Imagine creating and nurturing your own website content. You work around the clock and ensure that the information you’re putting out is engaging to your audience. You get a loyal following and even begin to understand who your fans really are.
You decide it’s finally time to start monetising your website. As a publisher, your most lucrative option is placing ads on your website. You google around to find an ad exchange to plug your website into, and its algorithms show ads to your users.
Sounds pretty cool huh?
Well, no, not really. Your users’ cookies are now being used to stalk them with retargetted ads of products and services they were looking at days or weeks before. So the users you spent months and months fostering get annoyed and decide to use ad blockers on your website.
Moreover, your website is now showing irrelevant ads that have nothing to do with your content because a bunch of advertisers also plugged into the ad exchange in the hopes of getting their product out there, anywhere. Your audience just isn’t interested in financial trading on your gardening website. So they too, decide to use ad blockers on your website.
Furthermore, you’re only getting paid around 20 cents every time 1000 users see one of these retargetted or irrelevant ads. You’re sacrificing your niche’s online purchasing prospects by monetising your business with peanuts. You don’t decide any of this. The ad exchange algorithms do.
Now imagine an advertiser, somebody with a product or service in your niche, contacts you and asks if you could put their ad on your website. Your users are now aware of an interesting product in your collective niche.
Let’s assume only 1% of your audience clicks on the ad and makes a purchase. The other 99% are still open prospects for future products you advertise — because they didn’t find your ad intrusive, annoying or irrelevant.
This leads to a positive feedback loop of advertisers seeing results from your website while users stay engaged. You’re setting your own prices and you’re adjusting limitlessly to find the sweet spot that’ll attract advertisers. You’re building relationships with other businesses while growing a niche that becomes more in demand as it grows and produces good results for you and your partners.
We’re not saying you should never use ad exchanges. But algorithms should be the filler, the plan B, the backup while you’re establishing relationships with advertisers and encouraging them to use your website to market products for your users.
Ultimately, your goal is to maximise the amount of time direct ads are on your website while minimising the amount of time the ad exchange algorithms are. I mean, that’s what we’re here for right?