Today, with mobile usage overtaking desktop usage, online publishers understand more than ever, that having a mobile presence is not a priority, it’s a must. Most content is being consumed via mobile, which greatly affects the monetization process. But monetizing your mobile website doesn’t end with just having such a website (or making sure it’s responsive). In fact, this is just the beginning.
Since the mobile environment is very different than the desktop one, it’s all about cracking your mobile monetization process. The mobile world presents many challenges: The UX has to be simple but accurate, your ad real estate is greatly reduced, and users’ attention span is VERY short. You know how they say that fish have a memory of only 3 seconds? Well… this is similar to the time you have to get users’ attention on a mobile website.
Fortunately, there are known tactics and strategies you can implement in order to better monetize your mobile website.
Here is a list of 6 such key tactics:
# 1 – Use display advertising
These are your standard, regular ads that are restricted by size according to screen capacity. Although they are non-intrusive (which is a good thing) they don’t perform as well as other rich media ads (In other words, they are quite boring and unnoticeable). On the other hand, they are still widely used, so selling display ads real estate is a must use, basic tactic.
# 2 – Use contextual Advertising
Remember how I offended mobile users’ by comparing their attention span to the memory of a fish? Well, in order to capture mobile users’ attention, display ads are not enough, not nearly. You need to have the ability to serve contextual ads based on your users’ preferences, geos and so on. Think of it this way: You are a shoe salesman and you have 20 minutes with a potential customer: You’ll probably let her/him stroll around, looking at the shelves, looking at what interests them the most. Now imagine you only have 5 minutes with them. You’ll want to use what you may know about them (e.g., looking at what they are wearing, what bag they are carrying etc.). All that you can, in an effort to offer them the perfect shoe. The one that will make them take out their wallet.
# 3 – Use rich media ads, especially video ads
Banner blindness means that having rich media ads is a must. If you actually want to have CPMs and CTRs that you are proud of, that is.
There are various types of rich media ads to choose from:
- Screen filled ads – ads that fill the entire screen, convert quite well, but should only be triggered after a couple of page views, or you risk annoying your users.
- Video ads – Nowadays video ads are the ‘it girl’ with high eCPMs and CTRs. This means that if you want to adapt to market demands you must support video ads. I would consider not having them autoplay though, as that might also annoy your users and hurt your retention. In-stream video ads are a great option as well, with good results in terms of average completion rate and CPM.
- Interstitials – Speaking of interstitials, a lot of mobile websites today don’t necessarily integrate interstitials the way they should. They interrupt users before they even get to view any content. The way to go about interstitials is to incorporate them after specific triggers are completed, triggers that imply the user had just completed an action (clicking ‘back’ for example), similarly to the experience on mobile apps.
- Expandable Ads – Expandable ads are also a good option. They are always friendly because of their non-intrusive nature (the ads expand only when clicked on).
# 4 – Use content recommendations
Mobile users are jumpy. They move from one content piece to another pretty quickly, depending on what shiny new thing catches their eyes. This behavioral pattern fits the content recommendation monetization tactic. Offering targeted, personalized and related content (and making money out of it) is like flaunting a lot of shiny things at users’ faces. There are 2 known platforms that offer this recommendation option: Taboola and Outbrain
# 5 – Use an automated monetization solution
To prevent missing any additional opportunities (which is common) consider having a smart monetization solution like Browsi which helps you maximize your mobile website monetization.
# 6 – Use SMS marketing
You’re on mobile territory so why not take advantage of its benefits? Using SMS campaigns to generate more traffic to your mobile website is a great way to monetize on mobile. Of course, not everything is suitable for SMS, but communicating special offers or promotions fits the profile.
Go get ’em
Mobile web monetization is a relatively neglected area. With all the fuss surrounding mobile apps, it seems that everybody keeps forgetting that mobile web enjoys tons of traffic that can and should be monetized. So don’t miss out on these precious opportunities to monetize your mobile website. Go get them tigers!