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Consumer Data Lists: Retargeting with 1st-Party Data

Highly targeted audiences are at the heart of any successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. Using audiences enables marketers to strategically show ads to qualified, relevant prospects. Unfortunately, out-of-the-box targeting options still capture a lot of irrelevant traffic. However, targeting with Consumer Data Lists takes retargeting to the next level.

Lists usually include consumer names, contact details and buying habits. Data is acquired by firsthand responses or actions, directly from the consumer. Businesses gather and store this information in a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM).

This type of data is loosely defined as first-party data. It is the most valuable data you as business can collect and becomes a powerful resource for PPC campaigns. Other types of first-party data include cookie-based data, which includes web behavior like actions a user took on a website.

Using customer data points enables marketers to create dynamic, highly personalized ad campaigns. Loyalty and purchase information are invaluable to sharing new product information. In addition, marketers can reach cold leads who completed a form, but never took another action.

Custom Audience Platforms

A number of ad platforms allow advertisers to use consumer data lists. Read more about Retargeting Platform Basics in our past blog post. The two most popular platforms are Google Ads and Facebook.

Customer Match with Google Ads allows marketers to upload consumer data files like emails and names. Ads are displayed to audiences on the Google Search Network, YouTube and Gmail. At this time, the Google Display Network does not show Custom Match ads through 3rd-party websites.

Similarly, Facebook allows marketers to create Custom Audiences. Ads are displayed through Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network.

Put the Data to Work

Let’s consider an example of a Consumer Data List at work. A flower and vegetable seed company thrives during the the planting season, but sees a lull in business during the winter months. They maintain a healthy newsletter subscription list and regularly send relevant content to subscribers.

Leading up to the planting season, the seed company decides to run an ad campaign to target their newsletter subscribers. They can further segment this list into customers who made a past purchase. To take it another step, the seed company can further segment by type of seeds purchased. Additionally, they can segment their list by customers who have not yet made a purchase.

By uploading their customer list to both Google and Facebook, the company can specifically target customers who purchased organic tomato seeds last year. Their campaign may display ads related to organic tomato gardening, with creative that encourages people who haven’t purchased to buy seeds for the first time, all across multiple platforms!

Because the seed company reached highly qualified customers by segmenting them, the company will likely see an increase in conversions and a return on their advertising budget.

Consumer Data Lists Drawbacks

1st-Party Data

While this first-party consumer list data is highly valuable, there are some downfalls to consider.

First, most ad platforms have list size requirements. For instance, Google Ads requires a minimum of 1,000 users for search and 100 users for YouTube or Gmail. In addition, Google must be able to match contacts to Google accounts. The minimum size for Facebook is 1,000.

Next, generating a healthy consumer data list takes patience and attention. A list is only as good as its quality. Ideally, consumer lists include highly engaged contacts and few cold leads.

Additionally, using consumer data lists isn’t the best way to expand a business long term. It can be great for sales and engagement, but not for longterm growth. Custom audiences don’t allow for new connections or potential new customers. It can be a powerful aspect of a healthy marketing mix, but shouldn’t be relied on longterm.

2nd-Party Data

Second-party data is someone else’s first-party data. The seller collects information directly from their audience. Businesses can purchase this data directly from the company that owns it.

Most vendors will claim that their lists are “opt-in” lists, which means customers volunteered to sign up for their list. However, this does not mean that the customer opted in for any other business. Purchasing a list can violate the rules of consent under GDPR, because the customer loses their right to opt out.

Most importantly, the people on the purchased or rented list don’t actually know the business that is now showing them ads. Sure, the information may be relevant to that user, but the same level of trust does not exist. As a result, conversion rates tend to sink and as a result, businesses see a lower return on their list investment.

Using Consumer Data Lists Wisely

In conclusion, 1st-party consumer data lists can be highly valuable aspects of an advertising campaign. Both Google and Facebook support customer audience lists, but have size minimums. Highly targeted consumer data list campaigns are best used for sales and engagement, not for generating new leads. Remain patient while building a customer data list, and make sure you avoid the potential pitfalls of purchased or rented lists.

