An Overview of Web Advertising

See the Useful Terms page to learn detailed definitions of the terms in bold as well as other commonly used terms in Web Advertising.
Being familiar with these terms will help you to get a better grasp of the various aspects of banner advertising.
"I Don't know a Thing about Advertising Online..."

It is safe to say that most Internet users have been exposed to some type of Online Advertising. One of the most common form of web advertising are banner ads, though there are several other types as well (see examples below). Whether it be a banner ad, a pop-up window, or an ad button, Web advertising has become an integral part of the evolution of the Internet. According to studies conducted by the Media Research Institute, Inc. at the University of Florida in 1997, Web advertising accounts for only 0.3% of Media ad budgets of National Advertisers. Though this may appear to be a small number (compared to budget allocation to media giants such as Television and Magazines), the Web is presently the fastest growing medium for Advertising.

Buttons(top) and Pop-up window ad(bottom):

Web advertising is typically sold on a "Cost Per Thousand Impressions" basis, or CPM. An impression, which is commonly referred to as an exposure or page view, occurs when a visitor to a web site views a page where an ad is displayed, whether the ad is seen or not. Whenever a web page loads to a user's computer screen, measurement software counts the impression.

In addition to Cost Per Thousand, ad cost can also be based on hits and page hits, or, more frequently, click-throughs. Hits and page hits are not favored as measurement units because a hit is registered every time any text or graphic file is loaded, whether advertising is displayed or not. A page hit, or HTML hit, is registered every time a complete HTML page, including text and graphic files, is loaded.

Perhaps banners ads are most commonly seen during keyword searches. A banner advertising a product usually related to the keywords included in the search, usually appears at the top and/or bottom of the page (see examples below). According to Ad Resource, ads can be placed anywhere on a page, although ads are more successful when they are displayed near the top of the page. This ad will deliver higher click-throughs than the same ad placed at the bottom of a page. Some sites use frames to display advertising more prominently. Frames are more "advertisement-friendly" becuase an ad can remain on the web page while users navigate the site. This obviously increases the chances of a viewer seeing the advertisement.

Banner after Keyword search:

Advertisers utilize various formats and tactics in banner design, depending on the goal of the overall banner campaign. For example, many banners consist of text and image animation to emphasize a certain aspect of the advertisement.

Typical banners: