Should You Put Ads on Your Website?

Creating a website with compelling content — high quality text, images and videos — is a lot of work. Many people blog or create a website as a creative activity–not necessarily as a money making project. But at a certain point, you have to ask yourself, “is there money to be made?” The second question to ask yourself, “should there be money made?”

ads for my website

Advertising can alienate your audience. You may never develop a large scale following if you introduce advertising early in the life of your website. You may be better off waiting months or years to introduce an ad network and focus more on keeping your web visitors happy and returning to your site.

Depending on the subject of your website, advertising can potentially undermine your credibility. For example, if you are representing some kind of a nonprofit activity or subject, say… saving animals or helping the homeless, for-profit advertising can cause unnatural bounce rates went web visitors arrive.

Advertising can also deter from the artistic goal of your content. You may have spent hours and hours crafting just the right minimalist effect… just the right balance of text and images to make people feel comfortable… and now a bunch of foreign images and words that you cannot always control will potentially be uncontrollably injected into your pages. This can negatively impact whatever aesthetic experience goal you have set out for your audience and cause them to stop visiting.

Web advertising can also slow the performance of your website. Ad servers create extra processes involved for loading ads that can cause your pages to load slower. If you have a sub-standard web hosting company or if you are not cashing your webpages with a CDN (content delivery network), slower response rates for page loading can cause visitors to leave prematurely and can negatively impact your search engine optimization statistics.

Even if all the above works with your publishing plans, the overall income you may receive from ad revenue may not be worth it in the long run. If your web visitors are measured in the hundreds, instead of thousands per week, it may not be worth it. There are many ways to monetize your web presence that don’t involve advertising. You can provide services or products as a result of building a strong following and fanbase.

Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your online goals, so think long and hard about when and if you want to advertise on your website.

Realistic Expectations Around Traffic, Revenue and Timeline

So, you’ve gone through all the trouble to get your website up and running and you done your best to create interesting and engaging content… your audience is steadily rising… now you want to try and earn some revenue with ads on your website. So you pick an advertising platform, often Google AdSense, and you wait for the money to roll in. But it’s never quite as much or as fast as you would like. Many web publishers fall into a false sense of security that good content means lots of people will find them. Many still fall into lapses of content production that cause their audience to slow or even stop completely.

Low Traffic

Monetizing content with advertising is a long-term prospect and requires patience. Many website publishers are impatient and don’t understand the gradual, constant content trickle that is necessary to build a true set of loyal web visitors. It’s not only important to create high-quality articles/posts/videos, it’s important to make sure that the right web audiences are aware of your content in the first place — they’re not all finding you on search engines.

What are some things you can do to drive traffic to your site?

Many times other sites are looking for guest writers or guest bloggers. You can potentially publish articles on other sites that drive traffic, and more importantly, links back to your site which will help with your search engine optimization.

Social media participation is also very important for building awareness to your valuable content. Letting your friends on Facebook know about your website or building a specific Facebook fan page for your website is a good way of building new visitors. In addition, posting on other social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest can help spread awareness.

If your website is about products or services that are available to a specific local geography, it’s also important to make sure that you are listed in local business directories like the Yellow Pages and Google My Business (formerly called Google Places).

Finally, if you have an advertising budget, you might want to consider small targeted advertising campaigns using Facebook Ads or Google AdWords. The hope is that the recipients of the ads may be converted into loyal readers and may also share your content with others.

Google AdSense vs Yahoo/Bing Contextual Ads

I have recently seen an increase in the promotion for the Yahoo/Bing contextual advertising platform. I have to admit, I have never used them because I don’t feel like my site would probably qualify based on their entry level criteria. I have applied in the past and been rejected because I do not have the daily volume of visitors necessary to qualify for their program.

The thing I’m not sure I like about Yahoo/Bing is that they do not seem to be very forthright about the qualifications for their program. The only way you can really figure it out is by applying directly or reading about other people’s experiences with the platform. Many people seem to apply to the Yahoo program after they have been either rejected by Google AdSense or kicked out of Google AdSense.


Here is what I understand the top 3 primary differences are between Google AdSense and Yahoo/Bing being in terms of minimum requirements.

  • Yahoo/Bing seems to require daily updates to your website with original content.
  • Yahoo/Bing seems to want to see the majority of your visitor traffic from English speaking countries like the UK, US and Canada.
  • Yahoo/Bing seems to want to see at least 1000 unique visitors coming to your advertising website per day.

Maybe I will try median net in the future, but for now I am fairly happy with my AdSense advertising. Please leave comments regarding your experience with Bing/Yahoo as a website publisher.

Where Do Online Ads Come From?

For people who are new to the web/internet, the question arises, where do all these advertisements that I see on websites and blogs come from? If I want to put advertising on my website where can I find ads too?

ads for your website
ads for your website

When the Internet first began, ads were simply images or text links that website publishers (website owner) installed for a fee and then linked visitors to the advertiser’s website or landing page. Now there is an entire ecosystem designed to provide advertising media to both small and large website providers who want to monetize their content. Monetizing is simply the process of figuring out how you can get paid for all the work that goes into creating content and publishing a website. The money you make can help offset the costs for web hosting and video services.

