11 Tips on How to Increase Ad Revenue by 57%+

11 Tips on How to Increase Ad Revenue by 57%+

In order to increase ad revenue, the most important things to consider are:

  • Customizing your ad setup to fit the exact needs of your website and users
  • Choosing ad tech that can support these customizations with advanced ad layouts

In this guide, we discuss 11 tips to help you achieve both of these goals. Along the way, we’ll show how our header bidding solution, Snigel, can help you increase ad revenue. Finally, we’ll end with two case studies that bring these tips to life.

  1. Use a header bidding partner: Increase revenue by up to 50%
  2. Run Snigel’s interactive and adaptive ad format: Increase revenue by up to 30%+
  3. Run video ads: Increase revenue by up to 20%+
  4. Combat bid shading with dynamic floor pricing: Increase revenue by up to 20%
  5. Use different ad setups for different GEOs: Increase revenue by up to 7%
  6. Recover revenue from ad blockers: Increase revenue by up to 10%
  7. Switch between server-side and client-side header bidding
  8. Connect to the right SSPs for your vertical
  9. Utilize different types of ad refresh: Increase revenue by up to 6%
  10. Prioritize the user experience over short-term revenue
  11. Have an ad expert run your ad strategy

Note: It’s impossible to cram everything you need to know about increasing ad revenue into one article. It takes decades of experience working with hundreds of websites and ad setups to know the best approach. So, if you don’t feel like building and maintaining a custom ad setup yourself, book a call with us, and we’ll do all the heavy lifting for you.

1. Use a Header Bidding Partner: Increase Revenue by Up to 50%

Header bidding is a form of programmatic advertising that allows you to sell your ad inventory on multiple different demand sources such as ad networks, ad exchanges, and SSPs. This increases CPM (Cost Per Mille) and helps you earn more ad revenue because more advertisers are bidding against one another to win ad impressions on your website.

Additionally, if you’re only using an ad network like Google AdSense (and not utilizing header bidding technology), you may be limiting your revenue potential because you won’t have control over:

  • Your ad setup: While you will have some control over ad formats and ad placements, this isn’t enough to design a truly optimized ad setup. Publishers who are serious about earning the most revenue possible from every ad impression use a highly customized ad setup (you’ll see examples of this in later sections).
  • What ads appear on your site: Poor quality content can negatively affect the user experience and result in fewer impressions (or clicks) overall.

Plus, with an ad network like AdSense, you’ll be limited to Google’s demand source.

Header bidding partners help you increase revenue by giving you more control over your ad setup and what ads appear on your site.

However, not all header bidding partners are the same. For example, most header bidding partners provide a self-serve platform that leaves you on your own to implement and customize your ad strategy. On the other hand, Snigel handles all of the implementation and customizations of your ad stack for you.

For a more thorough discussion of what to look for in a header bidding solution, read this article. However, a good place to start is to make sure they have solutions for all of the following tips.

If you want to see how much more you can earn by switching from AdSense to header bidding with Snigel, you can test this yourself by using our AdSense revenue calculator.

2. Run Snigel’s Interactive and Adaptive Ad Formats: Increase Revenue by up to 30%+

Many publishers are limited to standard ad formats such as banner ads and interstitial ads because of the header bidding partner they’re working with.

While these can generate good revenue and are an important piece of any ad strategy, Snigel’s interactive and adaptive ads can be more profitable.

An interactive ad is an ad that engages readers with quizzes, surveys, and fun facts. The main benefit of interactive ads is that they engage users for longer than typical static image ads, so advertisers are willing to bid three to four times more money for them.

Demonstration of interactive Ad Units by Snigel.com

Due to their configuration and fun nature, interactive ads typically don't affect the user experience much. In fact, many readers won't perceive interactive ads as ads and instead think they’re part of your website's content.

Interactive ad example (GIF)

This is why we recommend dedicating a larger ad unit to interactive ads. While it's possible to run interactive ads in a 300×250 format, it tends to make the buttons and text inside the ad look crowded. 300×600 and 336×280 format ads work much better, and again, because these ads are so fun, the larger size doesn't harm the user experience like traditional display ads sometimes can.

