When should I start placing advertisements on my website?

New website owners often struggle with the decision on the timing of their first ad placement. Although there is no definitive amount of time that you should wait before placing ads on your site, there are some important things you should consider.

Reasons to start advertising at a later stage

1. Build up your audience
One good reason to hold off on monetizing your site from the beginning is that you should build up your audience first. People are turned off by irrelevant and distracting ads, making it slightly less likely that they will return or become a registered visitor. Leaving your site ad free until you have a core group of followers and an established demographic of visitors could be a valuable asset to help you gain future advertisers. Also, visitors like to believe that the reason that you have your website is for the love of what you do and not for the money you get from it. This feeling will drive more repeat visitors to your site and hopefully get them hooked on its content. In essence, creating a new website and driving quality visitors to it is hard enough, having advertisements from the beginning can make it that much harder.
2. Focus on the website
Finding advertisers is not simple. It will take time and a lot of effort. Furthermore, once you have advertisers, you need to manage them, along with your advertising inventory. This will take valuable time away from maintaining your site and from keeping its content fresh, which is what drives traffic to it.
3. Have more time and more options
Monetizing your site at a later stage will not only give you more time to focus purely on your site and its content early on, but will give you more time to explore different advertising options later. You will need to understand which mix of rates (i.e. CPM, CPC, fixed) and mix of direct and indirect advertising (ad networks such as Google AdSense) works best for you. Moreover, having a well-established site first will also open the opportunity to higher-paying ad networks.

Reasons to start advertising at an early stage or right from the beginning

1. Avoid disruptive changes
Most avid visitors enjoy returning to a familiar page. If you suddenly add advertisements, visitors may become very annoyed and decide not to return. To avoid this, you can have advertisements from day one, even if it is just a simple in-house “Advertise With Us” banner. This way, they will not be surprised and will know what to expect when more advertisers show up on the website in the future.
2. Increase credibility
If you have strong advertising contacts and can guarantee some quality traffic, placing some advertisements from well-known and respected advertisers can provide some added credibility to your website. This will make your website seem more mature and can even give it a more professional look. In this case, the early advertising strategy can help drive traffic to the site.
3. Design for advertising
A poor website design that does not plan on future advertisements can become a major headache. If you start ad-free and do not envision and prepare for future advertisements in the website design, adding advertisements later may mean a complete overhaul or a layout full of mismatched components. Such a problem can be very costly and can be disastrous for the loyal visitors you have worked so hard in obtaining. Therefore, if you know you will monetize your site at some point in time, make an effort in designing a page layout that can be easily modified to add advertising.
4. Need revenue now
Of course, if you are in dire need of money and want to have some cash in your pocket as early as possible to pay for the site itself, or for anything else for that matter, adding advertisements at an early stage might be your only option.

With this advice and the knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses, adapt whichever strategy you think will work best for you and your website. A strong ad server, like AdSpeed, can help you maximize your revenue no matter when you start to advertise.

October 26, 2012


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