How your CMS can support the smooth integration of AdTech

Written By Jim Kersey
Posted On October 28, 2020
Tags AdTech / CMS

Advertising revenue is central to many publishers’ revenue revenue-generating models. Your Content Management System provides a key integration with your ad server and can be a key limiter or enabler of the advertising you can sell to your sponsors.

Methods for advertising focused publishers to generate revenue

There are two main approaches for media brands and publishers that want to increase their advertising revenue.

  1. Increase your traffic to sell more impressions to advertisers
  2. Increase the ‘quality’ of your audience segments and advertising assets to sell advertising at a higher cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

Choosing the right CMS can facilitate these activities:

  • Targeting – publishers by targeting advertising against specific categories of content, increase the relevance of the advertising to the audience. In turn, this boosts the likelihood that the audience will engage with the adverts they are shown as they are closely linked to their interests. As a result, advertisers will be willing to pay higher prices for advertising space. For publishers then, finding a CMS which allows granular content categorisation will facilitate adverts more closely targeted to receptive audiences.
  • Restrict adverts on sponsored or native content – sponsored and native content that’s created in conjunction with advertising partners can be a high high-value advertising activity for publishers. If you have the functionality to restrict the advertising that is shown on these featured articles with your CMS, you’ll be boosting the attractiveness of these forms of content to existing high tier sponsors and potential partners, who may have previously been put off by a lack of exclusivity.
  • Import your audience data and analytics – by injecting specialist data from your own systems like Google analytics into your CMS you can improve targeting by understanding the behaviours of different user groups. Analyse demographic data and you can handpick the right adverts for an audience’s specialised interests.
  • The right CMS eases the editorial publishing workflow – this makes it easier for editorial to produce and distribute more content, creating more options to engage with advertisers

Internal or External Ad Servers?

An ad server is separate from your CMS. It’s an AdTech platform used by publishers, advertisers, and advertising agencies to manage advertising.

Your ad server will make instantaneous decisions about which ads to serve on a webpage.

Choosing the best ad server for your needs can significantly ease the process of adding adverts to your content on your website.

The main question for publishers is whether to choose to purchase a subscription to an external ad server or whether to build an ad server internally.

Internal ad server pros and cons

ProsCons
It will be created exactly to your specificationsCan take a long time to build unless you choose a white label CMS and then modify it
You have total creative control over any changes you requireWill drain resources from other activities
You can make technical alterations to suit your own timelineRequires expertise that you may not have internally

Google ad manager is a free external ad server offering granular controls for advertising, it supports multiple ad networks, such as AdSense, Ad Exchange, and other third-party networks.

External pros and cons 

The good news is there are plenty of servers to take your pick from when considering an externally built AdTech server.

ProsCons
No engineers needed, you can go live in a very short timeAn off the shelf tool may lack features you need, offering limited flexibility and customisation
There’s a lot of choice, so the price is competitiveThe Javascript used can slow down your website
Suitable for basic ad serving needsNot ideal for native ads or any ads outside of standard banner ads

Integrating External Ad Servers (Google Ad Manager)

When using an external ad server, consider using lazy loading, this means ads load only when a user scrolls to the relevant section of a page, this optimises speed and responsiveness, so communicating with the external server to serve ads to your users won’t slow your site down.

Google Ad Manager allows custom targeting, so you can target ads to particular taxonomies of content and individual articles.

Ad manager also allows for targeting ad sizes, which means you can ensure correctly formatted adverts appear on the right pages to ensure a smooth user experience. In today’s world where your users are likely to be accessing your website from multiple devices, it’s important to ensure ads are responsive. When creating a responsive ad, creating breakpoints inform your ad, so it can respond to different screen sizes.   

When you have no in-house availability you can fall back to programmatic, to automate your advertising.

What about Ad Blocking?

Yes, ad blockers are a huge challenge to publishers that rely on ad revenue. But, advertising alone is risky, consider diversifying into sponsored and native content, subscription subscription-based models and donations, to ensure you’re not at the mercy of ad blocking users, who limit the value you can make from advertising. 

Get in touch    

Contact us today to start talking about solutions to integrate AdTech smoothly into your current CMS.

Jim Kersey
Content Creator
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