AdPlugg Scales!

AdPlugg ScalesAdPlugg has been growing like crazy. We now serve millions of ads every day and have thousands of customers who use the service. We’ve regularly been upgrading servers and our backend software to handle the increased load.

AdPlugg uses highly scalable cloud servers and CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) to make this all possible.

In addition to more customers in general, we’ve also added a number of larger and more high profile accounts. This includes the websites of some well known magazines, radio stations, tv stations and newspapers. Some of the more well known ones include the Fiesta Bowl, Wine Enthusiast and the BC Heights (the Student newspaper of Boston College).

As well as scaling up our backend systems to handle the increased load, we just released a number of new enhancements to our front end Ad Manager that make the user interface easier to use for large sites and accounts with complex configurations and a large number of ads.

We’ve added the ability to scroll through the list of ads when choosing your ads for your charts and reports. This feature turns on when you have more than 10 ads so that the list is easier to navigate.

We’ve added the ability to sort, search and filter the Ad, Placement and Zone lists. In addition, we added additional columns to each of these lists so that you can see things like which Placement an Ad is targeted to without opening the Ad.

Sortable

Each list now has a number of sortable columns. The ones that are sortable have blue links in the header row at the top of the list. Simply click the header to sort the list by the entries in the column. Click the list again to sort the list in reverse order. Click the list a third time to stop sorting by the column. If the column is a text column, it will be sorted alphabetically. If it is a number column, it will be sorted in numerical order.

Searchable

The search allows you to enter in any text and the list will be restricted to entries that mach that text. The text that is matched could be from any of the columns.

Filterable

We’ve also added a number of filters for each list. The filters allow you to restrict the entries shown in the list to entries matching the specific filter. For instance you can filter the results to only show active or inactive ads. You can also use a filter to only show ads that target a particular Placement or Zone. This way you can quickly see just the ads that target your top bar for example.

These features were designed to make AdPlugg even easier to use. Have any ideas for other features that we could add or how we could make these features better? Please post them into the comments section below.

WordPress AdSense: The Ultimate How-To

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Making sense of AdSense on WordPress

In this blog post we are going to talk about how to use AdSense with WordPress. We’ll go though what options are available, best practices and more.

Ad What? Word Who?

WordPress is the largest CMS (Content Management System)/blogging platform in the world and is used by more than 60 million websites. AdSense is Google’s advertising system for publishers allowing publishers to place google ads on their sites. It’s estimated that over 1.5 million sites use Google AdSense.

Getting Started with WordPress

WordPress is totally free and setting up a WordPress site is incredibly simple at this point. The easiest way to do it is to get a free hosting account from a host such as GoDaddy or BlueHost. Once you have your hosting account, both of these hosts have automated systems for installing WordPress into your account.

Getting Started with AdSense

Getting set up with AdSense is a bit more complicated. The first step is to sign up for an AdSense account. The steps are pretty straight forward so I’ll just give you an overview here (For more info, see the AdSense Help). This is what you do:

  • Go to the AdSense Signup page.
  • Sign in (using your existing Google Account) or create a new account. Tip: if you have an account with your domain in it (ex: bob@yourblog.com) using it can speed up the approval process.
  • You will then need to fill out info about your self, site, business etc.
  • Lastly you will need to agree to the AdSense Terms of Service.

Once you have finished the signup process, you will be given access to your new AdSense account. You may not however be approved yet. The AdSense approval process can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of months depending on your site, geographic location and application info. Again, using a domain specific email address can speed up the process.

Once you’ve completed the signup process you can start placing ads on your site. They won’t however start to show until you’re account has been approved and activated.

WordPress AdSense Integration

WordPress AdSense integration can be done in a number of different ways. Basically the goal is to place the ad tags that you receive from AdSense on the front end of your WordPress site. Once your account is approved, AdSense will automatically inject ads into the tags. These are the most common ways to add AdSense tags into your WordPress site:

  • Serve them with AdPlugg or other AdSense compatible WordPress plugins
  • Add the tags into a Text Widget
  • Add the tags into your WordPress theme

Note: we plan to go into these options in more detail in a follow-on post.

Once the ad tags are serving to your site (they will be invisible at first), Google will review your site and hopefully approve it. Once approved, you will start to see ads on your site.

If you have any questions or have something to add, please use the comment section below.

Timed Rotate Feature Added

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You asked for it you got it! We just added a new timed rotate feature. The timed rotate feature allows you to set your ads to rotate after a specified number of seconds.

Adding a timed rotate feature had become the highest ranked suggestion on our Feedback and Ideas Forum. Adhering to our Democratic Design principles, we’ve made it a top priority and are excited to be releasing it to you today!

