While there are many ways to monetise a site, ads – particularly display ads – are still among the most popular. As a site owner, you might be using ads placed strategically amongst quality content to earn revenue; there is nothing wrong with that. Too many ads, however, can seriously hurt your site. Here are the five ways ads are killing your site and how you can avoid them.
1. Degraded User Experience
Are you using pop-up ads to increase click-throughs? Do you place animated, colourful ads along the sidebar and in the middle of your content? While these may be reasonable strategies to help increase your site’s ad revenue, they are sure-fire ways to reduce your users’ experience while browsing your site.
Ads are annoying by nature in the eyes of visitors. Badly placed ads and popups that prevent users from seeing the actual content of the site will only make things worse. Instead of using intrusive ads, try subtle placements and use text ads for maximum effectiveness.
2. More Calls to Make
We all know that the user’s browser makes resource calls when loading our sites. The number of calls that need to be make can increase drastically once you start adding ads from multiple sources. Using on-site scripts and off-site resources is just as bad. These extra resource calls can slow down your site considerably.
When a page doesn’t load in a few seconds – 8 seconds at the latest, according to recent studies – visitors will simply move on to the next site. Instead of getting more ad revenue, you’re actually losing a large chunk of your audience base.
3. Runaway Crawlers
We can’t negate the fact that ads are bad for SEO. Crawlers have what the search engines call a crawl budget, which is the amount of resources the server is willing to spend trying to index a website. With too many ads hampering the page down, crawlers will have to work extra hard to index your site.
Similar to users, the crawlers from top search engines like Google will simply move on to the next site when your site is too difficult to index. You’ll lose out on SEO performance and will start getting crawl error messages in return.
4. Ad Networks Don’t Like It Either
Did you know that advertising networks don’t like it when you place too many ads on a page? Google’s AdSense, for instance, now rates pages – and determines the values of those pages – using the newly introduced ads-to-content ratio. Pages with more advertising than content will no longer get the same value attached to them, which means ad revenue will be lower as well.
5. Faster Burn Rates
The previous four reasons all contribute to a faster burn rate. The higher your site’s burn rate is, the faster you’ll scare your audience away. In an era where there are thousands of other sites offering valuable content and a great user experience, placing too many ads is simply not the way to go.
At the end of the day, badly placed ads – and large numbers of them – are not worth the negative impact they produce.