Retargeting Software: A Guide

As a business owner, you know recapturing your website traffic is important to engaging your business. In this post, we are providing the ins and outs of different retargeting software in the marketplace today.

Looking to understand how retargeting works under the hood? Check out our previous blog post on retargeting 101.

AdRoll

AdRoll works with a variety of advertising partners, like Facebook and Google, allowing you, on a single platform, to reach almost all of the sites on the internet.

While it is one of the more expensive options out there at this time, they have a very user friendly platform to retarget your audience in a wide variety of ways on a multitude of advertising networks.

Perfect Audience

Perfect Audience has similar partnerships as AdRoll, allowing you to retarget your customers on multiple networks through one single platform.

It is a great platform for small businesses with a smaller budget to start out with and learn on, before moving to more costly alternatives.

Offsite

But, what if you could target the audience of other businesses, without needing to partner directly with them? Offsite provides unprecedented targeting for marketers. Through the marketplace, website owners can share their audiences with advertisers, without having to share pixels or sell any customer data.

For example, if your company sells athletic shoes, you may use Offsite to target additional audiences. Through the platform, you may select to target a running website’s retargeting audience.

Offsite will serve your ad for athletic shoes through the running website’s retargeting audience. To clarify, your ads will not appear on the running website. Instead, your ads are shown to the retargeting audience for the running website. In other words, your ads for athletic shoes appear where the running website’s retargeting ads would appear.

To sum up, Offsite gives marketers the ability to reach highly targeted, qualified audiences, without needing to secure partnerships, share pixels, or purchase customer data.

Still hungry for more about retargeting software? Check out our deeper dive on retargeting platforms here.

How to Build a Website That Generates Income

We’ve discussed many ways to monetize a website (check out some great posts here and here for more information), but have not yet discussed the fundamentals in how to build a website that generates income. Therefore, we’ve put together a few simple steps to help get you started. These steps are based on building content focused website such as a blog.

Step 1: Architect A Website

Yes, this is a very obvious first step, but getting this right will help make subsequent steps that much easier. A website that attracts visitors, keeps them returning, and generates income needs to check a number of characteristics:

  1. Modern Design: The internet has grown and changed quite a bit in the past couple decades. Gone are the days of cluttered websites and animated gifs calling for your attention. Today’s websites are simple and clean leveraging negative space to create a natural flow. There are several Content Management Systems (CMS) that make designing a website very turnkey. They also provide plenty of modern templates to choose from. Check out Squarespace, WordPress, and Blogger to get you started. All CMS platforms have their benefits, from very quick setup with no web development experience required to more customization and technical support. Each, however, will allow you to build a website that generates income.
  2. Mobile Optimized: Mobile traffic was responsible for 52.2% of internet traffic in 2018 and continues to grow at a rapid pace. Therefore, it’s important to think mobile first when building a website. Most CMS platforms allow for the content to dynamically scale based on screen size (desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet). It’s important to test your design on different screen sizes to ensure the user interface works well no matter what device is used.
  3. Clear Navigational Structure: User experience is crucial for a website that generates income. You want to make sure that your visitors are able to find the content they want fast. Setting up menus and linking structures to help visitors navigate across your website is important.

Step 2: Content Creation

Perhaps the most important (and difficult) part of building a website that generates income is crafting a content strategy plan that attracts visitors. Content is king, after all.

The most efficient source of website traffic is through organic search. Therefore, the content you produce should be optimized for the best search engine results. Here are a couple characteristics to help you produce high-quality content that attracts and keeps visitors coming back:

  • If you are writing articles, the articles should be focused around a topic area that is both popular and useful. You should have an expertise in this topic and understand what your audience is searching for.
  • The content should be fresh and relevant. Keeping a very consistent posting schedule like a magazine or news site will help boost your search engine results. Also, more content means more landing pages with real estate for advertisements.

