The 8 Steps I Follow To Maximize My Ad Revenue
Do you know how I increased the ad revenue of one of my sites with 240%? I reduced the number of ads on a every page. I left the ads that perform well and placed them better. Sounds simple, yet most people just add more and more ads hoping they would make better revenue. It doesn't work like that. You need systematic approach.
1. Reduce the number of ads on your pages
Start with this, preciously. Unless your site has no ads yes, you can reduce the number of ads on the pages. Of course don't do it just randomly - you must have a way to know which ads perform better. This is easy to do for example if you run Adsense ads - you can create custom channels for every ad position and thus know how much revenue each one generates. If you use multiple ad networks it's even easier.
Now simply remove the unit that performs worst. In most cases you won't lose the revenue from it because it will be compensated with clicks or purchases from your better performing ads. This rule fails only if you are getting paid per impression. Then obviously the more ads you have on page, the more you earn. Or at least it seems so? Cluttering your site with ads will increase the bounce rate, reduce the number of return visitors and the number of pageviews, which again means lower revenue.
2. Improve placement
Most ads get more views and clicks when they are above the fold (i.e. seen immediately without scrolling the page). Here is a decent heatmap from Adsense team showing some of the best positions in general. Of course relying entirely on such a map is BS. You can never know for sure which positions work best for you until you test them. So, test various positions and see which receive the most clicks and sales.
Don't forget also to test various ad formats. For example the standard 468x60 banner is often a loser. Square ads usually perform better. Not for everyone though, so test.
3. Sell ads directly
When using ad networks you are leaving between 33% and 50% of your revenue on their table. Yes of course, they recruit advertisers for you and they deserve their cut. But why don't you try to get some advertisers sign up directly and pay straight to your pocket? Most sites just have no "Advertise here" page or at best have a page giving some rates and email address for contact. Can you imagine the number of people who go to the page and leave it because they don't want to bother mailing someone? They don't want to mail you, boy, they want to purchase ad right now or move on! I know this for sure because when we placed Ad page here on HYWD years ago, the ad purchases boosted at least 3 times. If you don't believe me, create a static "Advertise here" page with email address and install analytics software on it to see the number of people who visit it and then bounce.
You must have a form and system that will allow people to purchase ads directly. Whether it will be a cool ad management software like A.M.Y. or some custom built solution, you need such a thing. The money you pay for such software will pay off with the first ad purchase.
4. Avoid bad ads
It's often tempting to promote some crap and make quick profits but think about your visitors. You want them to come back, you want them to recommend your site to friends, you want them to link to it and bookmark it in social networks. Bad ads push visitors away especially if they made the mistake to purchase the crap and then remember they've seen the ad about it on your site. Like it or not, people perceive the ads on your site as personal recommendations so pay attention to what advertisements you allow.
5. Remove unnecessary distractions
This is in line with the first step. If something, not just ad, doesn't perform well, remove it. For example a twitter share button that is not used, a subscription form or popup that no one signs for, or sexy picture that does not contribute to the content. Such distractions reduce your ad clicks and pageviews.
6. Create good content, build trust
One of the most efficient ways to earn more from ads is to have great content. It seems obvious but how many sites that are full of scraped content and BS you see every day? These people are also trying to make money with ads, they just do it the wrong way. If you have great content, it will keep visitors on your site, will make them link to it and recommend it. This leads to more traffic, more pageviews, more ad revenue.
And it's not only the pageviews. If your users trust you and like your content, they'll trust your ads more too, will be more likely to click on them or to purchase from the affiliate offers you promote.
7. Promote your best and relevant content on every page
As you'll see at the end of this article, there is "Related articles" section. Sometimes I would also link to other relevant articles directly in the content. It's worth it even to have a banner promoting your best content, a "Top articles" page or a widget rotating your most commented posts. Let more visitors find your best content, this increases the chance to convert them to your fans, increase the number of visits, pageviews and then ad revenue.
8. Target ads to users
This is harder to implement, but if you can do it, don't hesitate. Show female related ads to your female users, show ads depending on location, depending on age, depending on interest. One of the reasons why Facebook is such a successful business is they target their ads to users. Most content sites will not be able to do it, but if you are running kind of a membership site or social network, or even forum, targeting ads will be doable.
Don't lose time, start implementing these steps, and let me know the percentage of ad revenue increase you have achieved!
Published at May, 09 '11 , Read 4444 times.
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