Continuing our series on designing a new website, and keeping the money making in mind as you go through the steps of conceptualizing the site and getting it set up, today we will look at how you can best deliver ads to your readers in a way that will make you the most money. In our last article in the series, we talked about choosing a platform on which to build your site. I think that today I might tell you about something that many people seem not to know about.
What is it that I have in mind, which you may not know about? Well, I call it GAM, because it used to be named Google Ad Manager. The name was changed last year to “Doubleclick for Publishers”. I will call it GAM in this article because that is the name that I am comfortable using. When I say GAM, I am talking about Doubleclick for Publishers.
So, what is GAM? Basically, it is a free service from Google that delivers advertising on your site, it is ad server software, only running on Google’s server rather than your own.
Basically, GAM can deliver Google AdSense in conjunction with any other ads that you wish to serve on your site. Or, you can totally eliminate the AdSense ads if you wish. What is nice about GAM, though, is that it gives you the ability to rotate ads, which helps eliminate ad blindness (ad blindness is when regular visitors to your site no longer even notice the ads any longer, because they are used to seeing them all of the time). The ability to rotate ads in the same slots means that you can serve up any number of different ads in certain slots, based on lots of different criteria. You could say that the ads will rotate at random. You could show certain ads to people from a certain country while showing a different ad to visitors from another country. You can show different ads based on the time of day. There are lots of different criteria that you could choose to determine what ad shows to what visitor. Generally, I rotate ads randomly, except in some cases where I sell ads to somebody and they specifically want the ads only shown to visitors from a certain part of the world.
GAM will work best for you when you have a lot of different ads for it to put into the rotation. Part of the reason for this is that your readers will see many different ads that might catch their attention when they visit. If they see the same ad over and over, without a doubt they will become blind to it. But if they visit today and see a graphic ad that is red, then tomorrow it is a text-based ad, then the next day the ad is blue… well, it will look different than normal, and draw their eyes. This ability alone will help increase your earnings from your site.
You know what? GAM goes one step further in helping you make money from your site. Do you show AdSense ads on your site? If so, GAM is for you. Why? Well, you can set up GAM in a way that it will show your ads (ads that you sold, affiliate ads, ads for your own products, etc), but if it has AdSense ads that will pay you more than your own ads do, then and only then will it show AdSense. So, that means that it is going to show only high paying ads on your site! With AdSense, you never know if a click is worth 10 cents or 10 dollars, but Google does know, and GAM will help you to not show those 10 cent ads because frankly making 10 cents per click is not really worth your trouble. I know that I’d much rather show an ad for one of my books or another service that I offer than to show an ad that has upside potential of only 10 cents. This aspect of GAM alone makes it worthwhile to use it on your sites.
Now, there is a downside to GAM, though. The learning curve is huge! Using GAM is not easy to do, at least not at the beginning. I have been using GAM for several years now, and I feel like I have a good handle on it. I can do a lot of great things with GAM, but when I first started using it, I was lost and embarrassed to even admit that I had no idea what I was doing with GAM. Now, though, I have spent enough time and effort on the software to make it very useful. I feel that my online earnings are probably double because of my use of GAM. It’s worth the time necessary to learn the software, the payoff will cover your time involved in learning the use of the system.
The good news is that like most other Google software, the use of GAM is free.
If you want to use GAM and need help in setting it up, contact me, and I can help you, it is a service that I offer through my Web-Earner service.
Interesting rundown, Bob. I’m using GAM myself (although I am more like where you were in your early days of using it 😉 ), and I can testify it’s a useful tool. The alternative of using affiliate ads versus AdSense based on price is very useful. A big problem many will have with the program is the sheer size and complexity of all the options, but the trick is, about 89% of the options aren’t needed at all to mange ads on a single website …once you battle through to get the first set of ads running to your satisfaction you are essentially home free, just have to rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Good stuff.
Hi Dave – Indeed the learning curve on GAM is huge, and as you may recall, I even gave up on GAM after taking a look at it. I am happy that I went back and gave it a second try, because it has been well worth the effort for me.