Adding ads to a website is often a useful part of an online business model. If you’re a blogger or a webmaster hoping to make a living from running a website, then it is one of the best ways to monetize a site that requires relatively little work on your part. Here’s a detailed guide that covers all the basics you need to know about ad networks and Google AdSense.
On the other hand, if you’re running a business and using a website merely to create an online presence, then advertising your own products is a great way to increase your orders and to turn your website into an even more powerful tool. Advertising the products of others meanwhile can provide a secondary source of income to help you finance your other business strategies.
But while there are a lot of good reasons to use adverts on your website, there are also a lot of good reasons not to. This is especially true if you are overly cavalier in your choice of ad placement, or if you are making mistakes with your overall strategy. Let’s take a look then at whether your ad placement and choice may be hurting your site more than helping it, and at what you can do to remedy the situation.
Detracting From Your Own Content and Products
It’s crucial to remember when choosing your ad placements that any clicks on adverts not your own, will take visitors away from your site and away from your content. Even if the ads you’re displaying aren’t from direct competitors, that still means you are losing traffic and losing potential customers. Bear in mind that for a third party to pay for clicks, they must be making more profit than they are paying you to make that worthwhile. Consider swapping those ads for links to your own products, or at least to affiliate products that will potentially give you a greater share of the profits.
Most authorities agree that advertising is one of the least effective ways to monetize a website. Here’s a bit more explanation.
This is perhaps the biggest danger with using ads on your site, as well as with using e-mail forms and other obtrusive elements.
This is a fine line to walk; a pop-up e-mail subscription form on the one hand might help you to capture more e-mails and more leads, but at the same time this risks increasing bounce rates.
What’s particularly frustrating is when pop-up windows appear more than once, or are difficult to dismiss. This could be losing you a significant amount of traffic, so make sure that you test removing your pop-up windows and listen to any negative feedback you might be getting.
Crowding Your Content
A similar risk is that too many ads surrounding your content might also distract from your content and again increase bounce rates – or at least just damage the look of your site and any work you’ve put into your web design.
Good ad placement should fit neatly into your larger design and shouldn’t take center stage over your own content – even if more obvious placement could increase the number of clicks you receive. Here is some useful information on incorporating ads into a stylized site design.
Too many ads above the fold on your website can hurt your ranking and lead to fewer people finding your site. There’s not much sense in having lots of ads if nobody is getting to see them anyway!
Even if you are careful not to violate any of Google’s policies with regards to your ad placement, MOZ has shown that there is a slight negative correlation between the number of ads on your site and your ranking. Be careful!
Hurt Your Integrity
Finally, advertising can immediately damage your integrity depending on the nature of your site. If you have previously not run any advertising, or if you are increasing the amount of ads you show, this will always upset some people and will always lead them to question your motivations. The damage this does to your brand will depend on your business model, but make sure you always consider this point before placing too many ads.