For years now, Google AdSense has been the go-to solution for monetization. And why not? It’s easy to implement, it’s relatively effective, and it’s flexible, too. But publishers cannot survive on AdSense alone; to maximize revenue, publishers must supplement.
“Supplementation” can take on many guises. Many publishers will slot in first-party banner ads, or ad tags for third-party networks to leverage their demand sources. Those with the resources to do it will offer overlays and other custom advertisements. Still others will offer sponsorships for their email newsletters or particular pieces of content. And then there are subscriptions, webinars, eBooks and other paid content solutions.
The best monetization mix for your site will be a unique blend of options that will vary based on your goals, your content, and your site design. But as you consider your options, here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
- Google AdSense is a great place to start. It is reliable and easy to implement, and it can easily blend with the look and feel of your site. It is at least worth a try.
- Be cautious if you go the banner route, especially if you’re going with third-party ads. Banners can very quickly muddy up the look and feel of your site, and response rates are at an historic low. Unless you’re working directly with your sponsors or with a company tailoring the advertising to your site’s specific content, proceed with caution. You may end up with animated ads for diet supplements on your site about trends in anime. Bottom line: These may look like a quick revenue-generator, but –unless you’re extremely careful -they could interfere with your user experience and do little for your bottom line.
- Absolutely consider offering some form of paid content. If you’re a great writer (or work with great writers) and have some expertise to share, selling eBooks and webinar “seats” is a great way to grow revenue. Just have a look at how your competition is pricing for comparable content. You’ll notice that the price for a green smoothie cookbook or juice cleanse webinar is dramatically different than content in similar formats on topics like investing in real estate or starting your own home-based business. Do your homework!
- Supplement AdSense with innovative ad formats. Since AdSense occupies the traditional banner locations on a page, there is still plenty of real estate available to monetize. Infolinks InSearch, InText and InFrame leverage that unused space and compliment (and supplement) AdSense effectively. Yes, we’re blowing our own horn here, but these units are not only respectful of your site design and content, they’re respectful of your visitors, as well. We analyze the text of your pages in real time and balance the needs of relevance with the needs of payout extremely effectively. That means users are more likely to find them helpful than annoying – which means they’re more likely to click.
The monetization mix is something each publisher needs to decide for him or herself, and there are plenty of options out there. We’d love to hear what blend of solutions is working for you! Please share your thoughts in the comments!