Off Topic Advertising

If you are involved in selling text links or “know a guy” who is, you’ve probably had to wrestle with the issue of selling off topic links. The question of how it affects your websites ranking is a separate issue for another time. The primary issue is do you go for the money or turn it down.

I prefer to take a broad view on what is on topic. If you watch sports, chances are you’ve seen advertisements for those little blue pills. I’ve thought about it, but I can’t see how they have anything to do with baseball, football, basketball or stock car driving. What they do have in common is a overlapping demographic. Sports viewers tend to be primarily male, yes I know women watch too, but lets be honest it is predominantly male. The primary market for that product also happens to be men. So while the topics are unrelated, the demographics are strongly related, so the ad is on target.

What happens when you have too much off topic advertising? The two most likely outcomes are blindness or abandonment. If your website has a large following of regular visitors they will mentally zone out on your advertisement, as they know they are irrelevant to their needs. The less desirable outcome is abandonment. Your visitors will think you’ve “sold out” and stopped caring about them, with your primary concern being money. Neither being a good thing.

So you’ll have to weigh the options of each ad individually, and decide if you think it provides something of value to your websites viewers. I like to use the grandma test. If you explained it to your grandmother and she wouldn’t look down her nose over the top of her bifocal glasses, with that look, then you’re ok.

tags: (search engine optimization | | | search engine marketing | adverting )

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