It’s not a secret that mobile-grounded ad impressions are the major driving force behind successful advertising campaigns. Moreover, according to Digiday, the ad spend on mobile is up to $24 billion, with Google raking in a massive $19 billion of that!
Mobile became, and it will remain, the dominant way in which users access the Internet. As a digital publisher, you must match the mobile-first approach with mobile ad revenue optimizations as well. Ignore optimization, and you’ll be penalized, not just by Google, but from advertisers as well with reduced bidding, and worse of all, low reader retention!
If you want to push your mobile web publishing business forward, there are several key aspects that you need to take into consideration.
1. Flawless Mobile Experience
Since November 2016, Google announced a brand new way to index websites – the mobile-first index. In other words, Google will index the mobile version of your site before indexing the desktop version when evaluating what to rank according to search engine results.
Last year, Google stated:
“Today we’re announcing that after a year and a half of careful experimentation and testing, we’ve started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.
To recap, our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
This means that a mobile-friendly and responsive website is crucial, not just for advertising success, but for business success in general. When you know that people perform more searches on mobile than on desktop, you need to have the mobile version of your WordPress media site as the main focus and start creating a flawless experience.
Improve the Mobile-Friendly Design
The content, as well as the ads, should automatically update from desktop to mobile, and adapt adequately to smartphone screens.
However, when it comes to mobile-responsive design, you should not try to mimic the desktop version. Screen sizes can vary, and emulating desktop can damage the content, and well as the ad experience. The mobile version deserves the red carpet treatment, and consequently, it’s smart to invest in your mobile-responsive design.
A website that is developed with the mobile user in mind will always prevail over desktop. The mobile layout of your website should be addressed separating from the desktop one. As your site is opened on a smartphone, the layout and the form of the banner ad should adopt the screen adjustment.
Ensure that you’ll place native ads and recommendations directly below the article as well, so you won’t destroy the browsing experience.
Additionally, eliminate the following ad formats from your impressions bundle on mobile:
- Pop-ups, whether they’re with or without a countdown.
- Prestitials which are shown before content loads and take up a part of, if not, the entire screen.
- “Flashing” animations (with constantly changing background colors).
- Auto-playing video with sound ( in-banner video/outstream ads).
- Non-dismissable poststitial (after the users click on a link, with a countdown).
- Ads that take up more than 30% of the vertical screen-height and which can also be intrusive.
2. Impeccable Website Performance
When it comes to mobile web monetization, one of the biggest factors of success is your site speed! Not only is it one of the vital aspects that affect your quality score, but it also determines whether people will click on an ad or not. Every additional second of page that people have to load can result in progressively higher bounce rates.
Before you speed up your mobile site, you need to test it. There are several online tools that can help you do this:
- PageSpeed Insights: An excellent and easy-to-use tool. You just need to enter your URL, click on analyze, and check the state of both desktop and mobile version of your site.
- GTMetrix: This tool accumulates data from different sources, including PagesSpeed Insights and YSlow. It provides you with full analysis, including the time that it takes for your website to load entirely.
- Pingdom: Quick and easy-to-use tool for testing pages load time. It even provides you with an option to compare the performance against other sites.
Choose an Excellent Hosting Provider
Picking the right hosting provider is important if you want to improve the performance of your mobile website. While it really seems evident, there are lots of businesses that work with the cheapest hosting servers, and then they’re surprised why their website is slow.
A managed hosting provider is a solution that is specifically customized for WordPress. It assures you that your site always works properly. One of the industry leaders in managed WordPress hosting, and who we personally recommend to each of our clients, is Pagely.
Pagely is the WordPress hosting market master in innovation, speed, scalability, and security. Today, Pagely has thousands of clients that put their businesses in the company’s forward-thinking infrastructure.
The benefits of a Managed Hosting provider such as Pagely for your WordPress build are:
Your site availability and server uptime are crucial to your online success.
Today, any sudden downtime means fewer sales and lower productivity. This can hurt the reputation of your brand and significantly impact your site’s position in the SERPs.
In most cases, hosting companies guarantee 99.99% uptime. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll actually get 99% uptime. But when you partner with a managed WordPress host, you’ll have a much better uptime and availability, in spite of hardware failure, traffic spikes, or power outage.
Professional Technical Support
Sure, shared and VPS hosts are more affordable than a Managed WordPress Hosting, but when you have a problem, it could take several days for these hosts to email you back, and check out the problem. Meanwhile, you could be losing sales and prospective clients.