Direct Website-Advertiser Relationship

Let’s think of an example. If you write a blog about digital cameras, you might know a handful of digital camera advertisers (advertisers A, B, C, and D) who you could call and ask if they would like to sponsor ads on your website. The advertisers may be interested because the audience you attract to your site is a profile similar to the people who buy their digital camera related products. But that involves calling and developing relationships and signing contracts for banner ad sponsorships with each separate organization. That is possible but it is also time and labor intensive.

direct advertiser relationship
direct advertiser relationship

Ads. these days, are generally provided by what is called an advertising network. Ad networks are online buyer-seller matchmakers, connecting companies selling products or services with the audience who is most likely to buy them.

Website-Ad Network Intermediary Relationship

It’s a little bit like filling a square hole with a square peg. Now, rather than YOU trying to figure out what your web visitor audience might be interested in purchasing, there is a bunch of technology that can be applied to figuring that out. And… rather than you approaching many different advertisers in separate discussions, you can deal with a single entity that has many different product/service sellers in their backend population of advertising buyers.

ad network relationship
ad network relationship

The ad network represents many advertisers and the ad network is able to match the interests of you web visitors to the the messages their ad buyers want to put in front of them — either based on the context of the content of your website or base on the visitor’s previous web history, or re-targeting.

Optimized Ad Network Supply and Targeting

So, now, this is great. You have a single organization that understands the audience profiles visiting your site and the ads that most appeal to them, e.g., the ads visitors will most likely click on. Back to our example, if web visitor B comes to the digital camera site and is interested in “tripods”, the ad network knows to show the tripod advertisement from Advertiser B.

ad network targeting
ad network targeting

And likewise, if a visitor with a profile more interested in Advertiser D’s goods or services arrives, and ad will be shown from Advertiser D.

Please post and comments or questions you have in the comment section. Thanks!

Video Ads for Your Site

Have you ever considered monetizing your website with video ads? Well, if you’re already using AdSense you have the option to do that. Or if you have your AdSense parameters set up a certain way, you may already be doing that and not even know it.

Why would you want to show video ads on your site? The first answer is visitor engagement. A recent study by Google compared and contrasted video ad response rates to display ad response rates.

Video Ad CTR

Site visitors clicked on video ads 18 times more than standard display ads. That means potentially higher revenue for your website. That is why so many advertising dollars are flowing from display to video. In fact, a recent study by BIA intelligence and the inter-net advertising board shows aggregate video revenue doubling between this year, 2015, and the year 2020.


Video has never been easier to create and manage. Video advertising media has never been more available as a monetizing option for website owners. If you are using AdSense to monetize your content, make sure your ad units are set to show text and image ads.

If you have questions about showing video ads please leave them in the comments section of our website.

Set Up the Google AdSense Plugin for WordPress

Okay, this is part-two of how to use the Google AdSense plug-in for WordPress. In this post I will show you how to easily set up AdSense ads on your WordPress blog. In fact, I’ll show you how to add advertising to this very page/blog you are looking at now. Here is a picture of the front page before we added any advertising.

Before: No Advertising on Page


And here is  how the page looks after adding the AdSense advertising plugin.

After: Easy Inserted AdSense Advertising


If you followed the instructions from the last post, you now have the Google AdSense plug-in listed in your installed plugins dashboard and it is activated.


The first thing you do is click on this settings link within the plug-in dashboard listing.  At that point, they get started dialog box will open.


Before you check the “get started” button, you need to make sure you’re logged in to the Google account that you use for AdSense and Google Webmaster tools. If you don’t have a Google account you can click on the “create one now” button but realize it may take a day or two for you to be approved for AdSense.

Verify Your Website With Google

After your logged in to your Google account, press the “get started” button. At that point you will be brought to a new google page to verify your site – click on the “verify” button.


 After you click the “verify” button you will see a dialog box as Google verifies that you have an existing account.


Once verification is complete, you will land on the Google AdSense Plugin settings page. You can click on the image below to see a larger version.


The first thing to do is to enable automated mobile ads. Click the “automated mobile ads” button and Google will make sure any ads shown to users on smartphones are mobile friendly.

Manage Your AdSense Advertising

Next, click on the “manage ads” button. Google then analyzes your page and decides the best place to put ads.


The Google Plugin Automatically Decides Where to Put Ads

After you click on the “manage ads” button, Google will will automatically suggest where to put advertising.


Google analyzes the page and places dummy ad green placeholders in recommended page locations for ads. Anywhere Google puts a little red marker in each location where an alternative ad can be shown.

Or Manually Decide Where and Which Type of Ads To Show

Google allows only three ads per page to be shown. If you would like a different ad in a different page location, remove one of the 3 green placeholders by clicking the black x in the upper right-hand corner. Then click on the location where you want a new ad.


