Selecting the right ad network in an environment marked by saturation and high competition can be a challenging business decision. For publishers, finding their way out of this maze can mean the difference between securing a revenue stream and ending up being deader than a dodo. Additionally, working with ad networks means that your mileage in the course of interaction may vary quite often, as some of them are not as welcoming to all publishers, even to owners of a website as awesome as yours. Some networks may have stricter requirements in terms of traffic, others regarding visited content, making it necessary for you to both ensure compliance of your website prior to the network’s review and charm its reviewers in the process.
As a helpful hand, we offer several insider tips that will help you best prepare your site in advance to the ad network’s review in order to secure its fast approval and save money and time for all the parties involved along the way.
Keeping Up with the Traffic Requirements
Despite some claims that publishers would profit from the decline in business performance of ad networks, becoming a part of a network’s program is still a valuable option for a considerable number of them. Yet, the approval procedure usually involves coming to terms with the network’s guidelines, in addition to being questioned about numerous issues related to your website. Most of them will revolve around some aspects of its performance and preparing for them in advance means leaving a lasting impression at the start of a new business (not unlike romantic) relationship.
So, the best way to start would be getting an overview of the site’s performance in terms of its monthly traffic or pageviews. This is one of the easier questions to answer in the review process, as you are likely to be familiar with web analytics tools you use to monitor various visit-related parameters.
Many ad networks have an established minimum achieved traffic level as a precondition for approval, meaning that you will have to meet their criteria in this regard. Covered parameters usually include number of sessions, visitors or pageviews. In terms of the latter, some ad networks may also set certain requirements regarding the performance in particular geographical areas.
In other cases, some ad networks do not have traffic requirements and these can be beneficial for startup blogs or other websites looking for faster approval proceedings. Finally, some ad networks employ a flexible approach to this matter, meaning that they allow you certain leeway if your website is dedicated to a specific niche field or audience. Still, the best course of action is to be prepared to provide traffic-related data of your website at any moment during the approval proceedings.
Content as a King and... Tyrant
In line with an evergreen saying that the content is king, you can also add that it may also spell your doom in case you fail to meet the ad network’s standards when it comes to prohibited content. This usually includes pornographic and other adult content or instances of promotion of extremist or illegal activities. Prohibited content may vary depending on your geographical location, but the safest bet is to avoid it altogether by the application of some good old common sense. By analogy, insisting on this content probably means that you’ll have a hard time placing ads next to it, thus devaluing looking for regular ad networks in the first place.
Similar to offensive material, some ad networks look rather skeptically at sites that offer huge amounts of unmoderated content generated by users, particularly because of its unpredictable and volatile nature. It can sometimes feature stuff of prohibited nature or that which violates copyright, which hardly earns you favor with most of ad networks. In any case, the safest approach is to check the ad network policy on offensive content in advance, if available, and make sure to manage your content in a proactive manner in this regard.
By analogy, ad networks are likely to react positively to websites that offer regular updates in addition to already featuring high-quality content. As for what constitutes quality content, this is, logically, less of an issue of metrics that an ad network can measure physically. Therefore, you can safely rely on an old wisdom stating that quality content means that it is both informative and relevant, in addition to being well-presented. At the same time, bear in mind that some networks may have preferences regarding the type of content on your website, as their business model may be oriented towards specialized vertical markets favored by their advertisers, such as fitness, gaming, fashion or others. Just as in the case of traffic, you can avail yourself of web analytics tools to have a better picture of the essential data on your audience, just in case it plays a role in the site approval process.
Frauds and Malware as a Big No-No
In an age in which marketerslose billions of dollars due to bots, it is understandable that you will want to demonstrate to the ad network reviewers that your website is steeled against such threats. As these networks play a specific role of a middleman in business dealings between advertisers and hers, click frauds and irregular traffic can be highly damaging to them. RevenueHits, for example, clearly states what it considers fraud, and what is not allowed. All of this points to the fact that you and your website will certainly undergo strict scrutiny in terms of your capabilities to combat fraudulent practices. Similarly, ad networks are highly likely to shun websites offering or promoting links to malware, as well as those they deem susceptible to hacking attacks. In order to avoid earning bad points in this regard, you may want to check your website for suspicious content by using tools such as Forensiq, Improvely, ClickFrauds and others. Source: RevenueHits
So, yes, you are correct in assuming that various ad networks have equally variable criteria when it comes to reviewing websites for the purpose of establishing a business cooperation. In spite of this, you can painlessly undertake some general measures that will make your website appear well-kept, reputable, transparent and clean-shaven in terms of its intent and content. You cannot please all of the ad networks, as some of them will focus on content and audience, and some on traffic and website statistics. You may even get rejected in the process. But, as in an age old adage about the fish in the sea, this can actually work in your favor, as you can always look for other and better ad networks that will have to meet your criteria and compete for your favor in the future.