Step 3: Generate Traffic

You can’t make income from a website without getting visitors to your site. There are several ways to do this. Some popular ways include search engine optimization (SEO), paying for advertising to drive visits, and leveraging email subscriptions and RSS feeds so you can inform users when new content is available and send them back to your site.

Step 4: Setup for Monetization

Finally, if you want to build a website that generates income, then you will need to design your website for monetization. At this point you should have a sleek and modern site with a steady upload of quality content. You might also be seeing an increase in traffic to your website. Here are a few ways you can capitalize on this traffic to generate income:

  1. Setup a Google AdSense account to run advertising on your site. You can place these ads anywhere on a landing page. But it is easy to overdo it and clutter the site making it more difficult for readers to get to the information they desire. Be wise and experiment.
  2. Utilize affiliate marketing. This form of marketing requires you to promote or endorse a product or service on your site (one that is likely aligned with your topic area) through an affiliate link. If readers of your website click the link and purchase the affiliate’s product or service, you could receive a commission. There are several affiliate marketing networks to choose from. Here are a few to investigate:
  3. A third option you can use to generate website income is through the OffSite Marketplace. This marketplace allows you to share your site audience with advertisers, but keep their privacy. Site-owners approve all ads, but the ads don’t show on the site owner’s website. Perfect if you want to keep a clean design aesthetic mentioned above, but still generate income leveraging your site’s audience data.

Time to Start Making Money

In conclusion, learning how to build a website that generates income can seem daunting at first, but following these steps can ensure you have a solid foundation. The key is to create a plan and learn and grow as you move forward.

Retargeting 101: Retargeting Platform Basics

A Retargeting Platform is a Marketer’s ideal tool for setting up assisted conversions. In an ideal world, every visitor to your website would convert the first time, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or buying a product. However, that’s rarely the case. The customer journey is more like a long, winding path.

No matter the platform you choose, retargeting platforms are built on essentially the same premise. In this article, we will outline the basics of retargeting platforms to help you navigate the landscape. Most importantly, we will review cookies, pixels and audiences.

For more information about specific platforms, check out our blog post The Best Retargeting Platforms for Your Business.

How Do Retargeting Platforms Work?

First of all, retargeting enables marketers to show ads that appear to “follow” users around the internet. Prior to making a purchase, most people research, browse and compare prices. To keep a certain product top-of-mind, marketers utilize retargeting to show relevant ads to users. Retargeting works across different channels, including social media, display, search and email.

For example, a user is shopping for a new pair of running shoes. They likely browse a few websites and add a few shoe options to their shopping cart. Ultimately, they decide they aren’t prepared to purchase right away.

After that, they visit a cooking website, but there’s an ad in the right column for the exact pair of running shoes they placed in their shopping cart earlier. During the next few days, the shoes “follow” the user around the internet. Consequently, the shoes are on the user’s mind and they likely consider the shoes.

Retargeting serves as a reminder to finalize a purchase or promote brand engagement.

Pixels

Marketers can implement retargeting by adding a piece of Javascript code, known as a pixel, to a website. Pixels are provided by the retargeting platform and are unique to that platform. The code is usually placed in the website’s footer. A pixel is literally a 1×1 image, small enough to go unnoticed. Pixels are not seen by the user, but a pixel allows retargeting platforms to send a request to drop a cookie.

When a user views a pair of running shoes, the retargeting code sends a request for a 1×1 pixel. The retargeting service sends back the 1×1 pixels and assigns a cookie to the user.

Cookies

Cookies are a web-tracking device. In other words, they carry useful information about a user’s interactions with the website. Cookies enable retargeting platforms to know that the visitor to the cooking website was the same one from shoe website. Once the platform has assigned a cookie to the user, it can bid on the viewer’s impressions in an ad exchange.

It is important to note that cookies track devices, not people. If multiple people use a computer, there’s no way to differentiate between users. However, social media can target ads more effectively, since they use personally identifiable information.

This entire process happens quickly and automatically. After marketers set up ads and budgets on the ad platform, website visitors can start seeing ads as soon as they’ve left the site.

