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17 posts from December 2008

12/29/2008

Redirects & Default Ads

While Six Apart Media has already done some of the heavy lifting by implementing default ads for all publishers, you may elect to run your own default ads via another ad provider or your own creative.  Your default ads or redirects will only show when you have completely cycled through the campaigns you have accepted from Six Apart Media, so pricing your redirects properly is critical to maximizing your profit.  See the section on Managing Unsold Inventory for more information.

Ad Space Pricing

Pricing – Minimum and Rate Card

You should set your minimum as low as possible in order to access the greatest number of ads. If you are not redirecting to another ad network you should set your minimum to $0.01. If your are redirecting to another network, set your minimum one cent above the eCPM you are getting from that other network.

Rate card should not differ from your minimum.

To view the rate card and minimum for an ad space:

1.    Click on the Sell tab.

2.    Go to the Sites screen.

3.    Check the box(es) next to the ad space(s) you wish to review.

4.    From the Edit selected ad space drop down menu, select Edit ad space pricing.

5.    Be sure to save any changes you make on this screen.

Revenue Share

Payment to you for the display of SAM advertisements for which Six Apart is paid by the advertiser on a CPM basis (i.e., the cost is per one thousand delivered impressions) will be sixty percent (60%) of the Net Revenue Six Apart collects for the display of such SAM advertisements on your Site for a given calendar month.

 

12/17/2008

Best Practices for Ad Placement

Ad Tag Placement

  • Place at least one standard ad placement and the Six Apart Media badge (160x90) above the fold on your page at all times. (Above the fold is defined as the first 500 pixels)
  • Place as many of the three ad sizes on your page as your site’s format will allow.
  • Space ads of the same size a minimum of one page length apart (approximately 800 pixels).
  • No more than three ads should be showing above the fold
  • Understand how visitors use your page and place ads in proximity to relevant, highly trafficked content. Track and optimize your performance by moving ads around and using Adify to see what works best
  • If you are placing 300x250 ads between your posts (using advanced templates on TypePad or a custom html format), use no more than one ad tag for every 3 posts.

For the premium advertising campaigns, advertisers use an optimization formula and delete sites that aren’t performing well. The optimization formula is based on factors such as traffic and CTR. Your ads will perform better if they are placed in the highest visibility sections. Likewise, when you place the same sized ads next to one another, the performance drops dramatically and you are likely to be optimized out of a campaign.  

Placing two ads of the same size on one page, requires unique ad tags for each placement (i.e. “Skyscraper Left Top”, or “Skyscraper Right Bottom”). Each ad tag must appear only once per page.

These guidelines for ad placement apply to all ads showing on your page, even if you are running ads from multiple networks. For example, do not place two ads of the same size next to each other even if they are from two different ad networks.

Running the Six Apart Media Badge

Members of our ad network are required to display the Six Apart Media badge. You will need to create the ad space and generate the tag in Adify the same as you would for the other three ad sizes – create an ad space for 160x90, copy the ad tag for that space, and place the ad tag into your blog template.

Running multiple ad spaces with the same dimensions on one page

You can have two or more of the same ad sizes on one page as long as they are separated by at least one screen’s distance apart (meaning you cannot see both ads at the same time. You should not have more than one ad space in close proximity to another ad of the same size on one page. The reason for this is that it causes the ads to compete with one another and the performance will be harmed.

Six Apart Media Tech Services

Six Apart Media provides technical assistance and blog tune-ups to TypePad bloggers. Please let us know if you would like assistance with anything related to blogging and we will work with you to find solutions to your problems.

Keywords

Keywords are specific words and phrases that people use over and over again when they search for things online. By studying the words that people type into search engines, and incorporating those words in your post titles and text, you’ll be able to capture more of the people who are searching for exactly the type of content you’re creating.

Here’s an example: If you are an airline and you want to grab search engine traffic for ‘low fares’ you probably won’t have much success if you use those words. Many consumers don’t call plane tickets ‘fares’ or think of them as being ‘low.’ If you substitute the words ‘cheap flights’ instead, suddenly you’re using the language that real people use when they search.

To learn more about keywords, and find out which ones are important for your industry, check out these resources:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool (Free)
  • Microsoft adCenter Labs (Free)
  • Keyword Discovery
  • Wordtracker


Search Engine Optimization

SEO

There are two keys to unlocking the power of search engine optimization (SEO): Relevance and Popularity

Relevancy and popularity are the foundational elements that will create long-term success for your blog. When you understand what these terms mean and how to use them to your advantage, they will help you attract loyal readers and valuable referral traffic from other blogs and websites.

  1. Relevance: the measure of how appropriate a given web page is for a particular search term. Pages or sites that are judged to be more relevant are given higher rankings.
  2. Popularity: the quality and quantity of the sites that link back to your site. These links aren’t directly in your control; someone else has to link to you. In a sense, each inbound link is a “vote” that endorses the quality of your content; the more prominent sites (with higher “voting power”) that link to you, the higher your rankings will be.

How to Make Your Blog Relevant

Provide high quality content. Create an information-rich site that contains useful information that will capture the interest of readers.

  • Use descriptive terms on your tags. Your headlines, titles, and image tags should all contain clear, descriptive language that makes it easy for the search engines to determine the content of each post.
  • Don’t cheat. If you fill your pages with keywords or post multiple copies of the same page under different URL’s, the search engines will penalize you for cheating.
  • Submit an XML Sitemap. An XML Sitemap is a file format specially created for search engines to quickly index a blog or site every time new content is published. TypePad users - go to Configure > Publicity: Publicity Preferences and set Generate Google Sitemap to On.

How to Build Your Blog’s Popularity

Link to other sites. If you want sites to link to you, you’ll have to take the first step. Create a blogroll and include blogs that you read, and blogs that are respected in your industry.

