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Direct ad sales, differently

5:27 pm on Nov 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, many/most webdevs build their sites' content with a view to attract high Google rankings and so high search traffic volume to click high value AdSense or other third party ad blocks. Some sell direct ad space for banners, pop-ups, or blocks that look much as those of third party networks; imitation and all that. A few have attracted content marketers, native ad buyers, or mix in advertorials for content pages that are actually 100% paid content of one form or another.

Additionally, bandwidth is still (and back when definitely was) a serious constraint, for mobile users it can be critical, however many sites - and their third party partners - are greatly abusing both bandwidth and their visitors.
Note: a solid thought piece on how modern web advertising is increasingly toxic using a typical (sadly not a worst offender by far) enterprise site: Against an Increasingly User-Hostile Web [neustadt.fr] by Parimal Satyal, 02-November-2017.

And so many webdevs wonder why (are they really that clueless?), in increasing numbers, visitors are running ad blockers or javascript muted.

On the typical web page of the past two decades the ads distract from the content and the content distracts from the ads. How to satisfy various consumer regulations to 'separate while blending' and 'label without losing' are serious considerations. There is, however, for those selling ad space directly or wanting to up their affiliate pre-sell game a notch, an alternative that a very few of us have been using successfully for well over a decade: separate content and pitch. And make the pitch as awesome/relevant as the content.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the print Vogue magazine but it is basically a few articles interleaved between the most luscious colour saturated image ads of all time. People, in essence, pay to look at ads. That oomph sales power can never be replicated in skinny banners, small display blocks, nor, of course, in simple text ads. In one sense it's nothing new at all: by whatever name it's paid placement; however, sometimes execution makes all the difference.

Basically, the content pages lose all their ads. Think for a moment on, given our current web, the advantages in connection to render speed, the minimalisation of customer bandwidth, the lack of page 'jump', the lack of impact from ad-blockers... The content pages become laid out to best display the content: the text, the imagery, the multimedia. The content pages become written to entice the visitor to read further/more and not to entice ads by keyword or clicks on them. Content pages become the very best content for visitors on whatever. Period.

The ads (and affiliate presell, but here I'll focus only on ads) become totally separate, become their own very best content for purpose (define as required). Each ad is it's very own page; filling at a minimum one viewport worth of space, possibly scrolling/anchor linking longer as desired. Further, each ad page retains the ability (as do all web pages) of linking to further ad pages or out to the advertisers' own site or back to a relevant site page. Each ad can be as minimalist or as baroque, as static or as animated, as simple or as saturated, as desired.

Of course with the content and pitch, the ads, separated there needs to be a link from one to the other. And such a link, done right can accomplish several things, such as:
* it can blend in with the content, the surrounding and anchor text can be wholly congruent with the topic and it's flow while enticing the visitor away.
* it can act as a qualifying filter for the advertiser.
* it can be ignored with minimal disruption to the visitor.

One additional benefit of separating the content and the ads is that the ad pages can easily be kept out of search result indices via robots.txt and/or meta noindex and/or bot blocking. This is necessary so that visitors must come through the site to view. In addition, it is best practice to disallow direct URL access such as bookmarking; rather ads should be accessed only from appropriately linked site pages. This is necessary because ads do change and maintaining links to no longer in existence ads is a foolish burden and to retain site filtering and site primacy benefits.
Note: yes, page aka ad can be copied and retained, it is not the 'ad' per se that one is protecting rather ad 'access'. After all that is part of what one is selling, along with the ad itself.

Is it more work? Of course.
Is it a hard sell to ad agencies and/or advertisers? Of course.
However, have you ever looked at the price points of full page print ads in newspapers and magazines? At the corresponding circulation figures? At their lack of hard viewer data?

When was the last time that you, or a webdev you know, sold ad space for $50,000 or more per month for 2-years plus options on longer?

Know your hard human visitor numbers (bot id and correction/blocking is critical); be able to demonstrate having/guaranteeing 4-times the niche interested traffic of corresponding print magazines at a quarter the average print rate... just may get you in the door and looking back at third party ad networks as an easy simple cheap default for those pages without links to ads worth visiting.
1:08 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
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Great post iamlost
Some sell direct ad space for banners, pop-ups, or blocks that look much as those of third party networks; imitation and all that.
I sell direct ad space, using those ad types. Not a big money maker for me, but I get a few advertisers each month.

A few have attracted content marketers, native ad buyers, or mix in advertorials for content pages that are actually 100% paid content of one form or another.
I have received several proposals, but have not chose to participate for several reasons. They wanted me to ad their propriety code to my pages and run additional scripts, which I have too many of already. Plus, their offer wasn't attractive enough for me to get involved. But maybe the next offer will be more to my liking.

I have not considered off-page ads. I feel the amount and the presentation of the ads I use is sufficient at this time... but you have planted the seed in my head now :)