Top 5 Website Monetization Mistakes You Should Avoid

Website monetization is one of the best and most common strategies to support publishers and content creators. Website monetization and SEO go hand in hand. The higher the traffic and the better your site’s ranking on search engines are, the more ad revenue you’ll earn.

However, if there’s a mistake in your website monetization strategy, it can hurt your site’s usability, reputation and ruin all your hard SEO efforts!

This article explains 5 different website monetization mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Table of Contents:

  1. Intrusive Advertising
  2. Placing Too Many Ads
  3. Using Not-Best Performing Ad formats and Placements
  4. Creating Low-Quality Content
  5. Using Too Many Monetization Platforms At Once

1. Intrusive Advertising

Intrusive advertising is the process of showing unwanted and annoying  ads to users. They can be in the form of unexpected pop-ups, auto-play videos with sound or ads that appear in new windows or pages.

Intrusive ads disrupt the user’s natural reading flow and browsing experience and make them want to leave your website, which results in higher bounce rates and lower engagement. 

It also signals search engines that your website isn’t meeting users’ expectations, lowering your position in search results. Search engines like Google prioritize user experience, so they advise not to implement intrusive advertising on your website. 

In 2017 the Coalition for Better Ads implemented the Better Ads Standards–global guidelines for acceptable ad formats. These regulations help Google fight against intrusive advertising and deliver a better browsing experience for users. 

suggested ads

Source: Thinkwithgoogle

Intrusive vs non-intrusive advertising

Here are the main differences between intrusive and non-intrusive advertising:

Intrusive advertisingNon-intrusive advertising
Random ads that aren’t related to the page’s contentRelevant ads that show up at the right time and place
Bad performance, low profitDeliver better results and generate higher profit
Focused on serving impressions rather than targeting the audienceUses retargeting technique and provides better user trust and engagement
Mostly gets ignored by users due to distractionGains user interest due to ad relevance to their interest
Isn’t recommended by search engines Approved by search engines
Main reason for ad blocker usageCan bypass ad blockers and still appear on the website

2. Placing Too Many Ads

Having too many ads on your website makes it difficult for users to interact with your content, resulting in a bad user experience and eventually leading to lower rankings in search results. 

The ratio between ads and content depends on the overall length of your content, page’s layout, and user behavior. Still, it is suggested that the ad density shouldn’t exceed 30% to 70% of the content. 

Users have to interact with many different ads during their browsing experience, so their eyes get used to ignoring everything irrelevant. This phenomenon applies to ads and is called “banner blindness”.

too much ads example

There’s a misconception that more ads would generate more ad revenue, but you should remember that too many ads can lower the value of ad inventory and make it less attractive for advertisers. 

Remember that it’s always quality over quantity when thinking about how many ads to put on your website.

Here you can see a good example of just the right amount of ads with top-performing anchor ad on the bottom and sticky sidebar ad on the right side, which both have good ad viewability and performance. 

ad placement best practice

3. Using Not Best-Performing Ad formats and Placements

The choice of ad formats you put on your website should depend on the user activity on your site and ideally match the website design and layout. 

Having too many ads on your website can irritate users, but some users get very specific about their ad preferences while browsing websites. No one enjoys ads that interfere with the readability of the website’s content. 

For example, if the user stays on your website and opens multiple pages, which all show distracting pop-up ads–it’s clear that he’ll get annoyed, leave your site, and your CPM will drop. 

In this case, a good alternative would be interstitial ads as they have a close button and a set frequency cap of 1 interstitial ad per 1 user in 1 hour. 

A survey showed that out of 302 people, 58% responded that they consider pop-up ads as the most annoying type of ads. 

ads survey

Source: Hubspot

It’s just as important to look at the average user session duration on your pages–if it’s short, stick to a few best-performing ad formats in popular placements.

If you have long-form content, you can experiment with different ad formats and sizes. 

If you trust your ad formats choice to experts such as Setupad, you’ll be able to increase your CPM. 

Setupad offers the best-performing ad formats with  a high CPM value, such as sticky and anchor ads, native ads, and instream and outstream video ads.

What are not-best-performing ad formats?

Not best-performing ad formats are usually the result of poor and unadvised ad placement tactics.

Here are 5 things you should avoid when planning your ad format and ad placement strategy:

  • Putting ads in pages and places users don’t see. Unviewable ads are one of the most common causes of low eCPMs. For example, in-article ads stay in view for less time as users tend to scroll through them. In addition, if you place them at the bottom of the article, there’s a chance users will never get to see them. A good alternative is sticky sidebars or anchor banners, which stay in view for the whole session duration
  • Placing ads near navigation buttons. This can result in users accidentally clicking on the ads, which can lead to Google’s two-click penalty and users getting irritated.
  • Combining the wrong ad formats. There should be a balance between ad formats that engage users and ad formats that blend with the content. For example, combining native ads and display ads within the same page is a good tactic. 
display and native ad
  • Using ad sizes with no advertising demand. If you choose an unpopular ad size that has no advertising demand, it’s less effective and can lower your fill rate. Advertisers usually choose the most popular ad sizes, as they deliver better results.
  • Using non-responsive ad tags. It’s important to target each ad size to a specific device, so the ads display appropriately on all devices.

