Big Websites Earn More
As most new online advertising methods pave their way in their early days, so did in text advertising started as a monetization solution for smaller websites and blogs. But with time, more and more big and reputable websites added in text ads to their monetizing plans and we get this question quite often – do in text ads work well for the big guys? And the answer is yes, big time. In text ads serve as an AdSense supplement and adding 30% to 60% on top of your AdSense earnings is a big incentive to giving in text ads a chance.
I’ve recently had the opportunity and privilege to work closely with several large websites, including Squidoo.com and Britannica.com, and following are a few insights into how to best integrate in text ads into such big websites.
Big Websites Need Robust Solutions
The major or perhaps even the only characteristic that all big websites share is the volume of traffic they get. In fact, this is probably the definition of a big website: a website that gets lots of visitors. Accordingly, the first concern a publisher of a big website should consider is the robustness of the solution selected for monetization.
There are over twenty in text ads providers, and with the expansion of in text penetration, this number keeps growing. However, many of these providers are making their first steps in this field, and such new systems may not always be able to support large volumes of visitors. The limitations can be in the automatic realm – is the IT infrastructure capable of withholding millions of queries and clicks every hour? The established in text providers have proven that yes, it’s more than possible. So just make sure you’re working with one of those.
Another type of limitations is in the manual aspects of the integration. Some of the in text providers require manual involvement in the choice of highlighted terms and the matching of ads to text. For a website with a high volume of content or with dynamic content, manual involvement in the process can prove to be inefficient, so you need to check this with the potential provider as well.
Lots of Content and Ajax
Some of the larger websites also tend to have a lot of content in each page. The in text algorithm needs to analyze the text in real time without delaying the loading time. Some in text providers solve this by caching the content and doing the analysis offline, but since the online advertising market is rapidly changing, you may lose monetization potential with offline analysis. Therefore, a big publisher should make sure that the content analysis is done online with each page’s loading, but with no delays to the website’s behavior.
If each web page has a large volume of content, like with an encyclopedia or with long articles, the publisher may consider using Ajax for loading the content only when users scroll down. In such cases, the in text algorithm needs to run again and again with each scroll, or otherwise – the monetization will be limited to the first few paragraphs only. Britannica uses Ajax with in text ads perfectly. If you have a large volume of content, you should make sure the in text ads provider can manage it professionally and maximize your potential earnings.
Multiple Level Reporting
Big websites also tend to cover different content or different types of content. For example, Squidoo has both regular articles and a specialized section for books; or a website can have an articles area and a forum; or a portal may have both local news and sports news. If you take your website monetization seriously, you would probably want to monitor the results of each section separately, like with Google AdSense channels. In text ads are no different and you should ask your in text ads provider to provide you with multiple level reporting.
The larger in text advertising networks work with website networks as well and should be able to provide both aggregated reports and separate reports for each site. Such reporting systems can easily be used for monitoring different sections of a big website.
Niche Content and Advertisers
When matching advertisers with online content, the more focused the content, the higher the revenues can be. You can imagine that it’s easier to sell ads for a website focused on new family car models than for general web portal. However, bigger websites often have many categories of content and varied demographics. This means that the in text ads provider should also be able to match wide category advertisers or multiple niche advertisers. Some in text ads providers focus on specific areas and as such will have difficulties matching ads for big websites with a wide variety of content. If you have such a site, make sure you get the service that you need for it.
Big Websites and Monetizing International Traffic
The Internet is open for all, and don’t we just love it this way? Sure. But it brings a challenge to monetization, especially for bigger websites. Most websites today have at least twenty percent of visitors which come from outside of their main market. Some have much larger parts of their audience come from other countries. For big websites, these foreign visitors can accumulate to vast numbers and there’s no reason they won’t be treated as customers as well.
Clearly, since the online advertising arena can be different in each country, serving in text ads in many markets can be difficult, but it is possible. In fact, visitors from surprising countries often prove to have higher click through rate. This calls for further research, but the explanation probably comes from different surfing culture and perhaps less offline advertising attacks. When you integrate in text ads into a big website, you should ask about international traffic – your provider should be able to monetize it as well.
Contract Changes and Higher Revenue Share
When joining online services, in text advertising included, you are required to accept the standard terms and conditions. For big publishers, entering into legal contracts usually involves going through the legal department, who always want to contribute its wisdom to the contract. While this will surely slow down the process, it makes sense, so don’t forget this step in the integration process. You can sign up online and then negotiate an addendum to the agreement with such changes.
One major change you should consider does not require legal involvement. A big website can leverage the large online ads inventory to request a higher revenue share. From my experience, this can go up to very high numbers… but don’t push your provider too much. You want the provider to be happy to, or the incentive to get you higher revenues will be diminished. You can read more about this in Online Siesta, my professional blog about website monetization and in text ads.
Your Very own Customized Bubble
In text ads are placed with a bubble that opens upon a mouse hover. Each in text ads provider utilizes its own design for the bubble, but this appearance can be customized. Since this does take some work, integrating a customized bubble is mostly relevant to big websites. If you’re lucky to be included in this group, you should consider asking for your very own bubble, matching it better to your site’s overall look and feel and perhaps promoting your brand as you go.
Testing and a Trial Period with In Text Ads
So, you are now seriously considering adding thousands of dollars when monetizing your mega website, and you’ve checked all the relevant issues to make sure you found the right solution for you… but wait, just before you execute a 12-months exclusivity contract and commit yourself to the adventure – why won’t you test it first? Yes, a trial period is the right thing to do. Integrating in text ads into a website takes very little technical effort – you simply paste a line of code in the right place – so performing some testing shouldn’t be too difficult. Starting with a one-month trial period sounds like a step in the right direction, especially for a big website. My guess is that after some optimization and successful testing, you will stay for the ride.