Earning Money from Contextual Ads

Mar 18, 2008 - 5:46 pm 3 by

Contextual Ads Track Earning Money From Contextual Ads This session looks at the way publishers can generate revenue by carrying contextual ads offered by major networks. Learn about some programs out there and tips on getting more from the ads you carry. Moderator:

* Chris Boggs, Search Engine Watch Expert and Manager, Search Engine Optimization, eMergent


* Bryan Vu, Manager, AdSense Online Sales and Operations, Google * Cynthia Tillo, Product Evangelist for Advertising Services, Adobe Systems * Jennifer Slegg, Owner, JenSense.com * David Singh, Head of Search Practice Area, Underscore Marketing

JenSense is up first.

What are the most common sites for monetization? COntent rich sites, blogs, business sites, UGC, social media sites, forums, password protected pages, and searches

How do you want to monetize? You need to balance user experience with monetization. If your goals are that you want repeat visitors, you need to make user experience the priority. If you just want to make money, your priority is monetization. It's difficult to achieve both but it can be done.

When shouldn't you monetize with contextual advertising? If you're a business selling products, why would you entice customers to click ads rather than buy from you? Similar, business sites that sell services have the same problem. Any sites with content that is against AdSense polices: hacking, gambling, adult, designer imitations, weapons, etc.

Beyond AdSense text ads - there are more than just text ads: image ads, video ads, link ad units, CPA and referral ads, AdSense for search, and AdSense for Mobile.

Common AdSense problems and solutions: - Section targeting - emphasize a section on your site and deemphasize navigation, for example - Add meta tags - this can be helpful - Proximity keywords - Contact Google: use this as a last resort (only if you're seeing golf ads on a site about knitting, for example)

Low CTR Rate - how can I ge a higher CTR rate? - Get better positioning but consider user experience priority - Change title colors - hyperlink blue and same as other outgoing links - Borders vs. no borders: it actually works better sometimes. - Image ads: especially on pages that are very text heavy.

AdSense Secrets - Enable image ads on AdSense for an image-only secondary placement. Add a second ad unit that is image only - not many text ads on the page - different visual for people on the site. - Also helps you take advantage of CPM ads.

Ensure that the ad unit with the highest CTR appears first in HTML code. - This ad unit will generally have the highest earing ads. - Use multiple channels to confirm highest - Don't confuse appearing first on the page with appearing first in HTML - look at your code - In a case study, there was a 25% earnings increase

One ad unit a page can make more money than two or three combined - More is not always better - People end up clicking on the 2ndand 3rd ad units, it may mak less EPC than if they clicked on the first ad unit - Longer pages are the exception - Do A/B testing

Be aware that your filter list will cost you revenue - Blocking ads will result in lower paying ads appearing, it will not free up ad space for more higher paying ads to appear - Use the filter to block ads that are competitors, are grossly mistargeted, advertising something inappropriate for audience - Case study: publishers with 150+ sites on filter list increased earnngs by 35% when he reduced the list to 14

Use your allowed sites with caution - Will no longer show ads on cached pages - Adding google.com and yahoo.com will not work - IP addresses only for all cache IPs - Only use in specific cases Show AdSense on pages hidden behind a login: if you have a members only or premium content section, you can allow the media partner bot to view the content to display targeted ads. - "Site Authentication" - Fairly new feature

Using Ad links on your sites - Navigation - Footer

Carefully selected referral ads - Must be extremely targeted - Don't simply select high $ CPA

Takeaways: ALWAYS do A/B testing Experiment with different placements, colors, sizes, styles Consider impact of being too ad heavy Look beyond traditional AdSense text ads and experiment with other formats

Next up is David Singh.

Brief history of agency side, how to make it better, and the future.

Brief history of agency side: - Reach was ing and the age of arbitrage - Search marketers drove contextual buys - Search marketers applying same principles in a media buying environment

How to make it better - No more silos! - Communication/education - Approach as media buying - Agencies filter out poor sites and publishers filter out poor ads

The future? - Behavioral and contextual merge - More control on the agency side - More control on the publisher side - Users have a voice

David Ogilvy "I do not regard advertising as entertaiment or an art form but as a medium of information." It's all about relevant information. Better information is shared when agencies and networks come together and we have that information to give to consumers.

How did we get here? Back awhile ago, reach was king over quality and user experience. We didn't have affective audience measurement and it was all about maximizing impressions. Users rebelled: banner blindness. We couldn't ignore the users but the users could ignore us. Contextual promised more.

What are the consequences? Rise of arbitrage. People would buy cheap clicks and send the users to a website that had nothing and force them to cick on an ad. It was traffic but bad traffic. It didn't help that agencies used search tactics in contextual. Fallout: less targeted ads and less targeted placements. The bottom line is that advertisers view contextual ads as less effective.

How can we make it better? - No more silos. We're getting to a point where the user is going through many different applications from email to search to social media. They have different needs and wants. We need to understand that and what is really relevant for them. - Communication: break down barriers, networks should take the lead, publishers and agencies should educate each other which improves the quality of placement - Agencies need to take responsibility. We need to look at contextual as its own channel. A unique channel equals unique metrics. Some tactics don't work the same way as for other sites. - Utilize control mechanisms - utilize site filters and ad filters.

The future: convergence with behavioral and contextual. Google acquired DubleClick, Yahoo has RightMedia, Microsoft has aQuantive. With this, we can give them more quality ads. The upside? Quality = paying a premium for that click.

Agencies - quality control: no blind buys, better targeting and filtering features Publishers - quality control: choose ads, give users a voice Algorithmic maturity: know good from the bad, better ad matching to sites

Next up is Cynthia from Adobe. She talks about how to monetize your PDF documents.

Adobe realized that there are valuable PDF documents out there. When we publish the content online, they're often doing it in PDF format.

A few months ago, Ads for Adobe PDF was launched. You can generate revenue for your PDF documents just as you can for your website. This was partnered with Yahoo. You can earh money and it's contextual ads. The ads are also dynamic. It also supports a viral mode for distributing content.

Top 5 inspiring ideas to take advantage of the service: 5. Digital versions of articles 4. Newsletters 3. Ebooks 2. Digests and compilations 1. Archives

She ends with a quote: "As for editorial content,that's just the stuff you separate the ads with" - Lord Thomson of Fleet

Brian Vu from Google is next: Earning money with AdSense

There's an ecosystem and Google is still learning about it. He doesn't support these books that want to advertise AdSense cash machines or AdSense domination tools.

The thing that's tricky is maintaining the balance. Some things include the switch from the background of ads to be nonclickable to be clickable. That reduced the percentage of accidental clicks. Also MFA sites are problematic.

There's a decision making hierarchy: There is no president of AdSense.

Transparency - publisher performance reports and ad review center for publishers, more blog updates

Expand the ecosystem: using DoubleClick, Feedburner, Video, Mobile, etc. - expand opportunities for publishers


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