Should you use Display Ads on your niche site?

Last Update: December 07, 2017

Hey everyone, today I wanted to do a post on Display Ads.

I don't use Display Ads on all my sites, but some of them I do, and for beginners, I think there are a lot of you out there wondering if you should use these ads at all.

Short answer: Yes, go for it! I recommend Google AdSense in early days of your site, and then Mediavine.com once you hit 25,000 unique sessions per month.

This is a great way to make money from your informational content; also, since most display ad networks will pay per 1000 page views, you also end up making money from the traffic that doesn’t actually convert into a buyer on Amazon.

But won’t people be turned off if they see ads on your site?

Maybe, but if your site is worthwhile they’re not going to add your site to their list of blocked sites just because you have ads on it.

This isn’t something to be worried about. No, don’t insert ads in every possible location and no, don’t allow spammy looking ads/porn/gambling, etc, but the idea that your site will turn away most traffic because you’re now monetizing via ads isn’t something I’d say is a legitimate concern.

Ads these days are getting much more refined, and geared to match the content they’re displayed in (not just matching topic, but also page style in some cases).

People who feel strongly about ads and can’t stand them can install adblockers. Chances are, if they haven’t installed an adblocker and they come across ads on your site, they’re not worried about it unless they are porn/gambling or any other topic that in general is exploitive.

Why should you consider putting display ads on your site?

Even though display ads have a lower conversion, unlike amazon or any other affiliates, they do not require anyone to buy in order for the traffic to be monetized. To put it simply, there are some advantages of using display ads compared to an affiliate and vice versa; pairing them is a great strategy.

How could you earn money with display ads?

Most networks pay per 1000 views, and per click. That means that if you get 1000 pageviews, you will get paid even if no one actually clicks an ad and buys something. If they actually do click the ad, you get paid a certain amount per click (decided by the network, and often varies per ad) whether the person actually buys the product advertised or not.

My site is low traffic; should I use display ads?

Display ads will obviously bring in more income for those with high traffic, but everyone has to start somewhere. $5 a day is still $5 a day. Ideally as your site grows this will only increase, and a high traffic site (100,000 visits per month) can make $1000+ with display ads.

What is an ideal ad layout?

This varies, but in general for niche sites you want in-content ads, maybe one on the sidebar and in the footer/bottom of your article. Do some testing to find out what works best for your audience.

Media.net will give you some advice, but they have too much customization in my opinion; after seeing Mediavine’s performance I see no need for so many options, it should be a simple install of a plugin, a few minor tweaks during the first 1-2 weeks and then autopilot.

Adsense does a good job of making sure you don’t overdo it, and Mediavine does an amazing job of placing the ads for you, with one simple plugin install and some tweaks.

Which display ads should you show then?

There are several great options these days, and I’ll cover them below:

AdSense

Google AdSense is the most popular display ad network and is owned by Google. It is considered to be the oldest and longest display advertising network available in the web. It uses a CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (pay-per-click) system to allow website or blog owners to convert their traffic into profit.

Requirements:

  • The website must have a verified name and email for legitimacy in order to get approved.

  • There are no precise numbers of quality posts or word lengths for Google AdSense standards. Some people get approved with only few quality posts and some get rejected. Just to be safe, before applying or setting up Google AdSense, at least work with 20 posts with sufficient amount of word lengths and no copyright issues.

  • There must be no annoying widgets in any corner of the landing page or throughout every post of the website or blogs.

  • Contents such as pornography, adult content, pirated content, drug related content, any hacking or cracking tips and other illegal content will get 100% rejected.

Features:

  • The display ad network is fairly easy to use, especially for starters or beginners. There’s no need to search for specific ads - copy and pasting the code is all you need to do.

  • One Google AdSense account is all you need to set up different or multiple websites.

  • AdSense display ads allow you to edit the display, image, colors, text, size, etc.

AdThrive

This network has a higher conversion rate compared to AdSense but they require a large number of visitors in order to get accepted. The network has two advertising services: Edge and Premium service.

Since AdThrive edge requires at least 100,000 visitors and Premium requires over 750,000 visitors, people usually start using AdSense and later on convert to AdThrive when they have gained sufficient amount of traffic.

Requirements:

  • AdThrive specialists and personnel will thoroughly review your blog or website. They will check the credibility of your website, especially the uniqueness of your content. They will do a thorough reading the same as the requirements of AdSense such as illegal contents, privacy contents, contact contents, about page and all other requirements.

