There are a number of different online advertising techniques, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine advertising and social network advertising. These are usually based on a pay-per-click system. Some advertisers also buy advertising space directly on high-traffic websites related to their business, which can be a cheaper but riskier way of driving traffic. Other online advertising techniques include email marketing and viral campaigns.
Search engine optimization is one of the most common online advertising techniques. Millions of people use Internet search engines every day while searching for a variety of keywords, so companies or websites that appear near the top of search results can receive a lot of valuable traffic. Search engine optimization is one of the most difficult forms of online advertising, though, because it is constantly changing. It also is a long-term strategy that can take several months to have an effect.
Paid advertising on search engines is a similar form of advertising. Instead of trying to get to the top of the organic search results, companies can pay to have an advertisement appear on a cost-per-click basis. A benefit of paid search engine online advertising techniques is that the company can choose to have the advertisement only appear with the exact keywords they require. Paid advertisers also can specify the countries, regions and cities in which they want the ad to appear. The downside is that search engine advertising can be expensive.
Major social networks also allow paid advertising. These are similar to search engine paid advertising programs, because the networks usually charge per click, but the main difference is in how the advertisements are targeted. Instead of being targeted at keywords, advertisers on social networks can target their ads at users of a specific age, gender or marital status.
There are a number of online advertising techniques that don’t involve search engines. Many websites sell ad space, so advertisers often buy ad space on related sites. Unlike paid search engine advertising, the cost of direct advertising on websites is often calculated on a cost-per-view basis. This means designing an eye-catching advertisement is essential.
Several other online advertising techniques also exist. Email marketing, for example, involves collecting potential customers' email addresses and sending out information or offers. Viral Internet marketing, using social networking and video uploading sites, is another common technique, although it can be difficult to use successfully.