Another profitable ad format is adaptive ads. Adaptive ads fill ad space depending on which combination of ads generates the most revenue.

For example, if two smaller ads generate more revenue than one large ad, an adaptive ad format will show the two smaller ads, allowing you to use your ad inventory as efficiently as possible.

This is another way that Snigel sets itself apart from other header bidding partners. While most platforms try to guess which ad combination will pay more and then permanently set up the ad space for this combination, Snigel's ad tech sends several options to ad exchanges and then chooses the highest-paying one in real-time.

3. Run Video Ads: Increase Revenue by up to 20%+

Like interactive and adaptive ads, video ads engage your website visitors for longer than banner ads and interstitial ads, which is why advertisers are willing to bid more for them.

Many publishers are hesitant to run video ads on their website because they’re concerned it will affect the user experience and slow down their site. While these are valid concerns in some cases, more often than not, it’s the fault of the ad tech rather than the video ads themselves.

Video ad tech needs to be lightweight and highly customizable so that you can show the video ads to some users and not others.

Plus, there are many factors to consider before running video ads. For instance, video ads need to be placed at the top of your website in order to increase visibility and perform well. If your website page layout doesn't have much space at the top, you might want to stick with static ads.

For a more detailed discussion of whether or not video ads are right for your website, read this article.

Snigel’s solution for both instream (i.e., native ads) and outstream video ads, AdStream, is both lightweight and flexible, which makes it easy for most publishers to run video ads without negatively affecting the user experience or their site’s performance. 

4. Combat Bid Shading with Dynamic Floor Pricing: Increase Revenue by up to 20%

Bid shading is a practice that advertisers use to reduce ad spend and pay as little as possible for ad inventory.

It uses algorithms to find the average between the lowest and highest-priced bids and predict the lowest amount an advertiser needs to bid in order to win.

However, switching up the floor price of your ad inventory makes it much harder for algorithms to make this prediction, which typically results in a higher winning bid.

Regularly changing the floor price of your ad inventory can protect you from bid shading. However, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll be able to manually change the price floor often enough to make a big enough difference. That’s why we built dynamic floor pricing into our ad stack.

Snigel’s AI automatically adjusts the floor pricing of your ad inventory every hour to combat bid shading and help you increase ad revenue. This also helps with unfilled ad space because if the AI sees that bids are lower than usual, it’ll lower the floor price, so you never have unfilled ad space on your website.

5. Use Different Ad Setups for Different GEOs: Increase Revenue by up to 7%

Where your user is located affects how fast your ads load because not all countries have the same internet speed.

Tier 1 GEOs like the US and UK have faster internet speeds, while Tier 3 GEOs like India and Vietnam have slower internet speeds.

So you need to implement different ad strategies for users in different GEOs. For example, you’ll need to be more careful with readers in Tier 3 GEOs, as devices in these countries won’t be able to load webpages as quickly. This means avoiding video ads, opting for server-side bidding, limiting the time advertisers have to bid on ad inventory, and using a lightweight ad stack.

Alternatively, you can afford to show video and interactive ads to readers in Tier 1 GEOs, opt for client-side bidding to increase revenue, and give advertisers more time to bid on your ad inventory.

Another point to note is that certain SSPs perform better in certain GEOs, so you’ll need to connect different SSPs to the same ad unit for users who are in different locations.

Again, if you have the same ad setup for Tier 1 GEOs and Tier 3 GEOs, you’ll likely end up hurting the user experience for some users and not maximizing revenue from some impressions.

This is why we built Snigel with the ability to switch between different ad setups depending on where your reader is located. We’ll show video ads and other types of profitable ads to Tier 1 GEOs in order to maximize your ad revenue. We’ll then show traditional ads to Tier 3 GEOs while limiting the number of advertisers who can bid on an auction, maintaining the user experience while recovering some revenue.

