The Balance Between Monetization and User Engagement

by Roee Ganot June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016


You want to monetize your site to create an additional revenue stream — or perhaps your only revenue stream if your brand’s only product is your website like bloggers and Internet personalities — but you also need to create a good user experience so that people actually come to your site and click on those ads.

Adding a bunch of pop-ups and other ads isn’t really conducive to the user experience since they become so annoyed with the ads that they just leave your site instead of continuing to explore your content. Some even install ad blockers so they don’t have to worry about this nuisance. So what do you do when you want to maximize your ad revenue but you also want to maximize your user traffic?

Here are a few things to consider about the balance between monetization and user engagement:

Provide Choice

People are much less annoyed by ads when they have been given the choice before they are shown them. One example of this is when you provide an app that is free with advertising. You give users the choice to pay a fee and not be shown the ads or to have the free app with the understanding that ads will be shown. When ads pop up, users are not as annoyed because they feel they had a choice in seeing them or not. Another example is a paywall for content.

Not all blogs or informational sites have to be free. You can provide a subscription model that presents the content with no advertising. You’ll get the revenue you need, and users will have the ad-free experience they want. Finally, if you do include pop-up ads or auto-play videos on your site, you should give users the option to close out of them if they don’t want to see them. Nothing will send your users running faster than ads that force them to watch.

Use More Native Advertising

Readers don’t like to feel like they are being sold something — they come to your site for information that will make their lives better. But what if you offer them both? You can do that with native advertising. You can accept sponsored posts that tell users about products or services that will solve a problem they are having. The posts read just like any other article, and they recommend a useful solution. You can also write reviews of your own.

You charge the company to review their product or service, and then you write an honest review that lets your readers know how that product or service would actually benefit them. The reader gets honest information, and you get revenue that supports your site.

The best part about native advertising is that it doesn’t look like traditional advertising — it looks like content. That means that more users are likely to read the posts, and it means that ad blockers aren’t likely to shield the content. You’ll get more click-throughs and sales, and you’ll preserve your user experience.

Use Content Recommendation

Content recommendation tools help your users discover more of the content on your site, which helps to increase page views and visit times to increase your SEO and search rankings. Content recommendation tools can also be used to recommend content from advertisers on third-party sites


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