Traffic Trends: A Snapshot of Successful Practices
As the lifeblood of any internet-based enterprise, traffic, or the flow of visitors coming and then later leaving a website, is one of the most-analyzed and discussed commodities in the online ecosystem.
Because the internet and its users are an evolving arena, it behooves website operators, marketers and more to keep an eye on the current trends in adult traffic generation, and ways in which this traffic can be best monetized. This can be a full-time job for a site owner, or even several staffers, leading many to seek out the assistance of specialized traffic professionals.
According to JuicyAds.com founder Jay, for the past decade, the company has been providing a self-serve solution for publishers (website owners) and advertisers seeking an effective way to attract and monetize traffic.
“JuicyAds is much more than a self-service platform, however,” Jay told XBIZ. “We are a team of professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience.”
“Instead of hiring a ‘media buyer’ you can hire JuicyAds as your media buying team and receive an account manager for your media buying needs at a significantly lower cost because we work just on acquiring properties and filling your advertising and marketing needs,” Jay explains. “This in turn helps our publishers to monetize their properties at the highest possible price.”
Part of maximizing monetization is having an understanding of the changing nature of the internet.
For example, one of the biggest factors affecting traffic today is the shift from the desktop to mobile internet access — with TrafficStars’ CEO Geoffrey Bonnechere telling XBIZ that the major difference between mobile and desktop traffic acquisition is the level of targeting necessary.
“On mobile, we provide much deeper targeting options: by devices, OS, mobile browsers and the ability to segment Wi-Fi versus carriers, which is certainly the most important one,” Bonnechere explains, and notes that “An outdated carrier IP database can ruin the profitability of a campaign in no time.”
Bonnechere says that affiliates must also keep an eye on the carrier regulations in the countries they are working with.
“A profitable carrier today can turn into a disaster tomorrow,” Bonnechere says. “eCPMs can change a lot from a carrier to another within the same country making mobile media buys unstable and slightly more complex than desktop media buys.”
ExoClick’s global sales director, Richard Cottrell, told XBIZ that in addition to the other mobile-centric changes in the marketplace, mobile users are now driving video traffic.
“Mobile traffic is increasing dramatically and this is for three reasons: consumers have their smartphone with them at all times, so rather than wait to switch on the PC at home, they are browsing on their phones for immediate search results,” Cottrell explains.
“Secondly, there is a huge increase in video traffic, driven by mobile. You just have to see how your own Facebook news feed has changed: 12 months ago, it was mainly still photos, now news feeds are packed with video content that plays automatically as you scroll.”
“Thirdly,” Cottrell adds, “smartphones now have larger screens which are better for viewing videos.”
As for how the adult industry can monetize this video traffic, Cottrell offers some specific suggestions:
“Many adult desktop products are now going mobile, and this opens up new monetization opportunities for publishers — not just for content sales but with new ad spots to monetize,” Cottrell says. “Mobile ad spots that work well are sticky banners, headers, and mobile pop-unders and to exploit that video traffic there are in-video banner ads and video pre- and post-roll ads.”
Cottrell says mobile-specific ad formats bring new challenges for advertisers to convert consumers.
“Screen space is smaller so the creative and message have to really grab the consumer’s attention,” Cottrell explains. “Video ads are set to be huge in adult, and production costs are low when you think you can shoot an ad on an iPhone 6 and edit it on a PC.”
“For example, a dating offer video ad could be a compelling short story about a girl next door looking for a hook up,” Cottrell says. He also advises marketers to “remember that with video ads you need to keep the format light so it plays quickly in order to keep the consumers attention, and doesn’t use up a lot of the consumer’s mobile bandwidth.”
Another factor in the mobile traffic equation is its rapid uptick in emerging markets.
“Due to the availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets and with mobile devices being the primary computer for these populations, traffic from Latin America, Asia and Africa is on the rise,” Cottrell says. “The majority is mobile, all waiting to be monetized.”
Beyond the shift to mobile, an expected increase in traffic to virtual reality sites this year and into 2017 has the potential to be a key driver in the adult marketplace.
“VR devices from the likes of Oculus Rift, Samsung, HTC and Sony are bringing consumers the means to immerse themselves in VR content, creating a new growth channel for adult traffic,” Cottrell explains. “Equally interesting will be how advertisers intend to create advertisements based on compelling visual content for this category.”
Cottrell notes that while traffic is plentiful, high quality traffic provides real value — with ExoClick enjoying exclusive deals with some of adult’s biggest sites.
“We don’t work with blind traffic. We know where all of our traffic comes from, and our platform provides further traffic fine tuning with our deep targeting options,” Cottrell says. “It is important to note that we don’t segment our traffic for premium and performance based campaigns — everyone has access to the same traffic, ensuring everyone benefits from the same opportunities.”
“ExoClick’s publishing team advises our publishers how best to monetize their inventory and helps them develop ad zones around their content pages. Additionally, we work with smaller publishers to build up their traffic, and so in turn increase the monetization of their ad offerings,” Cottrell concludes. “In turn, we advise advertisers about what products and offers are going to convert best on specific publisher’s sites, niches, geos and ad formats.”
Luke Hazlewood, GrandSlamMedia/Adnium’s CEO, said: “The biggest trend I’m noticing in adult traffic is a move to responsive site design that accommodates the growing number of mobile users. It is not uncommon to see web properties that used to maintain a 70/30 desktop/mobile distribution completely flip the script and are now 30/70 desktop/mobile.”
“At Adnium, we can help acquire and monetize this growing mobile user base by helping publishers update their site layout through our in-house development team. Additionally, we support the most lucrative mobile ad types and have a constantly growing stable of affiliates that drive the best market rates.”
This level of customer service reflects the changes and complexity in today’s traffic marketplace, where education and professional service providers are key ingredients. For top-tier sites, working with leading ad networks is vital to their success in capturing audiences and turning them into cash, whether it occurs on a desktop, mobile device, or in the virtual realm — a situation unlikely to change over the near term.