Ad Monetization: Basics of Why Owners Serve Ads

Display ads are now very commonplace on the internet on nearly any site, from big news sites like NBC to ...

Display ads are now very commonplace on the internet on nearly any site, from big news sites like NBC to small little niche websites. The most common reason website owners serve ads is to generate consistent revenue from all website visitors.

Advertising is a gigantic business; website owners can make a lot of money by displaying ads on their sites. Ad revenue is one of the most important sources of income for many website owners, regardless of any other monetization methods they may implement.

why are there ads on websites

What Are Display Ads and Display Advertising?

Display advertising has existed forever, you see them on television, radio, and roadside billboards. Now that the internet has become an information and data highway it only makes sense that they transferred similarly and are now a solid and permanent part of the internet.

The most common type of display ad you’ll find on websites are banner ads, which are rectangular image ads that are displayed at the top or bottom of web pages.

These days though you’ll also see a lot of video ads and rich media ads that are more interactive and engaging than traditional banner ads.

Advertising is a gigantic business, and website owners can make a lot of money by displaying ads on their sites. In fact, ad revenue is one of the most important sources of income for many website owners regardless of any other monetization methods they may implement.

Why Websites Use Ads For Monetization

Many people seem to not like display advertisements but for a business owner, they are an income source that provides without links being clicked and allows for a better and more stable income day to day and month to month.

When you build sites with a focus on informational content you will have far fewer opportunities with true buyer intent, this means fewer opportunities for an affiliate commission and in effect losing money.

Continual Passive Income From All Content

This is a key for a site that continues growing and receiving more page views, you will make income from each person who visits and reads your content.

There are a number of ad types and sizes that can be used on websites but the most effective is in-content advertising which is image-based or video links within your content.

This not only allows you to make money from every person who visits your site but also allows for you to write content on your site that will have far less competition as it has no direct tie back to generating an income from commissions.

Easy to Scale Income Reliably

To scale an ad-driven income requires only a little bit of math and understanding that content and the associated page views are directly correlated to each other so you can guess at the amount of content and pageviews you will need to hit your wanted income(1).

Ad Income = Total Posts * Average monthly page views per article * RPM

All you need to do is know where you want to get and then you can grind out the posts required to get you to this level. I would suggest that you start with an expectation of 300 page views per post as an initial expectation.

So for example if you have 100 posts and make $20 RPM from them the math would say your expected ad revenue would be:

$600 = 100 * 300 * (20 / 1000)

So the expected monthly income from a site with 100 posts getting 300 pageviews each while making a $20 RPM would yield $600 consistently. Now, this will be lower in quarter one and higher in quarter four so if you depend on this you may need to grow past this point or save from Q4.

Monetizing Purely Informational Content

I love writing informational content as there is much less competition while also allowing you to write on a much wider selection of ideas. This allows you to scale with much more ease.

The best part is that informational content is generally more evergreen and has a longer shelf life than other content, meaning it can continue generating an income for months or even years after being published.

How Are Ads Added to a Website?

The most common way to add ads to a website is through an ad network. An ad network is a company that connects advertisers with websites that want to host ads.

Ad networks make it easy for website owners to find advertisers and vice versa. There are many different ad networks out there, each with its own set of features and benefits.

The most common and high-performing entry-level ad provider will be Ezoic, Ezoic uses AI to choose and select from multiple placeholders to fill and maximize the UI/UX while increasing the value of each post and page uniquely.

They require some onboarding work to get configured for ads which include:

  • Ads.txt – File that shows which ad vendors are authorized to display ads on your site
  • Google Ad Manager (MCM) – This is the ad manager platform from Google that you will need to be authorized for on nearly any big ad provider, can take weeks currently for approval.
  • Ad Placeholders (Ezoic Plugin) – The Ezoic plugin can build ad placeholders for Ezoic to have spots to place ads for testing which requires near no configuration on your side.

How Are Ads Filled on a Post or Page?

Most ads are filled in two ways, manually or programmatically.

Manually placing ads is the process of going into each post/page and dropping an ad code or image in the desired location. This can be a very tedious task, especially if you have a lot of content.

Programmatically placing ads is the process of using an ad server to automatically insert ads into your content. Ad servers are software that helps you manage your ads and track their performance. They typically come with a lot of features, such as the ability to target ads to specific countries or devices.

Ad servers make it easy to place ads on your website without having to manually insert them into each post or page. However, they can be expensive and may require some technical expertise to set up and use.

How To Leverage Ads With Visitors

There are good ways to use ads to get memberships in place and use the system to help you drive conversions to your own info products, services, and similar.

Configure Them to Not Show For Registered Users, Memberships, Etc

You can show ads to everyone who visits but you can also work to have ads not shown to registered site users on your site, then you can leverage a cost to get this ad-free experience like a monthly fee, or maybe free with an info product or if they are a member in a course or other items you produce.

The key is to make sure you don’t lose sight of why people are coming to your site in the first place and use ads to help benefit and lend to that model.

Remove Ads From Important Posts and Pages

For those who worry that ads will stop visitors from clicking on their affiliate offers you can typically list pages and posts that ads can’t be served on so that they aren’t competing.

This will help you serve the ads in a way that benefits you, the advertiser, and the reader who is looking to get what they came for without feeling like they need to sift through a bunch of options that don’t apply to them specifically.

Why I Love Ad Monetization

Ad monetization can be a great way to earn revenue from your website. However, it’s important to understand how it works and how to properly leverage it to benefit both you and your readers.

When done correctly, ads can be an unobtrusive way to earn money from your website without compromising the user experience. So why not give it a try?

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Josh With Niche University
Josh is the owner of Niche University, a blog and free resource built specifically to help teach you how to build a side hustle and hopefully freedom in life.