How to Purchase Online Advertising

    June 2, 2003

One of the most difficult things for a small business owner to part with is their advertising dollars. Face it, as a small business or work from home mom, we just can’t afford to throw money around without a guarantee of results.

Granted, a webmaster can not guarantee the effectiveness of an ad, especially since the webmaster did not write the ad. However, he or she should be able to give you statistics for how many page views the site receives each day, week or month, how many visitors they receive and a reasonable idea of how many people will see the ad.

If you want a guarantee of results, you have to do some research on your own. Check the forums – are there posts? More than 4-5 per category? If not, the site probably hasn’t been online very long or it’s not very active. You might also want to read several of the posts in each category. Make sure the majority of the posts are not made by the web site owner, showing that there is participation in the forums and check dates of posts if they’re available.

Check ad listings. Are there an abundance of ads posted? Normally a site that has good advertising rates and is established and well- known will have several ads posted. Also make sure there are not too many ads where your ad will get lost in the crowd and never noticed.

Site content. Does the site contain a lot of content to keep visitors on the site or keep them coming back? Does it provide information that coincides with the target market you’re trying to reach? Banner ads. Does the site offer a private log in area to check your banner stats? With today’s technology, there’s no reason they shouldn’t offer this option if they are serious about providing the best advertising for their customers.

If the site measures up to your standards, try a test ad. Choose a smaller ad placement that’s not too expensive and wait for results. Be sure to use a tracking tag so you can accurately measure the results of your ad placement. This will allow you to see what ads are performing well and on what sites. Without ad tracking, you’re just throwing away your money!

I’ve used ProLinkz from for a couple years now. It costs $45, but it can save you lots more in purchasing ad space that gives you no return on your investment. It’s easy to set up and you have unlimited URL and ad tracking as well as a nice graph layout to help you understand who’s clicking and where they’re coming from.

Other ad tracking programs available are:

$4 a month Link Track Pro
$47.50 AdTrackZ

If you’ve got a lot of cash to throw around on advertising that just doesn’t work, there are lots of sites out there that will be happy to take their share of your money.

A smart entrepreneur is going to be very picky about where they spend their advertising dollars. You can bet if you spend $80 on ad placement and two people visit your site without buying, you’re going to either think twice before advertising on that site again or rewrite your ad.

As the owner of a large community, I handle a fair amount of ad placements on my site. Only 2-3% use ad tracking of any kind! I hope those who don’t use it, spend a lot of time analyzing their server logs – yet even this will only tell you half the story of how effective your ad is, and how well it does on each site on which you advertise.

Just because you find a place where you can post an ad for $2 a month, doesn’t mean that you’re spending your money wisely. You can be frugal with your advertising budget and still achieve good results. It’s simply a matter of where and how you choose to advertise!

Kim Haas is a WAHM and Founder of, a popular online
networking community for women focusing on working from home and
women in business. Let us show you how to start, run and promote your
business effectively.