An ad plugin often gives us impressions of plastering ads all over your site. But that isn’t the case. There are so many ways you can use them, whether it’s for advertisements, affiliate marketing or your own promotions. And having control over it all is the key to success.
The Advanced Ads Pro Plugin – Your Ad Manager
When I first wanted an ad management plugin, I hunted around before I found a decent one that would cover my specific needs. I have used this to sell ad space in the past, but what I really needed was something that would allow much more control over ad placement and when it would show up. This is what really impressed me about the Advanced Ads Pro plugin.
The Control Over Placement
Between the options you have for creating ads, and then using conditions on where the ad will show up, this plugin gives you complete control. You can strategically place ads based on blog content and other variables.
When I originally purchased another plugin, I was very disappointed with the mobile features. They said they were included, but they sucked. The options this plugin gives you for selecting specific ads for different mobile devices are pretty cool. In fact, the whole aspect of conditions based on visitors, which comes with the Pro version, is an extremely helpful feature.
The Advanced Ads Pro Plugin
The initial screenshots here include these two add-ons:
- Advanced Ads – Responsive Ads
- Advanced Ads – Ad Tracking
I will also be going over additional available add-ons.
Settings – General
There are several global settings available here.
If you are using the Responsive Ads extension, which I highly recommend, you will get these additional settings:
I found that the Activate Size Assistant is interesting because it shows you, if you are logged in as an Admin, the size of ads on your front end.
Settings – AdSense
If you are using AdSense, you can connect your Publisher ID and depending on your site, limit the ads.
A few advanced settings here.
Tracking – Settings
If you have activated the tracking extension, you will find some useful global settings. Some of these settings, like the no-follow and open in same window, can also be set on individual ads as well. You will also be able to set up email reports to send out. Note that in each ad you will also be able to set up reports for individuals.
This is where we start seeing the complete control you have over placement of your ads. Again, this is a global setting and you will be able to also do this per specific ad.
Here are my saved placements. The After Content and Before Content gives you the choice of choosing your content, which would be either a specific ad or grouped ads. I will talk about this in a bit.
And for content placement, you get the additional options to Inject after or before some conditions that you select.
I can add additional placements as well. As you can see, there are several to choose from. You can create New Text placements if you wish. Some of these have similar options, but others will have specific options to control placement, the same as you saw in the previous Content Placement screenshot.
Beginning on the first one you get:
- Manual Placement – manual placement to use as function or shortcode
- Header Code – injected in header (before closing </head> tag, often not visible)
- Footer Code – injected in footer (before closing </body> tag)
- Before Content – injected before the post content
- After Content – injected after the post content
- Content – injected into the content. You can choose the paragraph after which the ad content is displayed
- Sidebar Widget – create a sidebar widget with an ad. Can be placed or used like any other widget
- Background Ad – background of the website behind the main wrapper
- Random Paragraph – after a random paragraph in the main content
- Above Headline – above the main headline on the page </h1>
- Content Middle – in the middle of the main content based on the number of paragraphs
- Custom Position – attach the ad to any element in the front end
- Post Lists – display the ad between posts on post lists, eg. home, search, archives, etc.
This is another piece that gives you a lot of control: being able to create grouped ads and then controlling placement.
It’s as easy to create one as creating a category.
You can edit the existing ad group and also choose to show random, ordered, or in a grid. For random and ordered, you can control how many ads are seen. In addition, you can give weight to the ads that are in the group.
For the grid, you have a few more options.
Creating Your Ads in Advanced Ads Pro Plugin
I am going to break down the ad creation page.
First, you name your ad and create a description for your own internal use. Then you will choose the Ad Type.
Each ad type will give you different parameter options, so I will show you those.
Plain Text and Code
The full content editor from WordPress with all features like shortcodes, image upload or styling, but also simple text/html mode for scripts and code.
Ads in various image formats.
Choose an existing ad group. Use this type when you want to assign the same display and visitor conditions to all ads in that group.
Use ads from your Google AdSense account
Now if you add and activate the Tracking Extension, for each Ad Parameter, below the Size fields, you get these additional fields. I had mentioned some of these earlier that you an override your global setting such as Target Window and Add “Nofollow”.
For each Ad Type you select you will get these options.
The total control over displaying ads if one of the reasons why I like this plugin so much. If you are a fan of conditional logic, well, this is for you. It gives you the chance to decide where an ad will show up.
Here we have all the conditions.
If we were to choose Specific Pages, then we could add the title or ID of that page and choose to show or not show it on that specific page.
Of course, for each condition, it’s a bit different. But you get the idea of the power you have and you can add as many conditions for a single ad as you need.
Another example of this is a post I did: How To Show Specific Sponsors on Select Sidebars in WordPress. This post goes into how I was able to put a specific ad in a sidebar for sponsors on specific posts/podcasts. I used the Custom Sidebars for Genesis Child Themes to do this, but there are other plugins that would allow you to create the custom sidebar as well. In a nutshell:
- I created a group ad called sponsors.
