I got some very good responses with a previous post here and have decided to put out an idea for feeback from anybody who can help me with my query. Apologies for the large description but I want to be clear.
Website Overview: Construction web application that allows main contractors or building clients to easily source and contact building specialists for their projects. It contains further features which are still in development.
We want the web application to have an abundance of listed construction specialists and categrories so we have decided not to charge for registrations but to offer a listing for free. This way more companies will subscribe and the web application will have a respectable amount of variety for the end-user. Too few listed construction specialists will give the impression that the website is not what it claims to be an would result in a drop-off of interest.
To cut a long story short, we have decided to go with the option of generating revenues from company advertising banners for companies who want to get more noticed than the free-listed companies. The website will contain many subpage categories and it is hoped that companies specific to a category page will pay for an advertising banner on that page. For example: End user needs to source an architect and a landscaper for one of his projects. When he selects architects, he will be brought into a subpage which lists all architects in a choosen radius of proximity to the building project. In this page we hope to have a sliding banner system with approx 15 advertising banners specifically for architectural companies. The same for landscape companies and so on. We could potentially have 60 subcategory pages and approx 15 specific advertising banners per subcategory. A rough estimate would therefore be 900 advertising banners.
I see so many conflicting opinions regarding what you can charge a company for an advertising banner per month and per year based on users to the website and would very much appreciate if some of you guys could shed some light on the following:
1) Is relying on advertising banner revenue a risky approach generally or if there is good daily usage of the website would it be a good idea to pursue this as the income option and work on developing it further as the website grows?
2) How much can you generally charge for an advertising banner per month/per year. Lets say, the website will be aimed at the Eurozone region in which there are many countries and the general daily usage of the website is good due to healthy construction growth? I thought of an approx figure of 250 Euro per year but perhaps that is way off the mark. I have been looking at advertising costs for similar websites in England, Germany, Ireland etc and the prices vary drastically. Is there a solid calculation method that would stand up in the financial section of a business plan?
3) How do you prove to a potential advertising customer the daily viewers to the website and therefore the justification for the monthly cost of their advert. Do you have to show each customer at year end the number of clicks into the category page in which they have a banner?
4) What are the best free methods for advertising Banners on a website generally?
Sorry for all the questions. I look forward to a few ideas.