Chapter 14: Improving Site Ranking and Managing 365 Site Type Promotional Possibilities Dating site Romantic getaway contests, seasonal promotions for Valentine s day, grand prizes for successful matches who meet and marry Weather Web site Weather trivia polls, seasonal promotions, such as Sensational Spring or Sizzling Summer promotions with contests and prizes such as weather trivia and vacation getaways The key is to match your promotions to your audience and product or service. This is one part of promotions I really happen to like, because it can be great fun and extremely creative to sit down with friends or team members and come up with great ideas. Even if you re limited in budget, there s usually some way to provide innovative, interactive contests and promotions that engage your clients. Secret #239: Learn More About Web Ads The controversy around Web ads rages on, and there remains very little real evidence as to their success. Sometimes they are effective, sometimes not. The key is to determine for your own site whether buying ads to promote your site or hosting Web-based advertising as a means of enhancing revenue for your site is a reasonable choice. Some issues to consider include the following: Ad placement. This issue refers to both cases of hosting ads, and buying them. If you are hosting, you want to make clear which areas of your site have ads, and how they will be managed. Similarly, research your placement options if you are buying placement elsewhere. Provision. Numerous vendors manage Web ads. Find one with a good track record and good customer support. Ad types. Whether buying or hosting ads, find out what kinds of ads are considered conventional in terms of dimension, weight, location, and file type (animated GIFs, rich media advertising via Flash). Integration into design. If you are going to be placing ads on your site, you ll want to successfully integrate them. Ads can be an eyesore but they need to be placed so that your visitors can see them, or they re not going to be worth much. You must find a balance. Fortunately, there are some helpful conventions you can use, but knowing that you want to support ads going into a design is a lot easier than trying to retrofit a design around advertising. Ads are best managed earlier on in the site design process or during a site redesign (see Chapter 15, Dealing with Growth and Redesign ). How to manage ad code. If you are hosting ads on your site, the ad management software or host that you choose is going to be sending you the ad markup. Usually, this markup is filled with problem code, and as you try to clean up your code, the frustration level can get a little out of hand. Plan to test or research the actual code so you know what you re getting into.
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