Tools & Tech

The Official Site Quality Checklist for Professional Publishers

sovrnmarketing // December 14, 2015

Site Quality Checklist

On the Ad Ops team at sovrn, we review lots of sites each day – we see the good, the bad and the ugly. Clean sites help you build your brand’s trust and encourage readers to return – low quality sites do the opposite.

Today we are bringing you our site quality checklist – make sure you’re following all of these guidelines in order to maintain the highest site quality possible.

1. Don’t have more ads than content- site quality 101!

Your awesome and original content is what makes your site valuable. Please don’t break up your content so that there is only a single sentence and a single picture on each page surrounded by tons of ads. It’s unsightly and will drive away readers.

2. Don’t have excessive ads and/or a high density of units.

Excessive ads cause the page to lag significantly. Sometimes it is so bad that the site never finishes loading and readers can’t get to the content, causing even more frustration.

As a reader, my least favorite experience is when the high number of ads causes a page to crash while I’m trying to cook a recipe. This negatively impacts the user experience and is exactly the sort of thing that would make a publisher want to install an ad blocker.

Furthermore, demand partners vary in their requirements, but usually the number of ads per page that they are comfortable is somewhere from 3 to 5. Please also note that having multiple units at the very bottom of your page where folks are unlikely to go is undesirable for advertising partners.

3. Make sure your site is brandsafe.

Brands don’t want their ads appearing next to inappropriate content. It’s important not only to consider the brand safety of your images and content, but also that of your content marketing platforms and display advertising partners present on the page.

Ad networks review sites on a holistic basis, so keep in mind your content isn’t the only factor in terms of site quality.

4. Don’t proliferate malware.

Don’t mislead your readers by directing them to other sites that might contain malware. Malicious creatives typically appear more often as ad spend picks up towards the end of the year and can come from any of your ad sources.

Here at sovrn, we take reports of malware or redirects very seriously and will pause demand sources that cause these types of issues until we can confirm that the situation has been remedied.

Malware is an industry-wide problem. That being said, it is important when adding a new demand source to your stack to inquire about their stance on redirects and malware. We deny publishers that knowingly work with companies that whose purpose is to redirect readers.

If you follow this site quality checklist, your site will build recognition, trust and traffic. In addition, you’ll reduce the likelihood that you’ll be a victim of ad blocking, and profit from higher CPMs.

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