Adding advertising to your blog is one of the most straightforward ways to make money online. You’re probably familiar with Google Adsense as the most popular way to run ads, but you might not have heard of Ezoic. It’s a system that allows you to not just run ads – including Adsense ads – it also allows you to optimize them. That means testing different ad positions to make more money. But does it work? It’s time for an Ezoic review!
What is Ezoic?
In their own words, Ezoic is a “web optimization platform” that offers to increase your ad revenue by up to 100%. In other words, you could double your money!
And it’s not just revenue that Ezoic can improve. You can also run tests to improve your user experience.
Whatever your goals are—increase revenue, balance UX, improve site speed, streamline growth—accomplish them with Ezoic.Ezoic.com
Ezoic allows you to test lots of different website layouts and ad positions in order to find the layouts and positions that make the most money.
The layout of your site, and the positions of your ads, has a big effect on the number of pageviews and ad clicks you get. If you don’t have clear navigation, you’ll get fewer pageviews. If your ads are all at the bottom of the page where nobody looks, you’ll get fewer clicks.
But how do you find the best layouts and the most effective ad positions? It would be a huge amount of work to design multiple versions of your site (or switch between several WordPress themes) and monitor the visitor behaviour for each layout. It would also be a nightmare to manually move your ad code around your page, constantly tracking and monitoring results.
That’s where Ezoic comes in. The Ezoic system does all of that for you. It tests hundreds of website layouts and ad positions to learn which ones work best.
You’ll be free to focus on creating great content for your site, while Ezoic optimizes your revenue behind-the-scenes.
There are no minimum requirements to use Ezoic’s core functionality, including their site speed accelerator. However, if you want to monetize your website (which most people signing up to Ezoic do!) then there are a few criteria that you need to meet.
Ezoic minimum traffic levels
Ezoic asks for a minimum of 10k page views per month for any website that signs up to the service. This doesn’t necessarily mean that sites with less traffic absolutely can’t use the monetization features. However, it does mean that Ezoic may advise against it, or that you might not see as much benefit.
The reason for this minimum traffic level is so that the system can gather enough data about your website’s visitors and their experience. If you don’t have enough traffic, the system won’t be able to run enough tests to reach meaningful conclusions.
Ezoic may ask you to provide evidence of traffic levels and sources (i.e. where your visitors come from) when you sign up. For example, you may need to provide Google Analytics access.
The other criteria that Ezoic set are:
- You must adhere to Google’s Ad Policy
- Your website must feature original content
- If you possess an existing Google AdSense or Ad Manager account, it must be in good standing with Google.
Is Ezoic difficult to set up?
This was one of our main concerns when we first set up a blog site (not HomeworkerHQ) with Ezoic. Plugging an entire website into Ezoic’s system and setting things up so that they could test ad positions and make layout changes sounded like it might involve a lot of technical expertise.
Fortunately, it couldn’t be easier!
Ezoic offers three different ways to integrate your website with their systems. They are:
- Name server integration
- Cloudflare integration
- An Ezoic Integration WordPress plugin
Name server integration
This is the most popular way to get your website set up with Ezoic. And the way that Ezoic recommends.
All you need to do is edit your domain’s name servers to point to Ezoic. While this sounds technical, it’s really just a case of logging into the account where you registered your websites domain name (your ‘registrar’) and changing a couple of lines of text. Fortunately, Ezoic provides instructions on how to do this, covering a number of popular registrars.
This is a great option for anyone who already uses Cloudflare.
All you’ll need to do is select the Cloudflare integration option in your Ezoic dashboard, sign in to your Cloudflare account, and you’ll be good to go!
Ezoic WordPress plugin
Finally, if you want to avoid any technical tasks whatsoever and set Ezoic up in the simplest way possible, the Ezoic integration WordPress plugin could be for you.
Assuming your site is running on the WordPress platform, your just download and install the plugin and follow the very straightforward instructions.
Can you switch Ezoic on and off?
One of the key advantages of Ezoic is just how easy it is to get set up and switch the system on and off.
You can even choose to switch Ezoic on or off separately on desktop, tablet and mobile.
Running tests with Ezoic
There are two main testing features within Ezoic – the Ad Tester and the Layout Tester.
The ad tester simply tests ad positions. So your website looks exactly the same as it did before, but the ads will display on different parts of the page for different users.
For example, one user may see an ad at the top of the page above the post title. The next user may see the same ad below the page title.
These tests allow Ezoic to understand which ad positions work best and optimize your revenue.
It’s really easy to get the Ad Tester set up. You simply download a Google Chrome extension, go to your website, and click in the positions where you want to put a ‘placeholder’.
Ezoic will then experiment with ads in different combinations of placeholders to find what works best for your website.
If you use the Layout Tester then the Ezoic system will start testing lots of different layouts and comparing the results to your old site layout.
Each layout has a name – usually named after a bird or a fish, for some reason – and a colorful chart shows which layouts are being shown on your site on any given day.
In the example below, the blue section shows that a layout called ‘Oilfish’ is being shown to the majority of a website’s desktop visitors, but several other layouts are being tested too.
You can even click a button to see a handy projection of how your stats would change if a particular layout was to run 100% of the time for a whole year.
Optimizing user experience
If you’re concerned that optimizing page and ad layouts to make money may result in a worse experience for your visitors, don’t worry! Ezoic has this covered too.
You can choose whether to optimize for revenue (i.e. make as much money as you can!), optimize for user experience (i.e. more page views, lower bounce rate, etc) or strike a nice balance between the two.
You can even use sliders to make fine adjustments to these settings and find a custom balance that suits your site.
That said, the nature of Ezoic means that lots of different layouts will be tested on your site. And you may not find all of them particularly attractive!
If you’re concerned that your audience won’t like the new Ezoic layouts, you can simply increase the importance of page views and time on site. Ezoic will then prioritise the layouts that keep people browsing your site longer: in other words, the layouts that your users seem to prefer.
Typical Ezoic results
Ezoic says that their system takes 6-8 weeks to really start to see improvements in revenue. After that, you see a steep increase in revenue, followed by a long and ongoing period of steady improvement.
Here’s a chart of what they call the discovery, optimization and improvement periods:
As you can see, during discovery, revenue will be flat or possibly even a little bit down on your usual earnings. This is while Ezoic tests new layouts or ad positions, with very little information to go on as the system is just starting out.
Things start to get interesting during the optimization phase. By this stage, Ezoic knows a lot more about your site and you should start to see some significant improvements in earnings.
Finally, the improvement stage is reached. Revenue increases are smaller at this point – Ezoic has already found the big easy-wins – but you should still see some revenue increases as the system continues to test and discover small improvements.
There are also optional extras to boost revenue further. You can switch on in-line ads (text hyperlinks), native ads (sponsored editorial content from other sites) or pop-under ads (which display in a separate, smaller borwser windows), all of which will increase revenue. Though possibly at the expense of making your site seem a bit spammy… so be careful.
Ezoic’s customer service
We want to highlight this as clearly as possible: Ezoic’s customer service is excellent.
You’ll have a named account manager who you can email directly with questions and they’re all highly knowledgable and extremely helpful.
Whether it’s a technical issue (which they’ll quickly pass on to the Ezoic support team) or advice on maximising revenue, your account manager will be happy to help. You can even schedule a call with them to discuss your websites and get tips on what you could improve.
For us, this is one of the key benefits of Ezoic and the main difference compared to simply installing your own Adsense code on your website.
For all but the biggest sites, the chances of getting direct one-to-one support from Google are slim, but with Ezoic, it’s the opposite. They’ve helped us get out of a number of technical issues where we really don’t know what we’d have done without them.
How much does Ezoic cost?
Here’s some good news for you: Ezoic is essentially free!
If you sign up to their ‘no monthly fee’ plan then Ezoic make money by adding a small ad to the bottom of your pages.
The increase in revenue that you see from Ezoic’s optimization processes should easily cover the cost of this. In other words, even though one of your ads is funding Ezoic, you should still earn more money over all thanks to your optimized site.
Alternatively, you can pay a monthly fee to have the Ezoic ad removed. The fee is equal to 10% of your ad revenue.
Finally, higher earning sites have the chance to join ‘Ezoic Premium’. Premium members pay a higher monthly fee, but get access to premium advertisers, which increases revenue. In our experience as a premium member, the monthly fee has always been well worth it for the increase in revenue.
How do you receive Ezoic payments?
There’s a minimum payment threshold of $20 and you can set your own threshold above this if you prefer. For example, you may choose to only receive payment once your Ezoic earnings reach $100, $200, $500 or whatever works for you.
Once the threshold is reached, Ezoic will issue payment via your choice of:
- Bank transfer via Payoneer
You should review the fees associated with each of these services to decide which is the right payment method for you.
Does Ezoic work?
Ezoic vs Adsense
We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been asked which is better Ezoic or Adsense. But “Ezoic vs Adsense” really isn’t the right way to look at this. After all, you’ll still be using Adsense! All Ezoic does is optimize your Adsense (and other advertising network) revenue.
The real questions is whether Ezoic earnings are worth Ezoic’s fees, whether that’s the 10% of ad revenue fee or the higher premium member fee.
For us, the answer to this question is a resounding yes, for two reasons:
- Ezoic’s testing system will almost certainly help you to earn enough to cover their fee and then some!
- As already mentioned, their customer service is exceptional.
How much does Ezoic pay?
Unfortunately, it really is impossible to answer this question.
Your Ezoic earnings will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Your website’s niche. Some industries simply pay more for ads than others, which makes some blog topics more profitable than others.
- Your website’s traffic levels.
- Your Ezoic RPM. How much you earn per thousand visitors. Their system will test to improve this, but as mentioned above, it will vary for different website topics.
Is Ezoic right for you?
There’s only one way to find out!
The results that we see from Ezoic will be different to your own, as every website is different. Though we can confidently say that Ezoic has the potential to significantly increase your earnings.
The good thing is: Ezoic is easy to set up, easy to switch on and off, and easy to customize. So you can give it a go while safe in the knowledge that you can easily go back if it’s not right for you.
Ezoic review in summary: The pros and cons of using Ezoic
- Easy set up
- Highly customizable
- Easy to switch on and off
- Both the whole Ezoic service and individual aspects of it such as desktop/mobile/tablet
- Fantastic customer support
- Potential for huge increases in revenue
- Nice user-friendly interface
- Detailed traffic, revenue and experiment reports
- ‘No monthly fee’ option available
- Less direct control over what users see on your website
- Some of the layouts aren’t exactly pretty! Though you don’t have to use the layout tester, you can just use the ad tester instead
- Payment methods may not suit everyone and some include small fees