We have been with the Cards Realm website for 3 years. If you mess around with our site a bit, you'll see that we're focused on providing news for collectable card games (TCG). We don't charge for anything for the service, but we pay writers, server and much more, so our main way of survival ends up being advertisements.
In this article I will try to summarize the big change that was leaving the Adsense and going to Ezoic, how it gave us (a lot of) fear and what was actually surprising with the new platform. This article is probably geared towards other website producers and YES we are writing it because we do have a link for Ezoic affiliate program, but also because the experience we had was actually very beneficial. Here I assume you know what Adsense is, Google's platform for managing a website's advertisements.
What is Ezoic?
For a lot of people, Ezoic is an ad "manager", it will decide the best ad to optimize the revenue for your website. As it has partnerships with several channels, including Adsense itself, it ends up being able to offer you advertisements that pay more than the famous Google Adsense.
This is pretty easy to check by RPM (Revenue per thousand). Below is the Google Adsense RPM. I filtered to the US, so the value is a little higher anyway.
Notice that Google Adsense RPM ranged around $1.40-2.50 per thousand pages visited. Now let's go to Ezoic, again I filtered to have US users only:
Ezoic ranges between USD 4.00-8.00, a monster compared to Adsense! We must make some caveats here, these values can be quite different because what Ezoic considers "visit" may be different from what Google considers "visit". Also, they were at different periods and there is a lot of seasonality in the advertising market. Anyway, it's clear that Ezoic pays more than Google Adsense, maybe not x4 as this graph shows, but it sure pays more.
Ezoic will be a little nervous if we ends their explanation here. The reason is that they are a technology company, so they offer a thousand and one services. They make available to you for free:
- Message to comply with the new privacy guidelines;
- Content checker (checks if it has words prohibited by Google);
- Free SSL certificate;
- Caching service (for images too!!!);
- Different types of advertisements (we allow casino advertisements here at Cards Realm, for example);
- Analytics with more information than Google Analytics;
- A/B tests and others to see if changes to the site were good.
The caching service is pretty absurd, since if you hire a third party you will spend at least 20 dollars a month on caching, so it's a good savings.
Either way, the ad management market is competitive. In addition to Ezoic, we have Mediavine, Adthrive, Newor and many other ad management companies. Let's talk a little about competitors then.
Who pays the most: Ezoic, Mediavine or Adthrive?
If you are not part of the Canada/United States, don't even ask the question of who pays the most. Mediavine and Adthrive will make you waste 3 weeks waiting for their answer to hear a big NO. So there's no option for you, go for Ezoic, they don't care about location, neither minimum requirement: anyone can join their program.
If you live in Canada or the United States, you may be wondering, and rightly so. A lot of people will try to put numbers for you telling you which platform is better, but those numbers depend on many factors like niche and period. Do you know what the truth is? All platforms should pay equal, that is, they all have the same partnerships, after all, why would anyone choose to advertise only on one platform? Basically, Ezoic is the one that charges the lowest rate among the managers, he charges 10% while the others charge 15-25%, so it must be the one that pays the most.
I really can't promise you that, because I would have to do a controlled study, with the same website getting the same customers to be able to compare, but the logic behind it doesn't fail: the ad management industry is not innovative, partners are the same and the advertisements are the same. This impression I have come true when blogging gurus like Income School showed that Ezoic is the one that pays more between blogs:
If you don't want to see the video, a printscreen already sums up what they found:
If you've already had contact with Mediavine or Adthrive, you may have already asked yourself some questions. We're talking about a company that will manage millions of ads per second, why the hell Mediavine and Adthrive use Google forms to register new sites? Why do they require US/Canada location if by IP we can target the correct advertisement and know the location of the individual?
The impression I've always had with non-Ezoic companies is that they're not really tech companies. They partner with managers, leave a script ready and barely manage all the incoming data. My fear is that when the new privacy guidelines arrive, they won't be able to know the best advertisement for an individual, as they don't have an extremely technical team to identify the best advertisement without a prior cookie. But that's a problem for the next article.