6. Recover Revenue from Ad Blockers: Increase Revenue by up to 10%

As of 2021, 27% of readers use ad blockers when browsing the internet (as seen in the image below). So, if you aren’t using a tool that can bypass these ad blockers, you’re losing a large chunk of ad revenue.

Share of Internet Users: Bar Chart with Statistics

This image shows the share of internet users using an ad blocker each year. 

Anti-adblock tools allow you to recover lost ad revenue by showing compliant ads to readers with adblock turned on.

It works like this: Anti-ad blocking software will first detect whether a user is using adblock or not. If the reader is using adblock, the software will show them a whitelisted ad. These are approved ads that don’t really affect the user experience.

Whitelisted Ad Example

If the reader has adblock turned off, the software will show them more profitable ads, such as video and interactive ads.

Video and Interactive ad example (GIF)

With Snigel, we have an adblock revenue recovery tool built into our AdEngine, so you can recover revenue lost by users with ad blockers. Our adblock revenue recovery tool will automatically switch between compliant ads like banner ads and higher-paying ads like video ads, depending on whether the reader has an ad blocker installed.

7. Switch Between Server-Side and Client-Side Header Bidding

Server-side and client-side header bidding allow you to monetize web traffic in different ways.

Without getting too technical, server-side header bidding runs ad auctions on an external server instead of the reader’s browser. This speeds up page load times because the reader’s browser has less work to do. The downside is that advertisers bid less since they don’t have access to the browser cookies needed to run targeted ads.

Client-side header bidding runs ad auctions on the reader’s browser, allowing advertisers to scan for cookies that identify a reader’s behaviors. This results in more targeted ads, so advertisers are willing to bid more; however, these ads take longer to load.

You should be able to automatically switch between server-side and client-side header bidding depending on what device your reader is using, where your reader is located, and how much revenue you’re willing to sacrifice for a better user experience.

This is why Snigel configures your ad setup to utilize both server-side and client-side header bidding.

For example, if a reader visits your website through a mobile device in India, we’ll opt for server-side header bidding to speed up page load times and reduce first input delay. And if a reader visits your website through a laptop in Switzerland, we’ll run client-side header bidding to maximize ad revenue.

8. Connect to the Right SSPs for Your Target Audience

There are hundreds of different SSPs that you can connect to, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, some SSPs may specialize in:

  • Serving ads to users in certain locations
  • Serving relevant ads for specific verticals (e.g., lifestyle blogging, real estate, health)
  • Serving ads that perform well on specific devices
  • Running auctions that work well with client-side header bidding
  • Returning a high cost per click (CPC) for ad inventory with a high click through rate (CTR)
  • Video ads
  • Private auctions
  • And more

However, the more SSPs you connect to, the more advertisers bid on your ad inventory and the longer web pages take to load, which is why you’ll need to carefully consider which SSPs you connect to for each ad unit, page, device, GEO, etc.

While you can make an educated guess when initially setting up your ads, you’ll need to constantly monitor the performance of each SSP you connect with. If an SSP rarely wins bids, you might want to remove it from your list.

With Snigel, our ad ops experts will monitor all of this for you and match each ad unit with the highest-performing SSPs for each user, device, and location. Plus, because our ad experts have worked with many different websites and ad setups, they’ll be able to make better selections the first time around than someone without their experience. This means you’ll be earning more revenue from the start.

9. Utilize Different Types of Ad Refresh: Increase Revenue by up to 6%

Standard ad refresh increases the number of views ads receive by automatically reloading ads on your website at regular intervals.

This is perfect if you have good time-on-site metrics but low pageviews.

Simple Ad Refresh (GIF)

However, the problem with traditional time-based requests is that they refresh regardless of whether the reader is on your webpage or in a new tab.

This boosts ad impressions but decreases ad viewability, making your ad inventory less attractive to advertisers.

So, it’s important to use different triggers to refresh ads, not just time-based requests.

Snigel’s Smart Refresh lets you use triggers like click, scroll, screen position change, and predictive behavior to understand whether the reader is actively browsing your website, then only refresh ads if it will be visible to the user.

