Ad Optimization Tools for Publishers
Below, we’ll highlight a handful of ad optimization tools you can use to find more ad opportunities on your site, improve ad optimization strategies, and share some details on ad revenue optimization that you may not know yet. (if you’re looking for tools to generate web traffic, you can find those here)
Research for better ad optimization
When researching topic ideas for articles or pages on your site, look for ones that have keywords that have good search volume, low competitiveness and high CPC rates. Ideally, you want to balance these three characteristics – and the way you choose to balance them will depend on your site.
For instance, if you have a young site that isn’t placing very high in Google yet, you may want to focus more on low competitiveness to try to get ranked.
There really is no magic formula to do this – just research and experimentation. Fortunately, there are a lot of great online tools that can help, and some are even free. Here are a few that you may want to check out.
SEMrush has an amazing free tool that you can use to research your competitors or get information about your own website. Just type any domain into the search box, and you’ll be able to see the Google rankings for the top keywords on that site, the search volume for those keywords, the average price that advertisers will pay for a click on an ad triggered by that keyword and a whole lot more.
In addition, SEMrush lets you see the advertising strategy for other sites, conduct a backlink analysis and find keywords with less competition. All in all, it’s a very powerful tool that can be used for a wide range of marketing research tasks. The amount of information you’ll be able to see with the free tool is limited but still very useful. If you want to view more, you can upgrade to a paid plan, starting at $69.95 a month.
If you want to view how two sites are doing in a side-by-side comparison, check out SimilarWeb. With this tool, you can get a deeper look at your competitors’ website traffic – in terms of both visits and engagement metrics, such as time on site, page views per visit and bounce rate. The free version of the tool allows you to directly compare two sites, while the paid plans (starting at $199 per month) let you compare more at the same time.
Also, you can just enter a single site and view its traffic stats along with a list of its top referral sites, best organic and paid keywords, social media referral traffic by network and other areas of interest for the site’s audience. The free version allows you to see the top four or five results in each of these categories – if you want to see more, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Looking for ways to lower your bounce rate and get more pageviews per visit? You may want to try Ezoic’s free EZLinks app. Once you install the app, it will scan your content and look for keywords to link to other internal articles or pages on your site. Readers will appreciate the link recommendations to related content, and average pageviews per session will increase.
EZLinks works in conjunction with Ezoic’s Layout Tester and can be configured to your specifications. You choose how many keywords you want to turn into links on each page, and you can even specify if you want the links to be “no follow” in the case that you have a lot of user-generated content on your site.
Want to get a snapshot with general information about how a specific site is doing? SpyOnWeb is a nifty free research tool that can do just that. All you have to do is enter a site’s URL, IP address, advertising or statistics code and you’ll be able to see the site’s Alexa Rank, Google Page Rank and traffic source distribution along with a list of what other sites are being hosted on the same server.
SpyFu is another tool that provides a wealth of information about profitable keywords for SEO and PPC. Enter the URL for any site – yours or one belonging to a competitor – to view a summary of that site’s organic and paid search metrics. Then, you can drill down further to see the top competitors for the site, keywords that are shared by these competitors, AdWords and organic ranking history, and the top backlinks for the site.
Alternatively, instead of entering a URL, you can type in a keyword and get suggestions for profitable related keywords as well as a listing of the most successful advertisers and their best ads for those keywords. There is a free version of SpyFu that allows you to view limited information for any site, but you can see a lot more if you upgrade to a paid version. Plans start at $49 per month.
BuzzSumo helps you find and analyze content that is getting the most social shares. You can search for a keyword to get back a list of the most shared articles on that topic, or you can enter a domain name to see the most shared articles on that site with respect to the filters you’ve chosen.
There is a free version of this tool that will show a limited number of results, but the paid version is much more powerful – in addition to showing more results, the paid version unlocks other features such as the ability to see the backlinks for any item on the list as well as the social profiles of those who shared the page. Paid plans (starting at $99 per month) also allow you to run unlimited content analysis reports.
Tyler is an award-winning digital marketer, SEO veteran, successful start-up founder, and well-known publishing industry speaker. Tyler also serves as the host of Pubtelligence, a publishers-only event hosted at Google offices around the globe. Tyler describes his core competency as learning. He has composed content for some of the world’s top publications and has over a decade of experience building businesses in the digital space. Tyler is currently the Head of Marketing at Ezoic and serves as an SEO and marketing expert for start-up competitions across the U.S.