5 Things to Consider Before Running Ads

Reading time: 4 minutes

Despite how easy or hard it may look, running ads on your website is a big deal. There are a lot of things to consider beforehand, including the type of ads you’ll be running, their placement, and how they’ll be monetized. 

One wrong move, and you’ll end up wasting a ton of money and effort. What’s worse is that if you don’t monetize your site correctly you won’t garner any interest from your target audience or demand partners. 

Of course, when you do run your ads successfully, not only will it increase your bottom line, but it’ll also earn you a passive income on the side (if that’s what you’re going for). 

Either way, the point of running ads is to help gain recognition for your brand and to convert leads into sales.

Once you learn how to master the art of running ads, you’ll be unstoppable. The best part about running ads is that you don’t have to be a marketing mastermind to do it — you just need to know how to implement them correctly. 

Consider the following five aspects of any good ad campaign[9] before you design your specific ads:

1. Who is your Audience?

The first step to monetizing your website successfully is knowing and understanding your audience. 

You need to find out everything you can about who your audience is. Why are they on your site? What are their movements on your site? What do they like to do? What’s their age range? Are they gender-specific? What’s their typical income? Do they have families? You get the picture.

The bottom line is that if you don’t know who your audience is, demand partners won’t be flocking to fill your ad inventory[10][4]. It’s important to know your audience so demand partners can bid on inventory and serve them ads that cater to what your audience likes. By doing this, you increase viewability[5], click-through rates, and CPMs. 

Do your due diligence here, and get as specific as possible with your customer profile.  

2. Do you Understand How Long-tail Keywords Work?

The most common misconception about search engine optimization[1] (SEO) is that you need to use the keywords with the highest traffic volume. However, when you’re targeting[11] a specific type of audience and positioning your ads in a way that’ll pique their interest, high-traffic keywords won’t make a difference.

The focus needs to be on long-tail keywords. These are the keywords (or phrases) that are longer and more specific. In other words, they’re the questions or statements your target audience is using to look for your specific products or services. 

These are the kind of keywords that will get your audience to click on your article’s link and visit your website. (Pro tip to figuring out the right keywords to use: Check out what your competitors are using and how well it’s working). The more traffic you have on your site means more ads are served and the more ad revenue you will get.

3. Is Your Website Ready for Ad Traffic?

The whole point of running ads is to lead your audience back to your business page. Therefore, your website needs to be ready to take on the traffic coming your way.

For starters, you need a separate landing page that gives your audience just enough information to keep them interested and also guides them through your sales funnel. Never lead your audience back to your homepage or “About” page, as those create too many distractions and can hurt your click-through rate.

It’s all about the user experience here, so aside from designing the perfect landing page, you need to ensure that your website is set up to be mobile-friendly, uses the latest in security standards, and is easy to navigate.

You’ll also want to choose your onsite advertisements and pop-ups wisely. Not only can they hurt your page’s load time, but if your page is too busy and interruptive, it’s going to cause your visitors to exit immediately. This will hurt your click-through rate, your rankings within the SERPs (search engine results pages), and your bottom line.

4. How Big is Your Target Audience?

If you plan on monetizing your site to generate a passive income separate from your sales conversion, then the size of your audience matters. 

This is because two of the most popular ad forms include pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-mille (CPM[2]). PPC ads generate money from users that click on the ads while CPM ads generate money for every thousand viewers. The bigger your audience, the more views and clicks you’ll get, which means more passive income.

It’s also important to note that if you decide to work with an Ad Ops[6] partner, they have minimum traffic requirements to work with them. 

If you’re not planning on monetizing your website through ads, the size of your audience still matters. If you have a large audience, you’ll have more ad real estate via different social media channels, search engines, etc. 

However, if your audience is small, you’ll need to get specific on where you’ll be running your ads to ensure they’re seen by the right potential leads.

5. Is Your Monetization Tracking Set Up?

Tracking your website monetization is crucial because it lets you know how your programmatic advertising[3] is performing and what needs to be optimized.

There are plenty of conversion tracking solutions available, including Google AdSense[7]’s built-in analytics and your Ad Ops partner should have their own analytics and reporting platform. Whichever you choose, the most important factor is that you’re readily tracking your site’s ad performance[8].

It’s Time to Get Up and Running

Whether you intend to generate a passive income, use your ad revenue to grow your business, or both, you need to be very strategic and intentional when running your ads. As we’ve mentioned several times, if you do it wrong, you’re just wasting your time and money.

Terms
1. search engine optimization. SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the process is optimizing a website to rank higher in a search engine. SEO is merely one of the many methods publishers use to send traffic to their sites.
2. Cost Per Mille/Thousand [CPM] ( CPM ) Cost per mille, or thousand (mille = thousand in Latin). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising. See also CPC and CPA.
3. programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising entails using machine learning and technology suites to buy and sell ad inventory with a data-driven process.
4. ad inventory. Ad Inventory refers to the number of ad impressions available for sale on a publisher’s website or mobile app. In other words, these are the commodities available for the advertisers to buy on the website.
5. viewability. Viewability relates to the amount of time a user saw an ad.

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