How Websites Use Ezoic To Improve Traffic, Experiences, & Ad Earnings
This is obviously a blog that I primarily use to do tutorials for webmasters, dig into data that we have collected over the years, and break down emerging industry trends.
However, this is also the Ezoic blog. As our platform has expanded, added features, and improved, I think it is worth it to look at some of the powerful things publishers are using Ezoic to do.
Below, I’ll highlight a number of different projects, improvements, and optimizations that website owners, bloggers, and brands can execute using Ezoic.
I’ll demonstrate how sites can improve security, website traffic, site speed, visitor engagement, session duration, mobile usability, and ad earnings all using features within Ezoic’s exclusive platform.
How can I make my website better using Ezoic?
First of all, if you’re reading this you’re probably already somewhat familiar with Ezoic and our platform. But, many may only be familiar with one or two features — the popular ones (Ad Tester and Layout Tester).
Ezoic is actually an end-to-end platform for publishers. This means that you can use Ezoic to make every aspect of your website, blog, or brand better.
Ezoic can be used for a wide variety of different goals or projects. While most publishers start using Ezoic to segment visitors and deliver different ad combinations based on their preferences using Ad Tester, there are actually a lot of other features that can provide equal value to publishers.
Our app store grows every month and our engineering team makes updates to our machine learning core every week.
This is part of the reason why our long-term publishers see their session earnings rise over time.
Ezoic’s machine learning is built-in to a large number of our tools and allows publishers to configure the way their site works based on how visitors respond to everything they implement on their site.
The Ezoic app store is filled with tools that provide publishers with free tools to do things like:
- Speed up their site
- Segment and learn from visitors over time
- Configure direct ad orders
- Manage consent for GDPR regulations
- Make a site instantly mobile-friendly
- Create internal link structures for SEO
- Test new technologies like PWA’s or AMP
- Set important rules for delivering ads
- and a lot more
Let’s dig in.
Improving website security with Ezoic
There are really 3 recommended ways to integrate with the Ezoic platform (learn more about integration here).
- CDN integration (nameservers)
- Cloudflare (if you’re already using Cloudflare as your CDN)
- WordPress Plugin
All three of these integrations methods allow Ezoic to operate at the CDN-level and provide the following advanced security features at no cost and without any technical setup on the part of the publisher.
- Fullscale DDoS protection – prevents DDoS attacks
- WAF (web application firewall) – provides advanced security against common hacks
- CDN (content delivery network) – ensures uptime and speedy performance
- 14+ data centers around the world – ensure uptime and performance
- Access to platform features that deliver additional security controls
Beyond the protections that publishers get automatically once they integrate with Ezoic, publishers can tap into the Ezoic app store to access things like…
- A free SSL (allowing your site to be HTTPS)
- Ads.txt file creator
- Ways to block unwanted advertisers
With Google rewarding HTTPS sites with a small rankings boost in their algorithm, there are not many good reasons why a publisher would want to avoid having an SSL installed on their site.
Furthermore, Google has recently stated that they intend to mark non-SSL sites as “not secure” in Chrome browsers in the very near future.
Ezoic is one of few ways to add an SSL to your site for free. Many hosts will actually charge publishers for an SSL certificate.
The Ezoic SSL app is available to all sites in the Ezoic app store.
Ezoic also provides apps that allow publishers to block unwanted advertisers and add policy update notifications to visitors.
This helps publishers protect themselves and their visitors from legal issues and nefarious advertisers.
Finally, publishers can easily add an Ads.txt file to their site using Ezoic’s free Ads.txt app (more here).
An Ads.txt file will prevent bad actors from committing domain-spoofing with your web property. This means that no one can falsely represent your ad inventory on the open market except for the parties you select in your Ads.txt file.
Improving website speed using Ezoic
Google recently started rolling out their mobile speed ranking signal in their search algorithm.
Even though this type of ranking signal only affects the web’s slowest sites, mobile site speed can be an important factor in a visitors experience on your site.
Most publishers have a very poor understanding of how to measure and manipulate their pagespeed. I wrote an extremely detailed article on how to properly measure and improve your pagespeed in an actionable way here.
That being said, Ezoic has a number of helpful tools and features that can help with website speed.
The Ezoic caching app gives publishers the ability to automatically implement caching best practices on their site to improve site speed with the flip of a switch.
Publishers have full control over any caching rules but can simplify advanced caching processes easily using the app.
Also, as mentioned at the start of this article, Ezoic provides CDN-level integration; allowing you instant access to a hyper-fast CDN using Ezoic.
Turning on the caching app will implement this feature on your site. You can read more about how CDNs work here.
Ezoic also provides an app called Script Tester that can be used to test how different scripts — that might be slowing down your website — are affecting visitor experiences.
Publishers can use Script Tester to see how much the site speeds up — and how things like time on site and bounce rate are affected —when the script is removed.
Script Tester then allows publishers to choose if they want to deliver the script only to visitors that are not affected by it.
Webmasters will often use the Google Chrome Developer Tools to identify slow scripts (often social media widgets, etc.) and then see how removing them in certain circumstances impacts core UX metrics.
Lastly, Ezoic also regularly makes apps available to publishers that allows them to test out new speedy mobile technologies like AMP and PWA’s.
These accelerated mobile technologies are designed to help publishers improve the mobile performance of their websites.
Often, publishers will have to apply for a waitlist for these apps, but they are free to everyone on the platform.
Development costs for these types of projects often exceed $10K for even the most simplified implementations.
Improve user experiences using Ezoic
At its core, Ezoic is a machine learning technology designed to help publishers provide visitors with better experiences.
