There is true potential in your ad space if you manage it smartly. Unfortunately, often publishers give in to the temptation of a simple idea – more ads bring more money. Well, it ain’t that simple. Many factors impact the efficiency of an ad layout, and thinking in terms of “more is better” is rather harmful.
First things first
Let’s start at the beginning – your current ad layout. Analyze it. Review arrangement of ad slots. Are they in the most viewable areas? Do they accompany your users on their way throughout a page? Of course, don’t rely on guessing! Go to your Google Ad Manager or AdSense and run a historical report on ad units performance. Investigate clicks, bounce rate, and most importantly, their viewability (%). The last one is essential since it’ll tell you if your ads are actually seen between content.
Now, once you look closely into data, you can consider changes to your ad layout. Again, don’t guess what shifts will do the work. It’s the 21st century, and there is more than enough research on capturing users’ attention. Some website areas have proven to catch an eye while scrolling down the content – like a right rather than left or above the fold area. Did you take that into account so far? You can learn more about such nuances of attention catching in our article about websites’ areas of best potential.
The more, the better?
At this point, an unfortunate number of publishers stuff those zones of potential with ads like there is no tomorrow. But filling ad space to the brim is relatively ignorant regarding users and general rules applying to the quality of the digital sphere. Don’t panic. Those “rules” are a bunch of actually practical suggestions that keep your website safe and its users happy when followed. Getting to the point, Google, for example, offers no shortage of tips and recommendations on how to handle ads. In just a quick dive into Ad placements policies, you can learn about dozens of dos and don’ts, and trust me, getting to know those makes monetization go much more smoothly. I’m just going to stress one thing out — keep ad-user relations simple and remember that content is the prime goal of your website.
Make users choose you
The ocean of content gives people almost boundless possibilities to choose websites they decide to visit, and most importantly, come back to. Besides the quality of your content, it’s also ads that make them consider whether your page is worth their time or not. A quick example – a user lead to your article from Facebook is interested in a follow-up on a post that picked up their interest. If the viewed page is flooded with ads and they can’t pinpoint the content they were looking for, they exit the website just as fast as they got there. The same goes for search traffic. When looking for answers (and that’s how most of us use search engines), no one feels like wasting time fishing for information drowned between ads. How to know if that’s the case? Look at the bounce rate for particular pages. It’ll tell you how fast people are running away, thus how unpleasant their experience is. And then change that. According to the Better Ads Experience Program, higher than 30% ad density brings negative results that harm your relations with both users and advertisers. Remember, ads are only the addition to content, not the other way around!
To summarize, too many ads bring consequences. Trust me, though tempting, it’s not worth the risk. It’s the users’ reactions you should focus on to profit. Explore their habits and responses, meet them on their terms and respect their time. If they feel welcome and taken care of not only with content but with the whole website visit experience, they’ll come back.
If there is a will, there is a way
So is there a golden means to this end? Well, yes and no. There is no template, no pattern to follow. It’s all about your willingness to look for the right solutions that work with your business strategy and users. You’re not alone, though. The question of ad density is as old as online advertisement itself. Therefore, there are more than enough tips and clues to follow. Just ask the right questions, read, and keep getting to know your users. There are reliable sources providing valid hints on how to make an ad layout profitable and UX friendly – just explore Coalition for Better Ads or IAB New Ad Portfolio. And most importantly, never lose sight of what, or who makes ads profitable – users.
If data analysis isn’t your strong suit and the slalom between good and bad practices overwhelms you, there is a remedy. With today’s technology, designated tools are providing just what you need. optAd360 AI Engine technology allows solutions such as Revenue Booster, which uses machine learning to explore your website and makes the best out of its ad space while considering all the aspects. You don’t have to lift a finger! AI Engine adjusts the number of ads to the website template and its users, allowing for efficient traffic monetization while maintaining the comfort of receiving content. Let experts take over, sit back and focus on what you do best – create quality content.