8 Tips To Make Your Ads Worth More

Read time: 5 minutes

When it comes to the world of online advertising you can always eke out more value. Whether it’s changing your targets, redoing your layout, or anything else, there’s always something to do. Little changes add up, and when you’re a publisher the difference between $0.30 and $0.25 CPM could be your site going under. A high CPM is what you, as a publisher, should always be striving for. Emphasis on always.

Below you’ll find a list of suggestions we at AdButler give to customers when they’re looking for higher returns. It isn’t comprehensive, but it’s an easy checklist of concepts that to keep in the back of your mind.

1. You’re Never Done

The most important thing, more than any knowledge or trick I can tell you, is to always be working on your ads. They are the lifeblood of your website. You can set everything up perfect one day, but I guarantee something will change, and if you don’t stay on top of it, your returns are going to go down. Maybe your audience changes, or you start posting more frequently. Maybe it’s a different season. Whatever it is, if you expect the ads you set up two years ago to still be perfect, think again. Ads can’t be left to rot.

But don’t go overboard. You shouldn’t (and can’t) spend five hours a day looking at stats and moving things around. Ads might rot, but they also need room to breathe, and need a bit of space for perspective. Just don’t forget about them.

2. Watch Your CPM

The second most important thing I can tell you is know what changes you’re making. Switching around ad placements, trying out new banners, playing around with your scheduling. You have no way of knowing if your changes are doing something.

This is where having a platform with extensive statistics tracking is important. It’s also when you want to take a good hard look at your traffic platform (like Google Analytics) and make sure you’re maximizing the information you’re collecting. It may not be accurate, but it’s better than nothing.

3. Know Your Audience

Watch videos. Read tutorials. Run reports. Try and understand how Google Analytics works inside and out. Track conversions. Track actions. Look at how people are moving through your website, how long they spend on pages, what banners they’re clicking on. The more information you have the better able you’ll be to make decisions. But, as with anything, keep in mind what’s useful and what’s not. Don’t go crazy trying to figure out where your user’s mouse is hovering when it probably doesn’t matter.

A transaction in a store

4. Place Your Ads Somewhere They’ll Actually Be Seen

Look at how people visit your website. If you run a blog, and most people don’t finish the articles, maybe avoid putting several banners below your content. Alternatively, if people tend to read everything and spend a bit of time on your pages, look into rotating banners. Each website is unique, though, so take a look at your website and what placements actually perform.

5. A/B Test (Almost) Everything

A/B testing is when you try out different things simultaneously and compare the results. Think to alternate between two ads in one spot, or one ad in two different spots. It’s one of the best methods out there to figure out what’s actually working. You can A/B test almost everything. Audience targeting, banner design, page layout, what content to match with which ads. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn just by changing the colour of a background.

6. Know The Terminology

If you don’t know what CPM means, start there. Knowing the terminology isn’t just important for reading reports. It’ll help you look things up, and when talking to advertising partners or exchanges you’ll be on the same page. We have a great starting place for you, but in an industry as complicated as online advertising, there’s always more to know.

7. Offer Different Tiers

Okay, you know your audience. You optimized your layout, you’ve split people into demographics, and you’re A/B testing everything on your website. Now, it’s time to sell your inventory.

But not all spots are created equal. That leaderboard on top of your website gets the most views, but you know that the skyscraper on the right-hand side gets more clicks. You know that your North American audience is more likely to convert after a click, but your European audience spends more time on page after clicking through. You can split all this information into different tiers. True, when going through an auction system, the algorithm doesn’t care about these details. It’s direct sales where it matters. Talk to your advertisers and find out what they want. Then give it to them.

8. Put In The Effort

Really, it’s the same tip as the first one. If you’re going to monetize your site, monetize it. Think about every decision you’re making and whether it’ll help. Or don’t, and just wing it! Really, it’s your website.

Monetizing a website is hard work, and a big part of it is driving up your CPMs. These tips will help you out, but I’m curious if you have any of your own. Let me know in the comments below!

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