Last week we did a post on 5 CPA (cost per action) alternatives to Adsense for website monetization. The networks reviewed can potentially make website owners lots of revenue. However they do require much hand-selection and niche targeting.
If your website or blog goes over a much broader subject and user base, then “contextual advertisements” are most likely the best option. For the sake of this article we will define “contextual” as you simply enter a single snip of code in your site and the ad network does the rest, displaying ads that will more or less match up with your content.
Google’s Adsense is the most famous contextual ad network with a large share of the market. The issue is that this lions share also means that sometimes publishers do not get the revenue that they deserve. This is a starters list of the 3 best contextual ad serving networks on the web that you can use to either replace or complement your income from Adsense.
AdBrite is probably the best known alternative to Adsense. They got their start by accepting all the publishers that Adsense would reject. Nowadays they have morphed into quite a large operation serving over 300 million ad impressions per day. They have a very refined targeting system that allows advertisers to either bid via category or to place ads specifically on your site.
Ads that are shown can come in a number of formats that include:
- CPC (Cost per Click) Text and Banner Ads
- CPM (Cost per impression) Banner Ads that are actually bid on by advertisers to see who gets to display
- Full Page Overlay ads. (can be annoying, but if you are just gleaming search traffic it can pay well)
- BritePic Photo Ads (just insert some code and they overlay ads on your photos)
- Inline Ads (they automatically set links up in your content text- same like Kontera which we will review below)
Some things that you need to keep in mind when using Adbrite :
- For good paying returns, advertisers will review your site manually.
- Sometimes the text ads are not the best. For best and matched content, make sure to set it to manual review of all ads.
All in all it is a huge network that takes some exploring to find the right speed, but it is proven to be profitable in the end. They will work with ALL types of websites from every country and if your website has less than wholesome content, they also hoston the same network.
If you like Adbrite, also make sure to check out Australian-based AdToll.
We mentioned above that Adbrite has inline text advertising. However if you are going to go this route, we have found better monetization and targeting from Kontera. The basic premise behind inline text advertising is that you put a snip of code on your page and it will determine the content of the page and highlights individual words and links them out on a CPC basis.
Kontera works across all countries and most types of English language content (no adult or warez etc…) It is a good match for sites that are text heavy and need a small boost of monetization with little effort.
Other alternatives are SNAP which offer popup screen shots of outlinks with CPC ads, though has been criticized for being slightly annoying.
For those publishers with over 500k page views a month may also wish to check out Vibrant Media which is similar to Kontera and offers multi-language support and nice payouts.
Chitika Premium is one of the coolest and most cleverest little tricks a network has come up with in a long time. It is a snip of code you place on your page and whenever a user arrives at your site via a search engine, they display contextual CPC text ads.
Why this is cool is that most website publishers know that search engine traffic has very high bounce rates meaning that for your regular readers, they will not see the ads, however readers that come from search engines will get a big ad block in front of their face, with highly targeted CPC ads ready to be clicked.
This helps you to monetize your bouncing search engine traffic, while not alienating your loyal readers with excessive advertisements.
This is compatible with Adsense as it is technically not contextual and just taking the original search engine query to display the advert. The only drawback is that they will only display their ads to US traffic with other country support coming soon.
As a website publisher, the thing to remember that there is no magic bullet for instant success in monetization. However, trying various methods and internal bucket testing, you will eventually find the result that brings you the best flow.
To close I would like to ask our readers to make suggestions of other ad networks that they have found success in using and in what particular niche and circumstance?