Retargeting Audiences

Marketers use information stored on cookies to build audiences. Cookies collect data ranging from page views, to time spent on site, to abandoned shopping carts. Data collected by cookies can be a powerful tool, if you know how to segment it.

In our shoe example, we talked about retargeting users who viewed product pages or abandoned a shopping cart. But, marketers can also segment an audience by other valuable information.

How you segment your audience ultimately depends on your conversion goals. Target visitors who filled out (or didn’t fill out) specific forms. Create a segment of visitors who visited your site or viewed a video. With a wealth of data, your options are endless.

Go Forth and Retarget

In conclusion, knowing the basics of retargeting platforms can help you navigate the landscape. Above all, use the basics of retargeting to find a retargeting platform that works for your business and your conversion goals.

The Best Retargeting Platform for Your Business

Retargeting is a valuable component of any company’s marketing mix. Find the best retargeting platform for your business from our list below.

What is a Retargeting Platform?

Retargeting (or remarketing) is all about trying to capture a potential customer a second, third or fourth time. To do this, cookies are dropped onto a user’s computer as they surf the web. Cookies are a web-tracking device. They carry useful information about a user’s interactions with the website that sets them.

For example, you are looking for a new lawnmower and you go to a hardware website to browse their selection. Maybe you click through a few products and read reviews. You may even put a lawnmower into your shopping cart. You’re still considering your options, so you don’t make your purchase right away.

An hour later, you visit another website to read about lawn care. Subsequently, an ad pops up for the exact lawnmower you were considering. Behold, the power of retargeting. Furthermore, you will likely see this lawnmower several more times in the coming week.

In other words, retargeting is a powerful tool to continue to influence a customer through their purchasing process. If they don’t make a purchase the first time, you gain many more opportunities to influence their decision.

To clarify, here is how Google defines retargeting/remarketing:

Remarketing is a way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.

Google Ads

The Best Retargeting Platforms

1. Google Ads Remarketing

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Google’s ad platform leads the way in retargeting. There are several ways to remarket with Google ads.

  1. Standard Remarketing: Show ads to past visitors through the Google Display Network as they browse websites and apps.
  2. Dynamic Remarketing: Include products or services in your ads that people previously browsed on your website or app.
  3. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads: Show ads to your past visitors, as they do follow-up searches after they leave your website.
  4. Video Remarketing: Show ads to people who have interacted with your videos.
  5. Customer List Remarketing: With Customer Match, upload a list of contacts. When those people are signed in to a Google platform, your ads appear across different Google products.

2. Facebook and Instagram

Facebook is another leader in the retargeting domain. Their platform maintains 1 billion active users. Facebook’s Custom Audiences is an extension of Facebook Ads. You can build your Custom Audience by installing a Facebook pixel on your website.

This pixel enables you to build your audience and customize it based on pages visited or by email subscribers. Furthermore, you can segment your audience by demographics, geo-targeting, and website actions.

Similarly, Instagram offer a pretty sophisticated retargeting service. Since Instagram is owner by Facebook, it works the same way as Facebook, with a Facebook Ads account to set up your target audience and launch ads. Above all, Instagram boasts over 300 million users!

3. AdRoll

AdRoll is a great tool for connecting with multiple marketing platforms. They connect with e-commerce sites like Shopify and Magento. In addition, they connect with marketing tools like Mailchimp and Marketo. AdRoll integrates with Google, Facebook and email. Most importantly, AdRoll allows you to bring customers in from abandoned shopping carts.

4. Perfect Audience

Perfect Audience is a powerful tool that offers mobile retargeting, dynamic retargeting, web retargeting and Facebook retargeting. It works with top networks including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, Bing and Rubicon. Another great benefit of Perfect Audience? If you partner directly with other businesses, you can serve ads to their audience list.

5. Offsite

But, what if you could target the audience of other businesses, without needing to partner directly with them? Offsite provides unprecedented targeting for marketers. Through the marketplace, website owners can share their audiences with advertisers, without having to share pixels or sell any customer data.

For example, if your company sells athletic shoes, you may use Offsite to target additional audiences. Through the platform, you may select to target a running website’s retargeting audience.

Offsite will serve your ad for athletic shoes through the running website’s retargeting audience. To clarify, your ads will not appear on the running website. Instead, your ads are shown to the retargeting audience for the running website. In other words, your ads for athletic shoes appear where the running website’s retargeting ads would appear.

To sum up, Offsite gives marketers the ability to reach highly targeted, qualified audiences, without needing to secure partnerships, share pixels, or purchase customer data.

RTB Ad Exchange: Benefits for Advertisers

Real Time Bidding (RTB) on ad exchange platforms is similar to the stock market. The amount of demand at the moment determines the price of the stock. An ad exchange is a platform where Publishers sell their ad space and Advertisers can buy it.

Like the stock market, RTB ad exchanges deal in supply and demand. Depending on the desirability of ad space (supply), demand emerges. As demand rises, the price of the ad space supply rises. Publishers win by creating demand and increasing ad value. Advertisers win by reaching highly targeted audiences.

For more information about ad exchange platforms, check out our recent post Ad Exchange Platform: Breaking Down Complex Technology.

The RTB Ecosystem Defined

The RTB ecosystem has three elements: Advertisers, Publishers, and Ad Exchanges.

Advertisers buy ad space through a Demand Side Platform (DSP). A DSP is a tool that automates purchasing online ads.

Publishers sell ad space on their website. They provide their inventory through a Supply Side Platform (SSP).

RTB Ad Exchange platforms connect advertisers and publishers, by facilitating the purchase of inventory. Many ad exchanges are DSP-SSP hybrids, like AppNexus.

How Do RTB Ad Exchanges Work?

Real Time Bidding (RTB) is an auction where impressions are bought and sold in a fraction of a second. When a user visits a website, the auction occurs automatically on a RTB Ad Exchange platform.

Advertisers implement a bidding strategy on the Ad Exchange platform. This bid contains different types of information such as demographic data, location, browsing history, etc. Ad space goes to the highest bidder. As a result, their digital ad is instantly shown on the website property of the publisher.

This process occurs within 100 milliseconds for each ad unit on the website. In other words, the process occurs during the brief spans of time between a URL click and page load.

How Does the RTB Ad Exchange Benefit Advertisers?

Ad Exchanges use data and algorithms to the benefit of both Advertisers and Publishers. In short, Publishers maximize revenue through a highly competitive auction. So how does RTB benefit Advertisers?

Efficient Media Buying

Audience targeting is extremely focused through ad exchange platforms. Ad efficiency skyrockets with RTB, due to efficient spending and robust targeting possibilities. In other words, Advertisers bid on the most relevant, valuable users. Therefore, Advertisers waste less money on irrelevant users.

Campaign Performance

Successful Campaign Performance depends on reaching relevant, valuable users. Advertisers see a higher ROI when ad targeting is highly specific. In addition, Advertisers can manage their campaigns in real time and adjust bidding and targeting.

Real-Time Insight and Strategy

The impression data from a RTB Ad Exchange is extremely valuable to Advertisers. RTB makes it possible to recognize which audiences are more valuable. Therefore, Advertisers can adjust their targeting strategies. In addition, RTB enables Advertisers to refine their overall marketing strategies quickly and effectively.

RTB Ad Exchanges

In conclusion, RTB Ad Exchanges are a win-win for both Advertisers and Publishers. RTB enables the buying and selling of ad space to happen instantly and effectively.

How to Monetize Your Website with Google Adsense

You have a great website and a highly engaged audience. Now you would like to take your web presence one step further by making a few extra bucks through monetization. But where do you start? We are here to walk you through how to monetize your website with Google Adsense.

We have discussed monetization methods for websites previously (here, here and even here). This article focuses specifically on the Google Adsense network.

Get your site ready for advertising.

