When your website grows and rankings and traffic develop favorably, the question of how to monetize it comes up, eventually.
An answer to your question is provided by the free Advanced Ads plugin. The plugin has been developed by a team of experienced publishers since 2014.
Back then, Advanced Ads was born out of the necessity that simply no easy-to-use plugin to optimize advertising on WordPress sites existed.
Today, Advanced Ads gives small and big publishers worldwide a comprehensive toolbox for integrating and optimizing ads. It is enormously helpful that the team has experience as publishers of websites with enormous traffic.
Why do you need a plugin to manage adverts?
Few webmasters want to monetize their site solely with Auto Ads from Google AdSense. Instead, most want to influence the type and placement of ads to guarantee better conversions and user experience.
Since the manual insertion of ads into existing posts is time-consuming and offers little room for ongoing optimization, for most websites, only a plugin comes into question that embeds these ads automatically.
A suitable ad management plugin should offer the following features:
– the ability to auto-insert ads in all desired positions of your website
– options to target ads to content and visitors
– rotating ads to prevent ad blindness
– ad planning and scheduling
What Advanced Ads can do
The free plugin Advanced Ads meets these requirements and takes ad management to a new level.
The interface of Advanced Ads is deliberately based on WordPress to simplify getting you started. E.g., the ads are managed similarly to posts.
Ad types without coding
Advanced Ads supports any ad codes in JS, HTML, CSS, or PHP. You can use that to manage ad network codes like AdSense, media.net, or even Amazon affiliate banners.
In addition to that, it comes with pre-defined ad types which allow you to set up ads without any coding skills. Among them are
- Image ads
- Rich Content using a WYSIWYG editor
- AdSense ads
- Google Ad Manager ad units
- AMP ad
A comprehensive layout section allows you to define the margin towards other elements or the alignment of ads in text content. In addition to that, developers can deliver custom code per ad and define their own CSS classes.
Targeting ads to specific pages
With the use of Display Conditions, you can target ads to specific content and pages.
For example, it is possible to serve ads by
- Post type, e.g., posts, pages, or custom ones
- Author or content age
- Post categories, tags, and custom taxonomies
- Any specific post or page, e.g., your contact page
Targeting ads to specific visitors
In addition to display conditions, Advanced Ads offers visitor conditions for targeting based on the characteristics of each visitor.
The most popular conditions are
- User device, e.g., smartphone, tablet, or desktop
- Browser width
- User role, login-status, or detailed capabilities
- Cookie value
- Number of previous page impressions
- Number of previous ad impressions and clicks
- Referral URL
If you sell ads directly or have time-specific campaigns, then you will appreciate the scheduling feature of Advanced Ads.
You can define the start of a specific ad and its expiry date. Combined with tracking, you can also spread a specific amount of impressions and clicks evenly over a given period.
Ad rotations for advanced testing and setups
You can group multiple ads together for a simple ad rotation. This allows you to sell the same ad space multiple times, as well as test different ad networks or ad copies for conversion.
Ad groups also allow you to fill a sold space with a fallback ad, as soon as the original ad expires.
In addition to these standard rotations, you can use the Ad Slider add-on or enable the refresh option to reload ads automatically while the user stays on your site. This increases the visibility of multiple ads on your site.
Automatic ad injection with Placements
Advanced Ads gives you the choice between placing ads manually using a shortcode or PHP, or inserting ads automatically choosing one of the many pre-defined placements.
Placements allow you to automatically inject ads into posts and pages, place the same ad multiple times, or test different placements against each other.
Most placement types in Advanced Ads automatically insert ads into pre-defined positions, such as in the middle of content, after post content, or in the sidebar.
Moreover, multiple conditions can be combined with custom rules. Even injecting ads by paragraphs containing certain words is possible. The documentation of Advanced Ads includes some examples of this.
Integrating header tags
Furthermore, Advanced Ads can also insert code into the <head> area or the footer. Typical use cases for these placements are verification codes (like, e.g., from Pinterest), Google Analytics, or code snippets of various ad networks, e.g., for header bidding.
The premium extensions of Advanced Ads extend the available features with additional performance-enhancing placements, e.g., sticky banners or popups. Additionally, there are placements to insert ads into pages created by popular plugins like BuddyBoss, BuddyPress, or bbPress.
Dedicated AdSense support
A unique feature of Advanced Ads is its convenient integration with Google AdSense. You can connect to your AdSense account and import ads to Advanced Ads without the need to manually copy any ad codes.
Furthermore, Advanced Ads can display revenue reports for individual ads or the total revenue in your AdSense account right in your WordPress backend. Since the website is directly connected to the AdSense account, this data is not shared with any third party nor with Advanced Ads.
Besides the revenue, notifications from the AdSense account can also be imported and displayed, for example, the alert if the ads.txt file is not available. Advanced Ads can create this file automatically.
Auto Ads from Google AdSense
Besides manually placing AdSense ads, Advanced Ads also supports Google AdSense Auto Ads. To insert the necessary code for this, you just need to check a checkbox. This option also supports Auto Ads on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
In the default settings, Advanced Ads also makes sure that those ads are not loaded on 404 error pages and in doing so automatically complies with the AdSense terms.
How to extend the features of Advanced Ads
Advanced Ads is a freemium plugin where you can extend the features of the free basic version with several premium add-ons.
Advanced Ads Pro
The most powerful add-on is Advanced Ads Pro. This extension comes with additional placements, display and visitor conditions, and technically sophisticated solutions for demanding ad setups. I will briefly mention some of these features.
Among them, for example, is the Lazy Load option. It allows loading specific placements with a delay to significantly improve the page speed of your website.
The integrated Click Fraud Protection prevents unnaturally frequent clicks on ads, protecting your account with networks like Google AdSense from suspension due to unnatural clicks from malicious competitors.
If you enable the AdBlocker module of Advanced Ads Pro, you can show alternative banners to users with ad blockers. This allows you to monetize this traffic with affiliate banners.
If you want to sell ads directly or optimize external ads using split tests, you can’t get around the Tracking add-on.
This add-on records impressions and clicks on individual ads and allows the evaluation in the backend and the sending of corresponding email reports and shareable statistics.
You can connect ad tracking with Google Analytics to analyze it with other metrics in your Google Analytics reports.
This add-on also provides a way to mask outbound links, also known as link cloaking.
Google Ad Manager Plugin
The Google Ad Manager integration of Advanced Ads is unique. It allows even less technical publishers to use all the Google Ad Manager ad server features.
The plugin imports the ad codes automatically and allows selecting options such as responsive behavior, AMP compatibility, or key-values targeting via the interface, thus preventing the coding errors that are typical when working with Google Ad Manager.
There are a couple more useful add-ons offered by Advanced Ads:
- Geo-targeting for displaying ads based on the visitor’s location, like continent, country, or region.
- Sticky Ads for fixed ads left or right of the main content, as well as sticky header and footer bars.
- Popups and Layer Ads with different triggers, e.g., after a definable time or when a visitor leaves your site.
- Responsive Ads for automatic conversion of the ad into the AMP format and for targeting ads depending on the user’s browser width
- Ad Slider for embedding ad groups as sliders
Coders love it
Besides all the mentioned features of Advanced Ads, another advantage is its smooth integration with the WordPress system. The pages in the backend follow the WordPress layout, so you can quickly find your way around without reading lengthy manuals.
But even more essential is the ability to customize the plugin and add your own features. Advanced Ads supports WordPress standards and provides hooks for customization.