How to Improve CPMs for Display Ads

Ad Optimization
Last updated: November 6, 2020 | by Kean Graham

This post was most recently updated on November 6th, 2020

As we have mentioned in our previous articles, user behavior translates to more revenue. The more appealing a website’s ads are, the more likely it is that users will click ads and become repeat visitors. The same goes for when you need to improve the performance of your display ads.

There are really two things that you absolutely must have: the best ad placements, and an open mind. Position your ads where your visitors can see them, and know what type of ads can entice and engage them.

Related Read: How to Find Your Target Audience to Increase Your AdSense Revenue

1. Standard Banner Ads

We provided you some suggestions in our article Top Banner Placements that Work! and mentioned that there are different strokes for different folks. In this case, you have to know the functionality of your site and decide what placement to use. Say you would like to use a leaderboard ad size of 728×90.

If a site’s articles don’t usually start until after the fold, I’d say to lower your leaderboard a bit, after the navigation bar, rather than have it flush with the top. In this case, users will see the ad for longer, rather than just ignoring it and proceeding to the article right away. Always consider placements that will draw more clicks, more impressions, and thus more revenue.

2. Google CSE (Custom Search Engine)

You can use the Google custom search engine on your site, which will allow you to create your own search engine. AdSense results, in this case, can be triggered by search queries, which generates revenue for the site owner. A custom search implementation also displays Google ads when a search doesn’t match a query.

Related Read: Best AdSense Alternatives in 2014 Per Vertical

3. Link Units

link ads

In trying to consistently offer new and additional features, Google created link units combined with the Google ads. This acts as a supplementary revenue for publishers. Again, placement plays a major role. We suggest inserting the link units into the content or right after the content. Higher visibility and user engagement is key, not to mention giving your users a sense of direction in finding the next article or a related topic.

Even if link units aren’t that enticing, that actually gives it the edge to attract readers since it does not look like typical text ads. As always, play around with it — experimenting with position and placement until you see increased revenue from existing traffic.

Related Read: Adsense: New Ad Sizes & Latest Traffic Trends

4. In-Context Ads / Sponsored Content Widgets

Inserting contextual ads and sponsored content widgets are another great source of revenue.

Related Read: How to Maximize Revenue from Native Ads

You can inject them into a high visibility area like in between two paragraphs, making them noticed even by banner-blind visitors. These two ads are better positioned near the bottom of the page, or right after an article or whatever the page content may be. Some visitors might not reach the bottom of the page, but just like link ads, they are attracting visitors who generally want further information about the topic or related information.

Related Read: Engage and Monetize: How to Win Readers’ Attention while Earning from Ads

All of these are suggestions for improving your display ads’ CPMs. Positioning your ads and determining which types of ads to inject are vital to increasing ad visibility and engagement. Be open to experimenting with various techniques. Of course, daily ad optimization and keeping an eye on your ad performance is always your best bet.

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