To begin monetizing your site with Google Adsense, you first have to apply. There are certain standards you must meet to qualify for their network. Some things to keep in mind: you must be family-friendly (ie: no bad language, etc). And you should have a reasonable level of traffic. It would be a good idea to clean up and build your audience before applying to the network.

Check out some of their other program policies here. This will help you understand how to monetize your website with Google Adsense.

Focus on the keywords in your content.

Keywords are the building block that advertisers use to bid on through the Google Adsense network. How to monetize your website with Google Adsense most effectively is to focus your site around a topic area that is both popular (ie: traffic) and profitable (ie: advertisers are bidding on it).

Create new content regularly.

More content means having more pages on your site to advertise through. Track and plan the new content you are building through Google Ad’s keyword tool to find out what terms people are searching for and to start adding them to your articles.

Review: How to Monetize Your Website with Google Adsense

The key to monetization starts with your audience. Your audience is created and nurtured through quality content that is engaging and relevant to their interests. By doing the homework before applying to the Google Adsense network, you will put yourself at an advantage to quickly begin earning real revenue from your site.

Ad Exchange Platform: Breaking down complex technology

We have talked a lot about how to monetize a website through selling ad inventory (you can check out some recent posts here and here to learn more). Now let’s dive deeper into an ad exchange platform. This technology helps to easily facilitate selling and purchasing advertising inventory.

What is an Ad Exchange Platform?

An ad exchange platform is a digital marketplace that enables advertisers, ad networks, and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions. Seems simple enough. So let’s take a closer look at how they work.

Complex Technology Stack

There are several pieces of technology that plug into an ad exchange platform to power the ecosystem. This can get very complex. We’ll focus on two important pieces in this post. Publishers post their available inventory to supply-side platforms (SSP). Advertisers can bid on available inventory through demand-side platforms (DSP). An ad exchange platform connects the supply and demand pipes to facilitate the advertising buying and selling economy.

Pricing and Bidding

Prices for advertising inventory are determined through bidding. Publishers set a “floor” or minimum bid in their SSP, as well as rules around what types of ads they will accept. Buyers then bid for varying types of inventory available in their DSP.

Ad Serving

The moment a user lands on a website or in an app, an ad impression on the page can come up for auction on an ad exchange platform. A buyer’s DSP can instantaneously analyze data from multiple sources. These could be a user’s cookies or mobile identifier, second-party data from the publisher, demographic and purchasing behavior from third-party data vendors, or a buyer’s own first-party data. When compiled, this information determines whether to bid on the ad impression and how much to bid. If the buyer wins the auction, their ad is displayed on the website through an ad server. Ad servers are also connected to the ad exchange platform. All this happens in fractions of a second where the website visitor is none the wiser.


This approach is fully technology-driven as opposed to the historical approach of negotiating price on advertising inventory directly with a publisher or ad network. The ad exchange platform system, therefore, creates a rational marketplace and automates the tedious buying process.

Vendors in the Space

There are many ad exchange platforms, but some of the big players in the space worth looking into are:

More and more companies operate what are essentially ad exchange platform-SSP hybrids. And going a step further, there are now a growing number of companies that offer a “full stack” of ad tech with products included for sellers to auction impressions and buyers to bid on those impressions. Rubicon Project, DoubleClick and ONE by AOL are among the examples of companies that offer products for both parties.

And new to the exchange ecosystem is an audience sharing tool such as Offsite. Offsite is a platform that creates a marketplace for publishers to share their website audience with advertisers, but keep their privacy and approve who utilizes this data. Advertising buyers are able to leverage valuable 1st-party data directly from a publisher and run targeted advertising through the Google Ad Network, a win-win for both parties.

Monetize Your Site

There are several ways to monetize your site with ads using Google AdSense and we’ve written about these in the past. You can check them out here and here. But Google isn’t the only way to effectively monetize your website with ads. Here are a few non-Google approaches to making money from your site.

Monetize Your Site with Ads Tips

Affiliate Marketing / Affiliate Links

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize the audience you’ve developed from your site or blog.

