The cheapest (and best) way to buy advertising on websites : E-COMMERCE MARKETING

Advertising on websites was one of the first digital channels with the first advertising banners that started in October 1994 – what is it like for a call to action:

Since then, website advertising has evolved considerably. There are now new banner sizes, animated banners, interactive rich media ads, videos in ads and a variety of targeting options to target or exclude specific audiences.

There are also several ways to buy advertising from a website – you can buy advertising space:

  • Directly from a website by negotiating with your sales team
  • Programmatically through an agency
  • Through a marketplace like
  • Through an ad network like the Google Display Network

Of the four options, there is one clear peculiarity for me: the cheapest and best way to buy website advertising, and the fourth option: buying advertising space on websites via the Google Display Network as placements.

Why the Google Display Network?

There are four main reasons why buying advertising on websites via the Google Display Network is a clear highlight for me.

1. Cost

Cost is an important factor when deciding to buy advertising space.

A customer recently told me that he had bought $ 30,000 display advertising on one of the most important news sites in Australia. They went straight to the website and ended up paying $ 30. That’s $ 30 per thousand impressions!

Instead of going straight, you could choose programmatic display advertising. Essentially, you’re working with an agency to buy the ad space on your behalf and run it from their ad server. Because the agency helps you purchase this space and saves you time negotiating with the site, in addition to the site’s fees, you’ll be charged a number of commissions and fees that range from around $ 10-15 per person – better than to buy directly, but still quite expensive.

What is the cheapest and best way?

Bid on the website as a placement on the Google Display Network.

In the past we bought advertising on exactly the same news sites, but with this method we only paid the equivalent of 14 cents CPM, which means that we could have given this customer 214x more advertising impressions on the same website for the same cost!

The reason it is so cheap to buy ads using this method is the excess inventory that many of these websites have. In essence, all direct ad bookings are displayed as a top priority on these websites. If not enough ads are purchased to accommodate every visitor they receive daily, weekly, and monthly, they will have excess or wasted ad inventory. Her solution? Use ad networks to place ads so every visitor makes some money.

By placing their free commercials on these networks, websites essentially open up to the highest bid from advertisers, with the advertising network deciding which ad to display based on a real-time auction.

2. Minimum expenses

The second reason why it’s cheaper and better to buy advertising on websites through the Google Display Network is the minimum spend required. Some websites and program agencies require you to spend at least tens of thousands of dollars to get started. That’s a lot of money to test advertising on a website that you can find quickly and that doesn’t even convert!

On the other hand, the Google Display Network has no minimal advertising spend at all, so you can test the traffic of a number of websites with minimal spending and then start up the best performing websites to ensure that most of your budget is spent on the best becomes websites for a campaign.

3. Fraud detection

While Google is not perfect, it does provide reasonable fraud protection that filters out fraudulent and robot-based clicks on ads and ensures that you are not charged for this inventory. When you advertise directly with a website, you’re essentially relying on its platforms or software to remove false ad impressions and not charging you fees, which is less effective than Google in almost all cases.

Other ad networks are also struggling to filter our fraudulent traffic, and I often see “reported clicks” from these networks that are well below actual website traffic – fraudulent impressions are likely to be worse. If only one in ten impressions you buy on one of these networks is fraudulent, you will effectively pay 10% more advertising costs. That’s why I’m staying with the Google Display Network.

(Source: Gigaom)

4. Transparency

If you’ve ever tried to get a report on exactly where your ads were showing and the results of each website from a program agency, you know what I mean when I say “transparency”. One of the main advantages of buying your ads on the Google Display Network is that you can see every detail of the campaign transparently on the platform itself. There is also complete transparency about how much each website is paid for traffic, and no commissions and fees in addition to the information reported. So you know you’re looking for the right numbers.

5. Self-service optimization

The Google Display Network is accessed via the user-friendly self-service platform Google Ads. When you buy your ads through a self-service platform, you don’t need to rely on website or agency staff to make urgent changes to your ads or to optimize and improve ongoing campaigns. You can pause campaigns at any time, change schedules, update geo-targeting, place new ads, get reports, and more – all through a self-service platform. You can also use Google’s A.I. Commandments and other advanced features that are light years ahead of the competition.

Some ways that Google can optimize your bids on websites.


There are many advantages to buying ad space on websites through the Google Display Network, but there are still a few reasons why you might consider buying ads directly, for example:

1. Premium sites & placements

Some premium websites don’t allow ads on the Google Display Network, so you need to access them directly. Of those who do, they may have premium ad placements that are in far better positions on the website that you cannot buy through Google. However, for this to be worth 20 to 30 times the cost, you will need a click or conversion rate of 20 to 30 times other websites or banner spot positions, which I think is unlikely.

You can easily see if a website or ad position is available on the Display Network by going to their website – hovering over an ad and seeing if the URL contains a double click. Also pay attention to the triangle “Ad selection”. Logo in the top right corner of ads that are mostly a Google Display Network Ad.

2. Guaranteed inventory

Some websites guarantee maximum presence in all commercials for a particular campaign. If you have a budget of several million dollars and want to take over the entire website for a short time and want to guarantee inventory, it may be better to go straight to the website or use Programmatic to buy guaranteed inventory space. However, if you’re not limited to just a few days for the campaign, need a direct ROI, and are prepared for your ads not to appear every time you update, it’s far better to go through AdWords

3. Rich Ads

Websites offer very interesting and innovative ad types. So if you’re looking for an ad that consumers can see, as opposed to an ad that they only see, it may be better to contact an advertiser directly. However, Google’s rich media ads are getting better and better. So it’s worth testing them first.

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While these arguments may have some advantages, I’m confident that getting the impressions up to 20 to 30 times cheaper and running the campaigns through a self-service platform have the disadvantages of buying your ad space on the Display Network Google easily outweighs and gives a very good result A valuable way to maximize your advertising budget while improving your ROI.

If you have a strong case for or against – would love to hear from you in the comments.

Duncan Jones

About the author – Duncan Jones

I am a growth marketing specialist from New Zealand and I am enthusiastic about the growth of companies through creative and performance-oriented digital marketing. I insist on tracking everything, tracking proven growth processes, and I still love getting a first conversion and then tweaking and scaling campaigns for clients across a variety of industries. You can find me on LinkedIn HereHere you can find out how to hire me or you can contact me here.

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