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7 Critical Website Monetization Mistakes

top monetization mistakes

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Monetization of websites is a great method to earn in today’s world. When done right over a few years, it can be a gold mine. According to a ProBlogger survey, 4% of bloggers report making $100k per month! What would you buy with an extra $100k?

One of the primary ways to monetize your website (i.e., get that $100k) is to place ads. While it’s generally easy to place them, displaying ads on your site that don’t hurt your user experience does requires proper techniques.

There are a few mistakes that you might be making that could get in the way of your success and also the money that you generate from it. Here are some of them that you can avoid:

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Annoying Advertisement

We are all out here online trying to make some money, and advertisements can actually help break up text blocks in a visually pleasing way. That said, perhaps the biggest complaint with ads is that they are just annoying. Laying out too many ads will get in the way of your readers and your content, and make it actually hard to even find the content for reading! Pop-ups that take over the screen in can be very disruptive to a reader who is trying to solve a problem with one of your blog posts.

To layout ads without being annoying:

  • Use pop ads with caution (or not at all)
  • Avoid these intrusive ad types, as defined by the Better Ads Standards
  • Set appropriate height limits on ads to ensure readers always have text in view
  • Don’t stack ads in a way that is confusing to readers
  • Do a self-review of your website’s ad experience in Google Search Console

Related reading: Costs and Perks of Web Content Monetization


Violating Ad Network Policies

So, you’ve placed your ad, got your first click, and made $5! That’s amazing. Be motivated to write more useful content – not to try to trick the system for more clicks to turn your own ads from $5 into $50. You will get caught; you will get banned.

This may the worst mistake you can make when trying to monetize your website. Violating an ad network’s policies can result in a permanent ban, which can leave your site unable to make money. It’s also unethical, and in a worst-case scenario can lead to hurting your website’s brand among advertisers.

Not all policies are this obvious, so before you run ads, take some time to review your ad network’s policies. For example, Google AdSense’s policies may ban your site for using what’s known as “incentivized traffic,” which is essentially traffic that is paid a reward for going to a site and clicking an ad. Google AdSense may also ding you for improperly setting up an ad, such as in an IFRAME (which can be used to manipulate the ad).

Related reading: Weighing the pros and cons of solo ads

Too Many Advertisements

More ads mean more money, right? Well, not necessarily.

Whenever you visit a website and they start showing too many ads, you immediately get irritated and close that website automatically. The same happens with others. Remember, traffic is just people – real people trying to read your content and solve a problem. A few ads don’t interrupt the readers, but too many can irritate them into completing the website, which will be bad for your blog’s image.

This can also hurt your organic traffic. Google’s bots track user experience and will not show your site if it’s poor; in addition, people will remember your site if the experience is too poor and avoid it in the future. Finding a good balance between your content and the ads you run is very important. One rule of thumb is 1-2 ads per 500 words of content. Longer content earns you the right to show ads.


Incorrect or Bad Ad Placement

Balancing ad placement and user experience can be very tricky. You want users to stay as long as they need to enjoy your content, but the reality is that you also want enough ads to show to make some money.

At a bare minimum, you need to ensure the ads run alongside content, and not covering any of the words. If the ads are popping out on your screen and interrupting the readers from reading your content, they won’t hesitate to close that page and never come on it again. Ads should always be placed away from the way of their content so that they can enjoy the content and watch the ads on your website at the same time.

If you struggle with this or unsure about your ad placements, here’s some quick tips:

  • Consider what your user’s intent on the page is. Do ads impact this significantly? If so, change the placements.
  • Use site data. Google Analytics can show you if certain pages have higher bounce rates, and heat/click map software can show you where users spend time on the page.
  • A/B test different ad placements to find the right balance of user experience and ad placements.

Advertisements that Trick a Reader

Have you ever clicked on an ad, only to be shown irrelevant content and to learn that you have been tricked into clicking it! Never do that with your website. Don’t ever put up an advertisement that first seems to be of their interest but later, when they open it; it turns out to be something they didn’t want to open at all. If you are running ads with an advertising network like AdSense, they should do a pretty good job at filtering out bad players, but still keep an eye on the kinds of ads being shown and report any that are shady. Because a bad ad experience can lead to someone hating your website. Not worth it!

Related reading: Understanding the difference between a good and bad solo ad


Focusing On Ads Only

There are many ways to make money online (like selling solo ads) – so why just focus on one?

Affiliate programs can have huge payouts from a single large buyer that can make your ad revenues look tiny. The right digital product (i.e., e-book) can not only make you a lot of money when promoted correctly, but can increase the credibility of your website and accelerate your email list growth.

Many website fall into the trap of grinding out content, praying for lots of organic traffic, and hoping to make a living from the ad revenues. While this does work, I believe this is missing out on big monetization opportunities. Being so reliant on ads and organic traffic from Google can also be a bit dangerous, since they can be out of your control. Diversification is more safe.

Last One – Impatience!

From building an audience to getting the ads to have a high revenues, making money on your website is going to take time. If you are checking your ad network dashboard multiple times per day, and are getting discouraged by the results, you may need to take a step back. Progress with website monetization is generally made in increments of 3-6 months, rather than days. Don’t give up just because you aren’t seeing immediate results! Once it all finally comes together, the impact can be life changing.

If you want to place ads on your website, make more money with Ezoic! Ezoic taps into multiple ad networks while using machine learning to maximize your site’s earning potential. It’s free to join and there’s no traffic minimum requirement, too.

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