Did you know that back in the early days of the internet – back in the mid-90’s that the average click through rate of a banner ad was estimate to be 50-90%? Oh, if we could only go back to the 90’s!
If you are a blogger or publisher who relies on advertising to monetize your website then you know that there is a big uprise in people installing ad-blockers so they can avoid these ads. As a publisher it is a constant struggle to figure out how to balance profitability with user experience – what most readers do not realize is that it is those ads that allow you to continue providing your content!
One of the reasons people are so aggravated with ads is that they can make a website very slow to load and some publishers go to extremes with the ads being displayed. When there are more ads than content or you are trying to access content and are constantly dealing with ads – it is a turnoff. Be smart about your ad placement – keep it simple and relevant and you will not risk turning people off.
It is important to find a way to offer your content to readers and still be able to monetize it without losing them. Monetizing a blog is a difficult process – here is a list of a few statistics about banner and display ads – this will be an eye-opener and you will see you are not alone in your struggles!
- There are approximately 198 million active ad block users around the world. (PageFair 2015 Ad Blocking Report – 2015)
- The average click through rate globally across all ad types and placements is only .20%. (Google Display Benchmark Tools)
- Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months. (PageFair 2015 Ad Blocking Report – 2015)
- 45% of ad block users do so because they expressed a complete lack of desire to view any ads – they wanted them all removed. (PageFair/Adobe Report 2014)
Native advertising is becoming a popular way to get around these ad blockers – native advertising can include sponsored posts, reviews and other types of editorial style content that mimics the sites natural posting style. There was a study done at Grady College in Georgia that noted most readers cannot tell the difference between native advertising posts versus editorial content. Under 8% of subjects tested were able to identify posts properly as a paid marketing message.
Here are a few options for getting around the ad-blockers and other ways you can monetize your website.
CODEFUEL – this unique suite offers a variety of ways for publishers to not only further engage their readers but also provides creative options for advertising. Their services offer ad placement in areas like the search box, content text, video, design elements and even tags.
Learn more about CodeFuel
YAVLI – allows publishers to utilize relevant sponsored content to monetize their websites.
Learn more at Yavli
PAGEFAIR – works with publishers to help them deal with ad blocking. Publishers can use PageFair to measure the cost of ad blocking and to display alternative advertising to ad blockers.
Learn more about PageFair
IMONOMY – images work – we have all learned that images are a critical part of content and this service offers in image advertising options which do not get filtered out by the ad blockers. You can see a visual of how their ads look here. Their technology actually scans the text from your web pages and automatically matches content relevant campaigns which can help improve user experience as well as your earnings.
Learn more about Imonomy
PREMIUM CONTENT – another exceptional way to monetize is to offer premium content at a cost. Think outside the box and create content that has true value for your reader – use your Google Analytics to determine what your most popular content is and start with that to create your premium content posts.
One example of a website that does this very well is Sridhar Katakam. He is a professional Genesis developer and offers some content for free – but then requires membership to access the most important part of some of his posts. Here is an example: https://sridharkatakam.com/sliding-down-primary-navigation-in-full-screen-overlay-in-genesis/
SPONSORED/REVIEW POSTS – if your website has a high traffic volume, sponsored posts are a great way to monetize your blog without ads. We do not recommend doing this too often as it can potentially turn of loyal readers – but can work in conjunction with other methods to offer great rewards! It is critical you only do sponsored posts for products/services that are highly relevant to your target market. We also HIGHLY recommend you only do sponsored posts for products or services you would personally recommend – your purpose as a publisher is to help, educate and entertain your readers first and foremost. Do not risk your reputation by sponsoring products that you have no personal experience with.
ACCEPTABLE ADS – ADBLOCK PLUS – one of the bigger ad blocker services is Adblock Plus – with over 300 million downloads it is a pretty popular download! They actually offer the opportunity to have your website in their “acceptable ads” program which will allow your ads to pass through to users if they have the “acceptable ad” option checked in their settings. They have found that only 25% of their users are strictly against all advertising so are offering this option to help publishers. You must be in line with their ad requirements to be accepted.
Learn more about Adblock Plus Acceptable Ads
BLOCKADBLOCK – claims to be an easy to use system that can help you recapture lost revenue from ad blockers by installing a script on youe website that will make your ads visible.
Learn more at BlockAdBlock
NATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS – are a form of paid media where an ad experience follows the styling and form of the existing content on the page. These are usually content areas that appear below your post and may look as if they are additional posts from your own website. Below are a few of the most popular native advertisement companies you can use to monetize your blog with as well as find relevant content for your website.
We hope some of this is helpful to you – if you have any other suggestions or other resources that others can benefit from we would love to hear them!
Jill Caren brings over 12 years of WordPress and SEO experience to help you improve and grow your website. She has spoken at several events on SEO and has been published in several top SEO publications. You can contact Jill here.