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Less is more: How fewer ads can make you more money

In conversations I have with publishers, I see the reconciliation of user experience and ad revenue as one of the toughest digital publishing challenges. Fortunately there are steps publishers can take to ensure they are offering quality ads and an experience that both delights users and boosts revenues.

No Higher Than 30% Ad Density

By now, you will undoubtedly be aware of the Initial Better Ads Standards, which have been released by the Coalition for Better Ads. Violations of these standards are now being punished by Google Chrome, which will block all ads on websites found to be using poor ad experiences.

One of the ad experiences users identified as one of their least favorite was when ads take up more than 30% of the vertical height of a page. This demonstrates how poor user experiences brought about by ads can turn away users, increase the use of ad blockers and ultimately result in ad revenue losses.

Speed is King

Speed is absolutely critical, particularly on mobile — which, as we know, is where the majority of browsing now takes place. In fact, 53% of users will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

If publishers have websites crammed with ads, the speed of their websites will naturally suffer because they’re rendering heavy assets and lots of JavaScript with each ad. This will lead to more users abandoning pages and making a mental note of which websites offer subpar experiences.

In her article for Forbes, Kayla Brizo explains how her team conducted an experiment that gave up a small amount of revenue by removing low-value ads. This resulted in users staying on the website for longer due to the gains in speed, and actually resulted in revenue gains.

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