Ezoic offers one of the best Google Adsense alternatives in 2020 by providing an opportunity to earn more revenue from your website through advertising that takes advantage of artificial intelligence.
Today, I want to talk about websites, and how the platform you use, the user experience you deliver, and the ads you place can make or break your site. After all, it doesn’t matter how great of a photographer you are or how expansive your portfolio is: if your site doesn’t meet reader and advertising expectations, then it won’t drive the kind of traffic needed to pay to keep it online. If this is the kind of thing you’re interested in, then you’ll want to consider Ezoic.
Ezoic is a Google AdSense alternative with ad testing and ad optimization, among many other features. If you want to earn more from your website, then you might consider making the jump from AdSense to Ezoic.
Of course, that jump is often a significant one, as you want to ensure you can still increase ad revenue. I believe confidently that with Ezoic, you can. That’s why on August 27th I moved my Cool Wildlife site over to the Ezoic platform. That link will take you to the Ezoic website if you want to check things out.
Before I get deep into the review, I’m sure many of you are asking the question:
Is Ezoic better than Google AdSense?
Ezoic is better than Google AdSense since you can get paid per ad view when using Ezoic, a feature not present with AdSense. Further, Ezoic lets you choose the ads that perform best from a variety of networks and then display those, further bolstering your revenue potential.
If you haven’t heard of Ezoic and you’re feeling reluctant to switch from Google AdSense, I highly recommend you check out my review ahead. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Ezoic, including all the features and how they can benefit your website.
Let’s get into it!
What Is Ezoic?
Okay, first of all, what is Ezoic? This alternative to Google AdSense is a Google Certified Publishing Partner, meaning that while they’re an AdSense competitor, they are supported by Google.
Ezoic calls itself an interactive platform that’s simple to use and gives any website owner the freedom to optimize their website. Dwayne Lafleur founded Ezoic in 2010 after his time in Cubics came to an end. If you don’t know what Cubics is, this is a Facebook advertising network. Lafleur was its CEO.
With his experience, Lafleur correlated the connection between ad earnings and a site visitor’s user experience or UX. He believed that the better the UX, the more ad revenue a website could generate. This idea became the basis of Ezoic. In 2016, Ezoic took home the award for Business in Innovation by Google.
Besides their status as a Google Certified Publishing Partner, Ezoic is also a certified partner with Flippa, JW Player, and Cloudflare. Ezoic is also a part of the Coalition for Better Ads.
Assigned Product Consultant
I was so impressed with Ezoic’s customer service that I had to add a section for it to this review. Within 24 hours of signing up I was contacted by a Product Consultant/Site Setup Specialist by the name of Jordan. He sent me instructions on how to get started. To show you exactly how simple the setup process is I have copied below the email I received from Jordan so you can see for yourself what the process entails. If you decide to turn on Ezoic for your own site I assume you will receive the same instructions.
Ezoic Site Setup Specialist Email:
And then you will need to swap these
This step is super simple and it allows you to join AdX, Google’s premium ad exchange with hundreds of high-quality ad networks. To do this, go to your Ezoic account -> Click Apply for Google Ad
Step 3: Completed By Ezoic
Once these steps have been completed it will be my turn to start getting testing locations set up and running. I will go in, look at your top landing pages, look into what ad sizes are going to perform best for your traffic and device types, and set up your site accordingly. Success with Ezoic comes from data, our Machine learning is going to analyze what your users prefer and adjust accordingly so the more data we can give the system the better.
As soon as I have the setup completed I will send you a quick approval email and then we will turn your site on and start earning.
As simple as these instructions were Jordan gathered pretty quickly by my questions that I was new to this whole advertising thing so he scheduled a Zoom meeting with me to answer my questions and walk me through the setup process which was uber simple.
Jordan was sharing his screen with me the whole time so I had a visual reference on everything he was talking about. I’m sure those of you who have experience with the backend of your website could manage this setup process on your own but I’m that guy who outsources web development so I needed a little extra hand holding.
