Advertising. Adverts. Ads. Whatever you call them, for many sites they are a necessary requirement to pay the bills (and hopefully turn a profit). Most visitors accept the odd ad here and there as a necessary evil in order for them to consume your content – however, have you considered that advertising can actually add value to your site?
Provide for your visitors
Consider the type of visitors that you get at your site – you should have at least a basic understanding of the demographics and interests of your site’s visitors. If you run a website on Himalayan mountain trekking, it may be safe to assume your visitors enjoy the outdoors, are keen trekkers and love to travel.
Perhaps you could include live airfare prices to the Himalayas as a content unit on your site, or publish product reviews of hiking boots with embedded affiliate links.
The quiz fans
Screenshot of the Just Chat quiz page (click to visit site)
Over at Just Chat, our members hold their own online quizzes each Monday night in the chat rooms. They are hugely popular and strengthen the community. In May of last year, I implemented a quiz section on the site for our users. They have proven to be extremely popular and for every user that registers to play the quizzes, we are credited with a small commission.
Not only do the quizzes add further value to Just Chat, they appear in a ‘quiz window’ which means the user never leaves our site. Additionally, we are even allowed to run our own ad inventory in the quiz windows.
More value = less money?
The online quizzes make a negligible contribution to Just Chat’s revenue, however they add a high level of value to our visitors. We benefit from additional revenue and more features for the site, and our users benefit from an additional service. Sometimes this is more important than high commissions alone.
Ads can be positive, too!
I hope this article, in combination with the one I wrote at the beginning of the month entitled ‘Use advertising as a motivator‘ help you to see that not all advertising is bad.
If you take the time to really get to know and understand your visitors, you may well find that certain types of advertising can actually add value to your site and generate additional revenue at the same time.
What are your opinions on this article? Do you disagree and think all advertising is negative? Do you think specific forms of advertising can add value to a website? Leave your comments below!