Key Points

  • Ad monetization is the primary revenue model of countless publishers.
  • But it can be done drastically differently from publisher to publisher.
  • Whether you're a web or app publisher, or you work in both spaces, those who follow these ad monetization best practices set themselves up for the highest revenue and long-term success.

Over more than 15 years spent innovating in the ad tech space, Playwire has evolved. We began as a scrappy gaming-focused startup and now serve publishers of all kinds with proprietary revenue platforms and mature revenue strategies. During that transformation, we assembled a collective of some of the best minds in ad tech.

That means we know a thing or two about ad monetization best practices. And we're happy to share them with you. Read on to learn how you can improve your ad monetization efforts with seven key strategies.

Or, if you don't feel like reading, contact us. We'll be more than happy to demonstrate how we can revolutionize your ad revenue.

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The Complete Guide to Ad Monetization

The Complete Guide to Ad Monetization

Diversify Your Demand

When you're in the early days of monetizing your website or mobile app monetization with ads, it's tempting to find a single source of demand and call it a day. That's because getting that initial demand source integrated into your ecosystem is a lot of work. But really, your work isn't done - not if you want to maximize the ad revenue you bring in over time.

Why? Because one source of demand doesn't create very much competition for your ad inventory. And higher competition typically means higher CPMs.

Here's the solution: Integrate multiple sources of demand. You likely will need to include Google and Amazon in the mix, but there are more demand sources to be found among the various supply-side platforms (SSPs), ad exchanges, and ad networks. 

Play around with the demand sources you include. Some won't perform the way you want them to, and that's OK. All you have to do is remove them. 

Implement Ads at a Healthy Pace

The ability to go from 0 to 60 in a few seconds may be an attractive feature in a car, but if you go 0 to 60 in no time with your website or mobile ad monetization strategy, you're going to alienate users. Never forget that your users are the reason you can make any revenue from advertising at all.

It's just human nature - if your user experience used to include no ads on your site and suddenly users are getting bombarded with website or app ads, many of them are going to respond poorly. You may even lose some of them.

What's the alternative? Take it slowly. Try out a couple of ad slots in medium-visibility parts of your site or app, and pay close attention to your analytics data. Over time, you can add more ads to taste until you've reached the proper balance of ad frequency and ad placement with user experience concerns.

Try Different Ad Units

There's nothing wrong with a display banner ad, but if it's all you ever do, you are missing out on potential revenue. Banners can be the backbone of your revenue, but why not try out some ad units that can bring a little more value to the table?

Here's the thing: Advertisers will pay more for premium ad units like video ads, rewarded video ads, gamified ads, skinned leaderboards, sticky units, interstitial ads and the like. If you don't explore the available ad units, you will miss out on a lot of potential revenue.

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The Complete Ad Revenue Resource Center

Understand Your Users

The advice to "know your audience" applies really well to ad monetization best practices. That's because certain types of audiences will respond differently to different types of ads. It's up to you to understand your users in a way that allows you to maintain UX and bring in revenue.

For example, you may have an audience that happens to be particularly averse to being advertised to. What are you supposed to do with that? Knowing what you know about your audience, you could try out rewarded video, in which the user experience includes the user engaging with a video ad in order to receive some kind of reward, such as extra lives in a mobile game.

Do Header Bidding

This one is simple: Don't skip header bidding. Yes, it's a technical lift. It is complicated. But it also revolutionized digital advertising in favor of the publisher. This is how you ensure you're getting the best bid for your programmatic inventory, not just the first acceptable bid. And that brings enormous revenue potential to the table.

But Don't Forget Direct Sales

Header bidding and programmatic advertising are great but don't get so cozy with them that you forget the value of direct sales. When you build real relationships with major buyers, you can command unbelievably high CPMs through direct sales.

Admittedly, building a direct sales team takes a lot of legwork and time. But if you do it yourself or hire it out, the rewards can be enormous.

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Wrestling Headlines Case Study

Pick Your Partners Wisely

Ad tech is full of vendors, tools, platforms, and similar players. Some of them are great, but not all of them deliver what they promise. If you're not already feeling it, you will: You're going to get contacted a lot by people who want to sell you the next great ad tech tool or service. They can't all be the best.

So, choose wisely. Put in the extra time and effort to get to know the people you're considering partnering with. Ask them for proof of what they can do. Ask them for their assessment of your website or mobile app. You can even ask them for the names of some former customers so you can reach out and ask. Do what you have to do to feel comfortable making this kind of choice.

The Best Ad Monetization Practices from the Best Minds in Ad Tech

We get it - implementing all of these best ad monetization practices sounds like a lot of work. It is a lot of work, and it's ongoing. The good news is that you can partner with a team of experts who will do it all for you. You can partner with Playwire.

We're ready to make your revenue dreams come true. All you have to do is contact us.

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