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What is an Internet banner

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Internet banners: what purpose do they serve

When browsing the infinite spectrum of the World Wide Web, we've all come across a small, most of the time rectangular, ad space on one of our favorite websites. It affords us the opportunity to click and be sent to an advertiser's site: whether it be clothing, electronics, automotive, or anything else you can imagine, you are shown all this business webpage has to offer.

To many, this is an annoying nuisance; for others, it can be a way to find out more information on products which interest you. It all depends on your state of mind as you browse the web.

But, what is an internet banner, in layman's terms? And why do they seem to appear on every webpage we visit?

Below, we'll take a look at these particular forms of advertisements, as well as delve into their efficacy in today's marketplace for propelling new visitors to their websites.

What Is It Exactly?

In essence, this internet banner is similar to an advertisement found in the pages of your local newspaper; the only difference is that with a simple click of your mouse, you are taken to the advertiser's webpage to scan through hundreds/thousands/millions of items for potential purchase on the spot.

These small advertisements are a basic piece of HTML code used by companies looking to advertise their products to a much wider range of audience. They will normally feature a simple GIF/ JPEG image or a rich media format which uses audio, video, or Java-enhanced programming for maximum effect.

Variety of Sizes

The banner will appear when an HTML code tells the Web server to bring users to a new page if they click on that advertising graphic. For standardization purposes, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) offers specific sizes in their ad unit according to pixel dimensions. Some samples of the different sizes from the IAB are:

  • 468 x 60 pixels, known as a Full Banner
  • 300 x 250, Medium Rectangle
  • 234 x 60, Half
  • 180 x 150, Rectangle
  • 728 x 90, Leaderboard
  • 160 x 600, Wide Skyscraper
  • 125 x 125, Square Button

The 468 x 60 Full variation is one of the most common; obviously, the above mentioned "types" are not the only variations of ads you'll see online, but do give a good introduction to the sizes available to advertisers.

Why Use These Ads?

First, the advertiser hopes to see visitors materialize due to their placement of advertisements on the web. Second, it's about branding, which generally means creating a positive brand awareness for prospective buyers; this may even occur months down the road when the ad makes you recall (and buy) their product.

Are These Ads on the Decline?

According to Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, a preeminent Internet marketing ad e-business guru/genius/pioneer, these online advertisements seem to be fading. Click-through rates -- which mean the number of visitors who click on the ad and are taken to the advertiser's site -- are down to 0.20 percent for average ads and 0.50 percent for rich media ads.

For example, a click-through rate (CTR) of 2 percent means that for 10,000 views, 200 patrons have clicked through to the advertiser's site. So, does this mean these online ads are going the way of the dinosaurs?

According to Dr. Wilson, no. Most companies still use them as a way to increase traffic to their respective sites -- and thus, increase revenue -- and will continue to use the advertising art form until something better comes along. In the interim, many of these aforementioned companies will look to become even more sophisticated in their usage of these online advertisements.

Thus, the internet banner is most likely here to stay; that is, until the next big thing in marketing comes our way. Until then, you'll have to make due seeing advertisements everywhere you look. The good news is, maybe 1 time out of 100 you'll see something you actually want to purchase!


Howstuffworks: How Banner Ads Work.

WebMarketingToday: Using Banner Ads to Promote Your Website.

Above photo attributed to kelly cree

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