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Increasing Revenue By Optimizing Ezoic Placeholders
Modified on: Wed, 27 May, 2020 at 7:42am



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What Are Your Primary Goals for Ad Testing?

What Does Ezoic Test?

Why is Testing Ads So Hard On Your Own?

How Many Ad Combinations Do You Test?

What Are Some Best Practices When Setting Up Placeholders?

Conclusion


What Are Your Primary Goals for Ad Testing?


There are two primary goals for ad testing. The first, and most obvious, is to increase the amount of money you make from your website. The second, and often forgotten, is to ensure that your ads aren't having a negative effect on your users.


What Does Ezoic Test?


We test five things in aggregate:

  • The position of ads on each page
  • The size of each ad
  • The colors (background, text color, etc) of each ad
  • How many ads to show
  • When to show the user ads in their session (first page, later pages, etc).


Why Is Testing Ads So Hard On Your Own?


At first glance, testing ads may appear to be quite simple, however, it's actually really complex if you want to do a good job. Consider the following:


  • The revenue from your site will often vary greatly by time of year, time of the week, time of day as well as traffic source and geographics. To effectively compare different ad combinations, you need to use split testing and/or account for outside variables.
  • Each ad placement affects the performance of other ads on the same page, both for CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate). So, you must test combinations of ad placements rather than each one separately because even though, for example, an ad at the top of the page, performs well, it may be costing you more money from other ads.
  • Effective ad optimization is done per user session, not per ad placement or per page. When you have a fixed number of visitors coming to your site, the goal is to make the most money from them over their lifetime -- not just on a single page. It is for this reason that you must test and measure user experience as well, because even though an ad placement earns a lot, it may be driving your users away or causing fewer page views which is actually costing you more than it's making you. 


How Many Ad Combinations Do You Test?


We test thousands of combinations, depending on the size of your site. We used advanced statistical methods to predict winners and cluster various tests together to speed up the optimization process.


What are some best practices when setting up Placeholders?


Below is a list of common optimizations that increase revenue and result in better user experiences for visitors.


However, before going any further, it is important to mention that one of the biggest things that can be done to optimize revenue is to wrap all existing ads on your website pages (see our study on this here). None of the following optimizations will be nearly as impactful unless all ads are wrapped (see how to do this here).


So, without further ado... what small changes provide the biggest impact?


1. Adding placeholders


- Many times, placeholders are set up with Ezoic Ad Tester when a publisher first starts using Ezoic; however, it is common that an optimal number of placeholders are not implemented on the site. This means that important ad types and locations are not included in segmented testing; causing the publisher to earn less than they could if more placeholders were selected.


Here you can see the increase in the publisher's EPMV (earnings per 1000 visits) after adding more placeholders to their site. (note: these are just placeholders (potential locations), NOT the total number of ads that will actually show).


- Adding placeholders using the Ezoic Chrome extension is really easy (get a refresher on how to drag and drop more placeholders here). 


- Remember, adding placeholders does not mean that your site will show more ads. It just means Ezoic can test more types and locations on different visitor segments. This offers some pretty big impacts.


2. Ensuring mobile placeholders are optimized 


- It is very common that when placeholders are implemented that they are done only from a desktop device perspective. This means often, publishers will not have enough placeholders in enough locations for the mobile versions of their site (a good way to check this is to see if your mobile EPMV and desktop EPMV are dramatically different).


- Many sites do not have any placeholders "mid content". Most of their placeholders are at the top of the page or in the sidebar on desktop, and they use these same placeholders on mobile devices. The problem is that the desktop sidebar appears at the bottom of the page on mobile devices for many websites; meaning that on mobile the majority of the site's ads are at the bottom of the page, and rarely viewable to mobile visitors; causing lower ad rates.


- One of the best ways to view placeholders on mobile is to right click your site pages and select "inspect". Then, select a mobile device from the viewport selector, refresh the page, and see how placeholders appear on the site from a mobile perspective when the Ezoic Chrome Extension is enabled. A sign things are doing well is that you see placeholders on the page in the viewport as you scroll.


Conclusion


In almost all cases, all publishers can benefit from adding more placeholders and figuring out how to add additional ad types and placements to their sites.


Once again, this just gives Ezoic more to test with different visitor segments. The more Ezoic has to learn from, the more it can optimize revenue and experiences for every visitor.



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