The first step is to find a product or service you would like to recommend and ideally one that resonates with your site’s audience or relates to some content or blog post. Next, you simply promote and endorse the product or service on your site as well as your email subscribers via an affiliate link. If the product or service resonates with these people, they’ll click on your affiliate link, purchasing the product (while you get a split of the sale price).

Commissions vary but typically range anywhere from 30% of the product or service price, up to as high as 70%. For example, if the split is 50% and you promote a product that costs $100, you’ll get $50 for simply referring the buyer.

Here are some affiliate marketing companies to investigate to start monetizing your site:

Sell Ad Space on Your Site

A second option to monetize your site is by selling ad space directly on your site. This is a different than Google AdSense in that you have a direct relationship with a company or sponsor who wants to target your audience. You cut out the middle man and keep all of the fees but also need to demonstrate the value of your audience to potential advertisers.

Another advantage to this approach to monetize your site is that you simply charge a flat fee per month or other direct price and do not have to provide impressions or click data.

Indirect Advertising

A third new option to monetize your site is the OffSite marketplace, a platform that creates a marketplace for you to share your site audience with advertisers but keep their privacy.

Site-owners approve all ads, but ads don’t show on the site owner’s site. The OffSite platform serves up the ads through the Google Search and Display network, so ads are never tied back to the site owner.

It’s a win-win situation for both site/audience-owners and advertisers. OffSite marketplace creates revenue for the site owner and advertisers gain access to highly-qualified audiences.

Monetize With Ads: How Your Website Traffic Impacts Revenue

Website monetization is the process of converting traffic to a website into revenue. There are many ways to convert traffic into revenue, but here we will focus on how to monetize with ads. More specifically, we will discuss the importance of your website audience and traffic.

Your Audience is the Key to Monetize with Ads

Whether you started a blog for a hobby or a business, you should consider how to monetize with ads. If your audience visits your site often in pursuit of fresh content, your website is an excellent candidate for website monetization.

When advertisers run an ad campaign on Google AdSense, they use Google’s powerful targeting tools to target a relevant audience. Ads are targeted based on:

  • Contextual Targeting: Matches ads based on keyword relevance and frequency.
  • Placement Targeting: Advertisers choose specific ad placements (websites or sections of website) on which to run their ads. Advertisers hand-pick their ad placement.
  • Personalized Targeting: Advertisers reach an audience based on their interests, demographics and past browsing history.

As you can see, Google heavily weighs your audience in deciding where to run ads. For instance, if your blog publishes recipes and cooking advice, Google could potentially run ads on your site related to cooking. These ads may advertise appliances, cooking ingredients or cooking shows.

As a website owner on Google AdSense, you can exclude certain categories of advertisers. For instance, visitors to your cooking blog may not be inclined to click ads in the categories Finance or Automobiles. You may choose to block competitor sites or ads about sensitive issues. You can choose to block ads in up to 497 categories.

Your settings for which category of ads can be published on your site are important. Since you get paid by click or impression, ad relevancy is important. In addition, irrelevant ads can distract or irritate your visitors.

Therefore, knowing your audience is the key to successfully monetizing your website.

What Keeps an Audience Coming Back for More?

Pay attention to which articles get the most views, clicks and comments. Pay attention to which pages people stay on the longest. Knowing some key facts about what makes your audience tick can greatly improve your content.

Poll your visitors. Find out what content they enjoy. Find out more about their interests. With this information, you can develop a picture of what interests your visitors.

Optimize your website content for what keeps your visitors coming back for more. The key to monetize with ads is to increase the number of impressions and clicks on an ad. Therefore, if you can increase your traffic, you can increase your revenue.

As you can see, knowing your audience will help you increase your ad revenue. When you know your audience well, you can optimize your content to encourage repeat visits. When more people visit your site, they view more ads, which leads to more revenue.

For More Information

In a previous blog posts, we discussed different ways to monetize a website. We also took a deeper dive into how to use Adsense to monetize with ads.