

Pavlov wins!

The reinventing of banners is not a bunch of hooey.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a Gatorade spokesperson as saying that banners helped increase brand awareness by 5 percent. And there was 16 percent recognition of its new tagline and the company.

Should your company invest in banners for branding?

Of course.

But be sure you buy banners on sites that target your intended customer. Another tactic is to place banners on your own website as a way of making your key messages stand out. Whichever you choose, be sure your banner displays the image you want and a message that is clear, concise and memorable.

That's a strategy that clicks!"

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