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Lessons Learned from Website Monetization Errors and How to Avoid Them


While some publishers' efforts are rewarded, others' revenues don't seem to be rocking, leading them to wonder "why is my CPM low?" You might be shocked to learn that most obstacles to the expansion of publishers' businesses can be easily removed! And this is what this checklist post aims to accomplish. We'll address the key challenges that online publishers encounter and point out crucial website monetization errors.

Our checklist was split into two sections. The first one will address significant advertising gaffes (the way you get and place ad formats on the web pages). The second section focuses exclusively on indirect elements that can negatively impact a website's profitability.

  • 12 major website monetization errors
  • Indirect errors that hinder attempts to monetize websites
  • Grow your digital business with experts, in conclusion 

12 major website monetization errors

Let's look at the typical errors that website owners make while adding adverts on their pages. We'll include some screenshots from the platform as this is the Adsterra advertising company I'm making use of on my blog and I will also give instances of our ad formats. The majority of the stated considerations, however, apply to any advertising network.

1. Your target audience will become scared by too many ads on one page.

Publishers frequently mistakenly believe that "more ads" equates to "more money." That is untrue.

Users can't choose between the many messages because they are first distracted by them. The effect of banner blindness is now upon us.

Second, your objective should be to make money from ad impressions, not from your guests. Users visit websites with a specific goal in mind, thus your material must accomplish that goal by providing solutions to issues, providing information in response to inquiries, providing instructions, etc. They switch to other, comparable sites and almost ever return if they don't have the competition they need.

Steer clear of combine and ad density forms
However, many banners can be displayed on a single page. AVOID, however, ad density (multiple formats placed together).

It is worthwhile to employ several banner positions and sizes. For instance, a 728x90px format appears above the content, a 300x250px format is used for the sidebar, and one more format is used for the bottom section. Another illustration is when you insert a few native banner parts in a lengthy article.

There is an even more effective method. Combine various-looking ad formats that engage people in different ways:

  • banners and puddle jumpers
  • Push ads and native ads
  • Popper's Social Bar
  • Native banners and video ads

2. Multiple native advertising are sliced into your blog posts.

We already mentioned that it's a good idea to place native banners on a single page. However, if you segment your blogposts or web pages with various native banner sets, you come across as being overly pushy. In this situation, even native formats can become irritating.

In-article ads perform great when users meet them up to 3 times per post. Some websites — video streaming platforms and file storages — can act more aggressively, showing native banners almost on every part of the web page. It all depends on the website profile and your users’ sensitivity. 

3. You use too many ad formats simultaneously

While combining advertising formats is a sound and wise strategy, it still can lead to poor results. Why so? First, it’s because one can put all existing ad formats on the very same page. Users will feel under the attack of banners, push, video ads, and finally, get a couple of popunders greeting them in the new browser tabs.

Second, multiple ad formats make it harder for you to assess the productivity of each of them. You risk failing to identify the most efficient ones and miss the most irritating.

It’s best to start with a single format, then add another, analyze the results, and study your audience’s reaction to each separate ad unit. 

With Adsterra Publishers Statistics, you manage all ad placements, for our system marks them all. Choose your domain from the list, pick the ad format you want to analyze, and check all key metrics one by one: clicks, CTR, CPM, revenue.  

4. Not adapting the ad format to your website's niche and content

Except for the universal Smart Direct Link — a simple URL that you can put anywhere and earn from impressions — all other ad formats should match your content. 

Supposing, when you’re running a web service platform (a File Converter), you can use almost any visual placements, from VAST video pre-rolls to popunders. But when we refer to sensitive content, like long-form articles, tutorials, how-tos, it is better to use the least intrusive formats. Native banners and Popunders will be the most suitable unit here.

5. Ad formats don't fit your traffic type

Along with advertising units that don’t fit your website niche and content, there can also be mismatches between the format and the traffic type. Let’s go over some examples.

Web push notifications

While more and more users get the opportunity to decline push notifications, ads based on users’ subscriptions will gradually fade. 

Actually, classic push notifications are getting banned by Google Chrome more often each day, and they aren’t available on iOS devices. 

At the same time, the new generation of in-page push ads work even with iOS, remaining AdBlock-friendly. So, if you’re focusing on iOS traffic, you can now shift to a more prominent format.

Mobile VS Desktop formats

Quite plain, but still making trouble: some publishers use desktop banner formats on mobile website versions. Make sure that banner size is OK for mobile screens. For instance, 798×90 px is a traditional desktop leaderboard, while 320×50 is a mobile leaderboard.

