The internet wouldn’t survive without ads, but creating an advertising strategy isn’t always easy or straightforward. Too many webmasters take marketing for granted and don’t think carefully about their ad placement. That leads to a worse bounce rate and fewer click-throughs. Don’t imitate them; instead, learn to think like a visitor.
Search Engine Rankings
Of course, advertisements work best when they are easy to find. Locating websites with hidden ads is challenging because they are rare. However, visibility is not your only priority.
Thinking about your customers is equally important. If they don’t stay on your website, they won’t click your ads. Search engines focus on customers, not advertisers.
Developers know that customers don’t click on ads unless they feel satisfied. That is why search engines penalize websites if they don’t meet a few criteria. While the algorithms they use are sophisticated and vary by company, all of them reward websites that please viewers.
Search engine companies care about bounce rate, which measures how many viewers leave after viewing only one page. If you bombard your audience with ads and not great content, they will hit the back button.
Viewers will also leave if they feel confused; a detail too many websites ignore. Audiences have expectations for the websites they visit and categorize them. For example, business sites should look professional, which includes using a modular design. Memorizing and using the stereotypes for a website niche will boost search engine rankings. That is a detail no webmaster should ignore.
Details, large and small, will impact your site’s reputation. As viewers share their experiences, your traffic numbers will change as interested people flock to your site, or ignore it. Status is an invisible metric that you can’t track; you can’t follow every conversation about your site.
People notice ads when they browse new websites. If they can see several advertisements when they first navigate to a site, they will leave. Blanketing your website with ads signals that you care about money, not creating great content. It also doesn’t help that most spammy sites use bad English; viewers don’t enjoy struggling to figure out what a sentence means!
If you want your viewers to love and recommend your website, then study its niche. Type its topic into a prominent search engine and browse the first page of results. These are the websites search engines value because they are authoritative, reliable, and keep viewers interested.
Next, skip ahead to a few websites that rank lower, and explore them. Study their elements and design carefully, keeping track of how many ads they use and where they are.
Keep skipping ahead until you find a spam site or two, then compare them with the first sites you explored. You can also try clicking on ads; these often link to spammy websites. Next, start imitating high-ranking sites with your design frameworks.
No one makes money off an ad unless someone clicks it. Some websites make this needlessly tricky, sometimes by putting ads in unusual places, making them too small, or advertising irrelevant products and services.
Make sure you are always thinking about your viewers when designing or placing an ad. Planning for flexibility means you can make quick changes when you need to. Sometimes changing a banner ad’s color increases clicks, and you will feel less stress when you realize how easy it is to make adjustments.
Using friends and family to test your user experience is a strategy you should consider. Webmasters don’t always know how their websites feel to others, and guessing too much will cripple your ad revenue. Learning how to advertise well takes time, but as you get feedback, you will gain knowledge.
Advertisers don’t like fake clicks, and your ad accounts could get suspended if you appear to be telling friends and family to click ads. Instead, ask them if your advertisements feel natural and relevant.
Annoying Your Audience
Viewers leave annoying websites, and most won’t come back. Avoiding annoying advertisements is a vital part of an advertising strategy, but it is easy to get wrong.
Always remember that your audience is there for the content, and your ads are a bonus. You can undo poor advertisement decisions by sharing valuable content. Like most customers, they are willing to overlook a few flaws if their overall experience is excellent.
Full-page ads are a common nuisance, especially on popular websites. Once you hit a threshold of traffic numbers, it is easy to feel confident, and place a full-page ad in front of your viewers when they land on your site. But this is still an annoyance that some viewers won’t put up with, and it is a more significant problem for smaller sites.
What’s worse than a full-page ad is one that you can’t escape unless you click a small box. Even if you believe pointing visitors to your newsletter is vital, that’s no excuse to annoy them.
Just imagine that your ad is at a restaurant. Would you want a waiter to rant at you about their steak until you did a backflip? Imagining your ad in real-world situations will help you decide if it is a right choice for your audience.
Pairing automatic audio is another tactic webmasters should avoid. No one likes being surprised by a loud commercial, especially if it drowns their music. Some webmasters try hiding ads by placing them in their content, but doing this too much makes it feel like you are watching a commercial break, not enjoying the content.
Placing banner ads on the top of your pages is a solid strategy as long as don’t overdo it. People subconsciously count ads when they land on a new page. If there are too many, they will hit the back button.
If you don’t know how to place your ads, stop worrying. You can always change your mind. At least now you know how to create advertisements that please your audience and search engines.