- I created a tag for each sponsor
- I created a custom sponsor sidebar.
When I create an ad, in the Display Conditions I have set up, it basically says that if this post has the tag avalara assigned to it, show this ad.
Each time I add a sponsor, I add them to my Podcast Sponsor group in the settings on the ad.
Then using the widget that comes with Advanced Ads plugin, I place it in my custom sidebar called podcast, and select the group.
Now I have total control over where this ad displays.
Similar to display conditions, now you can control it by the actions of your visitors.
As you can see here I have selected four of these and you can see the options you have for Max. Ad Impressions, Device, New Visitor and Page Impressions.
For each ad, you have a bit of control over the stats and also the opportunity to have a link for public stats if you need to do this. Also, as I showed you before, there were global settings for stat reports. But in each individual ad, you can also send the stats just for that ad to specific emails.
Date and Time Expirations
You will find the same settings for saving or publishing your ad and also the chance to set an expiration date or number of days for each specific ad.
The Responsive Ads Add-On
As I mentioned, this was one of the big reasons I chose this plugin. One of my sidebar ads had been cutting off on mobile, but this fixed it quickly.
First, you can set the Visitor Conditions for the browser width.
And for tablet.
In addition, you can use the add-on to set up AdSense responsive ads with custom sizes. Unfortunately, to show you this I would need to have an AdSense account activated, so for just this one time, I snagged a screenshot to show you the options you would get from the plugin’s site.
Lastly, it will add an ad type for AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and creating AMP pages. Now if you haven’t heard about AMP, you may want to do a bit of research. Also, to get into this deeper via this plugin, I would recommend checking out their documentation. But as you can see from this single screenshot, you do have that option.
Adding an Ad to a Post or Page Manually
Optionally, you can easily add an ad into a post or page manually via a shortcode.
You can also disable ads on specific pages, posts or post types which is nice if you have some site-wide ads.
More Extensions for Advanced Ads Pro Plugin
Since I use a couple of the extensions, I included them in the previous screenshots. But there are a few more I would like to introduce you to.
Geo Targeting Add-On
This add-on lets you display ads for specific geographical regions. In your General Settings, you will need to upload their database. This database provides some translations for city and state name, depending on the country. There are up to eight languages available. If the name you enter is not available, it will be checked against the English name.
Then in your Visitor Conditions, you now have an option for Geo Location. Here you can display specific ads by country, city, state/region and continent. You can also mix and match this to add several geo locations for a single ad.
Selling Ads Add-On
This add-on works with WooCommerce and allows you to see your ads as it’s full automated including advertiser profiles and payments.
Once you have installed the extension, you get a Selling Tab in your settings.
The store admin email will be for communication and for automated emails through the ad management. The store sender email is used to send emails from the store. Then you can select a setup page where the client can upload their data. A form will be prepended to the content of the page you select and you can add something after it as well.
You will also get a Product Data Type in WooCommerce called Advanced Ad for the ads you are selling. The General Options are like most products for pricing info.
And then you have these ad specific options.
If you would like your ads to show in a slider, simply activate this extension and you will get that option when editing an ad group.
Sticky Ads Add-On
Sticky ads will keep your ad in the browser window even when someone is scrolling through the page. You will want to test this as you need to make sure the ad isn’t covering up any content that will make it difficult for your reader or visitor.
There are six placements for the Sticky add-on. You can just create an ad, say an image ad like you normally would. Then when you go to choose your placement, you will find six options for the sticky ad.
- Header Bar – fixed header bar
- Footer Bar – fixed footer bar
- Left Sidebar – sidebar on the left side of the content wrap
- Right Sidebar – sidebar on the right side of the content wrap
- Left Bar – bar on the left side of the window
- Right Bar – bar on the right side of the window
Once I save it using one of these, I click on my advanced options for the ad. In this example, I selected left sidebar.
If I chose either the footer or the header, I would get these options.
PopUp and Layer Ads Add-On
This add-on lets you display your ad content in popups and layers. It isn’t just for ads. It can also be used for any other notice or information, a subscription or just about any call to action.
Similar to the sticky ads, you will get an option for this in your placement settings.
Here are the settings that you will get for the popup or layer.
Genesis Ads Add-On
This is an add-on that you can get free and if you are using Genesis, you may want to check this one out. Again, once activated, it will now show up in your placements.
If you are familiar with Genesis, you obviously have some unique placements here and it also takes advantage of hooks if you are into that.
So as you can see, this is one powerful ad management plugin. And like so many plugins, it can be used in a lot of ways beyond just your standard ads. As I mentioned earlier, it was a big one for me with my podcast sponsorships.
If you are looking for a plugin that gives you fine-tuned control over your ads, check out the Advanced Ads Pro plugin. I recommend the Bundle to get the most out of it.
Watch as I give you a 15-minute overview of this plugin’s features. I also share some ideas for how these powerful features will help you not only control your ads, but make sure your ads are not competing with other important content.