This maximizes profit from readers browsing your website without negatively impacting your ad inventory’s viewability.

10. Prioritize the User Experience Over Short-Term Revenue

A problem with most ad networks like AdSense is their aggressive advertising approach. They overwhelm your readers with too many ad units (e.g., pop-ups, videos, sidebar), which increases page load times and first input delays, negatively impacting the user experience.

An example of aggressive advertising

While all of these ads may result in a short-term increase in ad revenue, a cluttered website often harms user engagement and has a negative impact on load times.

Even if you’re limiting ad units on your website, most ad tech is clunky, so it can still affect load times. This is why we recommend prioritizing the user experience by carefully considering how many ads your users will tolerate along with using a lightweight ad stack; this way, you can reliably generate long-term revenue from your traffic.

We built the Snigel ad stack with performance in mind. This means that you can show video ads, interactive ads, and other types of profitable ads to most readers with minimal latency.

Plus, our ad experts will also monitor your ad performance and core web vitals to see if your ad units negatively affect the user experience.

This creates a sustainable relationship between you and your readers, so they aren’t scared away by slow-loading ads and web pages.

11. Have an Ad Expert Run Your Ad Strategy

As we mentioned earlier, it's impossible to cram everything you need to know about increasing ad revenue into one (or even multiple) articles. It takes years of experience working on countless websites and ad setups to know how to maximize revenue while maintaining the user experience.

There are several more details to consider that can’t be covered in this article. For example:

  • How do you optimize the number of ads on your website?
  • Should you use lazy loading or asynchronous loading?
  • Should you use pre-roll or mid-roll video ads?
  • Which ad sizes are best?

So, even if you implement all of the tips above, you'll still need someone with several years of advertising experience to help you A/B test new setups, identify the right customizations, and handle the technical side of the ad stack (custom implementation, debugging, etc.).

Most publishers don't have the time or experience to get this granular with their ad monetization strategy and extract the most revenue from every impression.

With Snigel, every client is assigned an ad ops expert who will monitor, troubleshoot, and test your ad setup for you.

How Snigel Helped DeviceTests Increase Their Ad Revenue by 180% in Just One Year

DeviceTests is a website that publishes in-depth reviews about computer software, hardware, and accessories — and they rely on ad revenue streams to keep the lights on.

When they reached out to us in May of 2022, they wanted to increase ad revenue while maintaining their core web vitals.

So, the first thing we did was test over 40 SSPs and use the ones that brought in the highest bids. This effectively ensured that not too many demand partners were bidding on ads at once, reducing load times.

We then implemented lazy loading, in-content ad containers, adhesive units, and price floors to maximize ad revenue.

This (plus additional strategies) resulted in DeviceTests boosting ad revenue by 180% in just one year.

DeviceTests Pageviews and Revenue since joining Snigel

How MakeTechEasier.com Used Video Ads to Boost Revenue by 104%

MakeTechEasier.com  is a website that publishes how-to guides and tutorials to help readers understand different types of technologies.

They wanted to bring in more revenue with video ads without harming the reader experience. So we added a lightweight video player to their website that would deliver pre and mid-roll video ads to readers, causing minimal latency.

This resulted in 34% more ad impressions and a 104% increase in advertising revenue.

Make Tech Easier: Ad Impressions and Revenue since working with Snigel

But our job isn’t over. We’re constantly testing new things to help MakeTechEasier.com generate more revenue without affecting the user experience.

Get the Most Ad Revenue Out of Every Impression with Snigel

Switching from a single demand source like an ad network, ad exchange, or SSP to a header bidding partner, which allows you to access multiple demand sources at once, can increase revenue by up to 50%.

This doesn’t even account for the various customizations you can use to increase ad revenue further. So, if you’d like access to a high-quality, custom ad stack and ad ops specialist who’ll analyze your website and make the appropriate customizations for you, get in touch for a free assessment.

About the Author

Ira is Snigel's Head Of Marketing. She supports our team and publishers by creating awesome guides on the latest adtech trends. Ira's background is in software development, communications, and media.


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