Pop-up and interstitial ads mechanics

Classic pop-ups and interstitials are pretty aggressive because they can block the web page content. If your visitors belong to Gen Z or are even younger, they will leave the website immediately. Pop-ups are not recommended for mobile traffic, as they act as a barrier between the website and the user.

As for interstitials, they’re more friendly (Google Ads Platform uses them widely!) but only when based on a dynamic iFrame technology. It allows users to click on the widget, collapse it or maximize the size while the website content remains usable. Interstitial ads by Adsterra come with the Social Bar format that uses the dynamic iFrame principle.

6. Incorrect frequency of popunder ads

Usually, the frequency of pop ads is set by default, but publishers can apply for changing it, aiming at showing ads as often as possible. That may lead both to CPM decrease and traffic loss. Numerous hidden tabs may discourage users from using your website next time. 

With Adsterra, you get a balanced default frequency: 4 popunders in 2 hours with 10 seconds delay between them. 

Increasing this frequency may result in CPM rates dropping, though your revenues will temporarily boost. But only temporarily. Advertisers who bid for your traffic will soon realize that their offers are all messed up with loads of other campaigns. 

7. Inappropriate ad unit placement

We've already established that adding advertising to your content won't be profitable. However, it might not generate any revenue if you subtly include a banner or native format at the footer of a long scrolling page. The equilibrium is crucial! How can the best ad units be placed?

It's vital to comprehend how ad impressions are determined first. Native banners, for instance, must load at least 51% of the way on a user's device. Therefore, be certain that your users are prepared to traverse the website till they see a set of native banners.

The home page isn't always the ideal location for advertisements. When visiting a news website, for instance, visitors frequently skip the content on the front page and head right to the category for the most recent postings.

Look into how people scroll around your website and which areas are overlooked. The most popular sites are displayed in Google Behavior reports, and several Heatmap and Scrollmap tools will provide detailed information on user behavior on each page.

8. Having scripts from two or more ad networks on your website results in poor monetization.

It's advisable to start by concentrating on one advertising network. Adsterra is not required, but there must be just one platform to deliver advertising to you. Your page speed may suffer if two or more scripts from several ad networks collide.

Additionally, when you concentrate on a single ad network, you gain a clear understanding of how it operates, the offers it streams, and the formats that perform best for your audience.

By starting the process of adjusting these new advertising to your website all over again when you transfer from one ad network to another, you waste time and money.

9. You prematurely remove the ad network's script.

Another error in website monetization is to examine the statistics right away after inserting the ad codes in the hopes of getting the desired outcomes. The effects of passive revenue are instant, but they also depend on your visitor volume, the location of the ads, and user behavior.

Ad networks can also utilize AI matching techniques for traffic-2-ads (Adsterra does). These algorithms first scan your website to identify the advertising offers that best suit the traffic there. To calibrate CPMs and adjust offers to your traffic, it can occasionally take up to 48 hours.

10. Improper use of advertising scripts or codes

Publishers occasionally make some changes to the scripts they received from the advertising network. Incorrect script copying results in 0 CPM because no ads are served. They start to clash with the webpage's settings when they are inserted in the incorrect spot in the HTML code.

The script being used twice is yet another typical error in website monetization. Each script is distinct, so if you copy and paste it more than once, statistics may return data that is doubled, tripled, or perhaps not at all. You won't learn anything about the format's functionality, usability, profitability, or other factors. The rules are the same for several websites; you cannot move ad codes between domains.

This mistake is easier to avoid rather than fix. On the Adsterra platform, each ad format is followed back with instructions. Please read them attentively and place ad units precisely as recommended. For example, you can’t place native ads between the “<head>” tags, while popunders should be put exactly before the closing “</head>” tag.

11 Not attempting New formats that are AdBlock-friendly

Using tried-and-true methods for website monetization, such as banner ads or pop-unders (which is better for you? ), is a surefire method. However, the advertising industry is changing, and you are losing out on some great earning opportunities. The social media scene was changed by TikTok, and now Social Bar push commercials are gaining popularity and...advertising budgets!

Whether it's a blog post or a file hosting page, neat, attractive designs fit practically every website.

Social Bar is essential for publishers who stream iOS traffic from mobile devices because it is both UX- and AdBlock-friendly.

12. You ignore the website's metrics except for CPMs
Publishers often care about the CPM rate ignoring other metrics such as CTR and clicks.

Meanwhile, advertisers are those who set requirements to the sort of traffic they want to get and use CTRs as the measure of success. 

What could be general reasons for the drop in CPM? A lot, actually. 