  • Find other sites that will link to yours. These links are called “inbound” links, and they make your site more credible to the search engines. The more prominent sites that link to yours, the higher your rankings will be.
  • Encourage participation. Blogging is a social exercise, and participation is one of the most effective was to gain popularity. Engage in conversations on forums and leave constructive comments on other sites. Take advantage of every opportunity to link directly back to your blog in the comment section. Solicit feedback on your blog by asking questions and responding to commenters.
  • Reach out to sites that send you traffic. If a particular site begins sending you traffic, reach out to the webmaster or blogger by featuring them in a post, or posting an exclusive interview. This will increase the interaction between your sites.

Managing Unsold Inventory

Unsold inventory is an ad impression on your site that has not been sold by Six Apart Media. In the event that an ad has not been sold, you have the control within the system to tell Six Apart what to put in the ad slot. You can use the unsold space with a Default Ad to promote internal products, drive traffic to another blog or you can use it to make money by uploading a redirect.

Default ads are “filler” for unsold inventory.  We strive to sell out 100% of your inventory through our national sales team working with top brand advertisers.  When your blog requests an ad from Six Apart Media, we serve as many paid impressions as possible based on targeting, CPM and inventory. Currently, when Six Apart Media hasn’t sold out 100% of the inventory, an unpaid Public Service Announcement (PSA) is served to ensure something shows up. In this case, if you have a default ad set up, it will pre-empt the PSA, so you are earning the most from each ad placement. If you choose not to set up default ads, Six Apart Media will implement default ads for you.

Setting up Google AdSense as Your Default

Take the following steps to set up default ads:

Step 1: Obtain ad tags from your Google Adsense account

Step 2: In Adify, under the Sell Tab, check the Ad Space for which you would like to set up your default, and under Edit selected ad spaces, select Manage Unsold Inventory.

Step 3: Select Redirect to another provider and paste in the Google Adsense tag. Click Save.

Step 4: For each additional ad space, repeat steps 2 & 3.

Setting Up Your Own Default Ads

Take the following steps to set up your own default ad:

Step 1: Under the Sell Tab, check the Ad Space for which you would like to set up the Default, and under ‘edit selected ad spaces’, select ‘Manage Unsold Inventory’.

Step 2: Select ‘Use my own ad’.

Step 3: Select ‘Upload image and rich media ad’.

Step 4: Select image size and browse and upload your .TXT or .HTML file. Be sure that your file’s dimensions exactly match those of the ad space, and also make sure to include a destination URL.

Step 5: Click ‘Add’. You have now added this file to your ad library. You can access this file and place it as your Default Ad. Check the desired ad, and click ‘Add selected ads’. You will see your selected Default Ad next to the ad space.

Getting paid for default ads

Adify does not track the performance of unpaid default ads. Your earnings will show up as unpaid impressions and you will receive a lump sum payment as a line-item on your monthly statement.

Our default price will fluctuate and we aim to stay competitive with Google Adsense. This is a strategy we’ve implemented as a service to our customers in order to serve something more favorable and rewarding than unpaid PSAs.

Setting the Pricing When Redirecting to Another Ad Network

If you redirect your ad spaces to another provider, set your minimum just slightly higher than what you earn through your redirect ad solution. For example, if you earn a $.50 CPM through a redirect to Ad Provider X, set your minimum at $.51 (or if your Google AdSense has an eCPM of 11 cents, your minimum CPM should be set to 12 cents). If you do not redirect your inventory to another provider, set your minimum at $0.01. This will ensure that you are included on the maximum number of campaigns sold by Six Apart Media.

To set pricing, go to the sell tab and click edit selected ad space > edit ad space pricing

Default Ad Reporting

The number of Unsold Impressions is the number of times your default/redirect ran.

Six Apart Media Default Ad Standards

Default ads served by Six Apart Media will adhere to the same quality standards as our premium ad inventory.

Ad Tag Troubleshooting

Ad Tag Content

When you first get accepted into Adify and you generate and place your ad tags, you will see ads appearing on your site within 24 hours. Also, please allow up to 72 hours to see campaigns come into the pending and potential folder.

During the initial ramp up, we’ll begin adding your site to existing campaigns. During the first 30 days, sell-through will steadily improve, as will your eCPM, and you’ll have an increasing number of media buys to review and approve.

Troubleshooting Ad Tags

If your ads are displaying partial content, the most likely cause is you’ve created an ad size that is larger than the space allows on your site. Make sure that you are only running an ad size that you can accommodate into your blog’s layout, by first checking the pixel width of the column or side bar and comparing it to your ad sizes. Ad sizes are defined by pixel width by pixel height – i.e. a 300x250 is 300 pixels wide and 250 pixels high. For example, if your right column is 200 pixels in width, you may not run the 300x250. Instead, you should display a 160x600.

Placing Ads on Your Blogger Blog

For all three ad sizes (Blogger has a custom format with a wide sidebar and bottom of the page leaderboard)

  • Go to Layout tab
  • Click Add a Gadget (either on the side bar or bottom of the page)
  • Select HTML/Javascript from the list of Gadgets.
  • Gadget Name: Choose a name for your list (ex. Sponsor ads)
  • Copy and paste the ad tag into the HTML/Javascript box

Placing Ads on Your WordPress.org Blog

(Please note that those with Wordpress.com will not be able to run ads with SAM.)

Log into your blog. Click on the Design tab.

For a banner ad (728x90)

  • Go to Themes
  • Click Theme Editor
  • Click Header

Scroll down to <div id = “page”> and place the ad tag under that line

For a skyscraper (160x600) or a rectangle (300x250)

  • Go to Widgets
  • Click Add text
  • Save Changes
  • Click Edit Text
  • Copy and paste Ad Tag into text box