The complete online advertising guide for makers

Hey Indiehackers!

Since we've started working on Abyssale, I've been asked numerous times where to find some actionable content on online/display advertising.

There are hundreds of articles out there... Most of them cover only one specific aspect and does not give you a bigger picture of what should be done before spending your precious budget!

I've compiled a 7-steps guide tailored for advertising beginners:

Part 1 - How does Modern Display Advertising Actually Work

Bid lifecycle

If you've ever wondered how modern display advertising works, you've come to the right place!

You'll find some explanations of the many terms and processes of advertising and how everything is tied up to the concepts of offer and demand, auctions, and bidding.

Part 2 - Available Advertising Networks and their Key Differences

Ad networks

Besides the GAFA platforms, there are countless Ad-Networks that could be relevant to your business!

We've handpicked a list of available ad-networks and their specificities that could be relevant for your business

Part 3 - How to Plan and Define your Advertising Strategy

ad planning

You wouldn't start developing/designing/making something without a plan... The same goes for advertising. A solid and well-defined strategy will help you save your time, money, and energy.

Part 4 - How to Measure and Track Advertising Performance

The advertising blackbox

So you're ready to spend some of your budgets on Ads. Good. Good. But did you add in your tech stack some effective way to track and measure conversions?

"No worries Alessandro! I'm trusting XX Ads platform with this"

Never blindly trust the results from any advertisers, track and measure everything on your side!

Part 5 - Why you Should Invest in Search Engine Advertising

The advertising blackbox

The most effective way to learn and become comfortable with online ads would most of the time be to start with SEA (Search Engine Advertising - aka - Google Adwords).


  • Small budget to start learning more about your target demographics.
  • Google Adwords is a very mature network.
  • You'll see some instant results.

Part 6 - Best Performing Ad Sizes in 2020

formats banners

You'd like to try something else than Adwords, Facebook, or Linkedin ads? Why not try Display ads?

To start this type of advertising channel you do not especially need to have tons of banner formats! In this article, we'll cover the best performing ad sizes for your next campaign.

Part 7 - The Anatomy of a Relevant Banner Design

Netflix banners

There is one key element that makes bigger brands recognizable at first glance: Design consistency.

In this article, you'll review the different components that make a banner design GREAT and why being consistent in your ad design will create a sense of belonging.

Thank you!

If you took the time to read this far without me boring you: Congratz!

Do not hesitate to leave your feedback, ideas, and of course, if you have any type of content you'd wish to learn more about advertising do not hesitate to ask :)

  1. 3

    Fantastic guide, @NxAlessandro! You packed a lot of the right info in this series. 👍 Thanks for putting it together!

    1. 2

      Thank you! It was indeed quite a challenge to gather, write, and format all these pieces of content.

      Hopefully, it will put beginners on the right tracks before wasting their budgets and leaving advertising out of the equations :)

  2. 2

    Thanks! You have inspired me to try out advertisements. I have just started my first campaign :)

    Lets see how this goes.

    1. 1

      Awesome!! What did you decide to start with?

      1. 2

        A simple campaign at Google targeted at roughly 40.000 people for €50 a month.

        Just testing the waters to see how it works 😁

  3. 2

    Some great insights here @NxAlessandro. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  4. 2

    Amazing guide @NxAlessandro - Thank you for sharing it with the community!

  5. 1


    Thank you for sharing the display advertising tips. Great Work. All of them make good sense.

    Can you please tell did you guys run the display ads for yourself or any other data you have for the same. What typical conversion rate and CPC you see from the display campaigns.

    And did above one advertising guide you wrote is for any display advertising or is it in more context to Google display network.


    1. 1

      Hey @Dinesht !

      You're welcome. We closely work with our customers on their display campaigns, by analyzing their performances it greatly helped us shape our own solution.

      CTR really depends on your business profile/market however we do see CTR ranging from 0,5% to over 8% (especially on FB campaigns), as for CPC it will always depend on your segmentation, campaigns parameters & objectives.

      These guides can be applied to all types of display networks!

      If you're looking for specific subjects on display ads please let me know! I'll do my best to answer them and even write an article about it :)

      1. 1

        Hi @NxAlessandro,

        Thank you for the CTR data, I think CTR of around 5-8% is really good data. As per my experience, I find the good banner and ad texts matter a lot in PPC. And very few of us utilize the worth of good banner and ad texts.


        1. 1

          Yes, these are very good CTR. However, you'll see these types of results on 1 ad group out of 5.

          Multiple factors can achieve these types of results:

          • Good segmentation and targeting
          • Good content
          • Visually interesting/compelling banner

          This means that you'll have to create multiple ad groups variations to find the best-performing ones!

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