I see quite a few of you around these forums have been using them. Are they worth the partnership?
They have gone into high gear with me; I'm getting regular email inquiries from them (from different reps within the company) regarding my major sites. Just wondering if I should seriously consider trying them out or not.
I had a rep before from them and yes they are very helpful. However, I stopped acquiring their service just before they can finish the ads split testing on my site because it was really hurting my earnings. I know they need data to recommend the best placement and size, etc. But the drop was too much to bear.
In my experience, support is good but Ezoic is too complicated and it doesn't really earn more money than alternatives (especially with all the space they when monetizing a page). I was also being blacklisted from my own website backend due to the nameservers having to be pointed to Ezoic. I finally had enough.
I experimented with it on one of my small, standalone Wordpress sites. Integrating with their CDN played havoc with my MX records and I ended up losing 2-3 days of emails before sorting it out. Once settled, it didn't earn significantly more than Adsense... and some of their ad placements are very questionable. I opted out after a couple of months.
I started using Ezoic at the beginning of July, and I'm extremely impressed after 18 days of watching my revenue climb.
As for nameservers, I'm a CloudFlare user, so I just used Ezoic's CloudFlare app, and everything was done automatically.
One caveat: I wasn't pleased by the way Ezoic's AI was automatically placing ads (some of the placements looked goofy), so I've been adding the Ezoic placeholders manually. I began by sticking placeholders in running headers, footers, and sidebars--which took only a few minutes--and have been adding content placeholders within text.
Re placeholders: They're a great convenience, because that's all they are: placeholders, not blocks of ad code. If you later decide that you don't want a certain ad size for "middle sidebar," or that you want more space between "content ad 1" and the surrounding text, or that you'd like to eliminate a certain ad placement, you can just go into the Ezoic Ad Tester and tweak the individual ad type's settings.
Another thought: I've always been very conservative about ad placements, but by letting Ezoic do its thing and studying the resulting statistics, I can see that I've been leaving a lot of money on the table. Thanks to Ezoic's constant testing and detailed reporting, I can be more aggressive in my use of ads than I'd be if I were just winging it as I was doing before I discovered Ezoic.
I can see the appeal of squeezing more dollars out of your audience, but do you know how it's affecting the user experience?
That's where Ezoic comes in. It uses artificial intelligence to do the kind of multivariate testing that I couldn't do on my own (and to tailor the UX toindividual users). Also, in setup, I can indicate whether I want Ezoic to favor revenue, on the user experience, or a balance between the two.
A couple of observations:
- Our readers appear to be a lot more tolerant of ads than I'd thought. Even as our revenue has shot up, our user metrics continue to do fine.
- Ezoic ran an interesting blog post a while back about a case study of a news and entertainment site. It mentioned that the site's users who arrived via organic search had a tolerance for only two ads per page, while those who arrived directly would tolerate up to seven.
Again, so far, so good. Readers continue to be "engaged" (according to Ezoic's metrics and Google Analytics), and we're making a lot more money than we were three weeks ago. I'll definitely stick with Ezoic when my 30-day trial period is up at the end of July.
1) IMO, there's no substitute for editorial judgment. Ezoic recommends placing something like 15 placeholders on a page so that it can mix and match ads in a zillion combinations for testing purposes. Some of its standard placeholders are "after first paragraph" and "after second paragraph." I do NOT want in-content ads such as 300 x 250 rectangles appearing "above the fold" on mobile devices, even if testing suggests that readers will tolerate them and they'll earn more money, so I enter my in-content placeholders manually, in the HTML code. (Maybe I'm hyper-cautious, but if so, so be it.)
2) So far, I haven't been able to figure out how to see how my AdSense channels perform (even though Ezoic is integrated with my AdSense account). Once Ezoic starts serving AdSense ads, the only ads that show up in my Google AdSense stats are those that I've marked as "existing ads." It would be great if I could see which topics or subdirectories are performing best in terms of revenue. Maybe there's a way to do that? If not, there should be.
3) As someone who's been publishing online since the mid-1990s, I find it almost mind-blowing that I now have access to the kinds of tools that big publishers get to use. Not to many years ago, the notion that a mom-and/or-pop publisher could easily do automated multivariate ad and layout testing (Ezoic) or have cheap access to a worldwide Content Delivery Network (CloudFlare) would have seemed laughable.
ComandDork: Ezoic is compensated in either of two ways: You can have a small ad (which Ezoic collects the revenue from) at the bottom of each page, or you can pay a monthly fee. I think most people go with the ad option.
Addendum to my last reply: There's also an Enterprise Edition for "major media groups and large publishing groups." Ezoic's pricing model is a bit like CloudFlare's, with a free version, a business or standard version, and an enterprise version for the huge kahunas.