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Getting Started With Local Ads on Your Site

April 12, 2010

In working with our first group of GrowthSpur partner sites, we’re hearing a common theme: Many startup hyperlocal and niche site operators have barely thought about how to effectively add display ads (and their revenue) to their sites.

This is a key part of what we help sites learn how to do. But there are a few things sites can do on their own to make themselves more ad-friendly.

It’s easiest, of course, to address the design and technology issues that support ads before you launch a site. But it’s not too hard to retrofit an existing site, even a simple neighborhood blog, to be ad-ready. Here are a couple thoughts from the GrowthSpur team, as shared with our partner sites in recent GrowthSpur webinar:

The key questions: How many ad units? Which sizes? And where should they go?

We don’t dictate any of this to our partners—but we provide plenty of advice to them based on our combined years of running local sites. A sample:

  • Bigger is better. So is prominent.
  • But small units, priced right, have their uses, too.
  • Stick to standard-size ad units specified by the Interactive Ad Bureau. Think of those standards as the web equivalent of a 30-second TV ad—any station anywhere can run them, without forcing the advertiser (or ad agency) to reedit them to fit an irregular, non-standard hole.

We’ve got a lot more recommendations on ad sizes, placement and design. They fill many of the 200-plus pages of our site-operations “cookbook,” and we back them with training webinars and other help. If you want to find out more about becoming a GrowthSpur partner, drop us a line.

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