Delivering advertising adapted to your audience is the challenge.
What are the strategies to best monetize your website without disrupting the experience of your users? we tell you everything in this article …
There are many ways to monetize your website, but first let’s talk about traffic and how to increase it?
Increase your traffic to monetize effectively
The more traffic you have, the easier it will be to monetize your site:
Some common options, like running ads, are not worth it until you have some traffic to your website.
That’s why there are ways to monetize your site even if it doesn’t generate much traffic (see the article “The different monetization channels, what to choose for your site?”).
For example, you can use the audience you already have to launch a business (like coaching or freelance writing) around your site. You can also sell products to your existing audience or subscribers.
However, with more visitors to the site, you will have more options. Consider implementing an SEO strategy that will allow you to reach a larger audience.
Monetize without disturbing the user: what kind of ads?
As a publisher, it is in your best interest to run ads and make them perform better. You need to get visitors to click on them so you can earn ad revenue.
But you also shouldn’t ruin your user experience. Running too many invasive ads can have a negative impact on your site: it can slow down your page load speed, hurt your SEO and drive your users/readers away.
So how do you know which ads will work best?
To sum up, you should test your ads and you need to use the right tools.
Here are a few different ways to optimize the advertising experience on your site:
Optimize for web and mobile
Users access your site from different devices. The ad experience will be different on desktop and mobile.
Ideally, you should optimize visitors’ ad experience based on the device they are using.
Optimize the display of ads
The way ads are displayed on your site can affect profitability. This includes their size, placement on the page, ad type and whether other ads are present.
Did you know that ads can actually dilute the effectiveness of other advertisers? If there are too many ads on a single page, each one can be less effective. Don’t assume that simply adding more ads will result in increased revenue.
Give users a unique and personalized advertising experience
Advertisers treat each visitor differently, serving them different ads based on their preferences and frequent searches. Yet most publishers treat each user the same.
Personalizing your ad experience based on the user can lead to better results.
Optimized user experience through A/B testing
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like: running a test where you compare two versions of something side by side (version A vs. version B), to see which one gets better results.
A/B testing will give you tangible evidence of which types of ads to use. However, this won’t appease everyone. The limitations of A/B testing mean that you will never be able to satisfy visitors on side B.
How to run an A/B test?
To run an A/B test, you need to compare a variable you can control as a publisher (for example, ad type or content position) with a variable you can’t control (such as traffic source).
This will allow you to see which ad content works best on which traffic sources, devices, times of day, etc.
But what should I test?
You can test many variables when running your A/B tests. Some of them can be controlled, others not.
An important variable to test is the placement of the ads.
Is it at the top, bottom, in the sidebar or in the content? Ad placement affects the visibility of your ad to users.
Which traffic source generates the most clicks on ads? Optimizing for source can help you better monetize your traffic, by understanding which traffic is most valuable to you. Maybe it would be worth investing more in some paid traffic sources, or maybe you need to focus on your SEO.
Another variable is image size. Obviously, larger ads will be more visible on the page. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will perform better. Remember, it all depends on the user experience and its characteristics.
What color will your ads be? Should they blend in or stand out?
Are you using geographic targeting to deliver ads to users that are relevant to their region? In the right language?
How dense are your ads on the page? We’ve already discussed how ads can be diluted with each other; ad density can be a key factor to examine.
Different ad networks may pay you less or more for certain ads. It is necessary to investigate all the options available that will best meet your user needs and expectations.
What testing tools are available?
There are many different tools you can use to test your ads. Here are a few of them:
Google Optimize is the perfect and simple tool to run A/B tests.
The advantage is that Google Optimize is free. The disadvantage is that you will have to do everything manually, which takes forever.
Basically, you can access Google Optimize and connect it to your Google Analytics account. You will then have to enter the information for each experiment you want to run.
Ezoic allows you to customize your advertising experience based on what your user wants. This can help you monetize traffic more effectively.
You can use Ezoic to run automated ad tests.
The software uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you optimize your ads, so it makes decisions based on billions of data. These decisions are more effective than anything you could do yourself.
Automating your tests saves you a lot of time: you can test thousands of variables in minutes. If you try to do it manually, it can take months.
There are also paid ad optimization platforms that you can use, such as Optimizely, a fairly popular tool in the business.
The free Ad Inserter plugin is an alternative to Optimizely that many marketers also like to use.
How to conclude?
If you are a publisher, running ads on your website is a great way to monetize your traffic.
But there are many different types of ads and many variables to consider when running them.
If you really want to make money from ads, you need to make sure they are optimized by testing them, for example through A/B testing.
Make sure you run the right tests to get the most out of your ads.
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Antoine is the Co-Founder of OutPush, a platform that helps website publishers monetize through web push notifications. Before OutPush, Antoine launched a cheap travel platform, Hope Flights, with more than 50,000 members in France. Passionate about travel and new technologies, he is always listening to his customers and is always available. Prior to launching his company, Antoine was the head of Operations for the French startup Chauffeur-Privé, recently acquired by the Daimler-Mercedes group which has now been renamed Free Now (via Kapten).