The 6 Types of Online Advertising a Business Should Be Testing

As the internet has evolved, the ways businesses try to reach customers has changed. Advertising is still the quickest route to a consumer base, but certain styles of marketing will not resonate with every audience. It has become increasingly important to develop individual advertising plans that work for your specific crowd. This process will involve tracking and testing, ensuring that campaigns are optimised for the highest conversion rate.

The following advertising strategies are proving to be effective for numerous online businesses, so they are worth testing within your own enterprise.


The 6 Types of Online Advertising a Business Should Be Testing


Native Advertising

Native advertising is proving particularly effective in recent years as it doesn’t distract from the user experience. Native ads appear like natural content, mirroring the format and style of the site in which they are placed.

A blog, for example, may have an article that has been sponsored, but still offers the type of content that readers expect. It is, however, still important to make it clear that the content is sponsored. Social media is a good avenue for native ads, with content appearing directly in the feeds of targeted users.


Email Marketing

Email marketing is an effective form of advertising as it allows you to contact subscribers over an extended period of time. This recurring contact lets you build relationships and develop trust, so people will be more likely to make purchases.

While ROI can be difficult to gauge, the email marketing platform Campaign Monitor reported an average return of $44 for each dollar spent. Email marketing offers the chance to test a huge number of factors, but the main metrics to consider are ROI, click-through rate, open rate, and conversion rate.


Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising works by showing ads based on the content and keywords present on the page. The ability to dynamically show ads based on relevant keywords means they should be highly targeted. Ads can come in different forms, with text, image, and video options being used within content, in the sidebar or header, or as pop-ups.

The aim of contextual advertising is to be in the right place at the right time, showing your brand to the people most interested. Major networks like Google AdSense allow you to target based on keywords, topics, and specific website placements. To get the best results, though, it is also worth making a campaign as specific as possible, increasing the relevance for groups of visitors.



The vast majority of visitors won’t take any action when they first visit your site. Retargeting can solve this issue by advertising your brand on other websites as visitors browse the web. Retargeting ads can increase click-through rate by 10 times when compared to standard display ads.

When used on abandoned carts, they will almost certainly lead to increased sales. Simply showing branded ads won’t necessarily be the best use of the format, though, with a clear strategy needed. You may decide to focus on brand awareness, but retargeting can often be used to overcome the objections of people who did not make an initial purchase.


Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing typically refers to paying for ads on the major search platforms like Google and Bing. Ads can be shown on selected keywords, with bids deciding whether your ad is shown and where it appears. Competitive terms will have multiple bids from established advertisers, so the cost per click will invariably rise.

To make search engine marketing work, calculating the ROI is a must. In most cases, you will need to test landing pages to find the best converting version. You can then work out the maximum you can bid in order to maintain a profit.


Mobile Advertising

Mobile traffic volume has now exceeded desktop traffic, so it is important to develop an advertising strategy with this in mind. Recently, Google switched to the mobile-first index, signaling the importance of user experience on mobile devices. While some advertising solutions will include your ads across all platforms, it is worth testing alternatives designed solely for mobile.

Services like AdMob can be used to create ads for apps, using banners and videos within an app itself. It is also possible to create native ads that suit the mobile format and integrate specifically with targeted apps.

Every type of advertising won’t work for every business. It may be that certain audiences don’t respond well to search engine marketing, but they can be reached on social media. Advertising can sometimes become stale, causing factors like banner blindness to reduce the effectiveness of a promotion.

When a business hits on a successful method, though, it can drive the bulk of visitors to an offer. How can you find the appropriate advertising types for your business? Tracking and testing is the key. Ultimately, when you have hit on a winning strategy, driving targeted traffic becomes a whole lot easier.

About Nick Arthur

Nick Arthur is a freelance marketing consultant and writer. In his spare time he enjoys walking his 3 dogs, watching football and DJing.