This article will discuss everything you need to know before transitioning between ad networks. Find out how we both prepared for that scary, yet exciting, move.
Changing ad management companies is exciting and stressful at the same time. Will it be a mistake? Will it be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business? Only you will be able to determine the answers to these questions.
We’d like to offer up some advice on what we think you may need to help you make that decision after the switch.
Once you’ve made the decision to change ad management companies and are under contract with a new one, there are a couple of steps we think are important to take.
Gather the data
The very first thing you need to do is download every bit of data you have access to while you still have access to your soon-to-be-former network’s dashboard. On the day you are no longer active with that ad network, you will lose access to your dashboard, which includes all that valuable information.
We have mentioned before that Beth has tracked her pageviews, sessions, income, RPM, and RPS daily on both her ad networks. Elaine, much to her chagrin, hadn’t tracked any of that information when she was on the Mediavine network. She only started tracking when she moved to AdThrive.
We both track this valuable information so that we can see changes to metrics in near real-time. And for Beth, it was also helpful to see the performance differences between Mediavine and AdThrive for her food blog.
If you don’t understand any of these terms, head on over to our income reports vs traffic reports post for more details.
Beth uses a simple Excel spreadsheet for tracking this information. It has been a while since we have had to pull data from Mediavine so we cannot comment on the process, but at AdThrive you can export the data by certain time ranges going back to the first day of turning on their ads. This data downloads as an XLS, so it just makes sense to transfer that data to a similar spreadsheet.
Beth started with the order that was being used by Mediavine at the time she joined.
Elaine uses Airtable to track that information. This is how she organizes her spreadsheet.
If you choose our spreadsheet method of data tracking, set up your worksheet as you see fit.
AdThrive also provides average-time-on-page in dashboard data, but we don’t track that information. The reason we don’t track it is because we’ve found that time-on-page does not affect our RPMs or CPMs enough to make it worth tracking.
However, we do check time-on-page in our dashboards on a daily basis to see if there are any anomalies that need to be investigated.
We recommend that when comparing income data – any data really – you sync up the days of the week. You do not want to be comparing Monday income with a Saturday from the year before. That data comparison will be skewed.
If you look at Elaine’s Airtable screenshot above, the last column heading is labeled Day. She uses that field to denote Saturdays and Sundays. This comes in handy when she is comparing data between the years.
Even if the data is not used to compare ad agency performance, it becomes helpful when looking for trends. Historic data can help you make financial decisions for your site. We recommend tracking this data from the day your site goes live with ads, even if you are not switching ad management companies. Numbers don’t lie!
But more importantly, don’t forget to grab the data your last day of being with your “old” ad network.
Read your contracts
We suggest reading the contact with your current ad management company to make sure that there are no surprises in there. Many bloggers do not realize that they have a required 30-day notice before leaving.
Make sure the contract effective date with the new ad management company coincides with the termination date of the previous contract. You do not want to find yourself in the place where one company has pulled your ads before the new company is ready to install ads.
When we changed companies, both of us earned income from both agencies on the day of our transition.
Do not burn bridges
When sending in your notice to your current ad management company, do so with grace and dignity. There are a few reasons to be respectful and courteous in all communications.
1. You may decide that the new company is not exactly what you expected, or it just isn’t a good fit for your business style. If this happens and you want to go back to the first one, it will be awkward if your departure was unpleasant.
2. Taking the high road and maintaining your dignity is always the best option in all business transactions. Emotions have no place in business dealings. You may be angry or hurt and writing a hateful email may feel good in the moment, but you would soon regret actually sending it.
3. Changing ad networks is likely to make you feel tense anyway. We see no reason to add emotional turmoil to the mix. Your time and energy will be better spent getting your site ready for the upcoming changes.
Stay calm, be brave
We already know that changing ad networks is going to be stressful. We have done it and we have spoken with other bloggers on the fence. Some have made a switch and some have not. Once you have made the decision, stand firm in your choice as you have already invested an inordinate amount of time thinking about it.
You may receive a bit of pushback from the previous company. It may sound very convincing and you may start to receive lots of warm and fuzzy communication. Ask yourself, “Where was this communication before today?”
Then reach out to the new agency to ask about any concerns that were presented to you during pushback from the former.
If given the chance to give any sort of exit interview, you might want to politely decline. It is likely to fall on deaf ears and could result in wasting energy that would be better spent updating SEO on a post or studying income data to see where your RPMs are the highest and planning content that fits those categories.
As always, we are available for consultations. If you would like to speak to one or both of us directly, consider booking a private session. Our bookings start in 15-minute increments with no monthly fees or further commitments required.
We’d love to know what you think. Either leave a comment below or use our contact form. Want help with something on your blog? Ask us about our coaching services. You can choose to speak to one of us or both of us for tailored help geared for your blog.
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