  • Account registered in both AdThrive and the website or blog must be the same, legit and without fraud. They have strict compliance with legality wherein each party must comply with the terms and agreements as well as privacy policy.

Features:

  • You can choose your own preferred ad layout, and AdThrive will give data for how to optimize for the highest earnings

  • AdThrive team will implement the design and layout of the Ads for you.

  • The network uses DFP (double-click for publishers) where it analyzes your website to where it will perform best and ensure the ads are family-friendly.

Mediavine.com

Like AdThrive, Mediavine work as an ad management platform; they are the ones that take care of your website’s ad display. Rather than just issuing a code that needs to be manually encoded by the owner through their website like with AdSense, they thoroughly look through your website and analyze when, where and what type of ads should it display.

Mediavine is more like a traffic expert community rather than simply an ad network. You can exchange thoughts with the people in charge of Mediavine and have your thoughts and suggestions heard. It has high ratings when it comes to responding to customers or subscribers.

For this and other reasons, it is my personal favorite.

Requirements:

  • 25,000 uniques sessions per month minimum; this needs to be proven with Google Analytics data (if you haven’t added your site to GA, do it now ;) )

  • Content of your blog or website must be unique, the same with all other ad networks or platforms. Every ad networks holds a strict compliance when it comes to rules, regulations, policy and legality. Copyright infringement is highly implemented.

  • The website must not have any pornography, drugs, adult content, gore content, etc. It can discuss consequences of illegal drugs but never promote it.

  • Most of the other requirements set by Mediavine are the same as AdSense.

Features:

  • Mediavine ad displays are known to load fast. They use lazy-loading where the ads load relative to which part of the screen is being viewed. To put it out more clearly, if you’re on the upper part of the page, only the header ads will load. The middle and bottom ads will load later if the visitor will scroll down through it.

  • You can ask questions and report any problems through their contact email or support. They have high response rate where your concerns will be answered in a short amount of time.

  • Unlike AdSense, Mediavine team will be the one taking charge of managing your ads display and will analyze which part and what type of ads to be displayed.

  • Mediavine issues a yearly bonus equal to 1% of earnings for the year (this is in addition to the monthly payout).

Media.net

Media.net is also one of the popular ad display networks. This ad network is owned and powered by Bing and Yahoo! You’d definitely know if a blog or website’s page is using this kind of ad network/platform. It uses distinctive design of colored key-blocks as its ads. This way, Media.net can ensure website/blog friendly ads that uses a mixture of colors that will blend in with the overall layout of your page.

Requirements:

  • Media.net only caters to blogs or websites written in English.

  • Originality or uniqueness of your site’s content.

  • The site should have privacy policy page, about page and contact us page.

  • Media.net is also strict when it comes to blank pages, illegal optimizations such as using deceptive and manipulative way of ranking different keywords on search engines.

  • Your application to Media.net will also get rejected if your site contains hidden text, links and illegal software.

  • Basically, you also need to follow ethical blogging and website requirements just like the other networks (something that shouldn’t be a stretch for any of us anyway!)

Features:

  • After account application and approval, there would be a specific customer representative given to you that you can chat, email or contact in case you have inquiries or reports you want to make. This provides a 1-1 support for their subscribers and guarantees high response rate. While this sounds wonderful, I have to say that Mediavine.com was way more user friendly, plus the FB group for Mediavine.com alone is a huge bonus.

  • (as you can imagine, the 2 networks do get confused with each other a bit...but Mediavine.com gets my vote way more so than media.net)

  • The ad blocks used by Media.net are designed to match your site’s content is an ads or a part of the website itself, therefore guarantees a higher CTR compared to other designs or layouts used by different ads network or platforms.

  • Media.net provides powerful and user-friendly dashboard. It contains almost everything you need from ratings, conversions, traffics generated, earnings, graphs, reports, etc.

  • The ad blocks used by Media.net sometimes require visitors 2 or double clicks in order for it to be counted as clicks and get converted to profit or revenue. Some ads however only require single clicks.

Let me know your questions below!

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Recent messages
viyee Premium
Thanks Dom. I am new to this area. Great information and help.
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IsaacSc Premium
Nice post Dom. May I know what's the revenue like for both AdThrive and MediaVine (in terms of RPM)?

