Digital advertising is integral to the makeup of the internet. Many businesses subsist solely on referrals from ads online. The relative cost makes digital advertising suitable for smaller companies who wouldn’t be able to afford billboards, TV spots, or print ads. But online ad publishers aren’t without their own challenges. What factors can affect how successful an ad publisher is?
Defend Against Malicious Ads
Publishers are a go-to source for businesses wanting to place ads on their page. Some – such as news outlets – have a wide range of different ads, using information gathered from the site visitor’s other internet activity. So, these publishers must retain their trustworthiness, especially as businesses will be wanting to place ads with them. If these businesses felt the publisher generated distrust, it could reflect badly on the business placing an ad. This especially rings true for the growing blight of malvertising.
A malvertisement works by delivering malware or harmful code through an ad space on a publisher's site. The publisher is therefore responsible for ensuring these malicious ads don’t end up on their site, which could erode trust and even lead to financial implications if a site visitor ends up being scammed. Ad slots can be hijacked. Trojan horses, ransomware, and drive-by downloads can be implemented. Publishers must ensure every ad slot is genuine to protect their visitors and their own future reputation.
Ensure Ads Aren’t Intrusive
The design of the ads on the publisher’s page can also play a role for their site visitors and how trusted they are as an ad publisher. If the site is badly designed, why would anyone pay the site to host their ad? Publishers must ensure that their site is appealing enough to gain visitors and thus be an obvious choice to host an ad.
There is a trope in internet culture about how badly designed local newspaper websites are. Video ads play with no way of stopping them, blasting the sound out from somewhere we can’t even locate. Auto-play videos that are hosted on the site are annoying by themselves, let alone when they blare out an advert for a product the visitor might not even be slightly interested in.
Other ads dominate the page and break up the content in a way that is so off-putting, most people would probably give up trying to read it. The placement of ads is important. Ads that augment the content – for example, holiday ads on a travel site – can seem natural and may result in clicks. Ads that take over the page, especially on mobile devices, could generate adverse opinions in the minds of consumers. Why would they feel favourable towards a business that interrupted their search for something they were specifically looking for?
Publishers have a lot to contend with. Not only do they need to run a successful site themselves, but they need to ensure that the ads they are placing work well. This means checking for malvertising and malicious ads. It also means ensuring the layout of the ads on the page is conducive for visitors to actually want to remain on the page and potentially then click through to one of the ads.