Understanding Ad Networks

Well, you’ve seen all those display ads all over the Internet, and by now you’ve hopefully got a pretty good understanding of how they work. Now, you might want to start thinking about where you want your ads to appear.

But how do you find the websites with advertising space to sell and how do you connect them? Well, that’s where display advertising networks come in. Display advertising networks are like a middleman, connecting businesses who want to advertise with websites, with ad space to sell. Now let’s find out how they can help your business find and advertise on the right websites for you. Let’s go back to our Film Review podcast. So you found a specific website you wanted to advertise your podcast on? Well, you have a few options here. First, you could contact the site directly to work out the details, and that’s certainly something that happens. But with all the websites out there that offer advertising opportunities, you can imagine that this could get pretty time consuming. This is where display advertising networks come in. They handle both the buying and the selling of display ads linking businesses to websites that want to sell advertising space. Another way to think of it is as a marketplace that brings businesses and websites together helping manage the transactions.

There are quite a few of these networks out there like Google Display Network or Yahoo! And they all offer different features. But there’s a few things most of them have in common. First and foremost, they all offer businesses looking to advertise ad space on the websites. Websites that offer these ad spaces can become part of these networks and they can do things like set minimum prices for how much money they expect for showing ads, your business can then bid for the spots you want throughout the websites in that network, deciding how much you’re willing to pay. Buyers and sellers are connected every single time pages are loaded, and the ads that win the right to fill the ad spot are shown. Of course, each network has its own rules, its own features and its own processes and bidding systems, but the key is that they all match buyers and sellers to fill available ad spots. Networks can also help you target specific audiences through two main routes. The topics of the Web pages where the ad appears and the general information about the people viewing the content was the exact criteria you can use to find your audience or the way you actually go about running. Your campaign could vary from network to network.

Targeting is essential to get your ads in front of the right people. Another thing networks do is handle the money involved, buying and selling ads happens every second of every day, and the networks collect money from businesses and pay the websites that show the ads. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, advertising networks collect and share data with businesses, they can tell you how many times your ads are shown, how many times they clicked on, how much they cost you and where they’ve been showing up and how all this varies between websites and audiences you’ve been targeting. Many networks even that you are tracking to your Web pages, so you can see if your ads resulting in conversions on your website. If you want to use display advertising to promote your business across the Web, advertising networks are a great place to start.

They’ll bring you together with the websites that want to sell you ad space. They’ll let you decide where your ads will be seen and who will see them. They’ll manage the money for everyone involved. They’ll even provide you with the data. You need to know how well your campaign is getting on.

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