Adjusting ads is the first step toward a better digital experience for users and revenue for publishers.
Businesses invest a lot of time and effort to capture the attention of new potential clients, and convert them. And one of the top proven ways to do this is advertising.
In fact, the global digital ad spend continues to grow incrementally year over year, despite the economic difficulties that nations around the world are facing, and is expected to rise from $602.25 billion in 2022 to $876.10 billion in 2026.
However, at the same time, 42% of all internet users worldwide use ad blockers. And this includes all devices – not only desktop, but mobile phones and tablets as well. .
As a result, digital publishers see their revenues suffer, and need to find ways to improve user experience and boost profits at the same time.
While closing content behind a paywall has proven to be an efficient step to retain some audiences, it’s not a universal approach, because – let’s face it – nowadays, most users simply don’t want to pay for content.
So, if, as a digital publisher, your revenue depends heavily on advertisements, in order to improve the usability, UX, and conversions of your website, first, you need to revamp the ad experience you provide.
In this article, we provide 5 actionable ways to adjust ads, so that users notice and click on them, instead of ignoring them and/or becoming annoyed.
Read on and take notes!
1. Don’t Overwhelm the User
If you’ve ever read “Paradox of Choice”, you know that the fewer choices people have, the better they are at making decisions.
It has been shown in countless studies that being offered too many choices results in discomfort, because of people’s restricted capacity for processing information. This can lead users to demotivation and lack of action, decreased engagement, reduced conversion, dissatisfaction, and even buyer’s remorse.
This applies to the ads on your pages as well.
If you want better click-through rates and more conversions, you need to adjust ads to be well–defined, better targeted, and – pay attention here – fewer in count.
Filling out the layouts of your pages with as many ads as possible will only have the opposite – instead of clicking more, users are likely to ignore the ads altogether, and may even leave your website for good.
If you want to keep the users longer on your pages, you must keep the ads to a minimum.
For example, on your homepage, you definitely need to host as few ad placements as possible in order to provide the readers with the possibility to find and choose what they want to read.
When users feel comfortable on your pages and get the content that they enjoy, then they are more likely to click on ads.
A good approach to gauge the right number of ads to show to your readers is to analyze your best-performing articles/pages and see how the page views, visits, and bounce rate changes for each of the pages.
According to the ad impression statistics for each of the articles, you’ll know how the users are affected and you may adjust ad goals accordingly.
Also, make sure to stay in line with Google’s ad density regulations – violating these can hurt your organic traffic, and even result in a penalty.
2. Use Banner Ads Effectively
To adjust your ads for optimal performance, you need to pay attention to the ad format and sizing, as well as to placement.
Ad Format and Sizing
According to Google AdSense, the most effective banner ad sizes that you can use on your website are:
- 728×90px — Leaderboard
- 300×600px — Half Page
- 300×250px — Medium Rectangle
- 336×280px — Large Rectangle
The following are just examples of what those ad sizes look in practice:
Simply put, by adjusting your ads to fit the most efficient sizes, you’ll sharpen your competitive edge, which may result in higher CPC.
Furthermore, more often than not, ad providers build their creatives in the recommended ad formats and sizes.
If your website design and layouts offer ad spaces where those creatives are a perfect fit, you are more likely to attract more high-quality advertisers that actively bid for those sizes.
Ad placement can be even more important than the format and size.
You don’t want the ad to be hidden somewhere around the footer of your pages, and it’s crucial to create ad positions that require minimal effort from the users to see and engage with.
Most of your readers come to your site for the content, and this is why you need to ensure that your ads are positioned closer to your content in order to improve the interaction with the ads and boost the page worth for the advertisers.
Additionally, you need to focus on how you integrate the ads within the content, and you better include ad units that are unique and non-intrusive at the same time.
By adjusting ads to be placed naturally across the page and feel native to the rest of your content, you will make it more likely that people notice them and pay attention.
You can further improve the experience by implementing programmatic advertising, because then, the ads shown may be more relevant to what your page is about.
3. Pay Attention to Responsiveness
We live in the mobile era! People expect to see content that fits the screen size and shape perfectly, regardless of what device they are using.
Furthermore, when adapting your ads for hand-held devices, make sure to optimize the clickable surfaces, CTAs, and close-buttons accordingly.
This will reduce the miss-click rates, and ensure that users engage more easily with ads. As a result, they are less likely to become frustrated, and you are less likely to end up with a two-click penalty.
4. Ensure Flawless Navigation
Good website navigation enables visitors to go from page to page without dissatisfaction and/or confusion. Readers should always leave your site with the thought of getting back for more. Furthermore, the better their experience is, the more likely they are to convert.
In fact, a website’s usability and UX can be the difference between making it and breaking it online.
Nowadays, there are so many choices of digital publications, that if people don’t find what they need on your website, they can easily find it elsewhere.
This is why you must provide a clear navigational menu, breadcrumbs, and various ways for users to explore your site, so their experience won’t be bothered at all!
When most people think of website navigation, they associate it with a menu that is placed in the headers of most websites.
However, there are other navigation types as well.
Sidebars are a common way to navigate websites because they can be placed on both sides of the content (although the left-hand side is more common).
You have footers as well that can have links to the site’s main pages as well as popular blog categories.
Flawless website navigation keeps the visitor engaged in the website.
Follow each of the following best practices to enhance the usability of your digital publishing site in terms of navigation:
Don’t let fancy design to destroy the usability of your digital publishing website. A hyperlink must differ from the copy. It must be apparent.
Make the hypertext obvious and different from every other element on the page. Format the hyperlinks in a different color, underline them or make them bold.
Being creative with navigation is awesome, but it’s not that awesome when you have to sacrifice the UX for it. Navigation should be in a place where users expect it to be!
This comprises the header navigation bar, sidebar, and footer. Utilize them so visitors can easily locate what they need.
Clear and Simple
Let’s face it, the navigation menu should be as straightforward as possible. Use a clear design and text so that people know what are your intentions with the menu.
There’s a reason why you need to use the word “Celebs” for the Celebrity News category or “Funny” for the comedy category. Those words are clear and recognizable. The same goes for phrases such as “Subscribe” and “Newsletter”.
5. Use a Proper Hosting Provider
Slow websites are frustrating, and they drive readers away. If you want to run a powerful publishing site, you’ll need a proper hosting infrastructure that can help you handle millions of daily and monthly reads.
The fact is, though, that even if you adjust ads to perform great, if there aren’t any visitors on your website to view and click on them, there will be no conversions, and no revenue.
Furthermore, a slow loading website can compromise your rankings in search engines, and hurt your organic traffic. As a result, you will see even less traffic.
Enter Pagely, a customizable WordPress managed hosting provider for digital publishers! Their tailor-made hosting solutions make sure that each of your requirements will correspond with their hosting technology.
Pagely works on top of AWS, arguably the biggest cloud provider today, which means that you don’t have to worry about limited resources for your site. This is the main reason why some of the largest brands such as Time Inc, Booking.com, and Comcast chose Pagely for their hosting provider.
Every element of your website can have an impact on the conversion rate!
If the ads on your site are not as effective as they used to, you need to do something about it!
By effectively adjusting ads, and optimizing the usability of your WordPress digital publication according to the advice above, conversion success is on the way for sure!