Fundamentals of online advertising

Advertising on the web takes place when an advertiser pays to place advertising content on another web site. The process usually involves ad serving from a different server from that on which the page is hosted (ads can be served on destination sites in a similar way).

Advertising is possible on a range of sites in order to drive traffic to an organisation's destination site or alternately a microsite or nested ad-content on the media owner's site or on the destination site. The destination page from a banner ad will usually be designed as a specifically created direct-response page to encourage further action. For example, the nappy supplier Huggies placed an advertisement on a childcare site that led the parents clicking on this link to more detailed information on Huggies contained on the site and offering them opt-in to a loyalty programme.

Ad serving

The term for displaying an advertisement on a web site. Often the advertisement will be served from a web server different from the site on which it is placed.

Destination site

The site reached on clickthrough.


A small-scale destination site reached on clickthrough which is part of the media owner's site.

Ad site

10 visitors or 1% c!ickthrough

1000 ad or page impressions costing £20 (£20 CPM)

Branding metrics surveyed

• Brand awareness

• Brand favourability

• Purchase intent

C!ickthroughs (immediate)

Viewthroughs (subsequent c!ickthroughs)

Destination site

1 visitor or 1% purchase

10 page impressions 1 purchase transaction

Cost per purchase = £20

Figure 8.18 Basic model for interactive display advertising

Destroying Adwords

Destroying Adwords

Adwords or Pay Per Click advertising is essentially the 21st century equivalent of direct marketing, allowing advertisers to test ideas in hours rather than months. Learn more about Google Adwords and PPC advertising.

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