Displaying advertisements in your blog is one of the surefire ways of generating a steady revenue stream. Depending on the amount of traffic your blog receives, you stand to charge up to 1000 to 2000 USD for a single banner. Of course, that would demand a very popular site in a select niche.
Traditionally, webmasters have been using Google AdSense to monetize their site. The CPC rate in Google AdSense is low compared to other sites and involves a couple of other conditions to be met, before your site is eligible to display Google AdSense.
Ad-Networks versus Self-Managed Advertisements
Here’s the difference between Google AdSense including the other major ad-networks) and managing your own ads:
- With ad-networks, you don’t have to manage the ads. You simply assign an area of your site to displaying the ad-banner and you’re good to go. It is up to the ad-network to serve your visitors with the advertisement which is most relevant to them. In other words, you don’t have control over the advertisements that are displayed to your visitors.
- With self-managed advertisements, you’re in complete control. You get to display the ads you want, how you want, and where you want.
Why Self-Managed Advertisements Are Better
Ad-networks spend millions of dollars on R&D to develop algorithms that track the browsing habits of each and every human user on the web and build relationships with that data, which allow them to predict (with exceedingly high amount of accuracy) what type of product a human user would be most interested in, at any given point of time.
All major ad-networks like Google and Bing do it. That’s why you have a unique advertisement ID associated to your Google/Microsoft account.
All major ad-networks like Google and Bing associate a unique advertisement ID to your account. Why? To serve you with better ads.
But there’s a problem. Check out this scenario where ad-networks don’t quite pan out:
- Suppose you have a website that publishes reviews of scientific journals – which are read by research scholars.
- Now consider a visitor who has been searching for high heels online. That’s a perfectly reasonable scenario.
- When the same visitor visits your site (which we’ve established, falls under the education niche), – the most relevant ad (to the visitor) is displayed in the advertisement banner.
And what do you think would be displayed on the ad section? That’s right – offers on new products in the shoe category – ranging from high-heels to what not. My friend, let me tell you that it is not a pretty view. Some folks don’t mind this, since it’s a matter of coincidence. But if you’re one of those folks who want control over your ads, then keep on reading!
Consider WPExplorer for example. It’s a WordPress oriented site. Do you see any ad here which aren’t relevant to WordPress? No! That’s because WPExplorer directly controls the ads are displayed to the visitor! That’s the catch!
A smart webmaster would naturally display advertisements that are related to his site’s niche. Here’s why:
- This would guarantee a better click-rate, when compared to traditional ad-network banners.
- It also establishes your brand’s identity. To a visitor, you seem like a person with utmost attention to detail.
Now that we’ve established that self-managed ads are preferable over ad-networks, for small to medium or large websites, we can get started with the article. To help website owners manage their advertisements better, we’ve put up a list of the best advertisement management plugins for WordPress. Each of these plugins perform the task at hand with slight variations. We urge you to carefully examine each plugin’s features, and select the one that you like most. Let’s get started.
WP Ad Center
WP Ad Center was created by Oli Dale, who later sold it for a whooping 11,100 USD on Flippa. Needless to say, it is one of the most feature rich advertisement management plugins for WordPress, which gives your clients detailed statistics on their ad campaigns.
With WP Ad Center, you can place ads using shortcodes, any wigetized area or by directly editing your theme files. Your advertisers can directly register in your site, select an available ad space, and send payments via PayPal. Check out the plugin’s official feature list for more information.
Price: $49 for single site license, including 1 year of support
For the folks who aren’t using WordPress as of yet – you stand to gain from this plugin. OIO Publisher comes in two forms – (1) as a standalone PHP script which can be embedded in any site. Or (2) as a featured WordPress plugin which helps you get up an running with minimal setup!
Here are a list of the most interesting features:
- Sell ads based on CPM, CPC or fixed rate
- Ad-management panel where advertisers can buy ads in your site
- Campaign statistics including click-rate and impressions
- Aside from banner ads, it also has option for pay-per-post, digital downloads, and affiliate programs.
AdPress – WordPress Ad Manager
AdPress is an great plugin for displaying ads in your website. Aside from the common set of features we’ve see so far, AdPress supports refund procedures for PayPal, purchase history and the ability to automatically or manually approve advertisements. It also lets you to export and import settings to integrate it your other sites.
Banner Manager Pro
Developed by Envato Elite Author halfdata, Banner Manager Pro specializes in multiple payment gateways, such as PayPal, Payza, Skirll, Authorize.net and most recently BitPay – which enables you to accept BitCoins! Other features include:
- AJAX enabled ad-control panel
- Ad-banner preview before purchasing ads
- Embed ads via shortcode, or by editing your theme files
WP PRO Advertising System
The most interesting feature of this plugin is its ability to integrate with the Visual Composer Plugin for WordPress. You can also integrate your BuySellAds account, by separately purchasing an add-on for $11. Apart from this, WP Pro Advertising supports all the major ad-features.
Ad-Rotate follows a freemium model with an impressive list of features in its free version. Interesting features include:
- Detects and alerts visitor in the presence of an ad-blocker.
- Supports both self-managed advertisements and ad-networks.
- Push and email notifications on Android or iOS on advertisement alerts.
- Import data from previous ad-management plugins using AdRotate Switch
- Support for WordPress Multisite
The free version obviously doesn’t have as many features as it’s premium counterpart, however it’s a great option for managing ads on your website. You can always bump up to the premium version later on as you ad management needs grow.
Simple Ads Manager (Depreciated)
This free plugin supports multiple third party ad networks including Google AdSense, Yahoo and Adbrite – with geo-located targeting. You can place ads inside your post, widgets or directly in your theme files. WP Insert comes with ready-made legal, copyright and disclaimer pages to help you with transparency.
In order to choose a plugin, you must first decide the way you’ll display ads to your visitors. If you want to stick to self served ads, then selecting WP Ad Center would be a good choice. If you think you might shift to third party ad-networks in the future, then OIO Publisher is your best bet, as it supports both sets. If you’re looking for a free plugin that does the job, then Simple Ads Manager or WP Insert would do the trick!
So what’s your favorite among these 8 WordPress advertisement management plugins? Did we miss your preferred one? Let us know!