You did it. You started placing ads on your website. But then something’s off… even though you’re getting at least a thousand visitors a day, why does your revenue seem so low? You’ve seen other website owners on your favorite SEO forum getting less traffic than you but they earn more. “What’s wrong?” you ask yourself.
You placed as many ads as possible to make sure that every visitor clicks on at least one of them. There are three at the side bar, one at the beginning of your posts, two at the middle, one at the bottom, one at the footer, one at the comment section, etc. But what you didn’t know was that this is a common mistake made by new or beginning website owners. They always think that the more, the better. But sometimes, less is better. In other words, quality beats quantity by a long shot.
Does that mean you should consider reducing your advertisement? Yes. You shouldn’t plaster your web page with tons of ads. The fewer the better, as long as they are optimized, relevant, and high-quality. Now, you’re probably wondering why. Shouldn’t having more ads will increase the likelihood of someone clicking them? No, not at all. Let’s see why.
Although having an advertisement on your website can make it appear a bit more professional, having too many can actually make your website appear very unprofessional. Ads greatly affect user experience, from how your users see your website to how they actually use it – even search engines will look down on your site if it has too many ads.
In addition to that, each ad you place on your website will put an additional weight on it in terms of page size. For every ad unit you add, your user’s browser will have to make an additional resource call to pull the ads from their servers.
A typical banner ad will have an image, a script, an HTML file, and sometimes even a video file and a CSS file. What’s worse is that some ad networks serve these resources uncompressed. Imagine how many additional kilobytes or even megabytes your website will gain just by having a few of these on your web page. Now, imagine having five of them or even a dozen of them! It will be hard to load your web page in a snap, especially on slow networks and mobile networks – and that’s not a good thing. According to a test done by WP Site Care, ads can increase your total page load times by about 300%, increase your page size by about 150%, and increase the number of page requests by 550%! All of those things contribute to your website’s speed, which is very important for SEO and user experience.
Users don’t like to wait. On average, people will wait for about 6 to 10 seconds before abandoning a website that doesn’t fully load or doesn’t even load at all. In fact, a 1-second delay in rendering a page will result in a 7% loss in conversion. Find out more about the impact of your website’s speed here.
Aside from that, crawlers hate slow-loading websites. Google spiders allocate a certain amount or budget of resources per website. By the way, that’s not to say that the allocation or budget is the same for every website; the allocation changes depending on many factors. However, one thing is certain. Like humans, Google spiders will get annoyed by waiting too long for your pages to load. If this frequently happens, spiders will just leave your website and move on to the next one. That will massively affect your SERP ranking!
Another thing to consider is your ad formats. People absolutely hate it when you have auto-play video ads. They can be distracting are really annoying. People tend to avoid websites with this kind of advertisement.
To sum this up, having too many ads can be distracting, affect website loading time, and can sometimes be annoying. All of this contributes to a poor user experience, which is a very important factor in SEO. Remember, SEO is not just about the search robots; the most important part of SEO is for your readers. In fact, even if you don’t know the nitty-gritty of SEO, as long as you design, plan, and create your website with your visitors in mind, you’ll be able to rank very high in SERP. The solution? Reduce the number of ads on your site and place only appropriate formats in the right place. In other words, if you have been placing a dozen ads per page before, try going to four per page, use only clean, optimized ads, and place them properly around and inside your content.
If you think you’re using too many ads, then you need to reduce them. But the question is, which ones should you leave behind and where should you put the rest?
First, let’s talk about the ones you should keep. It’s actually pretty easy to pick which ones to keep: choose the ads that are performing the best. There is no need to waste your visitor’s bandwidth on displaying ads that don’t convert well or work well with your content. You’ll end up having a slow-loading website due to so many ads loading at the same time. This will result in lost sales/conversions due to people leaving your site because of the problems we stated earlier. You will most likely lose more than what you think you’ll make from displaying dozens of those poorly performing ads.
Where to put the ads? There are several places to put your ads, but make sure that you are following the Google Ad Placement Guidelines. One of the most common schemes uses the following layout:
As you can see, there are only three ads. An ad that draws readers at the beginning of the article, then followed by an ad at the sidebar, which is mostly revealed or brought to the reader’s attention in the middle of the article, and finally, an ad at the bottom, which can call the reader’s attention after reading the article. However, don’t use this layout just because it’s common – you need to make sure that your ad placements are optimized for the best conversion (i.e. they are in the right place at the right time).
Split testing is important to determine which of your ad layouts works best. Luckily, WordPress has a good plugin, called AmpedSense, that makes AdSense split testing easier.
So, to be able to increase your revenue, reduce the number of your ads and put them in the right place at the right time. Eliminate poorly performing ads that bring little to no revenue. Always place ads in the most visible places, but make sure that they are not hindering your page’s contents and that they are clearly labeled as advertisements.