How to maximize ad revenue in Ezoic

Jacquelyn Tandang
Jacquelyn Tandang
Sep 14, 2023

In our previous post, we compared Google AdSense and Ezoic Level 1 (previously called Ezoic access now) monetization platforms in terms of revenue and page speed.

Google AdSense seems to provide more revenue but has a significant negative effect on page speed. Ezoic on the other hand provides less revenue but has easy-to-use tools to help improve page speed thus, we are able to monetize without greatly impacting speed.

Due to the above reasons, we opted to monetize through Ezoic platform. We will try to increase revenue by increasing ad density. Moreover, Ezoic ads have a reputation of being too aggressive when serving ads. We will try to improve user-experience by trying to tone down Ezoic ad’s aggressiveness.

How to increase ad revenue?

More ads could mean more revenue. You get paid for every ad impression on your site. The more ads are seen by your user, the more payment you can potentially get.

But you cannot simply just dump a lot of ads on your website. Too many ads will affect user-experience and your users will bounce off your site right away. Google will also penalize your site if your ad density goes greater than 30%. This means, ads should not account for more than 30% of the pixels on your pages.

How to increase ad revenue in Ezoic?

1. Enable above-the-fold ads

By enabling above-the-fold ads, you increase ads impression on page load. Once your web page loads, users can already see ads even before engaging with your website.

Enabling above-the-fold ads

To enable this feature, Go to Leap > Optimize > Viewing Script Execution Settings > Change Settings > Disable ads above the fold > Off.

How to enable Ezoic above the fold ads

A disadvantage of this is that it could negatively impact page speed by loading more scripts on page load.

After enabling above-the-fold ads, our average mobile speed in Diib.com went down 2 points from 82 down to 80.

Average mobile speed score after enabling above the fold ads

A two-point deduction is an acceptable trade-off for more revenue. It can easily be recovered by implementing a few more strategies to improve page speed.

Upon checking our data, there was a 185% increase in ePMV from $0.47 to $1.34.

Increase in revenue after enabling above the fold ads

There seem to be an outlier in August 17 caused by a system maintenance, but generally, enabling above the fold ads seems to have increased our revenue.

Removing the anomalous data in our computation to get a more accurate measurement, we still get a 35.83% increase in ePMV from $0.83 to $1.13.

Increase in revenue after after removing anomalous data

Upon checking Ezoic docs, ePMV stands for “earnings per thousand visitors”; this is actually not comparable to Google AdSense’s RPM which means rate per milla or “earnings per thousand views”.

Take note that one visitor can view your website multiple times. To be able to compare ePMV to Google’s RPM, we can compute our Ezoic RPM by dividing our revenue by the total number of views then multiply it by 1000.

Our total revenue for the period was $0.51. We had 854 pageviews which gives us $0.60 earnings per thousand views.

In the previous period, our revenue was $0.33. We had 497 pageviews which gives us $0.66 earnings per thousand views.

Converting ePMV to be comparable to Google’s RPM, our revenue seems to have decreased from $0.66 to $0.60 per thousand views.

ePMV can give an illusion that you are earning more in Ezoic compared to other platforms. The dashboard can also give an illusion of increasing revenue when the number of views are also a variable.

Enabling above-the-fold ads in Ezoic did not increase our revenue but cost us a decrease in page speed.

2. Use placeholders

By default, Ezoic automatically injects ads in different places on your website. In theory, you can specify where exactly you want ads to be shown and how much ads you want to show by using placeholders.

Go to Ezoic Ads >Ad Positions > Placeholders > New Placeholder to create a new placeholder.

Creating placeholders in Ezoic

You can select which ad sizes you would like to accommodate for this placeholder or ad space by checking or unchecking the boxes on the left.

Upon saving, it will provide you with a code that you can place on your website.

Ezoic sample placeholder code

You can create as many placeholders as you like but remember that your ads should not take more than 30% of your webpage.

How to measure ad density in Ezoic?

You should be able to see how much your ad density is currently at when you go to Analytics > Yield > Ad Density.

Ezoic ad density dashboard in analytics

After adding placeholders, there was an increase in ad density from 2.39% to 5.63%. Still far from the 30% threshold. This means, we can add more ads to further increase revenue!

