Why You’ll Make More Website Ad Revenue At The End of This Year
We are entering the best time of the year to be a digital publisher, blogger, or website owner… Q4 (the 4th quarter of the year). This is when advertisers crank up their budgets to appeal to consumers that will be spending big during the holiday season. This means more competition in the programmatic ecosystem which drives up website ad rates across the web.
Digital publishers typically recognize the end of the year as a time where website ad revenue is at its highest. But, 2018 may prove to be a special year for those who are prepared to take full advantage of some unprecedented new trends.
Below, I’ll talk a little bit more about Q4 and 2018 trends. I’ll also share several tips on how to take full advantage of this high-earning time of the year.
How does seasonality and Q4 affect ad rates?
Most major advertisers structure their annual budgets into quarters. This means they run big campaigns 3 months at a time that typically end right before the next quarter begins.
That means ad rates typically see a big drop at the beginning of these months…
Here’s even a video we did about why this happens in July.
However, the months where advertisers spend the most money are in …
- and December
These are the months that advertisers know consumers will be spending big on holiday shopping.
With an increase in digital spending/shopping, advertisers are funneling more and more money into digital campaigns every year.
This means that auctions for ad space on publisher websites become far more competitive during this time of the year.
And, as we know, competition drives up ad rates. That’s why we’re fans of Mediation.
This competition means that ad rates soar during the last 3 months of the year for most publishers.
Is 2018 a special year for ad rates?
In a nutshell, yes!
Typically, the record is set each year on Black Friday at the end of November. This is when advertisers blast the web trying to capitalize on increased consumer buying behavior.
However, in 2018, the record was set multiple times in the middle of the summer. This has never happened before and further cements 2018 as the year that digital ad rates are the highest they have ever been.
So, can we expect Q4 of 2018 to continue this trend?
In a nutshell, probably.
All signs point to this being a record-breaking Q4 for ad rates.
Publishers with the right elements in place will be poised to see record ad earnings at the end of 2018.
How can I take advantage of Q4?
There are a number of helpful tips I can provide around capitalizing on these trends in 2018 and Q4.
Tip #1: You should be seeing higher EPMV this year already
Adjusting for traffic and ad rates, the amount of revenue you earn per visitor is best measured using EPMV (ad session revenue as defined by AdSense).
You should already be seeing higher EPMVs in 2018 than in the past. If not, try to understand what you might be doing different that could be causing you to underperform in this timeframe.
Tip #2: Beware major changes right now.
Considering a website redesign? How about changing up your link structure or the way you fundamentally publish your content?
Might want to hold off on any major website projects until January.
January is when website ad rates are at their lowest. You’ll risk losing far less revenue if you experiment in January as opposed to the time when ad rates are at their highest.
Tip #3: Invest in content and content promotion
How many times have you heard content is king?
It’s true and will remain true for years and years to come. This is why there is never a better time of the year to double down on creating content and promoting your content across the web.
Here are a few ways to do it…
- Augment old content to try to boost SEO
- Get serious about a newsletter
- Use these underutilized communities and social network techniques
Tip #4: If you use Ezoic, try these tips…
Ezoic thrives on times when ad rates are their most competitive. This is when our machine learning is truly at it’s best. If you split-test traffic on Ezoic to see how Ezoic experiments are performing, Q4 may be a time to send even more traffic through the Ezoic platform for optimization.
With Google claiming that ads.txt will be their default setting for advertisers sometime before the end of the year, it may be a good time to use the Ezoic Ads.txt Manager app to ensure you have an ads.txt file on your site in Q4.
Lastly, these are 3 things that all Ezoic publishers can do to ensure ads earnings are higher in Q4:
- Ensure all pre-existing ads on your site are “wrapped” — this has proven to be huge for several publishers
- Add additional placeholders for the Ezoic machine learning system to test and optimize
- Ensure the caching app is turned on and working properly (CDN is enabled) to ensure site speed is as fast as it should be along with other Ezoic app best practices.
Am I ready for Q4 now?
The advice above should help you ensure that you’ll make the most of the final 3 months of 2018.
Try to avoid any critical changes to your site that could cause you to miss out on the revenue that is going to come in these final months. Additionally, make sure you’re not currently doing something that may be causing you to miss out on these record high rates.
If you’re an Ezoic publisher, now is the time to hone in on best practices and really double-check your site to ensure you’re doing everything possible on the platform to capitalize on these next few months.
Lastly, focus on your content in Q4. Create it and promote it.
Any questions? Leave them below and I’ll keep the conversation going.
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.