10 Essential Tips to Maximize Your Mobile Ad Revenue
Are you missing out on ad revenue from mobile viewers?
In today’s on-the-go world, desktop browsing isn’t exactly typewriter-level archaic, but it’s getting there. As a publisher, you have to be proactive: get out there and reach your audience on their own terms. In general, success in mobile advertising demands speed, versatility, and adaptability. You have to react instantly to feedback from your audience. It’s very easy to lose the interest of people who are browsing on their phone while waiting for the elevator, so you have to be finely tuned to them. So monitor your traffic and test everything!
The key is to be agile. Rather than depending on one format, network or traffic source, keep all your balls in the air. Diversify and always look for ways to improve. Mobile is a new field and it’s rapidly taking over the game. Here are some tips for tapping into its huge potential.
Use more than one ad network
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!
Revenue from ad networks fluctuates all the time, and mobile ads are no exception. If your networks are based on CPC or CPM, you might be looking at a 20% variation every day. Buffer against this by using more than one network together. Chances are when one goes down the other will be up, and you’ll end up with a steady stream of income. And remember that no ad network has a 100% fill rate, so you’ll need at least two or three (and ideally four or five) just to ensure none of your impressions are lost.
Sell ads to the highest bidder through a specialist mobile ad exchange
You might also consider selling space programmatically through a real-time auction. Ad exchanges that specialize in mobile, like Axonix, offer several benefits. Publishers receive the highest market-driven price for every ad. These auctions provide much better ad targeting than a normal network, so you get more relevant ads for your viewers. Plus, you get to keep the margins usually made by networks.
Use geo-targeting to reach your audience
Where does your traffic come from?
Working with an ad network that offers geotargeting will allow you to deliver the best ads for your viewers based on their location. Some networks specialize in certain areas. If most of your traffic is from India, for example, you might try networks like Tyroo or Adadyn, while if you have a lot of Australian visitors you’ll have better luck with Crimtan or Leadbolt. If you get a lot of traffic from non-Anglophone countries, definitely choose a network that caters to that region.
Set up ad refreshing to keep the offers rolling
Bring more offers to your viewers by setting up ad refreshing. This will show a new ad every so often without the viewer reloading the site. The trick is to find a refresh time that is short enough so the viewer will get new ads before they leave the site, but long enough that they have the chance to check them out and click on them.
That might be anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes, though usually, the sweet spot is somewhere between 1-2 minutes. It all depends on your content and the ad network you use. Some networks, like Google AdSense, have strict regulations about ad refreshing or don’t allow it at all, so check your network’s terms before you go this route.
Attract positive associations by repeating ad units
Many experts recommend that you repeat some ad units, especially banner ads. The more we see something, the more we subconsciously have positive associations with it. This is called the mere-exposure effect, or the reason why after a while you start singing along to overplayed pop songs that you hated at first. When a viewer sees an ad several times, they might not notice it at first, but after a while, the product will start seeming familiar and appealing. This is a great way to gently pique interest.
Find the best ad size
The last thing you want is to disturb your viewers’ experience with big, intrusive ads. It’s important on desktop and it’s even more important on mobile, where the screen is smaller and people are much less patient. So what’s the best size and format? How can you get people’s attention without interfering with their browsing?
According to this MediaLets study, the best-converting formats are the mini-leaderboard (320×50 and 300×50) and the medium rectangle (300×250). However, there’s no substitute for testing. It all depends on the layout of your page and how your viewers navigate it. That’s why A/B testing is so important, and ad size performance is one of the first things that you should test.
Catch your viewers in their downtime
You want viewers to see your ad when they’re in a chill, browsing mood, like when they’re playing a game or poking around on social media. This is the time when they might be interested in shopping and you’ll see a lot more ad engagement. When they’re focused on researching something or reading a long article, they’re less likely to pay attention to ads and more likely to be bothered by them.
Try to catch your viewers in their downtime. The best times to show a lot of ads are usually from 8-9am, 5-7pm and after 9pm. Again, this varies a lot and you should run tests to figure out your viewers’ schedule.
Incorporate new, mobile-centric ad formats
Try some new ad formats to boost viewability and reduce ad blindness. Mobile anchor ads are like small leaderboard ads that are attached at the bottom of the screen. When the viewer scrolls down, the ad comes along.
Interstitial ads are full-page ads that pop up at strategic moments, like between pages or game levels. The user has to close them to move forward. They can be highly effective and visually compelling – as well as impossible to ignore – but can also be very intrusive. For this reason, Google now has a strong policy against them.
However, they can convert very well and there are always ways to get around it.
Then there’s native advertising, a user-centric message that’s in the same format as normal content. It flows right with the viewer’s experience and matches their interest. Native advertising takes more work and sensitivity, but it can pay off big time in higher CTR and overall engagement.
Paginate your content
Breaking a long page of content into several smaller chunks, or pagination can really boost your revenue. It improves your page load time and gives your users a better experience. It’s proven to reduce bounce time. Plus, it’s better for SEO and contextual advertising.
Mobile advertising is an essential part of any monetization plan. With more and more people using the internet mostly on their phones, you have to start thinking mobile-first, like so many marketers and advertisers already do. Reaching your mobile audience doesn’t require any big changes. Great content and relevant, non-intrusive ads will appeal to your readers on any platform. Maximizing your mobile ad revenue is mostly a matter of understanding how your audience interacts with your site. If you can show them the right offers in a way that flows with their activity on your page, you’re sure to see huge improvements.