Anyway, even if you choose Ezoic, you will have some problems. And I'd like to make it clear here that if you don't choose Ezoic, choose anything but Adsense.
Ezoic issues: fear of the first step
The fact that Ezoic is a tech company is his biggest strength, but it's also his biggest weakness. That's because the process of installing Ezoic on your website is complicated for a normal person.
Ezoic taking care of your nameservers means that if someone searches your site on the internet, it will first ask Ezoic where your site is located and then hit your real server. Ezoic ends up working as a proxy between your website and your client, with all the information going through it.
After changing your Nameserver, the next steps are a breeze because Ezoic can start controlling some things on your site, like installing "ads.txt" automatically. Now it's time to install the advertisements, and for that they have a very practical plugin in google Chrome or you can do it like me, I manually installed each one.
Credibility of Ezoic
This issue of fear in the first step is something that Ezoic takes very seriously. You realize that they give you a lot of tools to make sure you are going on a good path and that at any time, if you want, you can go back. I found it incredible and gave me more strength to go all out with Ezoic.
Test between Ezoic version and non-Ezoic version of your site
Yes, you don't need to go 100% to Ezoic. Ezoic encapsulates other advertisements within their own, that is, if you want to make Ezoic stop working, it will display your website's old advertisements. All this with one button, you can even decide a percentage that will go to Ezoic and another that will keep the old way, so you can see which one pays more. Ezoic has to have a lot of self-confidence to make this type of tool, and nowadays I leave the site at 100% Ezoic.
Meetings with the Ezoic team
You will be able to meet the Ezoic team on several occasions. They give classes or lectures almost always. Also, they will likely recommend a manager for you. My project manager is named Yiota and she has scheduled some meetings with me through Google Meets to teach me how to use Ezoic and how to improve the performance of Cards Realm. In the end, they were free mentoring and very important for me to make sure I was doing the right thing.
I believe it is one of the differentiating factors. I really think I made a mistake with Cards Realm's Adsense for having such low values, but how could I know how to fix it if Google doesn't offer any mentoring? I even participated in Adsense courses that Google gives on Youtube, but they are very open and in the end there were so many questions (and so many basic questions that I had read a thousand times) that they never answered my questions.
Yiota works at Ezoic and is always answering all my questions. It's great, sometimes she asks me for more ads saying the site is too clean, but because I want to focus on user experience, she accepts it.
Ezoic issues: speed of your site
Changing your Nameserver is not really a problem. The real problem is that your website's speed will slow down, it's impossible that it won't happen when installing Ezoic. For "speed" here we are referring to the grade of Google's LightHouse. A human being shouldn't actually notice changes in speed, but as Lighthouse is from Google and a good percentage of your site's users come from Google, we can say it's one of the most important parameters.
Above is the Washington Post grade, now test for the New York Times or any other big site. In the end Google still recommends these sites, because it knows the speed doesn't get in the way of the user. But, if you insist on having speed, Ezoic prepared solutions.
Ezoic's solution to speed issues
Either way, if you don't want to use Leap, you can hire a third party to cache your images or more. You will pay around 20 dollars, so Leap being free is absurd.
To be quite honest, I don't use this feature, as I prefer to cache at the database level rather than the server, as each page here at Cards Realm is created in a special way for each user, depending on language, location. among other individual data. This poses a problem for our site, which has a speed rating ranging from 40-70. I just accepted that number and in the end it was good because we have been growing 20% a month after we installed Ezoic. Things are still good here!
Conclusions on switching from Adsense to Ezoic
Truth be told: any program is better than Adsense. If you leave Adsense, think carefully on Ezoic, the company is extremely serious and will definitely bring improvements to your website.
If you have any questions about how to install, I'm available here in the comments, or you can contact our manager in her email: email@example.com