Does an increase in ad density result to an increase in revenue?

Checking the revenue dashboard at Analytics > Revenue > Revenue Overview, our ePMV after enabling above-the-fold ads was $1.00.

Ezoic revenue dashboard after increasing ad density

Let’s convert our ePMV to RPM again. Our total revenue for the period was $0.78. We had 1334 pageviews which gives us roughly $0.58 earning per thousand views which was $0.02 less than our earning earlier with only above the fold ads and less ad density.

Turns out, increasing ad density may not result in an increase in revenue. Though ads are paid per impression, the rate per impression may vary depending on how much the advertiser pays per impression. Less number of ads but with greater rate per impression can give you the same revenue as having more ads but getting less rate per impression.

Does the law of supply and demand apply here as well? Do advertisers pay more to be advertised on a website with limited ad space? Do advertisers pay less to be advertised on a website with many available ad space?

Ezoic has a reputation of serving ads too aggressively. We may not be able to benefit from the advantages of serving more ads if users leave the site earlier causing them to view less ads than expected. Does poor user experience due to serving too many ads affect our revenue?

How to tone down Ezoic ads aggressiveness to improve user experience?

Enabling above-the-fold ads caused Ezoic to show ads at the top of our page header and after our footer.

Ezoic aggressive header ad on desktop

Turning off auto-insert ads by going to Ezoic Ads > Ad Positions > Ad Types > Auto-insert ads, we seem to have disabled the ads showing at the start and at the end of our page.

Disabling auto-insert ads in Ezoic

As a replacement, we used a placeholder to put an ad right above the breadcrumb. We used a horizontal layout only for better user-experience.

Improving user experience while serving above the fold ads in Ezoic

Unfortunately, even after setting the allowed dimensions in our placeholders, Ezoic still puts square sized ads on our placeholder - not sure if it is a bug or a feature. Also, the AI still decides whether or not Ezoic will place ads on your placeholders or will place ads somewhere else.

Ezoic has other features to improve user-experience such as using CSS filters to determine which sections of the website should not show ads but doesn't seem to work as expected as well.

Turns out, we have limited control on improving user-experience with Ezoic. Placeholders are merely your suggestions on where you would like to put ads and what kind of ads to put. Where and what kind of ads will show up is not entirely up to you.

Wrapping it up

Publishers have limited control over Ezoic ads to improve user experience. A good user experience is necessary to keep visitors scrolling or coming back for more content. Returning users can add up to create more traffic and more traffic means more revenue. Does poor user experience from Ezoic’s aggressive ads affect our revenue?

Ezoic uses ePMV instead of RPM which represents revenue per thousand visits and not per thousand views. This can give an illusion of earning more than other platforms because one visit can have multiple views.

By maximizing our revenue per view, we will be able to focus on just sending more traffic afterwards. If we can get $3 per thousand views, 10,000 views will probably give us $30. This is the reason why we are keen on measuring RPM (revenue per milla).

More ads does not mean more ad revenue. Not sure if the law of demand and supply applies here but rate per impression may vary. A website with more ads but with lower rate per impression can earn just the same as a website with less ads with greater rate per impression.

Ezoic Level 1 (Access Now or free account) have access to low paying ads only. Higher paying ads are served to paid Ezoic accounts where only websites with traffic greater than 10,000 views can have access.

Conclusion

The key to getting more revenue is to provide a good user-experience and serving higher paying ads. In Ezoic level 1 or access now, publishers only have access to lower paying ads. It is also difficult to provide a good user experience when serving ads through Ezoic.

To increase revenue in Ezoic, you will need to send more traffic to your website to reach 10,000 views to get access to higher paying ads. User-experience however will still be poor.

We will explore other options which could hopefully provide us the ideal conditions to monetize our website traffic.

Recommendation and future study

In our next post, we will use Google AdSense to serve ads on our website. Since AdSense does not organize their ads into different tiers, in theory, we should get more revenue for the same number of views by serving higher paying ads per impression.

In our previous blog post, we observed that Google Adsense can greatly impact page speed. We will serve our pages on a DNS such as cloudflare to overcome this issue.

Publishers have full control in setting up ads in Google Adsense. We will try to set ads ourselves while maintaining a good user-experience.