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4 Powerful Interstitial Ads Tips for WordPress Publishers

From heavy ads that slow down the entire website to untimely ads loading that breaks the user experience, it is critical to have the right ad specifications, formats, and placements for your website so you can increase your ROI while keeping a pleasant UX in the process.

There’s a pretty prevalent ad format that constantly provides high impression rates -Interstitial advertisement. It’s a full-screen banner ad that appears at natural pauses in the reading experience.

Online Marketing Commercial Connection Technology

Interstitial ads are advertisements that fill up the entire screen of the device. These pauses usually occur when users are more likely to expect and engage with an ad, which results in improved ad performance and higher eCPMs. Because they cover the entire screen, they’re much different than any other type of ad, for example – native and banner ads.

While interstitial ads make use of larger ad space, they can get intrusive when it’s not timed properly, or show too often. For that reason, you need to make sure to analyze your web inventory, and how the users would react to interstitial ads.

As a publisher that uses WordPress as the most powerful CMS today, you must be aware of how can you use interstitial ads to boost your revenue, and the overall strategy before you can include them in your advertisement arsenal. So, without further ado, let’s discuss some of the most powerful tactics that can help you include interstitial ads, the right way.

How Do Interstitial Ads Work?

So, what are interstitial ads? As mentioned previously, interstitial ads are full-screen adverts, either interactive or static. Most frequently, interstitial ads are included between levels of a game, or while content is loading.

Because of the captivating character of these adverts, interstitial ads produce better CPMs for publishers on mobile, while in addition, providing encouraging metrics for advertisers as well.

When implemented adequately, interstitial ads provide advertisers with a deeply engaging format for the audience and have the power to outmatch other ad groups. With improved advertising tactics, you’ll capture the users’ attention and place the right ad in front of them, at the right time.

Here are additional reasons why publishers should include interstitials in their advertising strategy:

  • High Click-Through Rates. When an interstitial ad is displayed, users have two choices: either to click on the ad if they like the offer or to click on the close button. In other words, interstitial ads have a 50% if click chance.
  • Powerful and Convincing. An interstitial ad as it covers the entire device screen is pretty hard to ignore! Consequently, publishers can expect high CPM and better effect on users.
  • Resolved Banner Blindness. Because interstitial ads are hard to ignore when they’re displayed on a mobile screen, and therefore, banner blindness is effectively reduced.
  • Are in Demand: Interstitials are constantly cited as the most desirable ad format by both brand and performance mobile advertisers.
  • Are Perfect for Brands. The large size presents an ideal canvas for storytelling, making them a highly attractive format for brand advertisers.

1. Avoid the Penalties

So far, interstitial ads look pretty awesome, right? But, if not utilized adequately, you’ll suffer some penalties. The crucial aspect that you need to keep your attention on when it comes to interstitial ads is timing. It’s everything, really! The ads shouldn’t agitate the users and their experience when they want to get the desired information on your website.

Google can penalize mobile pages that include interstitials, simply because obstructing content on mobile with ads is against their guidelines.

Beginning from November 1, 2015, Google began a mobile-friendly test that removes any mobile website from the “mobile-friendly” ranking that showed an app install interstitial after clicking on a search result. Additionally, content that is not comfortably accessible from a mobile search results page might not be ranked as high.

You need to ensure that the ads don’t interrupt the users in any form. It is appropriate for interstitial ads to appear between natural breaks. For example, an interstitial ad can be displayed when the user is switching between articles.

ads displayed when the user switches between articles

Image Source: MarketingLand

2. Don’t Interrupt the Users

Nobody likes getting interrupted while reading something important, or fun, for that matter! The same is the case with ads, especially while working on something like filling a form. For this reason, you need to avoid placing interstitial ads between crucial user activities or interactions, such as filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter, or purchasing a membership.

However, if the task is considered less important, but you want to show an ad there, you need to make sure that the task is paused when the ad is shown to the user.

Stay considerate when you integrate interstitial ads within your web app so that they are in context with the natural flow of the user journey. Overwhelming the users, presenting them too many ads, or hindering their use of your website can lead to a bad UX, more unintentional ad clicks, and eventually pushing the readers and advertisers away from the website.

WordPress publishers should remember that ads should never be the primary focus of the app, so don’t compromise on the user experience in order to place interstitial ads within your app.

