As bloggers, we deal a lot with the selling of text links, but not so much with banner ads. As we discussed earlier, small blogs typically use fixed pricing models, so how do we know what to charge for banner ads? This discussion identifies several factors for helping you set rates for online banner ads.
What is a Banner Ad?
The term banner ad originates from the wide or tall graphic ads that first started to appear on web pages. Today, we will use the term banner to cover all types of graphic links. The difference from a text link and a banner ad is simply the fact that a banner is a graphic or image type link.
Example Banner Ad:
Why don’t I get many offers for Banner Ads?
As small bloggers (<50,000 unique visits), we tend to receive mostly text link requests. A text link is typically purchased for SEO benefits only. The link builder wants their client’s link on your homepage, and won’t mind if it appears below your page fold. The SEO benefit exists regardless of whether or not that text link appears above the fold. It’s different for banner ads.
A banner advertisement aims for a visual benefit. The client wants a lot of pageviews or impressions on that banner, which means they want people to see it. Think of a highway billboard. Billboards on busy highways can charge more, because the billboard gets more views. Smaller blogs don’t get the million views most banner advertising demands, therefore, we don’t get many requests for them. Pageviews or impressions aren’t as important for text links.
Online banner advertisements are also usually priced using CPC or CPM models. We don’t use that type of pricing on small blogs.
Factors to consider when pricing a Banner Ad
1. Banner Ad Size
Banner ads can be of all shapes and sizes, but if you want to know the current standard sizes check out the IAB Ad Unit Guidelines. I typically deal with the following sizes:
- 125 x 125 – (Square Button)
- 120 x 60 – (Button 2)
- 300 x 250 – (Medium Rectangle)
- 160 x 600 – (Wide Skyscraper)
- 468 x 60 – (Full Banner)
- 728 x 90 – (Leaderboard)
2. Type of Graphic Used
Besides the size of the banner, there are other characteristics to consider.
- Animated Graphic
- Plays Audio
- Clickable Embedded Text
3. Location of Banner Ad
Locations can get very complicated, but most commonly they are placed in headers, footers and the sidebar.
- Top of Page
- Above Post
- Within Post
- Below Post
- Above or Below Page Fold
When pricing a Banner Ad
A banner ad is a visual advertisement, therefore it should be priced based on it’s visual marketing value by analyzing the 3 factors listed above. A 125×125 box ad takes up more marketing space on your home page sidebar than a text link does. So, why should you charge the same for both? Don’t. Think of a banner ad as a higher end type of advertisement. We don’t get many of them, but when we do, you need to price is appropriately. A good starting point is to double the price of a text link in your sidebar and use that as your sidebar price for a 125×125 box ad.
With so many factors impacting the rate of a banner ad, it can be a little overwhelming at first. I suggest first identifying locations where you are willing to place the online advertisements and document those prices for yourself. Create easy pricing models and locations. For example, a 300×250 medium rectangle ad in the top of your sidebar for all pages. Or you can have a set price for homepage only and then secondary pages.
The most important takeaway from this article is that banner ads and text links are two completely different online advertisements often with different goals. A banner in the sidebar should be priced higher than a text link in the same sidebar.