There is definitely a powerful draw to driving traffic to your website and having an ad network do all the work for you. But it goes beyond charm. There can be some significant advantages to going direct.
What are the main advantages of targeting direct advertisers?
- 100% revenue share
- Premium advertising rates
Ignoring their operating costs, the margins on their direct ad sales are 100%. That means no more than 30% bribes are required for Google or the other big players. However, to be successful with direct advertisers, your ad sales will be primarily targeted to a specific niche.
What are the caveats of selling ads directly to advertisers?
The most obvious is difficulty. Ad networks make everything look easy. You enter a snippet of code and convert your traffic into revenue. But selling ads directly to advertisers requires selling. The redundancy in that last award is on purpose.
It’s about selling.
That makes you responsible for many tasks: identifying advertisers, communicating, making the sale, providing support, and resolving disputes. All of this takes time, commitment, and skill.
How to set up your website for direct advertising
#one. Use a dedicated advertising page
If you have the traffic to even start considering selling direct advertising, you have potential advertisers visiting your site. Thousands of major advertisers have representatives who scan the web for niche advertising opportunities.
#two. Create a media kit
Your media kit will complement your advertising page. While it won’t necessarily expand your PR reach, the media kit is still very helpful to potential advertisers.
#3. Get data about your audience
If you really want to nail down your media kit, look for more user demographics that:
Human, 20 to 65 years old, with some kind of Internet connection and likes to buy things.
Remember, it’s the niche sites that open up their advertisers’ budgets. We’ll talk more about this in the next section on pricing. For now, I want to draw your attention to Quantcast. If you run Quantcast, you’ll collect a lot of data that will help break down the demographics of your visitors.
#4. Make sure the price is correct
Often your media kit will specify your ad rates. This will be broken down for the different types of ad placements you offer. This is what will get you crawled in the spreadsheets of savvy advertisers looking for good niche sites. Just like you, they are going to do numbers.
#5. Get CPM data on BuySellAds
BuySellAds is a marketplace where some publishers sell their ad inventory. This is a great source for finding out how others in your niche are pricing their CPM traffic.
#6. Choose your ad server
Yes, this part would be a bit important. When you sell your ads, you won’t Photoshop them or upload them one by one. We at least hope that’s not what you had in mind!
You will need to select an ad server. That will keep things running efficiently. However, our recommendation would be that you choose one that makes it easy to replenish your ad inventory. If you’re not selling enough direct ads, you don’t want any dead air (or the equivalent of digital ads).
When ad slots are open, you can fill this unsold inventory with AdSense or AdX ads. Remember, direct selling doesn’t mean you’re wearing down ad networks forever. For almost all sites, ad networks will continue to be a major component of their inbound ad revenue.
#7. Go with a modern design
Okay, to be fair, we do occasionally see heavily trafficked sites that haven’t had a design overhaul since, say, 1992. If anything is a testament to the power of great content, they are.
Making sure you have a modern design ensures that you send an immediate signal of trust. Says your site is professional. But remember that they are also evaluating ad placements. If you have an attractive site with quality ad placement, you will earn your business.
#8. Responsive is also modern
We’re not here to give you a crash course in responsive design today. If you’re not already familiar with it, responsive simply means that the site adapts to the size of the viewing device. And if your website is in any way on the internet, we know that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are a major component of your inbound traffic.
#9. Monetize beyond simple ad placements
So we’re not debunking standard ad placements. They still generate income. However, there are all sorts of new innovations in the digital ad space. Therefore, you may not only find that you will earn more revenue from them, but they will be immensely attractive to your advertisers.
- Overlay ads
- Hellobar Sponsorships
- Pre-roll video ads
- Social Media Sponsorships
- newsletter sponsorships
- Native promotional items
- Integrated RSS Ads
#10. Fill empty inventory with “Advertise Here”
Now, before you take this suggestion as a command, remember that we are a continuous testing team. So this suggestion is that you try this. What we are looking for is its impact on recruiting new advertisers.
#eleven. positive user experience
You have to send the message to your potential advertisers that you are professional. They want to know that their users have a good experience. And they must have a good experience too. It’s about the impressions you make.
Ready to target direct advertisers?
If you’ve been thinking of different ways to increase your ad revenue, going direct is one possibility. As we indicated, it is not for everyone. You have to have significant established traffic for it to work.
No matter what, as your site climbs in traffic, eventually going direct is an unavoidable necessity. The 30%+ ad revenue share across your ad networks becomes very significant as your traffic grows. Just remember, if anyone asks, you didn’t hear it from us.