Additionally, if your interstitials are optimized into video, some ads may have up to a 5-second delay before providing a close option.

interstitials optimized into video

Image Source: AdMob by Google

In line with directives, interstitials that don’t allow video will have an immediate close option. The Google Mobile Ads SDK began enforcing this more aggressively with releases of the Google Mobile Ads SDK: 7.21 or later for iOS, and 11.4 or later for Android.

3. Pay Attention to Ad Loading Time

pay attention to ad loading time

Interstitial ads are large-format ads with rich media and dense graphics. This means that interstitial ads will take a fair amount of time to be loaded on the readers’ screen. And we all know how devastating for the UX can be when users have to wait for an ad to load.

Consequently, in the interest of avoiding that kind of problem, rest assured that the advertisement is rendered swiftly. Even more so, the ad should start loading before it’s triggered. So, when the time comes for the interstitial ad to be displayed, it won’t take that much time. Loading the ad beforehand can guarantee that your web app has a fully loaded interstitial ad prepared when the time comes for one to be displayed.

Each ad network that you’ll use works differently. Many of them are credible, keep their ad servers on point, and demand from advertisers to conform to a strict set of rules. However, there are also other ad networks that are only interested in quick revenue. They have no defined set of guidelines of any kind, and this is why the sites that use them experience page load and ad delays.

With Google AdSense, one hardly comes across performance issues from Google’s server, but the same may not be true for different ad networks.

4. Stay Focused on Video

youtube logo on a smartphone held by a person

An interstitial video can work as a natural switch between articles that you can monetize without impeding the user experience. Incorporating interstitial video ads provides WordPress publishers with a steady way to increase ad revenues and improve your web app monetization.

Interstitial videos provide a more dynamic ad experience than static ads or banner ads. When they’re located at natural transition points in the web app experience, they provide less confusion and disorder to the UX. In contrast with banner ads that can frequently be ignored by the readers, interstitial video ads have bigger opportunities to be seen because they show within the site’s flow and fill up the entire screen, which will result in advertisers paying more.

By positioning the interstitial video ad at a natural pause in the reading experience, users will not react that antagonistically to it, are more likely to watch the ad, and get interested about the ad’s source, which leads to a better eCPM for the developers.

AdSense for video provides you with the opportunity to monetize your web and native app-based video content. AdSense for video uses Google’s Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK to request ads from within your HTML5 web, Android or iOS video player. The Google IMA SDK allows developers to make ad requests to the AdSense network, interpret ad responses and render ads. Many of the leading online video publishers use the IMA SDK to request and display video ads.

Bonus Tips

Coding Man

The following are some additional tips for WordPress publishers for progressing towards higher viewability rate:

  • Continue with Natural Pauses. Interstitial ads work best between natural transitions in the user journey because that’s when users are most likely to interact with ads. This will bring better ad performance and higher eCPMs – for example, pause menus, or loading screens.
  • Nail the Frequency. Displaying too many interstitial ads in a short period of time will result in poor user experience, low retention, fewer impressions, and damaging reviews. That’s why it’s vital to nail the frequency of your interstitial ads by evaluating the impression/time ratio.
  • A/B Testing. You should A/B test the optimal placement of interstitials. Measure and analyze KPIs such as retention, session length, ads shown per user, ads clicked, CTR between users, and compare the test insights of each KPI throughout each interstitial ad placement in your web app.
  • Segment the Users: Each user engages with your website in a different way. This is why when you show ads in your web app, it’s best to segment the ad type, frequency, and placement according to your users, addressing each segment differently. For instance, if you provide membership options for your content, your most valuable readers should see less interstitial ads than your non-paying readers, or no ads at all.

Wrapping Up

Interstitial ads have the power to provide increased impression rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and of course, revenue. Follow the tips above to make sure that you’re getting the maximum out of your interstitial campaigns placement.

Ultimately, you must also be mindful of the changes that you’ll have to make to your site as a web app, and the effect that those alterations will have on your readers. To achieve that, continuous testing and optimization are pivotal! Monitor the behavior of users and the advertisers’ response to your interstitial strategy, and you shouldn’t miss out on a chance to increase your revenue.

Be careful about Google’s regulations, and take full responsibility for the UX that the readers will have when browsing your publishing site.