Ad serving is a form of website advertising where you make money whenever a visitor clicks on an ad. You, as a website host, sign up with a ad serving provider who you permit to post ads on your site. These ads can be delivered in the form of image or text-based.
The provider determines what the best ads to deliver to your site are. Generally, these are determined by matching industry. For example, we run AdSense ads on the Gamephasis website. This is a gaming and entertainment website. Therefore, when a related advertiser joins Google’s AdSense program Google will deliver their ads to the site. For example, I regularly see ads for video games on my site. This is a good thing as the ads are more likely to be clicked on than if they were something completely unrelated to gaming. This is called contextual advertising.
Occasionally, however, there will not be a gaming or entertainment advertiser running ads. In these cases, I have noticed with a regularity that Google will then deliver something suitable for my local area. For example, when the Australian Federal Election was being held last year my site was bombarded with ads from the Liberal Party.
Pros and Cons of Ad Serving?
It’s very simple to set up
Joining ad serving is very simple to set up. Most of these programs have well-documented guides to help get you on the path. Some of them even have video tutorials. Furthermore, it is very quick to action. Furthermore, anybody can do it. All you need is your website or blog!
There is no time investment involved
Following the initial sign up and installation process where you determine where you want to place your ads you don’t have to do anything. The ad servers do the work for you. These programs allow you to check your profile at any time to check out how you are doing from a financial perspective or whenever you want to change something. But, for the most part, you can let it sit there and not worry about it. Therefore, it is a very simple way to generate additional income.
A lot of helpful guides available
If you’re starting out with serving ads then finding the optimal strategy can feel like a daunting challenge. Thankfully, that dilemma has been solved. There are a ton of resources available on the Internet to guide your decision-making process. These guides help you understand where you should place ads, the number of ads you should use, etc. There are even guides that will teach you how to set everything up. This makes serving advertisements a painless experience for newbies.
The better ad providers offer high levels of customization. You can choose the types of ads that you want to place on your site. From ads that fit inside of widgets to full-width banner ads that can be positioned wherever you see fit to textual ads that flow within the text of your blog. Therefore, there is a likelihood that you’ll be able to customize the right solution for your needs.
You advertise competitors
If you operate in a competitive environment then I would advise against running ads on your site. This is because of the types of ads that Google will run on your site. You need to be mindful that Google will always run ads matching your industry whenever possible. Consequently, this may mean that if you are a marketing company (like Growphasis, for example) Google will regularly deliver ads of your competitors. Do you really want your website visitors leaving your site to go directly to a competitor? Is the modest amount of money you stand to profit from worth losing a prospective customer? I thought not.
It is considered unprofessional…
Although that is the most significant reason against advertising there are other reasons. You need to be mindful of the fact that many people find serving ads to be unprofessional. This widely held opinion has been a major cause for the creation of ad blockers such as uBlock Origin and AdBlock. Ads infuriate these users so much that they use browser add-ons to avoid seeing them entirely.
Furthermore, you are decreasing your own brand’s value. Every ad that you place on your site you are highlighting a brand that isn’t yours. Consider the message that you are trying to portray to your customers and leads. Are other brands something that you want them to see? Does this work for the brand you are building? Could you not use the space to further develop your own brand?
You’re increasing your bounce rate
Most people who click on an ad do not take the time to choose to open the ad in a new tab or window. This means that every time they click directly on the banner they are moving away from your website. Consequently, your bounce rate increases and they may be unlikely to return. Is that a risk that you’re willing to take?
The Growphasis Bottom Line to Ad Serving
Ad serving is not for everyone nor should it be. I believe that too many people use it without understanding the negative consequences that it can have. However, I firmly believe that there are sites that stand to benefit from PPC advertising much more than others.
From a professional perspective, I would not utilize ad serving on Growphasis. This is because the industry that Growphasis is a part of is highly competitive. I wouldn’t want to put up a contextual ad which would likely result in advertising a competitor. This would simultaneously promote their brand and decrease the value of my own. Likewise, I have advised one of our clients, a mobile travel agent, against running ads on her site. This is because the travel industry is a highly competitive industry too. The little guys must do everything that they can to build a business. The last thing that she would want is a retail giant like Flight Centre or Priceline Group (Booking.com, etc.) to take business away from her.
However, I have utilized and been very successful using ad serving on our sister company’s gaming website. The types of ads that we see on the site advertise games and other forms of entertainment. This is not advertising our competitors but rather the types of products we would likely endorse anyway. This can be a boon as it enables our readers to discover new and exciting games while we make money from them doing so. If they enjoy the game then they can claim to have discovered it through that site. In the end, that’s winning.
GROWPHASIS Can Help
What are your thoughts and opinions on ad serving? Not sure if it’s for you? Are you looking for some advice? If you have something that you would like to add or have a question please leave a comment below. Alternatively, please visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!