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Why Display Ads Are The Best Business Model In A Changing Digital Ecosystem

Why Display Ads Are The Best Business Model In A Changing Digital Ecosystem

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Recently, many businesses have been impacted by the global Coronavirus pandemic. Countless others have been affected by Google algorithm updates and the recent Amazon affiliate rate cuts. With all of this going on, publishers are searching for effective ways to generate more income online. And that’s where display ads come in. 

Although ad rates have also been affected by COVID-19, display ads remain a solid business model. As they have been for a very long time.

In this article, we take a look at display ads so you can decide if this is the best business model to help you meet all your own income-generating goals. 

A Look at the Trends in Display Ads 

If you own a website, blog, or any other type of platform on the internet, display ads are a simple way to monetize your online presence and earn consistent display ad pay rates. 

Ad rates recently plummeted due to the impact of the Coronavirus on display ad demand. Many advertisers had to cut their budgets drastically and this led to a massive increase in ad supply and a decline in ad demand. 

According to Ad Revenue Index statistics, ad rates have been at their lowest since 2016. 

Historic display ads rates on April 3rd, 2020

While some bloggers and website owners have seen significant boosts in website traffic due to increased internet usage, many have been forced to try new creative strategies to help weather the storm.

There are many display advertising networks available these days, including Google Adsense, Facebook Audience Network Ads, Apple Advertising, Adknowledge, Taboola, and Epom. 

Display ads offer a win-win-win situation for everyone involved: 

  • Advertisers generate new leads and sales through the ad program.
  • The ad network earns money for serving the right ads to the right audience.
  • Site owners get paid when people click on the display ads. 

Why I’m a Fan of Display Ads

I am a big fan of display ads and use them on my own portfolio of websites. Since I started in 2014, I have made well over $500,000 from my sites, focusing primarily on ad revenue. 

Here is a screenshot of my blog income reports

One Hour Professor's Income reports: why display ads are the best business model

This is arguably one of the simplest and easiest ways for marketers to make money online, and it’s certainly an appealing form of passive income for a lot of publishers out there. 

If you are just getting started with display ads, you may be wondering which is the best display ad network to choose from. Google Adsense has been around for as long as I can remember, and it’s the one I would recommend you start with.  

Benefits of Using Google Adsense: 

  • Ads do all the work for you once your ad code is placed.
  • This ad network always pays on time.
  • They offer consistent ad pay rates that have grown over time.
  • The quality of their ads is much better than a lot of other networks.
  • The revenue per click is on the higher end compared to other networks.
  • There is a huge range of available options for selecting ads to match your site.

To get started making money with display ads, all you have to do is sign up with Google Adsense (or any other display ad network of your choice). Next, add the code they give you to your blog or website. 

Finally, sit back and relax as ads start to appear on your website. Now, every time someone visits your website and clicks on an ad, you make money. Additionally, since Google uses an impression-based payment system, even if a user just sees your ads, you will make money.

Display Ads vs Affiliate Programs – Which Is More Profitable? 

Display ad business models have a proven record of being more consistent than information product models and affiliate programs, including Amazon Associates. This is particularly true in economic times such as the ones we’re living in right now. 

One of the biggest downsides to the Amazon Associates Program is they recently made drastic cuts to their earnings percentages:

Affiliate payout changes from Amazon

Even some long-time affiliate marketing publishers have found an improved balance of revenue streams by incorporating display ads into their affiliate websites.

3 Reasons Why Display Ads are a great business model

1. Display Ads Are a Better Option to Make Consistent Income.

Programmatic ads pay publishers based on CPM (cost per mille). This means that they get paid for every 1,000 impressions served to visitors on their site. Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, only pays the marketer if the visitor clicks the link AND makes a purchase. 

2. Display Ads have a Lower Barrier to Entry

Even total newbies who are using display ads for the first time will be able to start making money in a relatively short period of time. With affiliate marketing, on the other hand, you have to be skilled in creating compelling pages and content to get the visitors to not only click your affiliate link but to also purchase the product. 

This is something that takes time and can prove extremely hard for affiliate marketing newbies to accomplish.

3. Display Ads can be Used on Every Page on Your Website

With Affiliate marketing, only certain pages on your site can be used to generate revenue, whereas display ads can be shown anywhere. This means you make more from the same ads without putting in any extra work. It also boosts your chances of making a regular income from your website traffic. 

As an example, I have a page on my website that helps people who have an interest in books start a blog.  When I place display ads on a page like this, they automatically serve ads from different web hosting platforms that are fighting for that lead.  It’s simple, effective, and pays me well every time that the ad is clicked.

Are display ads the Best Business Model even with Falling Demand?

Display ads are the best business model, even with falling demand. But the caveat is that publishers must change their ad supply when demand rises or falls. Believe it or not, the value of display ads follow the same patterns of supply and demand.

As COVID-19 began to spread around North America, ad rates plummeted. If publishers did nothing with their ad setup, their ad supply would be exactly the same as pre-COVID-19, despite being in an environment where ad rates were at historic lows. Publishers who didn’t restrict ad supply were hit doubly hard by the falling ad demand.

Using display ads and Ezoic together means that you can get the best out of display ads even in an environment with falling demand. The machine learning tests thousands of variables to see which one visitors engage with the most. This testing goes far beyond the A/B testing tools that most people are familiar with. Additionally, this type of multivariate testing proactively works to counteract changes in ad rates and ad demand, benefitting publisher revenues in the long run.

The AI tests thousands of different ad combinations, sizes, positions, and much more on a per-user, per visit basis. 

Website ad testing to increase ad demand for display adsin a real time bidding environment

In a nutshell, Ezoic helps you make as much money as possible on your website’s ads. It also helps you improve your site’s user experience so that you can increase visitor engagement.

This is one of the reasons why I am transitioning my entire portfolio of websites over to Ezoic. 

Important: Ezoic tests many different ad networks, not just Google Adsense. 

Ezoic ad networks for display ads

I have consistently seen Ezoic outperform Google Adsense by itself.  For me, the typical lift in revenue across my entire website portfolio has been in the 20-30% range. But that’s a lot of money when you’re talking about thousands of dollars.  


When it comes to making money online, display ads are the backbone for any blogger. Although rates went down during the global Coronavirus crisis, display ads remain one of the best and most stable revenue models for digital businesses everywhere. 

The good news? Ad rates have steadily been climbing since the April 3rd, 2020 low:

Ad rates for display ads are increasing: it's still one of the most stable and best business models

Display ads keep the cash machine flowing and help you create a reliable income source. And with tools like Ezoic, you can now maximize the revenue from your existing website ads.

This is a revenue-generation method that is certainly worth pursuing in 2020. So use this article as your guide to start making more money from the visitors on your site with display ads.


<a href="https://www.onehourprofessor.com/">Ron Stefanski</a> is a college professor turned online business owner. He’s helped hundreds of thousands of people create and market their own online business. You can learn more about him by visiting <a href="https://www.onehourprofessor.com/">OneHourProfessor.com</a> You can also connect with him on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdsblmJD2Yls7GkPs9dE2TA">YouTube</a> or <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronstefanski/">LinkedIn</a>.

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