Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Running ads is perhaps the easiest thing you can do to monetize a website. And depending on the ads, it could net you quite a bit of money. Today, I’m looking at the free version of Advanced Ads to see how well it works to monetize a blog.
Keep in mind, this is for the WordPress plugin. If you use a different content management system, you may have to find an alternative.
What is Advanced Ads?
Advanced Ads is a platform that lets you place advertisements on your website. Using the free version, you can integrate AdSense, use affiliate banners, privately sell ad space, or even link to your own assets anywhere on the Internet.
For example, I run banners within Advanced Ads for my YouTube channel.
The tool comes with a variety of options to let you control who sees what across the website. Using Display Conditions, you can narrow down certain advertisements to show on specific types of content.
I’ll go over the display conditions here in a moment, but you have some great options.
What Can You Expect Out of Free Advanced Ads?
The Advanced Ads plugin has a lot going on. Though, some of the really cool stuff is locked behind a paywall. Still, you can find quite a few features in the free version that will probably make the plugin beneficial.
And if you just barely created your blog, you probably won’t need any other system to show ads.
Integrated AdSense Tracking
One thing I really like about Advanced Ads is the ability to include AdSense integration. By looking at the Ads Dashboard in the plugin, you can see how much your site has brought in so far today, what it made yesterday, the past week, this month, and over the last 28 days.
And if you have a lot of different websites on your AdSense account, like I do, you can set Advanced Ads up to only pull the data related to a specific domain.
Control Over Ad Weight
Unlike some alternatives, this plugin lets you control the “ad weight” of your assets. This means you can easily set certain advertisements to take priority over others.
For instance, I have AdSense set up to have a higher chance of being shown than the affiliate banners. So, if you sell ad space to a business, you can give them preferential treatment for a fee.
The Illustrious Editor Button
You’d think that being able to quickly ad an advertisement with an editor button would be a standard practice. However, it’s not available in all ad-delivery plugins for WordPress.
Advanced Ads has the button built into the Classic Editor block, letting you place ads where ever you want while creating content.
And of course, you have the Gutenberg block for the plugin.
Options for Automatic Placement
What if you’re new to putting ads on your website and are not sure where to place them? Advanced Ads comes with an automated method that lets you pick and choose how it shows those ads.
You get more options available in the paid version of the plugin. However, the free version gives you access to some of the most common locations.
Conditional Ad Options
One of my favorite features of the plugin is the ability to set conditions for each individual advertisement. You can set certain ads to show for specific content tags, post types, age of the post, for specific authors, the type of device being used, and more.
Although you get a lot more options for visitor conditions when you buy the plugin. But the free version comes with a lot of different possibilities.
For instance, you can have certain ads run on content that belongs to a specific category in WordPress.
No Tracking Reports
Unfortunately, Advanced Ads doesn’t come with tracking reports. I’ve come across a few alternatives that have this feature, and it’s quite beneficial when you create your own ads to see how well they perform.
However, you can upgrade to get tracking if that’s something you absolutely need.
No Limit of Impressions or Clicks
Another aspect that you won’t find in the free version of Advanced Ads is limiting advertisements to a set number of impressions or clicks. This, again, is a paid feature.
Setting the limit lets you sell ad space to customers for specific dollar amounts. For example, I could sell ad space to someone at the rate of $10.00 for 1,000 clicks.
If I had the premium version of Advanced Ads. And this feature alone is worthwhile for me to upgrade, as this is something I want to offer on some of my blogs.
Would I Pay to Upgrade Advanced Ads?
The free version of the plugin comes with a slew of great tools if you’re looking to monetize your blog or website. With that being said, it also comes with a variety of awesome features in the paid version.
Tracking, geo targeting, selling ad space, popup and layer ads, and caching support definitely make this something to consider upgrading.
Personally, I plan on upgrading as soon as I can. Between the ease of use and the bonus features of the paid version, it’s a realistic investment for what I want to do with a couple of my websites.
But from a beginner’s perspective, the free version of Advanced Ads gives you everything you need to get started immediately.
In other words, you probably wouldn’t need to upgrade unless you plan on taking ad revenue to a more serious degree.
Selling Ad Space Made Easy
Advanced Ads is probably among the easiest ad-display plugins I’ve used in a while. In fact, it ranks among my favorites. I am actually torn between this and a couple of others in terms of paying for the premium versions.
But as a stand-alone free plugin, it works exceptionally well and gives you a ton of control for each ad and ad group.
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