Does Internet Advertising Work?

With Internet advertising, a company or person can promote their goods or services online by methods such as banner ads, pop-up ads, pay-per-click ads and ezine ads. But does Internet advertising work? We’ll examine that question in this article, as well as take a closer look at some of the various Internet advertising strategies.

Ways That Internet Advertising Works

In my opinion, Internet advertising does work, although many factors can contribute to its success or failure. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering ways that Internet advertising works.

  • Objective – If the goal of an Internet ad was to increase brand awareness, then success or failure will be based on its ability to do so. If brand awareness is low, but a high click-through rate is achieved, then the online ad could still be said to be a partial failure.
  • Sometimes the numbers lie – One study conducted by a leading company showed that their online ads resulted in 11 percent of subsequent visits and 13 percent of incremental sales. Those who declined to click on the ads, however, eventually made up 90 percent of visitors to the site.

    Based on the click-through numbers, the ad campaign might appear to be a failure. A closer look, however, shows that it wasn’t.

  • Display ads work – Display ads, like television commercials, serve to grab the consumers attention by giving them both audio and video to look at. Online videos can now achieve the same results at a low cost to the internet advertiser.
  • Helps offline sales – Even if an online ad doesn’t result in an immediate sale, it’s latent impact cannot be ignored. While some measure the effectiveness of an ad entirely on its click-through and conversion ratio, many companies have found that either latent sales or offline sales are greatly boosted by online advertising.

Types of Internet Advertising That Work


Now that we’ve looked at a few of the ways which Internet advertising works, let’s take a closer look at a few types of Internet advertising that work. Hopefully, this will bring us closer to answering the question, “Does Internet advertising work?”.

Pay-per-click – One of the most effective forms of Internet advertising, although it can prove frustrating for those new to it. Basically, you place a text ad with a link back to you on another website (usually a large site which generates lots of traffic). If a consumer clicks on the ad and visits your site for a period of time (usually only 5 or 10 seconds), you’ll be expected to pay a fee to the host site.

The thing that makes pay-per-click advertising so effective is its ability to target the specific interests of a consumer. If a pay-per-click ad for a kayak company is placed on a large site which specializes in kayaking or the outdoors, the ad is bound to attract interested parties.

And there’s also the ability to quickly gauge which pay-per-click ads are working and which aren’t. This allows the advertiser to constantly re-develop his advertising strategy and save money by eliminating pay-per-click ads which are ineffective.

Social Media Advertising

Advertising online through sites such as Facebook, MySpace and StumbleUpon has become a huge market. In the UK alone, over 100 million dollars were spent on social network advertising in 2008.

Social media advertising is ideal for promoting brand recognition, although click-through rates are not so strong. Still, there’s no doubt that advertising via social media sites is an effective way to increase your overall revenue stream.

Banner Ads

While display ads such as banner ads have fallen on hard times in recent years, their effectiveness has been demonstrated since the Internet began its boom in 1997. Of course, these ads tend to be more passive, so the conversion rate is low compared to more aggressive marketing schemes.

Still, their prices have dropped to a reasonable rate over the years. While pay-per-click ads and video ads may be more effective, banner ads are still a cost efficient way to increase brand recognition and drive traffic.

Internet Advertising Summary

So does Internet advertising work? In my opinion: yes it does. It’s not foolproof, but Internet marketing strategies have shown sufficient success to remain viable in the realm of advertising.