Ultimate Control Lies With The User
The biggest question I had surrounding Ezoic is whether or not I had full control over the advertising. As a photography site the last thing I wanted was to detract from the user experience. What I needed to know were things like:
- Can I disable Ads on Specific Pages?
- How about managing how many ads are displayed on any given page?
- Do I have the ability to block certain advertisement content that I deem inappropriate for my site?
- What about turning the whole Ezoic experience off if I decide I don’t like it?
- Can Ezoic really speed up my site load times by deploying Ezoic’s site speed?
The good news is that the answer to every question above was exactly what I needed to hear. The website owner has control over every aspect of the advertising and it can all be managed from the Ezoic dashboard.
Undoubtedly, two of the starring features of Ezoic are the Layout Tester and the Ad Tester, both of which I’ll discuss in the next section when I lay out all the features included with Ezoic.
A subscription to Ezoic is jam-packed full of features you’ll use often as you strive to increase ad revenue for your website. Here is detailed information on each feature included with Ezoic at present.
Site Speed Analyzation
How fast does your website load? You don’t want to guess, but rather, have hard, concrete numbers you can use as a gauge.
Ezoic notes that the longer it takes for your webpage to load, the higher the bounce rate. If you don’t know what a bounce rate is, that’s how many people jump off your website before viewing your content.
So if your site loads in a second to three seconds, your bounce rate is about 32 percent. If it takes upwards of five seconds for your site to load, now you’re looking at a significantly higher bounce rate of 90 percent. Yes, that means any loading speed over three seconds is going to significantly impact whether or not visitors stay on your website and peruse your photography portfolio, buy from your store, read your blog, etc. or leave.
Ezoic has a website speed tester through their service that analyzes the load speed of your website in real-time. You get a mobile score at current state as well as details on what your score could be if you used Ezoic.
For Coolwildlife.com, my current mobile score is a low 8. That said, Ezoic’s site speed accelerator has the potential to boost my score significantly which I expect will greatly benefit my load times and bounce rates.
Site Speed Accelerator
Speaking of the Site Speed Accelerator, that’s another feature of Ezoic you’re going to love. The Accelerator will optimize the images on your website–a must for photographers–prevent render-blocking, and dump any CSS you’re not using. None of this happens automatically, of course, but Ezoic offers its best solutions on a conservative, recommended, experimental, or custom basis.
No matter which type of site you run, even if you have CMS, you can still optimize site loading with Ezoic. Its speedy CDN prevents the need for extra infrastructure, so you can skip the pricy hardware and software to boost your site speed.
AMP is a type of Google framework for web components that’s usable with Google Ad Manager, Google Analytics, Google AMP Cache, and Google Search. Ezoic’s AMP Converter through its Google Certified Publishing Partner can take any of your mobile pages and convert them to AMP.
With A/B testing or split testing, you can compare the current performance of your mobile website versus the AMP converted site to see where the benefits lie with the latter. This side-by-side comparison will make it easier for you to come to any hard conclusions about your current mobile site.
You don’t need any coding knowledge, nor must you have any developers handy for AMP conversions either. As Ezoic converts your mobile site for you, it won’t change the functionality of said site. Instead, AMP conversions are done through Ezoic machine learning so you can add personalization and intelligence to the conversion process.
Direct Ad Orders
Are you working with a direct advertiser and you two have struck an ad deal? You don’t have to stop using Ezoic. In fact, I’d say you’re better off using Ezoic, as you can make direct ad orders and then traffic them to the right party anytime within Ezoic.
You can select the order type from a dropdown, including options like a house ad order, price priority, standard, or sponsorship order. The house order ranks the lowest, but if you’re looking to promote a certain service or product of your choosing, then you’d want to select a house direct ad order.
The price priority order is for any inventory you have yet to sell while the standard order is intended for campaigns that seek to improve impressions. The sponsorship ad order has the highest rank, so use it if you’re running a time-based or fixed-position campaign.
Next, you get to choose the type of impression delivery. For instance, you can select the start and end date, the impression goal speed, and whether it’s front loaded or delivered evenly. A front loaded delivery type will boost impressions by a rate of 25 percent before your campaign is halfway through, then switch to even distributions for the rest of the campaign.
You also have the freedom to choose the ad display methods, allowing your site visitors to see one ad for each webpage, several ads per page, or more.
If you want to set any extra controls, Ezoic gives you the power. For instance, you can choose whether your ad rate will be cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), if you add click tracking, specific targeting, frequency clapping, and inventory size.
Google Ads Manager
Once known as Google Double-Click for Publishers or DFP, Ezoic has rebranded this feature as the Google Ads Manager. Now you can make the most of your Google Ad Manager account through Ezoic’s intuitive machine learning.
Go into your Google Ad Manager account and give API access to Ezoic and then you can get started. Ezoic will automatically create key-value pairs for Header Bidding, Google AdSense, and Google Ad Exchange.
You’ll find that you can use Google Ad Manager for much more now, such as preventing floor, bidding, color, or other rule conflicts, transferring your favorite ad tags, and trafficking your existing ad campaigns.
One of the starring features of Ezoic that I’m incredibly excited to discuss is the Layout Tester. Through Ezoic’s AI, you can test layouts and frameworks so you can increase ad revenue and your website’s UX. Even mobile sites aren’t exempt, so you can use site formats as they emerge, doing a variety of layout tests according to the device you’re on.
Here’s how it works. First, Ezoic will run a test on your website to determine if an AMP conversion would lead to more organic traffic. You can also change your site into a Progressive Web App or PWA if it’s a WordPress website.
The AI-driven process will adjust your PWA all the time automatically, tweaking the layout according to advertiser bidding per layout as well as the preferences of your site visitors. You can do all this without any mobile app framework, optimizing your app on the app store, or finding developers to work with.
You get more than 30 layout themes to work with when using Ezoic. You may enable them as you wish and then compare how each theme performs to choose the best layout for your site at that time.
If you’re not convinced that Ezoic’s layout tester could benefit you, there are many case studies presented on the Ezoic Website. These case studies demonstrate incremental revenue increases anywhere from 25% in the case of AskDaveTaylor, 215% for Brighthub all the up to to 350% for AnswerKing.
Pre-Set Header Bidding
Another feature you’ll use a lot in Ezoic is their pre-set Header Bidding as part of their Monetization platform. Through Header Bidding, you can now set up headers as you want them without knowing how to do wrappers or even how to code headers.
The line item’s value is revealed through the server. Then the header bidding line item can be allocated with current server ads to produce the best ad. That’s the ad that’s displayed on your website.
Using the Header Bidding setup wizard, you can determine whether you want your site’s header bidding to be preconfigured or prebuilt. The Ad Tester extension, which is available for Google Chrome users, allows you to add or remove ad placeholders with drag and drop features through Header Bidding.
With Ad Mediation, your CPMs will go up as you win more high bids. This is a form of programmatic advertising, or automated ad selling and buying.
If you already have a few trusted ad partners you like to work with, you don’t have to discontinue that professional relationship when using Ezoic. You’ll also be introduced to Ezoic’s ad partners through the Google AdExchange, of which there are 1,500 and counting. The more ad bidders, the better, after all!
The Ad Mediation app lets you see your current reporting through the app anytime.
The Ad Tester is another standout feature of Ezoic that I want to spend some time on. This feature also utilizes machine learning to optimize your website loading speed.
Ezoic’s Ad Tester will review and test your ad based on a variety of criteria, such as ad density, ad size, ad color, location, user browser behavior, geolocation, time of day, seasonality, and the traffic source.
Then Ezoic will optimize your ads so they get to the highest bidder, taking each and every of those above variables into account. The Ad Tester also accommodates for the ad location to pick the very best one so your ads are the most visible online. You can even adjust the ad density with the Ad Tester.
With the Chrome Extension, you can preview ad combinations in the thousands. Ad Tester also lets you add header bidding as well new ad partners. You can even loop in your old ones.
Here’s a case study about how a website called Easy Recipe Depot used Ezoic’s Ad Tester especially well. The site saw 7 percent more pageviews, 27 percent more time engaged, a lower bounce rate, and 76 percent more earnings as they surpassed 1,000 site visitors.
Consent and Privacy
These days, Internet users are very sensitive about maintaining their web privacy. That’s doubly, even triply true since the introduction of the California Consumer Privacy Act or CCPA as well as the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.
You want to put your site visitors’ minds at ease, and Ezoic more than delivers in this area. You can select your cookie consent permissions as well as your privacy policies in the consent management settings.
For instance, if you want to add a minor consent dialog, you can. You may also turn on the Limited Service Provider Agreement or LSPA, a CCPA opt-out footer, or a consent management dialog.
Further consent management settings include implementing regulatory requests with one click, exporting log user consents, and cookie use prompts. Ezoic will even give you tips so you’re in compliance with both the CCPA and GDPR. You can add custom dialog at any time if necessary.
All these Ezoic features are great, but without knowing how your website is performing, you’re not doing yourself much good. Of course then you can expect Ezoic to include big data analytics for tracking the metrics that matter most to you.
Some KPIs you can review are which Ezoic apps you’re using, your bounce rate by website load speed, popular search queries, site visit duration, and revenue earned.
The revenue data goes into a lot of detail, by the way. Ezoic’s analytics show you which organic visitors have the highest earnings potential, whether using an AMP or other framework is paying off for you, and whether your article word count, category, or writer is driving more (or less) revenue. You can also learn how SEO affects your earnings.
The cool thing about Ezoic is that their services largely don’t cost a thing.
The Ezoic Core Platform is free across any and all websites. You gain access to an expert account manager who will show you the ropes of using Ezoic, set you up, answer questions, and be there to guide you as you begin and continue your Ezoic journey.
You can also use Ezoic’s 24/7 support in the form of video tutorials, support articles, and remote support staff. Other features of the Ezoic Core Platform include:
- Adstxt manager
- Hosting on WordPress
- Private Policy Creator
- Linking within the Google Search Console
- SSL Generator
- Consent Management Platform
The Monetization Features give you three options. For one, you can skip the monthly fee provided you’re good with Ezoic placing a small ad at the bottom of your webpages. In exchange for that you have an account manager, global support, and the above Core features. On top of that, you gain monetization tools, the Layout Tester, PWA Converter, AMP converter, the Ad Tester and additional advanced features.
The second option is to take 10 percent off your ad revenue each month and use that to pay for Ezoic.
If you’re still weighing your options, you can also do the Enterprise plan. This adds the most features, including:
- Variable storage in the platform data
- Ad hoc queries
- A/B testing
- Distributed system model testing
- Log Files
- Training and setup
If you’re more interested in the Site Speed Accelerator, you can use this for free with the Core features. You also have these features available to you:
- Lazy Load iFrames
- HTML minifying
- Pre-Connect Origins
- Intelligent Caching
- Font optimization
- Unused CSS removal
Boosting your site speed plus using other Site Speed Accelerator features on a sliding scale adds intelligent script execution, reporting, a mobile Google Page speed Score, and the Core features.
Ezoic is an alternative to Google AdSense that’s more expansive. You can get paid for each ad view, a feature that’s frustratingly left out of AdSense.
I, like many other website owners, have used Google AdSense for most of the time my cool wildlife website has been up and running. I have read many promising reviews on how the service has increased ad revenue for sites like mine, and I’m ready to see how my site can benefit.
I was very happy to know that I still have the ultimate say on where ads get placed on my site. I can control placement, how many are loaded per page, what type of ad is loaded by genre and even specify pages where I don’t want any ads to display like my gallery of images.
It’s never too late to switch to Ezoic. As a Certified Google Publishing Partner, Ezoic plays well with Google AdSense and related Google services. You can also get lots of help with setup and learning Ezoic.
I plan on reporting back in a few months on my own experience with Ezoic, likely in a follow-up post. Until then, check out those case studies, as they show real results of how everyday companies in all sorts of niches can increase ad revenue with Ezoic.