Website Publishers: Learn How to Make More Money Publishing Less Pages & Showing Fewer Ads

If you are an individual or a small company, serving some markets directly with a product may not be as scalable as selling ads. The best type of ads to sell are overpriced CPM brand ads, but if you are in a high value niche you can also do well with affiliate offers and AdSense ads.

Most informational websites are monetized via selling ads. The most profitable ad any site can sell is an ad for itself, because there is already user trust and perception of control built directly into a person buying from the same trusted brand. If you don't believe that theory, track affiliate conversion rates while having a lead form on your site vs a lead form on a third party site. The on-site lead form will typically outperform a third party lead form sometimes by a factor of 2 or more. A friend of mine published a blue site about ringtones. He sent traffic to a green ringtone offer landing page that offered 15 bonus ringtones. He later tested sending the traffic to a blue ringtone offer landing page that offered 10 bonus ringtones. While offering less, the conversion rate was significantly higher because the conversion process felt more congruent from beginning to end.

If you must send visitors to another site for conversion try to pattern your site design and sales copy to match the end destination site design and copy. The more consistent the experience is the more money you make.

A few more tips to help boost conversions:

  • Make the review look unbiased, even if it is highly biased. Use bulleted list and show stats. Make the sales information look more informational than salesy.

  • Limit user choice. Make it sound like you already did all the review process and your recommendation is the obvious choice for the user's needs.

If your site is mostly an AdSense site, and you are getting a strong CPM, you might be able to make more by showing fewer ad units. Use the advanced AdSense reports to see if people are site targeting your website. If advertisers are site targeting consider pulling back one ad unit to see how that affects the CPC and CPM of the remaining ad units. Advertisers competing for less ad inventory should drive up the prices. If the gain nearly offsets the loss you are still ahead because you can replace that other ad unit with an affiliate ad, an ad for a branded advertiser, or an ad marketing your best content.

If many of your advertisers are thin affiliate sites, consider moving yourself up the value chain by cloning their offers and business models and improving upon them. You should be able to make more money selling directly because you keep the visitor, the supply chain is thinner, you can refine your offers over time, you can sell at higher price points, you can resell the customer, and your conversion rates should be higher because you are selling your own site and business.

The most profitable ad any site can sell is an ad for itself, because there is already user trust and perception of control built directly into a person buying from the same trusted brand.

Published: July 8, 2007

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

Comments

John K
July 8, 2007 - 9:31am

good. In fact so good, that you repeat the punch line twice.

Is this a new blog style?

You repeat the punch line.

Stu Foster
July 8, 2007 - 9:57am

Great post.

More of this please.

July 8, 2007 - 10:12am

I did that for you John. Knew you would pick up on the pattern ;)

Thanks Stu

julien
July 8, 2007 - 4:28pm

yeah, i noticed you did that with a google/orkut post the other week. it works.

Ed
July 8, 2007 - 8:27pm

Aaron,

Quote:

"The best type of ads to sell are overpriced CPM brand ads"

I'm not sure what you mean can you elaborate this please?

oren
July 8, 2007 - 9:35pm

Great post.

I would add, if I may. That review based sites can greatly benefit from user reviews (even if fake - but not recommended) and that can increase retention (and thus profits).

Deep content within niche sites seems (from my experience) to attract the more interested users. These are the influencers and can really push a brand up if it is a competitive industry.

Also, the influencers seem less susceptible to advertising (but this varies of course) so I would recommend that advertising (one's own product/site as Aaron accurately mentions or other) is differentiated on different deep content pages than the homepage or across the site.

July 9, 2007 - 12:51am

"The best type of ads to sell are overpriced CPM brand ads"

I'm not sure what you mean can you elaborate this please?

In some industries near monopolies and large brands have large ad budgets that need to be spent up with little regard to ad targeting or value. If you can get people to pay you a $100 CPM for a site getting 50,000 pageviews a day you are making pretty good money.

James Dunn
July 9, 2007 - 2:55am

Wow, $100 CPM. I'd be happy with $5. After reading this post I checked my stats, I get like 1,000-1,500 pageviews a day that are site targeted, that would be take a lot of trimming to get my site below that. Even if I did, I think it's just one guy doing it.

Maybe I should get into the real estate / gambling / pharmacy industry and go for that $100 CPM...

wory
July 9, 2007 - 11:08am

Aaron,I find someone sell your seobook,the url is http://www.seo.org.cn/shop/view_2.html
I want to buy one,but I think I should check first.
Please tell me,can I buy the book from that site?

Ciaran
July 9, 2007 - 6:38pm

"good. In fact so good, that you repeat the punch line twice.

Is this a new blog style?

You repeat the punch line."

The art of presenting? Tell them what you're going to tell them; tell them; then tell them what you told them.

Aaron just shows that it applies as much to journalism as presenting....

Mario Ruiz
July 9, 2007 - 9:53pm

I got tired of being around of different tools and different sites looking for consolidated information about what the status of my site. So I decided to make a report that looks like this.

This is a basic report not an automatic generated work. This is done manually with specialized tools.

Mario Ruiz
www.oursheet.com

Hamlet Batista
July 10, 2007 - 12:21am

If many of your advertisers are thin affiliate sites, consider moving yourself up the value chain by cloning their offers and business models and improving upon them. You should be able to make more money selling directly because you keep the visitor, the supply chain is thinner, you can refine your offers over time, you can sell at higher price points, you can resell the customer, and your conversion rates should be higher because you are selling your own site and business.

Aaron,

This is a good idea. The only problem is that if you have more than a thousand thin affiliates, replicating their model is going to be a little bit difficult.

July 10, 2007 - 3:36am

Hi Hamlet
I am not saying to duplicate them all, just the best one(s).

Jeffrey
July 13, 2007 - 5:45pm

Hi

Great posting.

O boy, your extra more tips for boosting conversion really counts. As I am heading towards an online reviewer your tips come in so handy to me.

Kudos to your site.

Wonderful e-book too :)

keep it up Aaron :) :)

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!






    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.