Ezoic’s Ad Tester, Layout Tester, and Script Tester Apps are all designed to learn from every visitor that comes to your website.
Ezoic learns where they come from, how they behave, what attributes might make them unique, and more.
These apps test different variables on look-a-like visitors.
It then uses this data to measure how different variations in ad placements, layouts, content, and website configurations impact their browsing experiences.
It then automatically segments visitors based on similarities and how they behave when presented with certain variables.
This gives publishers the power to segment and delivers all visitors slightly different experiences based on what Ezoic has learned about them… automatically.
This is one of the most valuable things that Ezoic does.
We’ve proven that this improving core metrics like time on site, bounce rate, engagement time, and more on every site that uses the platform.
These user experience metrics directly impact ad revenue and influence higher ad rates over time.
Ezoic has apps that are designed to do this form of advanced learning with ads, layouts, and scripts on a websites page.
Through the mechanism of multivariate testing, Ezoic will learn from every session and segment visitors automatically over time.
Sites commonly see session duration and bounce rate improve exponentially using Ezoic.
While Ezoic has dozens of apps within the app store designed to give publishers greater control over how different visitors experience their sites, the “Tester” suite of apps within the store provides the most impactful tools for improving objective user experience metrics.
How Ezoic can help increase traffic and pageviews
One of the things that makes Ezoic’s impact on visitor experiences so unique is that we’ve seen powerful correlations with things like SEO.
In fact, we’ve done multiple case studies with sites that use Ezoic’s Testing suite (mainly Ad Tester) to improve their organic traffic.
Ezoic looks at and measures experiences in a similar way that Google does. As Ezoic segments and changes experiences for visitors in an effort to improve their session, Google is likely observing these improvements and viewing them positively.
Regardless of improvements in organic traffic, as all visitor experiences improve, sessions typically get longer and include more pageviews as well. This results in more revenue and more total pageviews for publishers month over month.
In addition to the natural features present in the Ezoic testing apps, Ezoic has several apps within the app store that can help publishers with increasing pageviews and traffic.
The Ezoic Recommended Pages app is a good example of this type of feature.
This app allows website owners to add a ‘Recommended Pages’ widget to the site when using Ezoic’s Layout Tester. It uses A.I to recommend content which each individual user might respond well to, based on their behavior.
Ezoic’s EZLinks app is another example of an app available inside the app store that is built to help publishers automatically develop a more sophisticated internal link structure.
This can help encourage visitors to visit additional pages during their session and can also help with SEO.
How Ezoic improves publisher ad earnings
While this is often the primary motivation for many publishers to use Ezoic, there are a lot of additional reasons why the platform is a core part of some of the largest publishing businesses on the planet.
Fundamentally, the original premise of Ezoic was that if you could deliver every website visitor a more personalized experience and that this would result in…
A.) Visitors that are more engaged in the content and spend a longer period of time on the website and visit more pages.
B.) Provide a greater value to advertisers which would result in higher ad rates long term.
We have proven in over a dozen studies that both of these statements are true. Many studies were in conglomeration with partners, like Google, and account for factors like seasonality, functional growth, and more.
Better experiences = more pageviews and more revenue
This is where the entire ad industry and digital publishing world both have major blind spots.
How many times have you heard someone talk about CPMs or RPMs?
CPMs are an advertiser metric. They represent the cost to an advertiser to buy ad space on a website.
RPMs represent the total amount of revenue earned from all the CPM’s on the page.
EPMV (or what AdSense calls session rpm) is the total amount that publishers earn per session.
EPMV is talked about the least but is the only one with an exact correlation to total publisher ad earnings.
Believe it or not, you could double CPMs and make less revenue overall!!!
EPMV is a much better way of understanding if you are making more or less revenue per visitor.
CPMs & RPMs don’t account for an ad’s potential to make a user leave early. If an ad is high-paying and annoying it may drive visitors away — causing them to refrain from visiting more pages with more ads on them.
This is why Ezoic was built to optimize for session revenue, not page revenue or single ad revenue.
This is why Ezoic can account for user experience and still make publishers more money than they could trying to maximize CPMs alone.
Ezoic’s advanced machine learning has been known to even withhold ads from certain pageviews because it has learned over time that certain visitors may visit 5-6 pages if that page contains no ads.
Ads affect other ads
Ultimately, this strategy does more than maximize the ad earnings for every visit. It also can have long-term positive effects on ad rates for the publisher.
We saw this in our studies of Fake UX. Not all pageviews can be created equal. Low quality, or accidental pageviews, result in bad experiences for advertisers (low viewability, CTR, and campaign performance).
Commonly, optimizing CPMs leads to lower ad rates over the course of a year
This means advertisers lower bids over time.
Ezoic uses it’s A.I. to understand how high-quality pageviews combine with supply and demand to drive up the price of a publisher’s ad inventory.
We did a study on this and presented it at Google earlier this year. It ultimately shows why removing ads can often increase ad rates over time.
All Ezoic apps are built to help with these principles, but our core Testing suite is where these attributes are most present.
What else can Ezoic do?
Ezoic adds apps each month.
Our engineering team offers weekly technical updates to our core machine learning technology and updates apps to keep them up to date with modern best practices.
We are constantly adding new tools — like our GDPR consent app — that are designed to make things that are complex easier for our users.
If you’re interested in trying Ezoic, you can sign-up here.
There are some minimum requirements to use the platform, but the platform is free for 30 days and doesn’t ever require a credit card.
Questions, thoughts? Leave them below and I’ll chime-in inside the comments section.
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.