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Digital advertising is a critical revenue stream that allows publishers to provide their users with quality, up-to-date and engaging content. With ever-increasing digital advertising standards, it’s important for publishers to keep the user experience in mind when making decisions regarding online advertising strategies.

We’ve all had a bad user experience with a website littered with poor quality, distracting or disruptive ads. Perhaps our device suddenly started playing music out of nowhere, or we experienced slow page load times or clicked on a redirect link that brought us unexpectedly to another page.

These tactics all contribute to high bounce rates and increased user acquisition costs for publishers, yet trade-offs are often made when it comes to the quality of the user experience in favor of driving short-term revenue. This short-sighted approach can also contribute to longer-term reductions in revenue and a devaluation of a publisher’s inventory. It’s a lose-lose for both the user and the publisher.  

In order to maintain high digital advertising standards, The Coalition for Better Ads was formed by international trade associations and companies dedicated to improving consumers’ experiences with online advertising. The Coalition for Better Ads leverages user insight and industry expertise to develop global standards to address user expectations.

Additionally, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released standards to establish best practices that publishers and advertisers are urged to follow to help maintain a balance where publishers can make money and users can continue to have an optimal user experience.

Although every website’s advertising strategy varies, below are three best practices that all publishers should adhere to for creating a better advertising experience:

  • Ensure that ads load quickly. Users will tend to leave the page if the ads prevent the content from loading.
  • Allow the ad experience to seamlessly blend into the content. Typically, as a rule of thumb, maintain a five ad placements maximum per page.
  • Finally, know your audience and target them. Through the use of programmatic technology, publishers are able to deliver more pertinent ads based on user interests.

If you want to see a couple of great examples of quality sites with thoughtful ad placement, check out http://www.playbill.com/ and Kalmbach Media’s http://discovermagazine.com/, http://www.astronomy.com/ and http://mrr.trains.com/ sites

Are you curious about how your website stacks up when it comes to the user experience? Sign up for a free Website Monetization Assessment with customized recommendations delivered by a member of our Services team!

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