A managed hosting provider such as Pagely provides you with a passionate and remarkably skilled team of engineers 24/7/365.
Advanced Hosting Stack
The stack of Pagely is built on top of Amazon Web Services. This provides you with almost unlimited resources, a sophisticated toolkit, and allows you to direct high amounts of web traffic to your site without sacrificing performance. And all this is done while providing developers the flexibility and speed that other managed WordPress hosting solutions just cannot provide. In addition, with access to AWS, customers can access 13 global data centers around the globe.
A Managed WordPress Hosting plan offers you an effortless means to update your WordPress core and plugins. As a matter of fact, a well-managed WordPress host runs auto-updates for you. Experts will keep your software fresh and analyze the effect of updates on your site through automated tests after each update.
In most cases, shared hosting companies don’t actually assist you if you are attacked or experience malware issues. Furthermore, security is one of the biggest advantages of a Managed WordPress Hosting. When you partner with a managed WordPress host, routine software updates are standard, and along with the specialized hosting environment, your site is secured against hackers, bots, and other security issues.
3. Header Bidding Implementation
If you’re already heavily involved with monetization and advertising technology, you might’ve heard the term “header bidding”. Header bidding is the greatest progression in advertising technology since real-time bidding (RTB).
Header bidding is an auction which allows advertisers to choose impressions at key priority. It takes place outside of the ad server, in the website header, which loads before any other element on a given page. The header includes page metadata and calls scripts utilized for page layout formatting, and tracking, among others. Hence, it’s the perfect place for conducting a new auction.
With header bidding, every impression is auctioned off to all demand partners at the same time, before the ad server is called. Whether advertisers win an impression rests on how much they would pay for it.
According to Pubmatic, while desktop kept the leading share of header bidding impressions, however, mobile volume increased 285% year-on-year, more than double the 130% increase seen across desktop.
This points out that mobile header bidding has shifted further than the early-adoption stage, and into the mainstream. The rise of mobile header bidding is not a surprise, given the success it has seen across desktop, combined with the fact that consumers are going increasingly mobile.
According to AdProfs, when implementing header bidding, both for mobile and desktop, this is what you need to cover:
Having powerful demand partners is crucial when increasing revenue with header bidding. In a header auction, demand partners can comprise big retargeters such as Amazon and Criteo, as well as ad marketplaces such as AppNexus, that aggregate demand from all the major DSPs.
One header auction process lasts longer than a RTB auction, which generally lasts 100 milliseconds. However, many publishers use multiple exchange partners in a waterfall setup, so latency is always present.
Header bidding often requires multiple demand streams, so numerous RTB auctions happen at the same time. Consequently, as a publisher, you’ll need to manage the timeouts so no one slows down the header auction and endangers the page loading time.
Header bidding wrappers are similar to tag management systems, except that they’re intended for header bidding partners. They enable publishers to manage their demand partners much more easily by adding or removing them as required. They translate each partner’s unique parameters into a common value that can be passed on to the ad server. Moreover, they make sure that the header auction happens serially, so it doesn’t interfere with the page loading.
Like desktop, the mobile web requires a container (prebid, pubfood, or a ‘proprietary’ wrapper) that the team of developers can work with. You should also add bidder adapters from demand sources that have mobile traffic.
For demand, get in touch with some of the best-paying mobile ad networks and inquire about their header bidding adapters to make sure they are compliant with your choice of container/wrapper.
The overall benefits of implementing header bidding are the following:
- More Competition: Advertisers/demand partners can bid on every impression on the website while getting access to premium ad inventories. This leads to increased bid prices as well, and higher earnings for publishers as a result.
- More Demand Partners: Publishers will have access to advertisers from multiple demand sources.
- Better Transparency: With header bidding, you can better optimize their ad stacks than with a waterfall setup. You sell ad inventory on an impression basis and see how much it’s worth.
- More Inventory Access: With header bidding, buyers can access the publisher’s ad inventory. This means that there is more data available for DSPs which can be used for optimizing ad campaigns afterward.
Bottom line, your site not only has to be mobile-friendly, but you should also know how to generate a sustainable revenue through your website as well through carefully placed advertisements and optimized UX. If you want to have a successful mobile web monetization strategy, you need to tackle each of the aspects above.
As long as everything mentioned above is on point, you’re well-prepared for serious income via mobile traffic!