As a publisher, there are a few objectives you will be setting highly for your website. Just like any other website, you will want to gain traffic, and lots of it too. You will want to make sure your traffic is satisfied once they land onto your website. You will also want to make sure, if you are using the likes of PPC advertising, that you are making as much money as possible from the traffic going to your website.
With this, it can be seen there are two main focuses as a website publisher:
- Gaining the traffic to a website
- Making the most of the traffic to a website
Within this article, I’ll be focusing on the latter: making the most of the traffic to a website, namely with making money through advertising on a website.
Placing ad placeholders on a website should be a relative straight forward process. Once you place the placeholders on a website, then you should sit back and make money from the traffic that goes onto your website, and clicks onto the adverts.
As much as this is generally true, problems can occur from time to time, and it is vitally important to make sure the advertising you have on your website is running as it should be, so that it always performs to its optimum when traffic enters on.
So what happens when it isn’t? What happens when your website suddenly has a drop in revenue whilst traffic stays the same on increases? This is a sign that something might be right, and it needs to be fixed, if fixable asap. With this, here is a checklist you can go through of what you can check to understand why you might have a drop in revenue.
Understand how Advertisers Work
How much you get per click on an advert greatly depends on many different factors. One of them is with how the advertising life cycle works every year.
For example, advertisers tend to spend the majority of their money in the holiday season, at the end of the year, since this is the most profitable time for a lot of companies. This is usually why the revenue per visitor increases to its max, especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This is also the same for quarters too. It is not uncommon for advertisers to change their spending towards the end of a quarter, either because they ran out of money or have over budgeted for the current quarter that is about to finish.
Advertising revenue Index
Although you might not use Ezoic, one extremely useful graph that you can use to determine whether its just you that has an ad drop or the whole of the internet is with the Ad Revenue Index.
The Ad Revenue Index is a way for anyone to view the current and past ad rate trends, as to what the demand there is for advertising.
For example, the above graph enables us to see certain trends, which might help us understand a website making more or less money:
- Black Friday seems to be the peak for this time period, with it increasing up to Black Friday
- There has been a generally decline from Black Friday to New Year’s day
- As the new year comes around, there is a huge drop in the ad trend
- If we did have a drop in traffic around the same time, we can be very sure its caused by the ad demands of the advertisers and their campaigns
- Even small drops/increase can be understood better, such as 4th-11th drop in ad trends, or the increase from 28th Oct – 4th Nov.
Check Website for Preliminary Issues
Your website is always changing, with updates to themes and plugins, server changes (if on shared hosting), as well as security updates as well. Typically areas that tend to cause issues with ad drops include:
- Caching – if your website has cache misses, this suggests your website is not being cached, which will significantly increase the loading time of your website for visitors. This, in turn, will significantly reduce the revenue your website receives from advertising.
- Plugins – it is not uncommon for plugin functionality to cause issues with some ad units, which can stop them from appearing, dropping the ad revenue of your website.
Sometimes its good to talk to other like-minded individuals to understand if they are experiencing the same issues. This is one reason I like Ezoic, since they have a community that speaks their mind openly and freely, both the good and bad points of Ezoic, but, more importantly, of any general issues they are receiving. It then becomes a group effort to fix it or understand it.
There are many forums for advertising publishers out there, so it is worth searching the web until you find a source that you can contribute to, to speak to others that may have similar issues to yourself.
Debug Advertising Problems
Debugging is a seriously good way to understand what’s going on with the advertising revenue of a website. Such examples you can try include:
- WP Debug mode – disable all of the plugins on your website and enable them once at a time, until you find the issue (such as an advert disappearing on the website, changing places or malfunctioning)
- Create new placeholders to see if these work
- Change the caching settings and test for 1-2 days
One thing you can finish by doing, to help you understand the situation for future problems, is by keeping a record of every change you have made to the website (not content, but theme, plugin, advertising or code change). Generally, issues only ever occur, if it cannot be linked to ad trends, when something or a website is added, deleted or changed.