For example, proxy traffic is much cheaper since it’s impossible to determine whether the user is unique or not and from what GEO they are from. You can Also read How To Drive Millions Of Traffic To Your Website In 3 Months

Desktop traffic is often cheaper than mobile traffic. Traditionally, traffic from Tier 3 countries is a lot cheaper than traffic from the USA, the UK, Australia, or Tier 2 countries. But not always. South African users are evaluated almost as highly as the Tier-1 audience. 

Publishers can group all traffic they deliver by country and check how each GEO performs. They can also monitor the volume of clicks generated by each ad placement. It happens too often when a simple switch of ad placement location can improve CTRs and Clicks metrics and eventually amp CPMs.


These were the most tragic website monetization errors that any publisher might do. You can see there's nothing serious. You can address any of those issues on your own or with the assistance of our managers. Numerous unrelated issues that we face could prevent you from increasing your revenue. Should we now list them?

Indirect mistakes that block website monetization efforts

1. You create a website not for the people but for search engine algorithms

What did you create your website for? Most likely, you’ll say “to make money.” And that’s natural! 

But will you be able to earn money if users will immediately leave your website and then stop coming altogether? The answer is obvious. Without traffic, you won’t achieve anything. So, what should you do?

Create a website for organic human traffic, for real people with real needs. And by that, we mean: 

Post super-valuable and super-useful quality content on your website
Add value to trending topics, answer questions, provide useful tools and services. Your content will not necessarily be analytical articles or reviews. It can be file storage or an MP3 collection with an open license. 

And people will come; they’ll eagerly wait for your next post, write reviews and comments, share your content, and recommend your services to their friends and peers.

2. Non-focusing on target group/groups of users

Like we said earlier, quality content is rewarded both by users and search engines. But it only works if there is demand for your content. Otherwise, you will supply premium content to nobody and gain nothing. It would help if you always stayed in the market.

Marc Andreessen wrote The only thing that matters for THE PMARCA GUIDE TO STARTUPS. In it, he states:

“The only thing that matters is getting to product/market fit. Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.

You can always feel when product/market fit isn’t happening. The customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading, usage isn’t growing that fast.”

 Whatever the topic of your website, it has a specific target audience. If you haven’t identified it yet, then doing exactly that needs to become a priority. The more accurately you pinpoint your TA, the faster and the more you can monetize your website. 

3. Driving fake or bot traffic or purchasing cheap, non-target traffic

Don’t neglect the quality of your traffic. You cannot monetize fake or bot traffic. Chasing cheap traffic will always result in unnecessary expenses. Keep in mind that all advertisers that stream ads on your website can identify you and assess how resultative their campaigns are on your traffic. If they detect a sudden sore in traffic that doesn’t bring them clicks or conversions, they will blacklist your website. Also, many advertisers are not interested in paying for proxy traffic as they don’t want to buy a pig in the poke.

Advertisers can target by keywords; that’s why it is vital to attract organic quality traffic. 

4. Your hosting provider fails to deliver good performance

Remember, 40% of users will leave if your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, so it’s essential to choose the right hosting. 

The hosting provider must be reliable, fast, with good tech support. Some publishers start their online business with free or very cheap shared hosting. They’re great for beginners. But as your traffic volumes begin to grow, you will need a more powerful platform. Earlier, we shared a guide on how to choose a hosting service.

5. Not using other ways of traffic monetization

Websites are still the backbone of monetization strategy. But think bigger! You don’t need a multi-page website to drive, say, Facebook traffic to a simple landing page with ad codes. Just the same, TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram monetization is also feasible. 

Email marketing is irreplaceable for publishers, and you can start building your new source of income from loyal subscribers. Think of some extra value you can provide. Coupons from your partners, infographics, free trials, discounts? Use referral links to send as much traffic to your partners’ websites and get a commission from each target action.

When it comes to making money by suggesting products and services, traditional affiliate marketing is still in the lead. This method of earning money takes a lot of time and effort because you won't monetise right away as with ad networks. But if someone purchases a product you recommended, you will undoubtedly receive a healthy commission.

Grow your digital business with experts, in conclusion

Start with a reliable ad network that collaborates with numerous advertisers to make your digital strategy obvious and prevent mistakes with website monetization. When you recommend the ad network to your friends and earn money from referrals, it will pay you more money as a result of its reputation.

Check to see if you may profit from traffic on desktop, mobile, and social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

Make sure you can add more ad forms to your monetization options than only pop-ups and banners.

Also keep in mind that trust and attitude are still crucial components of any connection. Select reputable advertising networks that offer live help and learning resources. And avoid any errors with website monetization.


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