Online advertising is the closest thing on the Internet to traditional advertising. It differs from search engine marketing (SEM) by the way it targets prospects. SEM targets prospects based on keywords. By contrast, online advertising targets prospects by behavior and demographics.
Like print publications, individual Web sites attract unique visitors that share common interests, behaviors and demographics. The goal for marketers is to identify Web sites that attract the largest audience of potential customers and create online ads that will draw customers to your Web site.
Online ads are typically purchased on a cost-per-thousand (CPM), cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis:
- Cost per thousand (CPM) — You pay a fixed fee per thousand advertising impressions. (The M in CPM is the Roman numeral for 1,000.)
- Cost per click (CPC) — You pay a fixed fee every time a user clicks on your ad and is redirected to your Web site.
- Cost per acquisition (CPA) — You pay a fixed fee every time someone clicks on your ad and completes a desired action on your Web site, such as submitting an order or signing up for your newsletter.