Dom’s note: There are a lot of questions surrounding display advertising, and wherever there are questions, there are myths too. Understanding the facts about display advertising is something that requires expert knowledge, and as my experience level is more related to affiliate promotions, I’m not the best person to ask. The following is a guest post from Chelsea Carver of The Blogger Network, definitely the RIGHT person to ask about the pros of display advertising.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into making your site something that provides value to the world. After working tirelessly to create, and promote great content with the world, you’ve finally got yourself this nice little piece of online real estate, but now what?
The majority of websites are born with the idea of generating some kind of income and luckily, there are endless opportunities to do this, and do it successfully. Placing advertising on your site is one opportunity I wanted to shed some light on.
If ads aren’t a part of your sites income, that’s understandable, especially as an affiliate marketer. Let’s talk about display advertising in detail to show you how can bring in consistent, and passive income without worrying about negative effects from having ads on your site.
Here are the top 4 myths surrounding display ads:
Myth #1 Ads will make my site look terrible.
First of all you have to remember that readers are used to seeing ads everywhere they turn and chances are they won’t be bothered by ads in your sidebar, footer or within your content. Just like drivers aren’t perturbed when they see billboards as they drive. Advertising is a part of life and are borderline expected when you’re giving value away for free. Ads can be strategically placed and the payoff is worth the small amount of distraction they may bring.
This is just one example of the many bloggers who are giving their revenue a boost by placing display ads and the key here is making sure your ads are placed and optimized correctly.
Let’s take look at some of the most profitable bloggers who use affiliate links and display advertising as part of their revenue strategy. Jon Dykstra from Fat Stacks Blog, who is (number 2 on Authority Hackers top 5 highest earning bloggers), details his use of display advertising, mixed with affiliate links on his niche websites here.
(He also recently reviewed our ads solution on his site if you want to check it out.)
Myth #2 Display ads will cannibalize my affiliate link clicks.
This may have been true 10 years ago, but nowadays affiliate advertisers know and expect publishers to have multiple sources of income on their site. Most affiliate advertisers have very clear requirements which can fit within a display ad strategy.
If you are worried that display ads will take readers away from your content, just keep in mind that clicks are not finite. The more things there are to click on your site, the more clicks you get. Visitor behavior indicates that people click and go back all the time, Also important to note is that industry average click through rate is 0.05 – 0.07%. Thats right, less than 1% of your visitors will click an ad. Still worried?
Myth #3 Display Ads don’t generate very much money at all.
This is probably the biggest and most nefarious myth of the bunch. Your display revenue is a factor of:
1. Traffic Yes, traffic volume is the biggest factor to determine your earning potential.
2. Placement Where you place your ads helps determine the value of each adzone. Always try to place ads in or near content. Never near white space.
3. Providers/Advertisers There are more options out there than Adsense. The more providers you can bring to the table, the more bids you get, which means the more you stand to make.
4. Number of Ads Running 3 adsense ads, probably won’t earn you what you’re looking to earn unless you have gobs of traffic. A much more lucrative setup would be something like running 68 display in your non-content areas, 13 in-content, 1 native postcontent, and other ad-types like in-image, in-screen, throughout your site.
That’s 8-14 ads, which sounds like a lot, but if you mix the ad types and placements you can achieve a great RPM without feeling like you’re crowding your pages at all. That’s how you can make every visitor, and every session profitable.
5. Technology How you present your ads to advertisers matters. Try working with a partner who utilizes headerbidding, or placement optimization tools.
Every publisher is unique, in their goals and how they want their site to look and function. That’s why we perform site-audits for free with any publisher to determine the best ad-strategy for their site.
Myth #4 Readers will stop visiting my site when they see ads.
Again, I refer to the top content websites around the world. 98% of them using display ads. Readers know that ads exist and have grown to expect to see them. In fact, when done correctly, ads can bring a certain credibility and feel to your site. All the major portals and mainstream websites have ads around, so a first time visitor might even think that your blog is more established that what it really is after seeing the ads.
It all comes down to the fact that you have created an amazing online space and you should not let that space go to waste! Advertisers will pay a premium to get in front of your readers and we don’t want you missing out on the consistent revenue opportunities here!
What it all comes down to is that we don’t want you letting that precious online real estate you’ve worked so hard for, sit unused! Use the space you have created to increase that income?
Okay, you’ve decided to give it a try.. Now how do you get started? There are endless options to consider when determining which options are best for your site. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you might consider getting a free site audit to determine what the best setup is for you and your site.
More resources about how ads work and how to best use them can be found here.
Written by Chelsea Carver
The Blogger Network