Less is More when it comes to Banner Ads

Hello my name is Kelli and I’ve been in the adult industry now for almost 15 years. I wanted to share some of my advice with others in hope that it can help them improve their site and make more money. So here is an article I wrote about posting banners on your website and how to make more money with sponsors. You can find more of my advice articles at Porn Royalties under the webmaster tips.

So you’ve created your adult site and you want to make money with it. Great? But now what? Well the most obvious thought would be to try and get someone to buy a banner ad from you. But there is a problem; most people just flat out don’t buy banner spots outright on websites anymore. Instead what they say is something like…. we have no real way to know how your traffic will perform for us. Why don’t you go ahead and put up our banners anyway, but instead of us paying you outright or pay you a flat fee, we’ll pay you only if your traffic converts for us. In other words, if your traffic makes us money, we’ll pay you. If it doesn’t, because their site is poorly designed or for whatever reason, it just sucks to be you, because you get paid nothing.

Then they offer you the option of being paid a flat fee per sale (also known as PPS) or a % of the sale for as long as that person stays a member of the site (rev-share). Since you don’t really have many options you pretty much have to agree to it. This is a very common practice in the adult industry. There is nothing wrong with it … it’s just sort of the way things are in our industry. So then the question becomes, how can you make sure you are maximizing your earnings?

Most people for some reason or another think that the best idea is to sign up for as many affiliate programs as they can and post a crazy amount of banners all over their site.

There is a guy who recently launched his site. This is a guy with more than a decade’s experience in this business so you can’t exactly say he’s making a noob mistake. He’s been around the block a few times so he really should know better. Obviously not. It was actually his website that convinced me to write this article.

So the guy calls his website “an electronic trade show”. You load the page and you get his log. Below that there is a banner spot 728×90 Directly below that there are 8 – oh yes EIGHT 100×100 banner icon spots available. Then the site is broken down into 3 columns, much like the design of a blog.

Of the left sidebar they are offering 3 text links, then banner ads at the sizes of

  • 160×107
  • 160×107
  • 100×100
  • 160×600
  • 100×100
  • 100×100
  • 125×350
  • 160×600

The right hand side bar offers 5 banners in a row, each one about 180×300 in size. Then if that wasn’t enough there are ads available in sizes

  • 120×240
  • 125×350
  • 180×150
  • 150×220
  • 125×350

All of that and I still haven’t even gotten to the middle column yet. There he offers 7 banner spots 468×60 in size. And between each of those 7 banner spots he offers a row of icon banners – 5 icon banners of 100×100 each. That’s 35 ads on the front page middle column alone!

You notice the one thing I never mentioned was any sort of content at all?

That’s right, because there is none. The only text on the page is to tell you that the site is an “electronic trade show” and that you have the opportunity to place your ad on his site by and that you should hurry and act now to get your banner on his new site.

Search engines typically consider any site with more ads than actual content spam and those types of sites get SEO penalties, but even worse, they pass those penalties over to the sites listed on them. It’s a guilt by association kind of thing. So in terms of SEO you can see why having a ton of banners on your site is a bad thing.

There are other reasons though not to add too many.

The more ads you have on your page, the longer it takes your page to load and the longer it takes your page to load, the more likely it is to leave. Long page load times are the kiss of death. Even 1 extra second is a bad, thing. On that note, your page should never take longer than 8 seconds to load. Well that’s what the experts say. 8 seconds seem rather long to me but that’s an issue for another day.

The next reason not to have a ton of ads on their site is a quality issue. If your site has a bunch of ads on it, your site may appear junky and as such lose trust with the visitor. Loss of trust means they are less likely to buy anything from anyone associated with your site. So it hurts your overall signup ratios.

In addition, it increases your bounce rates. A bad bounce rate not only hurts your overall site SEO but also the value of your ad space and the site itself. What if one day you want to sell your site? If you have crappy bounce rates you will flat out lose money in the sale price. People pay more for a site that has better bounce rates. The same goes for selling ad space. There will come a time (later on in this article) where you will get people to pay you for links on your site and they will pay you more if you have a better bounce rate.

When it comes to putting ads on your website, it’s all about quality over quantity.

You want to only put a few ads per page, ever.

I have my own personal websites, about 91 at last count and I have almost no ads on any of them because I learned a long time ago the value in having less. LESS IS ALWAYS MORE! And that plays a big part as to why my affiliate signup ratios are very good – with some programs 1:200 and better.

So now what you have to do is figure out what affiliate program is best for you. Since you only have a limited number of ad spots available now on your site, you want to use the ones that make the most money for you.

Look carefully at the people you have already done business with. Hopefully you have been charting your relationship and by that I mean, keeping a spreadsheet that says each month how much traffic you have sent to each affiliate program, and how much money you have made. Is it extremely important that you do that, no matter what – at all times for every company you do business with. How in the world are you going to improve upon your success if you don’t know what you have to work with in the first place?

So look carefully at the numbers month to month. Which of these programs has done well for you? Those that you already have been doing well with are obviously the ones you want to continue working with. Which is also why you always need to keep up with a monthly sponsor spreadsheet. If you don’t know who is making good money for you or who is sucking, then how do you know who to keep sending your traffic to?

So now you have the few companies you want to work with. Look carefully at the pages within your website. Don’t just throw up a few banners and hope for the best. Did you know that sometimes the beds ads are those less obvious?

For example, on one of my porn star sites sure I could throw up JOIN VIVID NOW ads everywhere but instead, I use no Vivid banners. Not a single one. Instead what I do is talk about how great one of her movies is, and then say something like “oh by the way if you like this movie you can click here to watch it online right now from the official Vivid website” and I now do this with Erotic Videos. I have like 50 links out there on my various porn star websites, each talking about a certain movie and in there I’m like “click here to watch this movie now” and then provide a link to the movie on Erotic Videos or Klub Kelli or Amateur District, depending on what the movie in question is.

The click through ratio on something like that is so much higher than if I put up a bunch of banners and hoped people clicked on them because they thought the banner might be pretty.

Let’s be real, banners aren’t what they used to be. You have to get creative in the way you promote your sponsors.

Every website is different so I can’t just give you a general –THIS is what you should do- statement because what one person needs to do to is very different than what another person should do. All I can suggest is that you look at your website, consider the type of content you have then from there consider ways you can work links to your sponsors within the content itself. On one site I did these detailed movie reviews and then within the review was like “now available on DVD” and then put in a link to my DVD retail store which I had setup through Mallcom.

So in closing I just want to make sure that you understand the overall point of this article and that is that trying to throw up to many ads on your web page is a very bad thing. Be selective and unique in how and who you deal with.

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