Online marketing comes in many forms. And it’s only becoming more popular with the increase in mobile usage. Today, it includes things like search engine marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, and more.
These ads appear in more places than you might think, including a page’s body text. Scrolling through a website, some ads are clearly ads. It’s a banner image in the site’s sidebar and mentions another company or its products. Other times, they’re more subtle or appear temporarily. Take this example of an ad that shows up when you hover over a word or phrase:
There’s a very good chance you’ve seen something like it before. That’s a form of contextual advertising called in-text. Let’s review some of its pros and cons .
In-text advertising is usually based on a cost per click (CPC) model. So the advertiser pays the publisher each time a user clicks on an ad. Other payment models include cost per action (CPA), cost per impression (CPM), and cost per play (CPP). The higher the click-through rate of these ads, the more money the website makes.
Click-Through Rates Are High
In-text advertising scripts find the most relevant keywords on your website. Then, it converts them into targeted ads. Their relevancy helps the user experience, and your ad’s click-through rate.
Doesn’t Compromise Design
Websites have a limited amount of advertising real estate. Plus, publishers need to consider design integrity. Some shy away from banner ads because they can compromise the website design. In-text offers a non-intrusive way to monetize a site, without interrupting the user experience.
In-text advertising capitalizes on relevant keywords in website copy. The ads only show when a user hovers over a keyword, usually highlighted with a double underline. With in-text, the advertisement disappears after they’ve moved their cursor. This helps user experience.
If the user is interested, they can click on the link in the ad. That’s when the publisher makes money and the advertiser’s one step closer to a conversion.
Publishers are looking for ways to monetize traffic and advertisers want to increase traffic. For advertisers, there’s little downside to in-text, as long as it’s set up right (more to come on that). But for publishers, it’s an option for those who fear risking design integrity.
Slower Website Loading Speeds
Any advertisement, not just in-text, will decrease the loading speed of a blog. It’s not too noticeable, but over time, site speeds decrease with increased advertising measures.
Poor Quality Advertising Looks Spammy
In-text works when the ads are relevant to the website’s visitors, but falls short when the ads are out of context. Take the phrase, “Climbing the Corporate Ladder.” An ad here, on a well-respected business website, should link to something like a book on how to climb the corporate ladder. But the phrase could trigger an ad for ladders at a home improvement store. See the disconnect?
Close variants of a keyword can look like spam, too. Take the word “mail.” It’s close to the word “male.” Say advertiser purchases keywords based on close variants. A user could encounter an ad for ‘male delivery’ when mousing over the words ‘mail delivery.’ Whoops!
Using exact match keywords will help prevent this embarrassing situation. It’ll keep the ads relevant to the context in which the ads should appear on the publishers website.
Sometimes Adds Clutter
Just like with any type of advertising, it’s easy for a publisher to get carried away. Since in-text ads don’t take up any extra space until they’re hovered over, it might seem like a great idea to display as many of them as possible. So a publisher will go into their in-text settings and allow a maximum of 50 in-text ads per page.
But what if the site has pages that are only a few hundred words long? With 50 ads, practically every word could be linked to an in-text ad. That’s way too cluttered not to impact the user experience.
With such a minimal appearance, it’s easier for a publisher to overlook the proper balance between advertising and content.
It Won’t Work Well on Low-Traffic Websites
Websites with high traffic should consider in-text. A high volume of website traffic increases the likelihood someone will click the ad, generating revenue. The opposite is true for low traffic websites. With a low trafficked website, it’s better to build credibility and a following first. This will increase the reach and visibility of the website faster than in-text.
As an advertising medium, in-text is minimally invasive for publishers and supports advertisers’ goals. When done right, it can be lucrative for both the publisher and advertiser. And it’s easy to put in place. Go ahead and give it a try. You might just find a new advertising medium to add to your portfolio.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community