You can also adjust what type of ad you want to see by hitting the little black gear in the bottom right-hand corner. After you click the gear button in a dialog box appears allowing you to choose the ad format and read type you would like to insert.


Save and Activate

after you are satisfied with where your ads are placed you can click the save and activate blue button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

That’s all there is to it.

Add AdSense to WordPress Using the Google AdSense Plugin

Google AdSense is one of the easiest and most popular ways to add advertisements to your website. When your site visitors click on the ads (or sometimes when the ad is simply displayed, depending on the type of ad) you make money. AdSense is a service created by Google that automatically inserts image, text, and video ads which are targeted based on your site content or by your audience’s interest.

There are a number of different ways to add the necessary AdSense code to your website. If you are good with programming and WordPress, you can manually create html div areas or text widget containers to place the code in. If you’re not as picky about exact placement or not as skilled with a keyboard, there are number of WordPress plugins that make the job quite simple.

One of the easiest ways to add AdSense to your WordPress website is using the official Google AdSense plug-in created by Google. Some people worry about having Google know too much about your website but as far as I’m concerned there’s very little to worry about if you’re creating quality content doing everything by the book.

Assuming you have an approved Google AdSense account (sign up here if you don’t), it is simple to add the code directly from inside WordPress using your browser. First you go to your Plugins page within the WordPress Dashboard .


Then you press the Add New button in the top left-hand corner of the plug-ins page.


That will bring you to the Add Plugins page where you can type “adsense” into the search box and hit return.


 You should now see a number of different available plugins designed to install AdSense on your WordPress site. You may have to scroll down the page until you find the official Google AdSense plugin. Once you find it, click on the Install Now button.


You will then see a dialog box that asks, “are you sure you want to install this plug-in?”. Click “okay” and WordPress will install the plugin. You will then see the following screen where you must click Activate Plugin to enable it to work.


You should then see the Google AdSense plugin listed on your installed plugins page.


In our next post we will describe how to set up and use the plugin.

The Shift from Contextual to Behavioral Retargeted Advertising

A lot of website owners who want to monetize their site via advertising hear the term “online ad targeting” and immediately think that there is some skill or technology they need to develop themselves. The website builder believes that they somehow have to participate in this targeting process. But today the targeting is largely done behind the scenes.

Advertising has always been a matchmaker activity. Companies who sell dog food are interested in showing their advertisements to online segments of dog owners who buy dog food. But increasingly, web targeting focuses on the recency of an online consumer’s behavior — a website or advertisement they have clicked on in the last few minutes.

Back in the days when Google claimed to not be evil, advertising was more contextual — focusing on the range of content or commerce a given online consumer was interested in. But now, time-based retargeting seems to be ruling the day. Here’s how it works.

When you visit a website there are tracking companies who might “drop a cookie” (or a beacon, or a tracking pixel) — a small computer file that basically plants a little flag saying you’ve been there. There are a number of companies who collect this online behavior data and then sell it to advertisers and/or advertising platforms.


As a website owner and general web surfer you probably understand how the mechanics work. For example, if you were on Amazon shopping for a new pair of running shoes last night, chances are an ad for that same pair of running shoes will show up on your Facebook page by the next morning. Sometimes it happens faster than that.

There are complex buying/selling/exchanging of ads that you, as a website owner, are shielded from. All of the millisecond-based transactions happen in the background and all you need to do is place the advertising code on your website.

I guess the point is that the online advertising industry as a whole has made it easier for you, the website owner, to place ads on your website that might actually get clicked on — meaning you have a better chance of making money.

Google Adds New Large Format Ad Sizes to AdSense

Google recently announced the availability of two new ad size formats for its AdSense advertisers. Both new ads increase the square area available for advertising media — text, image or rich media.

The first is a new wider 970 x 250 pixel billboard ad that increases the horizontal area.


Many publishers will want to place this new ad format in the header area of their blog or website.

The second new ad format is a 300 x 1050 pixel skyscraper ad.


Many people will choose to fit this in a right-hand or left-hand column position.

As these ads are “larger” than the average ad, Google has placed restrictions when using them. When using these new ad formats, you are allowed to place one per page, as opposed to three per page using the standard smaller formats.

We are always looking for success or failure stories. Let us know if these ads have worked better for you.

Revenue Generating Ads for Small Websites

People always ask, how busy does my website need to be to to put revenue-generating ads on it? Do I need 100 people a day? Do I need 10 people a day? Do I need 1000 people a day?

There really is no set answer. There are some online ad providers who will not accept you if you don’t have a certain minimum number of visitors per day. The most common starting place for small publishers is an online ad provider like Google AdSense.

Google will determine the type of content on your site but, often more importantly, they may have relevant information related to any given visitor to your site that helps them determine the best ad to show. Google may know that one of your visitors has recently been looking at new cars and they will automatically show an advertisement for the car that the visitor was looking at 30 minutes ago.

Google pulls ads from it’s AdWords inventory of advertisers (eg, “I want to sell dog food”) and matches them to the interests of the visitors on your site (eg. a website about dogs).

Other potential sources ads to put on your blog or website include: