I have published a number of free ads that I monetize through ads. I spent a lot of time adding features and testing so my apps are pretty feature rich and not very buggy. The problem I am running into is I have gotten a complaint that I have too many ads. My question is, how many is too many?
I have been trying to embed ads in the content so that its a more natural experience so I use the 250x250 tile ads in my long lists of tiles within my app. I try and space them so that at most there are only ever two ads on screen at any point in time.
Is this too much? I mean the app is free and its pretty good content wise. How can you tell when you are ad gouging or when your user is just being a whiner?
- Changed type Min ZhuMicrosoft contingent staff, Member Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:18 AM general discussion
For me, too many ads is not about the count, but how hard it is to navigate the page without looking at them. If I have to look at an add, because it is placed in with the content, then that is too many ads, even if it is only one, because I had to take steps to avoid it. If the ads have a common look and feel, my mind will quickly pick up on it and I wont even see them. (though if one says something I am interested in, then somehow I do see them.)
So, an ad placed in a prime location is bad, an ad placed in the natural flow of reading is bad, etc. IMO. Put it off to the side where i dont have to look at it. This is how most ads are. If I have to think about your ad, even for a millisecond, then it is too many ads. Dont try to force your users to view your ads, is my opinion.
I don't know if I agree with that totally. I mean, the ad needs to been non-intrusive. It needs to not cause the content to become an afterthought. The content needs to be more prominent then the ad. And I agree that the ad needs to not cause navigation problems. But having the ad unnoticeable; I don't know that I agree with that.
The ad should be noticeable. After all, that's how your generating revenue. I think that the user should spend 5% of their time noticing your ad and 95% of the time noticing the content in your app.
Here is my way to measure (based on app testers not my own eye). If my user spends 30 seconds on a page then they should notice the ad for the first 2 seconds and the content the last 28 seconds. or 4 seconds and 56 seconds for 1 minute. This is ALL ads on the page total, not 2-4 seconds per ad.
Now, if I have content, lets say blocks that are 320x320, and I streamline the ads into my blocks, the ad blocks should be 75% or less in size compare to the app content. so for 320x320 app content I would probably use a 250x250 ad size. If you look at the Xbox Dashboard, Microsoft follows this rule (mostly). In addition, I would recommend that you insure when the page first loads that your ads appear in your content on the very right side (right side before the user scrolls). Never do more then 1 column of ads per screen. You can also try making your ads half the size of your app content and stacking two ads on top of each other making both ads appear as the same size as the rest of the content. That way you are getting 2 ads in there but not taking more real estate on the screen. If you have a single row of blocks in multiple columns, follow the advertising that Microsoft does with the Xbox Bing app on the Xbox Console. I think it works very well and seems to be acceptable by most users.
Although you'll still get some customers that want their apps both free and without ads. In those cases just ignore it.