Banner ads have been on the Internet since 1994, and since then they have seen a tremendous growth in popularity and usage due to their effectiveness. However, it is still not exactly the vast stream of revenue that everybody has hoped that it would be. While it is still an effective means of getting a message out there for small businesses, it is often more effective to combine this with another means of advertisement, such as using in conjunction with Google AdWords.
On their own, there are a couple of benefits that small businesses can reap from using banner ads. For one, they entice the reader to want to click the advertisement and can then be directly taken to the company website, where they can learn more about what drew them in to begin with. Whenever this occurs, this is known as a clickthrough.
Secondly, brand recognition works well with banner ads since it is impossible to dictate that through a non-image advertisement. However, keep in mind that, despite what any advertising agency may claim, it is not possible to measure the building of this recognition. Though research may point you along the way, this is not a precise science. Further, clickthrough rates are only effective in the eye of the beholder depending on whether your intention is to build brand recognition.
This is where using Google AdWords as well can come in handy, where you directly market to those who match your criteria and without having to worry about whether or not you will hit the right demographic. It is also a good way to show that your website is professional as you are not permitted to place AdWords advertisements on a website without any legitimate content.
In fact, you are required to agree to a number of stipulations in order to start using the program. For example, you are not permitted to click any of the advertisements set through Google AdWords, you cannot provide incentives so that your readers may click on the advertisements, you may not place advertisements on websites that feature pornography, and you must agree that you are permitted to take checks paid out to the name that you have provided.
Ultimately, it is best to use banner ads to find and get your target audience to your website, and then you can use Google AdWords on your own website to monetize on an audience you have already brought to the small business website.