Do you have a website with a fair amount of traffic, and you’ve looked into the whole how to get ads on your website for a while already, but you don’t really know how to get started? No worries, we are here to help you. Getting started with ads might sound really simple, you just place a code snippet on your site and wait for the cash to start rolling? While it can be that simple (we’ll explain later on how), there is a lot more you need to have figured out before those millions will start rolling in.
The impact of traffic
The amounts of traffic your site receives will have a huge impact on the performance and revenue you will gain from placing ads on your site. The amount of traffic categorizes you as a small, medium, or large publisher, and depending on which category you belong to there are different strategies to apply if you want to succeed with website ads. Check out our previous blog post series on how to make more money with your site, where we dig deeper into supply quality, user acquisition, and session length. All three of these are important for your overall success. Large amounts of traffic are useless if the traffic comes from bots or if the site’s quality or content is poor and the bounce rate is high. Great, up-to-date content drives quality traffic, and quality traffic generates bucks in the world of advertising.
Getting started with ads – Small publishers
So, you have launched a new site or blog, the traffic is decent but still at a quite low level with less than 100 thousand unique visitors per month. You have started to investigate ads but you are a bit unsure how to get ads on your website. You have a few options to choose from while you work on your site’s traffic and ensure the quality of content.
The first step for most publishers is to join Google AdSense, a targeted ad platform that is very easy to apply for and easy to use. You get paid per click, and the buyers are signed-up on Google’s pay-per-click platform called Google Ads. If you are new to ads, Google AdSense is the absolute easiest way to get started and it’s free to join as long as your site gets accepted into the network. You will be given a unique snippet of code you add to your website and Google will take care of the rest. If your traffic is decent, you will be able to earn quite a fair revenue.
Another easy way to get started with ads is to join an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is not directly tied to ads, but it’s a great way to start earning some money on your site while building your audience and traffic. When joining an affiliate, you work with different companies and promote their products or services on your site. You will again, receive a unique link that you use in your content, and if any of your readers click the link and purchases the product or service through your site, you will earn a commission. It’s important to keep in mind that you cannot promote any random products or services to your readers, it needs to be coherent with your other content and be a natural fit, otherwise, it will do more harm than good.
A third way to get started with website monetization is to do sponsored posts. This reminds a bit of affiliate marketing, but instead of a commission, you might get a steady salary for writing a post or a review of a company’s product or service. Sponsored posts have skyrocketed during the past decade due to social media, and sponsored posts on different platforms are very common today, which is why you might not earn as much on sponsored posts as in the past.
Getting started with ads – Medium-sized Publishers
Your site starts to do well and your traffic is growing at a steady rate. Your monthly website traffic is increasing and exceeding 200 thousand unique visitors per month, and you can count yourself as a medium-sized publisher. You are potentially earning some money on pay-per-click advertising or affiliate marketing, but you want to take it to the next level, and we understand you.
From CPC to CPM
When you move from a small to a medium-sized publisher, you most likely outgrow cost-per-click advertising and move over to the next level, cost per mille advertising. CPM means that you get paid per thousand impressions served. CPM is a much more steady income model than CPC, as clicks can vary heavily, while with CPM you will get paid an agreed amount when you have served the agreed impressions.
Sell your own ad space
When your traffic is at a decent and foremost steady level, you can sell direct ads on your website. You need to announce the ad formats you have to offer along with the price. Keep in mind that you always have to be honest about your amount of traffic and page views. There are multiple ways for external partners to validate and confirm your traffic, so giving false information will not benefit you in any way. Selling your own ad space is not impossible, but bear in mind the amount of work that you need to put in to take care of connections to demand-side partners, legal work, and financing. We highly suggest you, partner, up with a publisher monetization platform instead.
Partner up with a publisher monetization platform
By partnering with an ad platform you get valuable expertise and years of experience. The advertising industry is changing faster than ever before, and while DIY can be beneficial in very many situations, managing your ad success might not be one of them. Getting help from professionals does not by any circumstance mean that you lose control, quite the opposite. By joining AdSense or other ready tailored ad platforms, you will not have much impact on how the ads look or where on your site they appear. You agree to give away control by signing-up. Working with an ad platform like Kiosked is the direct opposite. At Kiosked, you get to work together with a personal account manager from the beginning. You will together build-up an ad landscape that works for you, from ad units to frequence, and everything is within your control at all times. Our dynamic ad placements make it possible to place ads where ever you wish, which also leads to much better user experience and a clean ad landscape on your site. We have great connections with all major demand-side platforms, and by joining Kiosked we sell you to demand partners you might not otherwise have a chance to work with, as their requirements for joining can be quite demanding for individual smaller publishers. We take care of all the settings for you and monitor your site thoroughly during the trial period and tweak the settings also after going live, in order to get the best revenue possible.
Getting started with ads – Large Publishers
If you are a large publisher with millions of monthly visitors, we understand that you probably aren’t ‘getting started with ads’, you probably already have several monetization partners implemented. But we can assure you that there is always room for improvement. What worked for you a year ago might not work for you today. New technologies, restrictions, and policies are constantly being implemented and keeping track of everything yourself is not always so easy. You might have your own programmatic in-house team, but taking advice from external experts still might be worth a shot.
Optimize ad units
To build an optimal landscape is not easy. Analyzing and testing different ad units is necessary to find a solution that works for your site. Remember, something that worked a year ago might not work anymore since user behavior changes, new ad formats are being developed and new policies and regulations are added constantly. By looking over your ad settings with an expert can help you get a better understanding of where and what to improve. Adding new units does not necessarily mean more revenue, not at all. Too many ads are disturbing and if they are not placed nicely on your site, it will affect your traffic and you know by now that traffic equals revenue. Remember also to be careful with new, exotic ad units as demand for these might not be as high as for more standard units. At Kiosked you will always get one of our marketplace experts to review your site and give a suggestion. Our ad units never cannibalize existing ad placements, they are always just added revenue to your existing revenue streams.
Analyze and change the setups
This is something that can have a huge impact on the performance and something that needs to be done weekly and especially around high-season such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Holiday season. Also beginning of the month and July tend to be low-season and might need some tweaking in order to get maximal potential CPM. Changing refresh time, frequency cap and floor prices are things that you need to pay attention to and change accordingly. At Kiosked our marketplace team will take care of this for you and ensure that settings are tweaked to the best optimal settings for your site.
Connect to new demand
As you know, it takes two to tango, therefore you need to be in good relations with demand partners, as these are the ones who will most likely sell your inventory to advertisers. As a small or medium-sized publisher, it can be difficult to get accepted by high-quality, larger demand partners, as these have very strict requirements regarding traffic amounts and content. By working with an ad platform like Kiosked, you will not have to worry about selling yourself to a dozen of demand partners, we will do it for you. You can see it as an exclusive gateway straight to the most wanted demand partners. Depending on where the majority of your traffic comes from and what kind of content you have, there are some demand partners that suit you better. In some cases, a demand partner might not accept you if neither of you will benefit from the relationship.
Hopefully, this post provided some insight into how to get ads on your website. These are just some of the easier options on how to get started. If you are looking for taking your ad game to the next level, we are always happy to help you out, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll review your site.