Setupad Expert Opinion:

alvilsAlvils Karlštrems, Head of Ad Operations at Setupad: “Without responsive ad tags, the ad wouldn’t display properly on different devices. For example, if a 970×250 desktop banner is non-responsive, the ad would stretch and cover the content on a mobile device. That’s why we at Setupad target each ad unit for a specific device with a corresponding size that doesn’t go outside the screen frames. A 970×250 banner ad would be 336×336 on mobile and 728×90 on a tablet. Header bidding uses fixed dimensions that we define for each device.”

responsive ad tags

Ad formats with high CPMs

Here are 4 ad formats with high CPMs for mobile and desktop use:

  • Banner ads–are one of the most common ad formats. They’re not intrusive, so they don’t disturb the user’s browsing experience, and they are also light in size which is good for the website’s loading speed.
banner ads example
  • Sticky ads–they stick to the viewport and stay in view for the whole time the user is browsing the page. They have a higher CPMs than banner ads.
sticky ads example
  • Interstitial ads–are full-screen ads that appear when users switch to another page. They improve overall ad engagement, increase ad diversity, and have a high CTR (click-through rate).
interstitial ad example
  • Native ads–blend in with the content, which brings a more natural feel and provides a non-intrusive ad experience for users. They’re custom-made to suit the page’s layout.
native ads example

4. Creating Low-Quality Content

Low-quality content is usually inadequate, incomplete, and lacks important qualities required by both–users and search engines. As a publisher, you would want to make sure that your content is considered valuable and knowledgeable, right?

Creating low-quality content harms your SEO efforts, dissatisfies users, and gives a red light to the search engines.

Low-quality content can be spotted right away, for example, grammatical errors and lack of content depth.

For publishers, this results in lower search rankings and reputational damage.

How do you create high-quality content?

Creating quality content assures that your website gives comprehensive, helpful, and accurate answers to user’s queries. A good idea is to incorporate expert opinion–it’s a beneficial tactic for boosting the E-A-T of the website.

expert opinion example

Consider diversifying your content with different types of content – images, videos, statistics, and original data. 

ecpms comparison

Source: Setupad

To perform thorough research of the desired content, you should create content around topic clusters, which also benefit your site’s structure and keyword use.  

High-quality content generates more ad revenue

If you serve high-quality content, it brings more opportunities to different ad placements as long as they don’t interrupt the natural reading flow. Your ads should benefit the user’s browsing experience, which will increase your website ad revenue and overall engagement rate.

High-quality content, without a doubt, brings more trust to users and search engines, which also increases the user engagement with ads, as they would find them more trustful and valuable.

5. Using Too Many Monetization Platforms At Once

Having multiple monetization partners’ scripts running on your website simultaneously can negatively impact your page speed and cause them to conflict with one another, which may result in ads not showing or appearing broken. 

As a publisher, it’s okay to want to test different solutions and choose the one which performs best for your site. But it’s better to first seek assistance from your partner to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

For example, when comparing Setupad and Google AdSense, we advise running a 50/50 test to give each solution an equal opportunity to show results. It’s also important to correctly assess the monetization results once the test is over.

Also, keep in mind that you need a minimum of 2 weeks and up to 1 month for chosen partner’s ad solution to show results, so give it enough time and don’t expect to see the results straight away. 

Similarly, your results will depend on many things, such as traffic volume, traffic geolocation, inventory value, and seasonality.

Website monetization with Setupad

As a publisher, you can focus on content creation and leave website monetization in the hands of a trusted partner like Setupad–it saves your time and money!

Here are 5 benefits of choosing to monetize your site with Setupad:

  • Ad revenue optimization–the most advanced header bidding wrapper solution that connects your ad inventory to 20+ demand partners simultaneously and allows you to sell your ad space for the highest possible price. 
  • Use of best-performing ad formats and placements–don’t worry about the balance between your ads and content, as Setupad will take care of it to ensure the most optimal solution for your website. In addition, Setupad complies with the industry standards and only displays ad formats approved by the Better Ads Standards. 
  • Ad refresh–allows generating extra ad revenue without disturbing the user’s browsing session. Setupad offers smart refresh, which adjusts the ad refresh algorithm according to the user behavior.
  • Technical support and expertise–get help from Setupad’s Account Managers regarding any issues, and be assured that our IT and AdOps team will take care of any technical difficulties, inform you about industry updates and changes in regulations.
  • Easy access to analytics and reports–track the results of your website monetization with Setupad’s advanced reporting dashboard, which includes real-time monetization, performance, and audience data.
advanced reporting dashboard

How can traffic monetization mistakes affect your SEO?

All of the above-mentioned website monetization mistakes can negatively affect your SEO efforts. You should always put the user’s needs before your monetization goals to ensure that your website is valuable and useful. 

Having intrusive ads and low-quality content results in a bad user experience. So does having too many ads or wrong ad formats, additionally slowing down your website and causing more issues than benefits. 

Therefore, it’s essential to choose a trustworthy monetization platform with proven results, like Setupad, to assure good performance for your website and save you the hassle! 

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