So far, the content on WiredInvestors has been mainly focused around doing due diligence and finding sites to invest in. Today, we’re going to discuss a few methods to improve the monetization of your sites and boost your ROIs significantly.
Broadly speaking, improvements in monetization can be separated into two categories – you can improve your conversions, or you can pursue new methods of monetization. In this post, we’ll focus on improving conversions, and in a future post we’ll go over finding new monetization methods.
Ideas for Improving Conversions
Improving your conversions, otherwise known as CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), is a popular topic of discussion in online business circles. While there are a number of general best practices that you can follow (which we will outline below), it’s important to remember that the hallmark of CRO is testing. Without running experiments on your monetization, you won’t know for sure whether any changes you implement are effective or not.
That being said, there are a number of things that you can try that will bring improvements in the vast majority of cases:
For Monetization via Adsense/ Other Ad Networks:
- In most cases, in content ads do better than ads that sit outside of your content in the sidebar/header/footer.
- Ads that blend in in terms of color and font will generally do better than ads that stand out – people are mostly ad-blind at this point, and it’s relatively uncommon for people to click on ads on purpose.
- While Adsense only allows 3 ad units per page, you can mix-and-match ads from different advertising networks on any given page. If you have unfilled areas on your site that you want ads in, consider signing up for a few new ad networks.
- If your site has a large amount of traffic, you might consider using Native Advertising. There are a few Native Ad networks that have a minimum traffic threshold.
- If your site has good traffic or is in a very specific niche, you may be able to sell ad space directly to advertisers – this normally takes a bit of work/effort, but it can be dividends if you reach out to the right advertisers.
For Monetization via Affiliates
- If your site is a review site that relies on product/service comparisons to generate clicks, product comparison tables are pretty much a necessity. The effect that these tables have is well documented
- Make sure that you provide your visitors ample opportunity to click through to the affiliate – have at minimum two or three links to the affiliate product spread out through your content.
- Target people who have an intent to buy. People looking for product reviews or the best product in a category have an intent to buy. People looking for product instructions probably have less buying intent. Target people with purchase intent in both your efforts to drive traffic and in the content itself.
- Some people find success when they list their ‘most popular’ and ‘best rated’ products in the sidebar. Remember, the goal isn’t to get people to read your content – theoretically, your ideal visitor goes to your site, clicks through to the affiliate immediately buys the product.
- You might want to consider using a fancy review plugin or something similar to give your site the appearance of a ‘legit’ review site. People are familiar with scores out of 10 and star rating systems, so implementing these systems in your site can build trust.
For Sites Monetized via Products/Services
- If you’re selling a product/service, it may be possible for you to improve monetization with paid advertising/paid traffic. While this isn’t always the case, it’s probably worth exploring and experimenting with Adsense/FB Ads.
- Implement testimonials/get reviews for what your selling. People mistrust products that aren’t recommended by other people, so do your best to obtain testimonials and reviews for whatever it is that your selling and feature them prominently on your site to build trust.
- Find your own affiliates. There are many online products/services that don’t rely on traffic to generate sales, but rather do so via their own network of affiliates who will introduce/recommend products for a %. Find authoritative voices in your niche and reach out to them with your own affiliate program (you can set this kind of thing up relatively easily on clickbank).
- Offer free review/testimonial copies to authorities in your niche. This is similar to the above – there are some people out there who won’t like the idea of becoming an affiliate for you, but might be interested in receiving a review copy of your product.
- Keep testing and experimenting. Test, test, and test some more. One of the big advantages of owning a digital asset over a physical asset is that it’s much easier to make changes (and reverse them), and to collect and analyze data relating to those changes. Take full advantage of this and keep testing and experimenting on your sites.
- Build an email list. Pretty much every resource about doing business online has extolled the virtues of building an email list, but the point stands. Having a large, targeted email list is incredibly useful and can dramatically improve both the effectiveness and the longevity of your monetization efforts.
- Don’t be afraid to copy. Whatever it is that your trying to do with your web asset, it’s likely that someone else has done it before. While you shouldn’t copy content (for obvious legal/SEO reasons), there’s no law against finding out what your competitors are doing with regards to monetization and CRO and then just implementing the same things.
- When it comes to CRO, you should allocate your time efficiently. It makes more sense to improve the conversions of a $1000 a month site than a $100 a month site. Also bear in the mind the law of diminishing returns. After a certain point, continuing to work on the CRO becomes an ineffective use of your time – don’t be the guy that spend hours and hours obsessively trying to boost a site’s revenues by $10 a month.