Better advertising for your WordPress site
People hate advertising. They hate how it interrupts their TV shows, Youtube videos and podcasts. They hate how it forces them to click away from something they have no interest in. And (for the most part) they hate being told to buy stuff they don’t need for problems they don’t have.
But what if it’s not advertising they hate so much as the format, quality and timing of it?
Consider for a moment the millions of people who watch the Super Bowl specifically for the commercials. Or the moviegoers who show up half an hour early because they just love the trailers. Or the folks who linger outside their local realtor’s office on Saturdays to read the latest listings.
Are they gluttons for punishment? Or could it be that they actually find certain types of advertising informative, engaging, and—dare we say it—enjoyable?
We think it’s the latter. And since selling ad space is one of the most common ways of monetizing WordPress sites, today we’re bringing you our top tips for better WordPress advertising. Follow these suggestions, and not only will you bring in a bit of extra income, you’ll also build trust, community and loyalty with your readers.
Exercise restraint when adding ads to your site
Just because you’ve decided to put ads on your site doesn’t mean you need to put them everywhere. If you bombard visitors with ads—pop-ups, banner ads, autoplay videos—they will leave. Be discreet. Limit the number of ads you use, and try to make the ads you do display as unobtrusive as possible. Remember that people came to your site because they saw something they wanted. Do you really want to throw something up that’s going to distract them from it?
Choose advertising that’s relevant to your niche
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how often site owners miss the mark. Online advertising should complement the content it adjoins. If you run a blog about sustainable living, selling ad space to a power tools manufacturer is probably not the best choice. Better to go with the reusable food wrap or organic cosmetics company—something that’s going to be at home with your content and of interest to your users.
Be honest about what’s advertising and what isn’t
To drive traffic to pay-per-click ads, some site owners attempt to disguise paid advertising as original content. Sometimes this takes the form of “related content” recommendations at the bottom of a post. Other times, it’s a paid product endorsement without an acknowledgment of the fact. Don’t deceive your users. It’s against Google policy, and it’s no way to win followers.
Use recognizable brands to build trust
This might seem surprising, but the mere presence of ads can actually lend credibility to your site. Visitors will assume that if companies are keen to advertise with you, it must mean you have access something that is in demand. What’s more, it sends a message that your advertisers essentially endorse your content. Having a recognizable brand advertise with you isn’t so different from having them sponsor or partner with you: it tells readers that you’re a trusted source.
Maybe the best way to get advertising right is to look at all the ways other sites get it wrong. Find you’re being flooded with products and services that don’t interest you? Turn it around and make connecting with relevant advertisers a priority. Frustrated by companies masquerading advertising as legitimate content? Take the high road and be transparent about what you’re being paid to write.
You might not be able to create an advertising experience that people actively seek out like Super Bowl ads—kudos if you can!—but by following these guidelines you should be able to keep users happy and coming back to your site for more.