Earlier days, online publishers had few options like Google AdSense for monetizing their content. However, things have been changed completely and nowadays you can use hundreds of Google Certified Publishing Partner companies for monetization. These companies can easily lift your revenue +50% based on RPM compared to traditional ad setup. They use programmatic advertising which is an automated way of trading ad inventory to improve the revenue. In addition, there are some fundamental differences in ad setup and placement which makes these companies to generate higher revenue.
Ad Exchanges and Ad Networks
Before we proceed, you need to understand the different setup Google offers for publishers. If you are a new publisher, you will easily get lost with different terms like AdSense, DoubleClick, AdX, Ad Exchange and Ad Manager. Forget all those stuffs and at this point of time, Google offers Ad Manager which is a platform for large scale publishers to manage Ad Exchanges and advertising networks with real-time programmatic bidding. Google AdSense is a separate product which is an ad network generally for small and medium scale publishers.
You can apply for AdSense account as an independent publisher and access Ad Manager using AdSense account. However, access to Ad Exchange needs invitation from Google or you can apply through a partner. Here comes the Google Certified Publishing Partner companies helping small scale publishers to participate in ad exchanges (like Google Ad Exchange) instead of smaller ad networks (like AdSense).
Ad Technologies to Increase Revenue
Participating in ad exchanges can drastically boost the revenue due to the following technologies used which are generally restricted or not available with smaller ad networks.
1. Header Bidding
This is the most popular term you will be hearing as a publisher when an agency or advertiser approaches you for sales pitch. Header bidding is a programmatic advertising technique allowing publishers to sell ad space to large number of exchanges and networks. This will allow more advertisers to bid for ad space and as a publisher you have an increased chance to get higher revenue. Header bidding works well for CPM which is good option for sites with lot of traffic like news, forums and online games sites. You can read more about header bidding and why you should use on your site in the article from Publift.
2. Ad Refresh or Rotation
Besides header bidding, there are simple and effective ways to increase your ad revenue. Ad refresh is one such easy technology to rotate advertisements periodically to increase the number of ad impressions. For example, you can rotate ads on the page and auto refresh the ad slots every minute. Let’s take an example to show you the increase in ad revenue:
- Average session duration of your site – 2 minutes
- RPM – $5
- Ad impression without rotation – 100K
- Estimated earnings = (5 /1000) * 100000 = $500
- Estimated earnings with ad rotation per minute = $500 * 2 = $1000.
This is doubling your revenue and the increase will be more when your average session duration is higher.
3. Acceptable Ads
Ad blockers are the biggest problem for publishers causing loss in revenue. However, there is a program called Acceptable Ads which allows to show nonintrusive ads for those using ad blocking extension in browser. By participating in Acceptable Ads program, you can include a specific ad slot on your site to bypass ad blockers. Ad agencies and partners can help you to get approval for your domain and specific ad slot to . Though all ads will not be shown with blocker, at least you can recover small portion of the lost revenue by showing acceptable ads.
4. Native Video Ads
Earlier days, rich media ads were popular which show attractive animated ads. However, nowadays you can show native video ads that will blend nicely similar to text ads on your site. When user scrolls over the video ad, it will automatically minimize to small window and float on the corner. This can easily increase the revenue as you will get paid for each video impression.
5. Sticky Ads
Finally, sticky ads are the way to make more earnings out of your online content. Even traditional ad networks like AdSense offers sticky ads that will float on top or bottom portion of the screen. You can use advanced sticky formats like showing fixed ad on the sidebar when users scrolling the content. Combining with ad rotation, sticky ads can increase your impressions and hence the revenue. Also, keeping ad on the visible area will increase the “Active View Viewable” which is good for healthy ad revenue.
Note: Remember, ad refresh, sticky ads on sidebar are not allowed with AdSense and few other networks. With these ad networks, you can display one ad in one slot regardless of how long the visitor stays on your site. Therefore, make sure to read the program policies that you are participating to avoid violating the terms.
What is the Catch?
The only solution is to delay ad scripts to improve page loading speed. It will impact a small portion of your revenue when ads are loaded with minor delay. You also do not need to use all the above technologies and possibly avoid sticky or ad rotation option. You can still increase ad revenue by showing limited ads and participating in Acceptable Ads program.