Selling things on your website isn’t a strange concept. A lot of people have sites where they want to do that if only to break even. And most people do it with generic ads. When, for whatever reason, Google and such aren’t a viable option, it’s time to consider targeting your advertising a little pragmatically. Or rather, more specifically.
Take Aim At Your Content
One of the reasons Google Adsense is so popular is that it claims to target your readers for you. It does the hard work and you can just walk away. But the reality is that it’s targeting your readers based on their search patterns, not necessarily based on your content.
Now. Google does target ads based on content. However it’s not the way I felt would make the most sense. You see, when I think about content targeted ads, I would think “this post is about bicycles, I should have ads about bicycles.” What actually happens is you get some bicycle ads and then some ads for table wax, because you were shopping for that earlier in the week.
Advertisers over Content
The problem arises in prioritizing advertisers over readers. It’s one of those peculiar paradoxes. Ads are made by people to make money. They pay you to put them on your website. But that only works if the people who visit your website click on their ads and buy their things. That means it’s more beneficial for advertisers to aim at the visitor directly than via your website’s content.
Most people don’t actually go to their ad preferences on Google and fiddle with their personal preferences, so the default ads are always going to be based on everything. Since some people have weird interests, the ads on your site might be geared towards beds instead of bicycles.
If your goal is to have fewer generic ads then the only solution is to take charge of what ads are on your site. And that’s work. Not many of us have the time to pick our ads every single day, and even if we did, we’d be set with the ones offered to us. I’ve used Project Wonderful before, and it lets you pick what ads you show. But only from the ones that submit to your site.
The next choice is cherry picking ads from what’s available on a service like Amazon’s Associate Program. That shows you all of Amazon’s available bounties and promotions, which you can put on your site and leave them alone. Some even last ‘forever’ so you don’t have to worry about expirations.
Of course, there’s also the work of adding individualized ads on each page, for the product you’re talking about. But that is another post.