Types of Internet Advertising

Types of Internet Advertising

Types of Internet advertising include banner, semantic, affiliate, social networking, and mobile.


Give examples of how brands use affiliate marketing, social network advertising, search engine marketing (SEM), and mobile advertising.


Key Points

  • Internet advertising provides companies a low cost way to serve personalized ads across web and mobile interfaces.
  • Online advertising relies heavily on contextual and behavioral targeting to serve personalized ads to consumers.
  • Different mobile advertising tactics include idle screen advertising, app-vertising, and DoubleClick for Advertisers.

Key Terms

  • clickstream: A profile of a user’s activity in a web browser or other software, based on what is clicked.

Types of Internet Advertising

One major benefit of online advertising is the immediate publishing of information that is not limited by geographic or time constraints. Online advertisers can customize advertisements, making consumer targeting more efficient and precise. For example, AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google AdSense enable ads to be shown on relevant web pages or alongside related search results. On the other hand, consumers have greater control over the content they see, affecting the timing, placement, and visibility of online advertisements. Within the scope of Internet marketing, online advertising includes display advertising, affiliate marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), and mobile advertising.


Banner Ad: Banner ads are examples of Internet advertising.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is the use of web banners or banner ads placed on a third-party website or blog to drive traffic to a corporate website and increase product awareness. These banners consist of static or animated images, as well as interactive media including audio and video. Display advertising uses demographic and geographic targeting – capturing users’ cookie and browser history to determine demographics, location, and interests – to target appropriate ads to those browsers.

In addition to contextual targeting, online advertising is targeted based on a user’s online behavior. This practice is known as behavioral targeting. For example, if a user is known to have recently visited a number of automotive websites based on clickstream analysis enabled by cookies stored on the user’s computer, that user can then be served auto-related ads when they visit other, non-automotive sites. Semantic analysis techniques are also used to accurately interpret and classify the meaning or context of the page’s content and then populate it with targeted advertisements. Semantic web content is closely linked to advertising to increase viewer interest engagement with the advertised product or service.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising where advertisers place campaigns with a potentially large number of publishers, who are only paid media fees when the advertiser receives web traffic. Web traffic is usually based on a call-to-action or measurable campaign result such as a submitted web form or sale. Today, this is usually accomplished through contracting with an affiliate network.

Social Network Advertising

Social network advertising is a form of online advertising found on social networking sites such as Facebook. Advertising on social media networks can take the form of direct display ads purchased on social networks, self-serve advertising through internal ad networks, and ad serving on social network applications through special social network application advertising networks.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing is a form of marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). SEM tactics include paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion, or free search engine optimization techniques to drive placement of their ads. Advertisers pay each time users click on their listing and are redirected to their website, rather than for the ad itself. This system allows brands to refine searches and gain information about their market.

Mobile Advertising

Cell phone advertising is the ability for organizations and individuals to advertise their product or service over mobile devices. Mobile advertising is generally carried out via text messages or applications. The obvious benefit of mobile advertising for brands is that mobile devices such as smartphones are usually close to the owner throughout the day. This presents a cost-effective way for brands to deliver targeted advertisements across mobile platforms on a daily basis. Technologies such as location-based advertising also give marketers the ability to deliver ads in close proximity to the physical location of a consumer. Although advertisements appear on a small mobile interface, mobile advertisers have the ability to deliver personalized, and thus effective, messaging.

Different mobile advertising tactics include:

  • Idle screen advertising – Cell phone owners enter into a third-party agreement that allows advertisements to run on their screen while their phone is idle in exchange for a discount or other promotion.
  • App-vertising – Companies design applications, including games and videos, that heavily promote their brand.
  • DoubleClick for Advertisers – A Google service that allows brands to buy certain keywords to increase the position of their ads in mobile search rankings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of employing various strategies to allow websites to rank highly in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Paid search engine advertising increases a website’s visibility and reach by displaying links to the website’s landing pages at the top or bottom of a SERP. In contrast, SEO increases a website’s visibility and reach by allowing the website to rank well organically in search results when search engine users search for certain key phrases and terms.

Some SEO strategies include link building, optimization of onsite content with targeted keywords, optimization of meta descriptions with targeted keywords, and optimization of blog content with targeted keywords. Most search engines work to find users websites based on their searches using complex algorithms that assess a website’s authority, using a wide variety of strategies to rate the overall quality and usefulness of a site’s content. SEO strategists aim to boost a site’s authority in the eyes of search engines by creating high quality content that uses relevant key terms which will be linked to by other sites.

Local SEO is an emerging trend in the SEO realm. Local SEO involves creating content that targets a particular geographical demographic. It also includes the use of local listing sites to help establish a website’s presence in search results that are tailored to local users.