Most visitors pass through one of two types of links. Text links are when you string together a word, phrase or sentence that’s hyperlinked to another domain. Image ads are things like banners, button, and pictures – graphical images that are hyperlinked with a URL.
Both types of links have their benefits and drawbacks. Which type you use will be based on your site and your traffic – and you should ideally test both types to see which performs best with your particular demographic.
In general, text ads tend to pull a lot more clicks than image ads, because people have become “banner blind.” That means people have learned to ignore banners, because they know they’re ads.
Text ads are a part of every website, so they’re harder to ignore. This is one reason why AdSense is so successful. Of course, some sites could benefit from a few image ads. If your site is primarily text, you might be able to make it look more appealing through the use of a few graphical banners.
Choose attractive banners with a clear call-to-action, such as banners that clearly state, “Click here for ____!” New Internet users may not realize they can click graphics, so it’s important for banners to have this kind of call-to-action.
Just be careful not to overdo the ads on your site. Two or three graphics per page is plenty. If you put more than this, you risk your site looking like a banner farm, and visitors may leave before they even have time to read any of your content.
Text links are generally more effective than banners. They can be blended in with your content and can look more like recommendations than ads. For some reason, people prefer to buy through recommendations rather than blatant ads, so text links can help you get a higher click-through ratio than you might get with banner ads.
Coding a text link is very simple. To create a text link on your site, you need to use the “a href” code. A simple text link code might look something like this:
<a href="http://www.domainname.com">Here’s where the text you want hyperlinked will go.</a>
Coding a banner link is only slightly more complex. You still use the “a href” code, but you also have to use the “img src” code along with it. It should look something like this:
<a href="http://www.domainname.com"><img src="http://www.yourdomain.com/images/banner1.jpg"></a>
So the first URL in that piece of code is the URL where you want your traffic to go. The second one is the URL where the image is being hosted on your server. This will make the image show up and when the user hovers his or her mouse over it, they’ll see that it’s clickable.
Make sure you test your links to be sure they’re going to the right place. If you accidentally link to the wrong place, you could end up losing a lot of money in commissions or sales, so it’s very important to make sure your links are in working order.