Now that I’ve already come up with the top ten reasons not to use in-text ads and given you ammunition against your in-text-loving friends, you might even find yourself joining them… So, to be on the safe side, I thought it may be useful for you to also browse through the top 10 advantages and benefits of in text ads on your site. The issues are quite similar, but the angle of view is reversed. I also deal with most of these issues elsewhere in more depth, but this list can prove to be handy as an overview.
When reading content online, we all got used to reading continuously even when there’s a hyperlink over a few words. That’s how the Internet is built. The double underline links are no different. They don’t stop or disturb our flow of reading. As opposed to banners that tend to be graphically noisy with many colors and animation, and sometimes even literally noisy with sound, in text ads are subtle additions to the original content. As website publishers we strive to keep a good balance between content and “noise” and in text ads are a good choice in this regard. When most websites have Google AdSense units with flash objects within them, claims that in text ads are intrusive are already part of the Web’s history.
In text ads generate extra revenues from a website without affecting other sources of income. When considering your website monetization plan, remember that in text ads represent an additional source of income that can be as high as Google AdSense in some cases. Before flooding the website with complex affiliate programs and jumpy full-page ads, publishers should give in text ads a try. For many thousands of publishers, the stable monthly payment from their in text ads provider has become a corner stone of their website revenues.
Integrating in text ads into a website is so easy, that even I managed it myself. It can take less than a minute to simply paste a line of code into the website and that’s it – the in text ads are there automatically. This is one of the only money making additions to a website that does not require changes to the website or any development or IT work. Giving it a try and seeing the revenues accumulate is actually easier than writing a new post or updating your Facebook.
Most in text ads are on pay per click basis (PPC) and the website publisher gets paid for every click. We sometimes put so much effort into affiliate programs with pay per lead (CPL) or pay per acquisition (CPA) models, that we forget the joy of PPC. Every visitor that clicked on an ad earns you revenues. Even the Google AdSense Link Units require two clicks to earn something, and many websites still use them. This is a clear advantage that calls for in text ads to come early in the game.
I had this conversation with a major newspaper publisher regarding his online edition and he said that the authors claim that in text ads disrespect their editorial professionalism. A quick look on the website revealed a Double Click ad unit with a flash banner of a completely naked woman inviting the reader to have sex with her right now (from AdultFriendFinder). How can this lady’s offer be less disrespectful, I asked, than a double underline link over an important keyword within the content? He had to agree. In text ads complete and supplement good content and keep it in the main focus of the reader.
All web designers now follow the Apple approach of empty spaces and white areas to draw the readers to the actual content. Since they attach themselves to the content, in text ads don’t take any real estate on a website. As such, they leave the designer the option to choose where to place banners and where to leave some blanks for virtual air to flow through. This design benefit of in text ads is a major factor when comparing them to many other monetization and advertising methods.
In text ads are hooked on actual terms within the content and they are mostly relevant and supplement the content. Complaints about non relevant ads should be considered within the context. First, they are mostly much more relevant than the supposedly contextual banners around the text. And second, relevancy is in the eye of the advertiser. The great feedback from advertisers prove that the matching algorithms work well. By the way, when a top Alexa 1,000 website editor told me that she got a complaint from a visitor about a non-relevant ad, I had to tell her that it was great news. Receiving a single complaint out of many thousands of community members speaks strongly about the relevancy that the vast majority of visitors did find.
The marketing guru Seth Godin has set the stage for modern marketing by focusing advertisers on permission marketing: when a potential customer permits the advertiser to bring front his message, the potential for conversion is high. While most online advertising techniques try to interrupt people from their online activities, like TV ads do in the middle of a show, in text ads do not open unless the visitor expressly requested more information. The mouse hover is an intended action that reveals a small ad within the bubble, and then the click on it, being a second active request, represents double permission. As publishers, integrating in text ads means that you respect your online visitors by not interrupting them without genuine interest.
In text ads get high quality scores from advertisers. From my experience, since the visitor actually gives permission to get exposed to the ad, chances are high that he will be genuinely interested in the advertiser’s content. This is the next best thing after search ads, and advertisers that analyze return on their advertising budgets find in text ads to be rewarding. When advertisers are happy with in text ads, budgets grow, the payment per click increases, and the overall eCPM gets better.
While it’s true that adding in text ads on your site takes only a minute, there’s much more that you can do to improve your earning results. Consider the color, the format of the underline, the number of hooks, the location in the page, blacklist keywords, whitelist keywords… such improvements do take some work, but they can add up on your bottom line. When you analyze your eCPM and CTR and act according to some optimization tips (that you can find here as well), you can even double your revenues. Without a third party to optimize your ads, you can get better and this is an important factor for professionals.
The more I work with in text ads, the more I’m convinced that this method of website monetization is highly beneficial to the three points of the triangle – publishers, advertisers, and readers. I’ve listed here the top 10 advantages of in text ads, but I’m sure that with time more benefits will emerge. Perhaps some problems too. I’m inviting you to join the conversation and contribute from your experience, and if you still haven’t gained experience with in text, it’s not too late to try. All you need is an extra minute.