This post was most recently updated on September 19th, 2019
Video ads are potentially high-converting ads, and if you’re looking for a quick fix to increase the engagement levels of the ads you run, video ads could seem like the magic bullet. And if you run Google AdSense ads, they have you covered; you barely have to lift a finger to get videos to run on your site.
But should you? Is it always a good idea to run video ads on your site? Unfortunately, no — video ads aren’t right for everyone. Run through this quick checklist to make sure that video ads are right for your site. It’s better to have ads that fit your site, message, and brand than it is to just slap videos on everything. One of the keys to optimization is cleverness. Be clever when deciding what ads to run on your site, when placing your ads, and when choosing ad networks. Never assume there’s a one-size-fits-all solution.
So should you run video ads on your site? Let’s see.
The most important factor to consider is your audience. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Are they the types of people who get annoyed easily? Do they have low patience thresholds? Or do you think they would rather enjoy seeing click-to-play video ads on your site every now and then? Only you can answer this question, as you (ostensibly) know your audience better than anyone else.
One thing’s for sure, though: if you run video ads on a site with an audience that isn’t suited for them, you’ll risk alienating your site’s visitors — a far worse fate than ads that don’t convert as high as you’d like.
Similarly, you should always consider your site’s content. If your site already has a lot of multimedia content on it (think: BuzzFeed or CNN.com), then your video ads will probably suit your site very well. If, however, you mainly have text on your site, then reconsider whether or not video ads will fit the overall aesthetic of your site. After all, you don’t want your ads to stick out too much, like sore thumbs.
If your site will mainly be viewed over mobile connections, don’t run ads — or make sure the video units only display on mobile phones. Even if you successfully limit the devices the ads will be displayed on, consider the extra weight video ads will add to your site. Video ads could make your page load more slowly, which could ironically result in fewer ad impressions than you were getting before!
In a nutshell, consider your audience, content, and site’s weight when considering whether or not you want to add video ads to your site. If you decide not to, don’t fret! There are other ways to increase your site’s ad revenue and optimize your monetization strategies. But if you do decide to run ads, keep an eye on some of the potential unintended consequences, such as slow loading times and alienated audience members.
Here’s the course that 300+ pubs used to scale their ad revenue.