Owning a publishing platform is similar to running a grocery store. There are hundreds of products to choose from, but you have to carefully select the ones that will attract the most customers and build to expand your business.
Publishers are faced with the same question, but instead of products, they need to figure out what ad formats to include on their platform. And, while there may not be hundreds of options, that doesn’t make the choice any easier.
Below, we’ll go over the reasons you should combine ad formats on your platform. Well also discuss tips from Anna Efimova, our Head of Publisher Onboarding, to help publishers combine ad formats successfully.
Why Should You Combine Ad Formats?
As we mentioned in our colorful grocery store metaphor, the ad formats on your site act like the products you offer on your site. But, even though there are exceptions, specialized stores have a lower chance of success.
According to Efimova, “publishers that only opt for one ad format are limiting the amount of money they can potentially generate. Instead of relying on a single pricing structure, different types of ads give more flexibility and can often improve profits as well.”
“Having a single ad format on your site can also produce user fatigue. Popunders are particularly abrupt, but any user that sees the same ad format over and over again will become annoyed.”
This means that by diversifying your portfolio of formats, you can improve user experience and increase the amount of money you generate as a result.
How to Combine Ad Formats
Combining ad formats has transformed into a subtle art form. Internet users love great content, but they are also easy to scare away if you’re not smooth about ad type and placement.
Efimova says that “factors like the type and popularity of the website will also dictate the ad formats you can combine.”
Depending on Size
“The size of your platform will dictate the ad formats you can use. The reason is that some ad formats are more aggressive than others, so these should only be used on popular sites that have a loyal viewership” says Efimova.
Publishers that have small platforms are always looking to increase organic traffic, besides making money, of course.
“In these cases, publishers should try a softer monetization structure and include push notifications on the home page. You can also use our Push Service feature to send your own content to subscribers in order to grow the popularity of your site.”
But, according to Efimova, “these platforms are not already established, so it’s too early and risky to add popunders.”
“Platforms with medium popularity can get away with a combination of push notifications and popunder ads. Popunders will ensure a profit even if visitors never come back, while push notifications allow you to monetize long-term while expanding your audience – especially if you choose a cost per subscriber or CPS model.”
With all of the above in mind, avoid using popunders on the homepage as Google and other search engines don’t like this practice. And, you’ll probably scare away a good number of first-time visitors!
Efimova thinks that “popular, well-established platforms can go all in and combine popunders, push notifications, and native ads. Native ad widgets allow a high level of customization, plus you can always get in touch with our support crew if you need help working something out.”
“Push notifications are pretty straightforward, but remember that popunders should only be featured on inner pages that customers are more likely to click. For example, downloads, videos, and so on.”
Depending on Website Type
“Most publisher sites can be divided into two major groups, which are informational outlets (blogs and news sites) and interactive platforms (converters, downloaders, and similars).”
These categorizations will also help you determine the ad formats that are suitable for your platform.
- News and Blogs
News platforms and blogs are informative, so readers are not expecting aggressive advertising. This means that push notifications and native ads are a good choice. Popunders are too abrupt, so they are not usually suitable for this type of site.
- Converters, Streamers, Downloaders, and Other Interactives
“Functional and interactive sites can get away with combining the most popular formats, which are native ads, popunders, and push notifications. You can even add content lockers, which allow you to limit access to your tools until users complete the desired action” says Efimova.
What Add-Ons Can You Include?
In addition to the actual ad formats, there are many add-ons you can employ to improve the performance of your platform. We’ve mentioned a couple already, but these are:
- Push Service
Push service is a great way to incorporate your value content into your audience’s newsfeed. If you want to learn more about this add-on, check out this Push Service article we published some time ago. It’s good stuff.
- Content Lockers
Content lockers are a great way to encourage users to sign up, especially if your platform is particularly useful. If you have any trouble with this feature, our team can always help you customize it to your preferences.
- Play with Delay
Some publishers report better performance when they play ads with delay. “Instead of allowing ads to run right away, give users a chance to settle in for a little bit. They will decide whether they like your site or not, and if they do, you get to show them relevant ads.” This improves both customer experience and the performance of the ads on your platform.
What to Avoid at All Costs
Combining different ad formats is an awesome idea, but there are certain practices you want to avoid at all costs. For instance:
More than 3 or 4 Pop-Unders in a Row
Popunders are still effective. That said, you have to avoid using more than 3 or 4 in a row. Too many pops will make your visitors lose it, so don’t push their buttons unintentionally.
Messing Up Push Notification Frequency
Push notifications have a great reputation, but they can become a nuance if you don’t get the delivery frequency right. This can vary from one publisher to another, so we suggest you contact your account manager to find the best settings.
Too many ads will make your platform look spammy, so you want to keep your interface neatly organized no matter what.
Extra Long Native Widgets
Native widgets are extremely customizable, but some publishers want extra long windows to place more ads. This practice is not effective and it can compromise user experience, so keeping your widgets at normal length is a must.
Regardless of the size of your website, combining ads can help improve its performance and potentially yield higher profits. That said, pay close attention to the type of platform you have and how popular it is to make the best choice.