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Free Ad Serving Software

Displaying advertising on your Web site, can be as low-tech as hand coding the banner image and related link into your Web pages using HTML. But if you do it that way, whenever you want to change advertisers, youíll have to update the ad image and link on every page. Plus, the ad performance isnít being tracked, so neither you nor your advertiser can easily tell how many times a particular ad has been displayed or clicked on.

If you intend to sell advertising on your pages, or simply want the ability to rotate multiple affiliate banners through a position, then ad serving software is the answer. Serving ads goes beyond simply displaying images; it includes scheduling, tracking, and reporting functions. With ad serving software itís possible to rotate multiple advertisements through a single spot, record how many times each is displayed, and tally how many users clicked on each one. You can also schedule start and stop dates, and set some ads to display more frequently than others. The more advanced systems permit targeting to specific Web pages, days of the week, hour of the day, or to certain viewer characteristics.

With ad serving software in place, you simply insert special coding into your Web pages each place you want an ad to appear. When a page is called up by a visitor, that code will call the ad serving software, which will fetch the proper ad and place it on the page in the desired spot. Each time an ad is displayed or clicked, the event is recorded. Using an administrative interface, you can view reports on ad performance at your leisure, and/or provide the reports to paying advertisers.

As youíve probably guessed, high-end ad serving systems cost a bundleóup to thousands of dollars. But unless your Web site generates a million or more page views a month, you can get along just fine with much less power - often for free.

There are two ways you can get access to ad serving software: Obtain and install the ad serving software on your Web server, or use ad software that is installed on someone elseís server.

When using the second option, the ad serving software is run by someone else, on their server, using their resources and traffic allowance. In return for providing you with free ad serving and statistics, they get to mix in some of their ads with yours. This typically amounts to between 7 and10% of your total ad impressions, leaving the majority for your own use.

If you prefer to retain 100% control of your ad serving space and process, there are also several free ad serving systems that you can install on your own server. Some can be a bit tricky to get running, but if youíve set-up scripts before, you should be able to manage. If not, consider having someone else (such as the scriptís author) do it for you, for a small fee.

Weíve rounded up a selection of free Web serving software and services. Click here to view the complete listing.

Are you ready to search for free ad serving solutions?

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