Small Business


Charge the right price for website ads

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Q. Can anyone advise how to price advertising on my website, in relation to 'impressions' (that is, number of times displayed on my site) and 'click-through' (that is, number of times clicked to get to their site)?

My site ( is a community 'project' and I plan to charge businesses to advertise, then put a percentage of this revenue back into the community. I have customers keen to get this info for traffic purposes, which I can provide; however, I also need some guidance as to if/ how I should be charging for the service. Then I can work out whether I charge a flat fee, or to charge for number of impressions and clicks.

Of course, it's a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. How many unique visitors do you get and how long do they stay on your site will influence how attractive you are to prospective advertisers.

The simple answer is to model your pricing as closely as you can to that offered by Google and similar. Go to their website and play with the various keywords and see what Google charges (they charge per click). For example, "Business Coach" costs about $4 per click (I would know that, wouldn't I?).

Google AdWords is charged per click like this with little or no charge for impressions ( the more you offer to pay per click, the more impressions you get). 

I'd model your pricing on Google's and go testing it with your advertisers (or potential advertisers) - see how they react.

The beauty of this (for them anyway) is that there is no risk to them. A click from someone who has read their ad has a definite value and they only pay when someone clicks.

Answered by Jon Dale,
Business coach and owner of Small Fish Business Coaching