Successful bloggers working with ads are well aware of the need to strike a balance between ensuring financial sustainability of their monetization efforts and preventing the content from playing second fiddle to the marketing demands. You can learn a lot from their practice if you accept that your audience’s user experience must not be harmed by your need to run ads on your blog in order to ensure its survival, as it will ultimately lead to the loss of vital traffic. Take five minutes to read on about what you can do to protect both your advertising interests and your content-loyal audience at the same time.
Making Marriage of Content and Advertising Work
First of all, you should be aware that the key ingredient to being successful in this segment is mastering the craft of blending the ads served on your blog without compromising the content that drives the audience to your blog in the process. This is where the UX comes in, as it is only its successful delivery that will keep your audience coming back for more. Therefore, making your ads blend with the content you offer should top the list of your priorities. This is ensured by keeping close tabs on the relevancy of the ads you offer, in order to secure their seamless integration with the content you generate.
Thematic correspondence with ads is, therefore, paramount, as your blog on health and fitness, for example, can enter into partnerships with retailers selling food supplements, dietary books or exercise machines. If your blog is relevant to what these advertisers offer, this model will prevent the situations in which your blog’s UX is perceived as being at odds with the general thematic orientation of the blog. Contextual targeting is an intelligent way of approaching this, together with its behavioral counterpart. Instead of focusing on generalized demographics and geographical data, contextually targeted ads make sure that your advertisers’ ads will always reach the right audience. Behavioral targeting is similar in its intent, as it involves collecting data on the browsing preferences of your audience to ensure individual selection of ads based on their histories. If you are working with ad networks, make sure to pick the one that can offer you only the best possible engagement of visitors by targeting them with relevant ads.
Keeping Ad Space Clean and Monitored
Keeping your audience in mind also means protecting them from being exposed to dubious ads, such as those related to gambling, pornography or extremist and hateful content. In addition to drawing your audience’s ire and losing your visitors, your blog will appear cheaper and less professional with these ads, meaning that picking your advertising partners should be based on their ability to provide you with a clear proof that they enforce their clean advertising policies to the last letter. If you advertise products of your affiliate partners, make sure to thoroughly check their quality before in order to avoid discrediting yourself. Remember that you always have an option to get in touch with other advertisers whose products are more in line with your niche and audience.
At the same time, serving relevant and clean ads will provide you with a loyal audience, but preventing the loss of traffic should not be the only thing to focus on. You’ll also need to find a way to improve your earnings by driving increasing levels of traffic to your blog. In addition to utilizing clever search engine optimization strategies, you’ll need to demonstrate dedication in monitoring performance of your current ads, as this is one of the facets of the interaction between your audience and your web property.
One of the ways to keep an eye on the ads that perform well is the use of heat maps. These are visualization maps that give you insight into the manner in which visitors interact with your website. They are based around color-coding, as the areas that exhibit a higher degree of interaction are presented in brighter (hotter) colors such as red, while the blue color denotes reduced levels of interaction. Thus, these maps give you an excellent overview of the performance of your ads, the potential need for their repositioning or optimization, as well as the removal of those whose performance is consistently lacking.
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Implementing Traffic-Friendly Advertising
Partnering with adequate ad-providers is another solution who want to run advertisements while not having to worry about their negative impact on traffic. You need to find professional ad networks that allow for effective monetization of your ad space by serving ads through the Geotargeted ad serving technology. In addition to your blog, they need to offer you monetization of toolbars, widgets and other assets in order to utilize every inch of your ad space as efficiently as possible. Your ad space needs to feature only ads that offer excellent performance through the application of advanced algorithms for researching and determining the best ad placement with the goal of improving your performance in the long run. This means that your partners will have to offer you an inventory comprised only of high-performance ads that are relevant to your audience, which helps you drive better traffic rates and, consequently, revenue generation.
Insisting on the implementation of clean advertising practices is another way to protect your traffic and audience. It means that all advertisers working with your desired ad network must prove that their ads or websites affiliated with them are in no way related to the dubious practices aimed at generating traffic in dishonest ways. For starters, this entails upholding a zero tolerance policy when it comes to redirecting, spoofing or trafficking related to adult or pornographic websites. It also includes the prohibition of ads referring to pirated software of all types, including warez and illegally available directories containing multimedia or links to torrent sites. RevenueHits is a good example of a solid practice in that respect. Your partners must prove that they avoid any practices related to irregular ad placement or ad behaviors that are not in line with the clean advertising philosophy, such as using mobile redirects, inappropriate tags or serving landing pages with malware or spyware.
Insisting on implementation of clean advertising practices is another way to protect your traffic and audience. It means that all advertisers working with your desired ad network must prove that their ads or websites affiliated with them are in no way related to the dubious practices aimed at generating traffic in dishonest ways. For starters, this entails upholding a zero tolerance policy when it comes to redirecting, spoofing or trafficking related to adult or pornographic websites. It also includes the prohibition of ads referring to pirated software of all types, including warez and illegally available directories containing multimedia or links to torrent sites.. Your partners must prove that they avoid any practices related to irregular ad placement or ad behaviors which are not in line with the clean advertising philosophy, such as using mobile redirects, inappropriate tags or serving landing pages with malware or spyware.
Monetizing your blog is a well-intentioned effort whose desired results will come to fruition sooner if you treat your audience as veritable business partners from the start, just as you would advertisers. At the end of the day, you are advertising to them, and it is their UX that will ultimately serve as the prime mover of all of your advertising campaigns. Consequently, you should focus on blending your ads as seamlessly as possible with the content you offer, together with sticking to clean and transparent advertising policy and picking the right business partners that are able to offer you all of these in one package.