By the way, I've actually made a google search for the term "best ad network" and the sites at the top never mention these two companies. I've only heard about AdThrive and MediaVine from WA communities here. Do you have any idea why this is so?
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DomW Premium
Monetisepros website was bought by Monetizemore, which is why they put themselves at the top. I think MediaVine are relatively new too.

It's hard to give an RPM because it varies, ubt they're both about 5-10x higher than adsense.
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IsaacSc Premium
I also think part of the reason is there is no affiliate commission to recommend MediaVine compared to others. From what I see from the many blogs that write about long list of best ad network (or other similar keywords), they only populate the list with companies that give affiliate commissions, hence the absence of MediaVine from their list...

Another thing that I notice is these blogs never give any indication of revenue between these options and which one is the best. This is another reason why I trust WA more than these blogs because there is genuine recommendation based on real experience.

Thanks Dom!
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roamy Premium
You are right Dom, I did follow what peole say here not to use ADS on my site but later I realized I was loosing.I dont have 1000 sales every month, and with Amazon rates, $1000 sales does not bring in much commission so I decided to use ads on my site.
Since I started, I keep asking why I did not start it right from the start.
For Dec I`m expecting $344 from Adsense, for the same period, I made less than $100 commissions from Amazon.
For anyone making 4 maybe 5 figures,it`s ok if they decide not to use Adsense, but for someone like me making cents, I`ll continue using Adsense.
Unfortunately my site will not qualify for mediavine or adthrive but I`m sure will get there one day.
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nevrob Premium
I like this post and i want to thank you for teaching me so much here.There is a lot here that i did not know before.
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webbsight Premium
Hi Dom,

I have 2 questions about media.net.

1. My posts, for the most part, are ranking much better on Yahoo and Bing than on Google so, would that aspect make it a good choice to apply for?

2. You mentioned an application will get rejected if a site contains "hidden text, links and illegal software." I use a lot of links and hyperlinks for the purpose for sourcing my content. Will that give me a red light?

Thanks, Brad
Reply
DomW Premium
Hey,

1.) That's not actually relevant. You could put ads on a site with 0 rankings and pay for traffic or use social traffic, so it doesn't matter.

2.) If your links aren't hidden it's fine.
Reply
webbsight Premium
Thanks Dom,

I got 1 more... I only have 9 of my own posts so far on my site, although, i have a recommended section with links to other articles and sites. Is that enough for applying to be worthwhile or should i get at least 15 posts up first, as is recommended in the certification training? Thanks, Brad
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furkan2665 Premium
Hi man,

Thanks for the great info I wonder that how can we understand whether a niche is good for ads or not.

Can you point us some directions? :)
Reply
brichnow21 Premium
Furkan...
Depends on my audience...
Right now, my site doesn't sell, anything, except reviewed, spiritual books, and information...no, tangibles ...No, ads, allowed!!...Interrupt, reading, and unwanted, distraction...Nix!!
Now, on a stained glass site?...Sure, sales on supplies!! And Sure, but only site related...if we have the choice.
Barb
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furkan2665 Premium
I understand it but for example, do ads definitely do well on a clothing or pc site? For example, a site which reviews gaming boards etc. It has to sell something but some niches are not suitable for ads even though a niche has many products it may not do well with ads.

So I wonder that for example, let's say gaming board review site does well with ads but a baby product review site doesn't do well with ads.

How can I determine this?
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DomW Premium
These days ads shown aren't always relevant to the site itself so it is fine to test in any niche.
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furkan2665 Premium
alright man thank you so much and have a nice day :)
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Prinz Premium
Great info, thanks! I'm aiming for Mediavine. Google Adsense is hard to join from KSA.
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ValerieJoy Premium
Thank for this information, Dom.
I'm bookmarking it for a definite read a little later.
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stawhu Premium
thank you dom, for this important monetization tip. I do not have a site up and running i have a couple of thoufgts for after my wealthy aff sight is going. Speaking of which, would this site be something that can be used for adsense or are they like incompatable because you want your responder person paying attention to your content for their click on your affiliate product ? thank you again great article, continued success stawhu
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DomW Premium
Only 1% of site visitors click ads so it's not like an ad is going to cannibalize affiliate sales.
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DaveSw Premium
A thorough and extremely useful article...Thanks, Dom...This will be extremely useful to a large segment of the membership! Cheers! Dave : )
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verazhelvis Premium
Thank you! This is to use in some future- going to save it.:)
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MKearns Premium
A treasure house compendium of display ads and their placement. Thank you!
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