How Do I Evaluate the Effectiveness of Online Advertising?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2018
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You can evaluate the effectiveness of online advertising by comparing it to other media advertisements, using available ad statistics, and installing applications that find out where traffic is coming from. Comparing online ads to offline ads can be difficult, but is not impossible. People who place ads on other websites are often given statistics on how well that ad is doing. In addition, many programs are designed to find out where a website’s traffic is coming from. Lastly, because none of these methods are completely accurate, you can try asking a customer through a survey.

Evaluating the effectiveness of online advertising over other medias is sometimes difficult at best. It is hard to determine how many people purchased a product or service through a magazine ad. Likewise, a decorative ad on a park bench could be practically pointless or one of the best methods of advertising for a particular business. In this case, it may be best to determine the effectiveness of the offline ads by hiring a professional or simply using numbers on how effective the ads are on average.


When a person places a banner or other ad, he or she is usually given access to a control panel. This control panel might allow uploads of different ads or changes to the current one. In addition, the panel often gives statistics on how many people see the ad, how many people click on the ad, and sometimes the demographic of the people clicking on the ad. This is not a sure way of evaluating the effectiveness of online advertising, but it is a method of determining the success of the ad, which is one part of the equation.

An application can be installed onto your server to determine where traffic is coming from. In some cases, the host provides such information in detail for free or sells applications with the capability. For most websites, the application will need to be installed and then let run for several days before any valuable information can be deduced. Look for an increase in traffic from the places you have advertised the website. If there is no traffic from that website, ensure the advertisement is live and that the application is working properly.

Sometimes evaluating the effectiveness of online advertising can be done through surveys. A survey can be filled out at the time a person signs up for a service or buys a product. The most important part of such a survey are usually questions like, “Where did you hear about us?” Some companies choose to offer an incentive for filling out a survey, for example, 10 percent off the customer’s next order.



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