Without a doubt, the most effective display ad strategy is to position your websites ads where visitors are most likely to see and engage with them.
This may seem common knowledge for most, but you would be surprised how many correctly are missing out on ad revenues by not correctly monetizing their websites. This is something we see daily because it was just only a few years ago where most were focusing on their sidebar ads where publishers should be focusing on ads within their content.
So what types of website ads earn the most revenue?
Overtime, website visitors have become use to display ads such as banner ads and sidebars and are far less effective than they used to be. Combine this with the fact that most website traffic comes from mobile where there is no sidebar or header, publishers need to insert ads into sections of the website where content normally is featured.
Incontent ads do this effectively and really help with banner blindness which increases the likelihood of visitors seeing the ads (and hopefully clicking them as well) making you more money from your blog.
The hard part, of course, is putting these ideas into practice. Start with mastering the foundation of how to use adsense. To go beyond theoretical suggestions, below we highlight several sites that do an excellent job of placing their ads in areas of a site where visitors would be hard pressed not to notice them.
The below ad for Square Reader fits right into the body of the article to the left of the text, making it difficult not to notice while consuming this content. Though this ad doesn’t completely interrupt the reading experience, it takes up quite a bit of prime real estate and is positioned right next to the text.
Allowing this ad to run as text with styling matching the natural links on the site would improve performance even further and click-through-rates.
This site is one of several general knowledge properties that also happen to serve as great examples of effective monetization strategies (About.com is another great source of monetization inspiration that we’ve highlighted before).
Take a look at the screenshot below. At first glance, it’s quite difficult to distinguish the text ad from the instructions. The styling of the ad unit helps it to blend in, which no doubt improves performance.
This popular technology blog is always trying out new implementations of a basic concept: an AdSense ad immediately after the first paragraph. The below example shows an image ad, but text-based ads appear here regularly as well:
We don’t usually think of newspapers as being on the cutting edge of monetization, but this site has clearly focused in on a best practice for maximizing AdSense ads. Similar to many examples here, the ad below is styled to match the surrounding content almost perfectly:
This personal finance site is a good example of a standard AdSense implementation in the middle of an article. Below is a screenshot of a text 300×250 rectangle that appears after the third paragraph of an article:
This cooking and recipe blog inserts two side-by-side 300×250 ad units right above the start of the actual recipe. It looks like they’ve sold directly to a few advertisers, and are using this configuration to ensure they deliver good results:
Yahoo! hosts one of the world’s most popular finance portals, which the company monetizes primarily through display ads. On the Finance home page, there is a lengthy list of article headlines and summaries covering a range of finance news and analysis.
Integrated into this list are occasional ads styled similar to the organic content on the site. This similar styling is no coincidence; it helps to disguise the ads, which leads to higher engagement and click rates:
In the screenshot above, the headline about Credit Cards with 0% APRs is a CPC ad (without the “AdChoices” label, it would be very hard to detect).
This site is another example of an ad unit interrupting and taking up the entire width of the content. Note that the text ads are also styled to match the surrounding text:
Below is an example of a site that puts an ad at the very beginning of an article, between the title and the first word:
It’s worth noting that this strategy has some risks. As shown below, there are three large ad units plus a link unit above the fold–and zero words of the article. Google has made it clear that sites deemed to be top-heavy with ads will be penalized. So while the current earnings of this page are probably great, they may be coming at the expense of long-term traffic.
Yes, TV Guide is still around. And they’re adjusting to a world where most of the eyeballs on their information come through a computer screen. Below is a screenshot from a page displaying a local TV schedule, featuring a text-based AdSense unit appearing in between the listings:
This sports news site inserts a text-based leaderboard ad unit between the feature image for an article and the actual text:
Good news for all publishers that in 2016 Google has changed their rules on the amount of ad units allowed on a page to unlimited, as long as advertising and promotional material does not exceed your content. Some of these changes included:
Just to be clear, we have all seen those websites with dozens of ads that ruin user experience and decrease your site speed. Google AdSense still have more rules than ever and you should be following the rules set out by the coalition for better ads.
For websites that do make most of their revenue from display ads, there are some simple ways you can improve performance while staying within Google Guidelines. The sites above are good examples of properties designed to maximize visibility of their ads, which generally results in more clicks and more ways to earn more with AdSense.
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