How it Works

The timed rotate feature works basically the same as our other rotate configurations but with timed rotate, the ads rotate after a set number of seconds instead of on page refresh. Only the ads set to “timed rotate” will rotate, any other ads will stay put. The newly displayed ads will have their impressions tracked the same as if they were loaded after a refresh.

How to Set it Up

If you haven’t already done so, set up the ad rotator. In the placement settings you will see that we’ve added a new field called “Rotation Interval”. It’s under the “Content” heading. If this field is blank (the default), the ads are only rotated on refresh. To enable timed rotate, simply enter a number into this field. The number is the number of seconds that you want the rotator to wait before rotating the ads. The number can include decimals, so you could set your ads to rotate every 3.5 seconds, for instance. The minimum interval allowed is 1 second.

Please note that this function can dramatically increase your impression counts (and your bill) so use caution when enabling it and do carefully consider which ads you want to rotate and at what interval.

We hope that you enjoy the new feature. Please add any questions or comments about the feature to the comment section below.

If you don’t already have an AdPlugg account, Sign Up today and try out this awesome new feature!

How to Increase Revenue Through Ad Targeting

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In this post I am going to show you how you can increase revenue through ad targeting. Ad targeting is the concept of showing ads based on certain sets of criteria. That criteria could be based on the user viewing the ad such as their location or browser or the criteria could be based on site variables such as the page or location on a page. In this post I’m going to be talking about the latter. Specifically, how to increase revenue to your blog by employing page targeting, zone targeting and placement targeting.

Using the AdPlugg Ad Manager you can set your ads to target different ad zones. Ad Zones are regions or locations on your page such as the “top bar” or “right side bar”. By breaking your site up into zones, you create different opportunities for advertisers. For instance if you previously only had ads across the top of your site, you could add a right sidebar ad zone and a footer ad zone thereby increasing your “ad inventory”. Having and selling more ad spots will of course increase your revenue.

Page targeting allows you to choose which page (or pages) on your site your ads display. While zones and zone targeting allowed us to increase our ad inventory, page targeting allows us to break our existing ad inventory up.

Placements are how you can really take advantage of a parsed and organized ad inventory. First you break your layout up using zones. Then create placements for different combinations of pages and zones. For example, you could break your site up into the following placements:

  • A premium placement at the top of the right sidebar
  • A placement for the topbar on the home page
  • A placement for the topbar on secondary pages

All of these placements can target different advertisers with different advertising budgets. This will allow you to sell more ads by having ad space available for a wider variety of budgets. It will also allow you to maximize the ad revenue that each spot on your site can generate.

In this post I’ve explained how to increase revenue through ad targeting. Basically we’ve increased the number of customers that you can sell to and maximized the selling price for each spot on your site. Sign up for AdPlugg today and start increasing your revenue by putting these strategies to work. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to the comment section below.

New WordPress Ad Plugin Available Now

We are excited to release our new WordPress Ad Plugin which offers all of the same features of our ad management system in an easy to use WordPress plugin.  This new plugin allows all sites that run on WordPress to easily add AdPlugg to their site by installing the plugin and setting it in a widget area.  Link your WordPress site to AdPlugg  using your AdPlugg Access Code and have ads instantly running on your site.

Download The WordPress Ad Plugin!

WordPress is the most popular blogging system in the world, it’s run by more than 60 million websites! As of August 2013, WordPress was being used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites (source: Wikipedia).  By releasing an easy to install WordPress plugin, we hope to better serve sites using WordPress and allow you the easiest way possible to place and manage ads on your site.

Installation of the AdPlugg WordPress plugin takes just a matter of minutes and can be done entirely from the WordPress Administrator interface, all without ever touching the WordPress site’s underlying code.  Once installed, the plugin (and all ads on the site), can be fully controlled, managed, and tracked from your adplugg.com account.

From your AdPlugg account, you have complete control over the ads on your site.  This includes the ability to add, update, delete and schedule ads. In addition, AdPlugg features sophisticated tracking and reporting capabilities allowing you to track and graphically view the effectiveness of your ads.  This data can then be shared with advertisers to increase your advertiser retention.

Our basic AdPlugg blog advertising service and new WordPress Plugin are completely free for low traffic sites.  Additional pay options and features are available for more demanding, high volume customers.   You can upgrade as your site traffic grows.  If you are unfamiliar with how AdPlugg ad manager works, then learn more now.

If your site doesn’t use WordPress, don’t worry,  we also have an easy to install Ad Snippet solution that works on any site regardless of platform, operating system, programming language etc.

Please try out the new WordPress Ad Plugin and let us know what you think!