Contextual advertising for publishers


    After a year of wandering around the columns of various online publications, we decided to launch our own blog, in which representatives, mentors and friends of our project will share their knowledge and experience.

    In the first publication, Oleg Khrienko, the head of the commercial department of one of the 404Group projects, talks about the monetization of media resources using contextual advertising.

    Contextual advertising is the basic source of income for most Internet resources. If the site cannot sell the advertising space to the direct advertiser, then almost always the project owner places the context on the free space. The share of contextual advertising revenue for the vast majority of Internet resources ranges from 50 to 90%, so optimizing this revenue channel is the most important task.

    The Russian market in this regard is one of the most difficult, since two approximately equal partner systems for website owners compete in the country - YAN (Yandex Advertising Network) and Google AdSense. A rare site is a partner of only one of these systems, because differentiation allows you to increase profits.

    Great impact on the revenue of sites in late 2014 - early 2015 had a jump in the dollar. Depending on the internal revenue accounting system, it could turn out that revenue from AdSense in ruble terms increased significantly, although there was a drop in dollar terms. The fact is that AdSense takes into account earnings in dollars and pays the income for the next month when reaching the withdrawal limit. While virtual dollars were in the AdSense account, the ruble was falling. As a result, Google was forced to pay Russian publishers the difference in rates. All this, of course, could drive any analyst who should take into account such aspects into his work with the context crazy.

    At first glance, work on increasing revenue from the context seems simple: you just need to select the appropriate advertising formats for free space on the site. But with this approach, the webmaster does not use 40% of the entire potential of his resource, and sometimes he can even be disappointed in this earnings channel. To prevent this from happening, you must adhere to the following sequence of actions:

    1. Decide whether your site is an MFA.
    MFA (Made for Adsense) - a type of sites that do not plan to earn revenue from direct advertisers or services. Usually these are article-makers, the only way to monetize is contextual advertising. Here the appearance of the resource is not important and there is almost no chance that users will add it to bookmarks.

    If your project is an MFA, then you can not limit yourself to anything when optimizing context blocks. If you came to the conclusion that this is not so, then the area of ​​your work is blocks under the main content and sidebar.

    2. Make sure that the content of the site and the sidebar are suitable for the most popular formats for placing advertising materials: 728x90; 240x400; 336x280

    3. Choose the most profitable places on the site.
    Usually this is the place between the title of the article and the article itself, the place under the article or the final video (the point the visitor leaves the site), the block between the menu items in the sidebar, the block in the center of the article (for MFAs). Profitability of places is determined through split testing. When choosing places, it must be taken into account that contextual advertising systems first show ads that are more profitable according to internal statistics, and then less. At the same time, they pay you for clicks. Thus, if you give the context to the small-clickable zone in the header of the site that is loaded first, the most profitable ads for you will go there. As a result, you will lose some share of income from more clickable places where banners will load after the banner in heading

    4. Decide on the optimal location of the AdSense and YAN blocks on the site.
    Here again, split testing will help you, but there is no need to test every place. It’s enough to decide which system is more profitable for your resource (where there are more suitable advertisers on the subject and less traffic). To do this, you need to test one place and identify the most profitable system. Next, we give the best places on the site (near the main content) to the most profitable system. When the limit of one system is exhausted, we use another in vacant places.

    5. Remember the effectiveness.
    The more ads you have on the page, the cheaper the advertisers that you show and the cheaper the click of your visitor. The optimal amount is 2 ads from AdSense and 5-7 ads from YAN (depending on the type of site).

    6. Also worth a critical look at your content.
    If the articles are too long, then it is likely that the user will not scroll to the bottom of the page and leave earlier. This means that the blocks must be located either in the content itself, or, which is optimal, add pagination in the article - it increases revenue by 10-15%

    7. Choose the optimal block design.
    For AdSense, a built-in experiment mechanism is used; for YAN, you must manually start the split testing. When choosing the design, it is worth considering that ad units should not stand out from the content, otherwise users will not pay attention to their content and this will reduce the number of clicks.

    An interesting fact: pinning a block on the sidebar in a sidebar increases revenue by 20%. But perhaps this is only for YAN.

    8. Set up geography targeting for various traffic channels.
    YAN is more popular in Russia, however, outside the Russian Federation the number of advertisers drops sharply, in this regard, it is advisable to change the banner grid depending on the user's region

    9. Separate the entrance and exit pages on the site.
    Increase the number of ad units on exit pages, decrease on entry pages and transit pages. These actions will improve the behavioral indicators of the resource and at the same time increase income.

    10. Using the Google Analytics tools, select the most profitable exit pages on the site and redirect traffic from cheap pages to more expensive ones (this needs to subordinate the entire logic of internal linking)


    To make it easier to navigate, it’s worth giving CPM income figures, which can be considered optimal for various topics. This does not mean that you cannot get higher income (it all depends on the quality of your site), but if your indicators are much lower, you should urgently take on optimizing the context on the site.

    The distribution of income on various topics for March was approximately the following:
    Women's resources - 83 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Weight loss and diet - 45 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Construction and repair - 250 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Medicine and health - 170 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Dream Interpretations and horoscopes - 60 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Pets - 21 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Cooking - 45 rubles. per thousand impressions
    SEO - 74 rub. per thousand impressions
    Jurisprudence - 103 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Cars - 115 rubles. per thousand impressions
    Finance - 210 rubles. per thousand impressions of
    IT - 132 rubles. CPM Check if

    your sites met these metrics in March. If your experience is significantly different up, it will be interesting to know about it in the comments.

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