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Should You Run Push Ads vs Native Ads?



There’s a lot of confusion in the affiliate marketing world surrounding push ads vs native ads, especially when it comes to new affiliates starting out and wondering where they should focus their limited budgets. I’m going to lay it out for you and give you my opinion on which ad platform is best suited for newbies.

I’ve been running a lot of native ads and a lot of push ads and I’ve been doing quite well with them. I’ve been showing some case studies inside PowerhouseAffiliate regarding push ads and native ads. I’m getting a lot of people coming in and wondering if these are really the best traffic sources.

Why do affiliates use native ads and push ads? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using these ads? Are there better places to get traffic, especially if you’re starting out in affiliate marketing?

There are some good reasons why affiliates use these traffic sources, but if you’re just starting out as an affiliate marketer, these might not the best sources for you. I’m going to explain that as I go through some of the examples here as to what the ads entail – where do they come from, and are there better options for you as an affiliate marketer?

The Basics

Let’s cover the basics because some people are probably wondering exactly how these ads work.

Where do native ads come from? Generally speaking, they come from other websites, specifically publisher websites. If I pop into the data inside one of my native ad platforms, I can see the exact websites that my ads were shown on.

push vs native ads

You can see there’s actual domains here, so let’s just take one as an example – DaytimeConfidential. We want to go to that website and see what kind of site it is. You can see that they have a bunch of articles – it’s kind of like a news site.

They have AdSense on here as well. They have a bunch of articles and if I click on one of the articles, I’m going to see some native ads showing up. These could even be the same ads that I’m buying.

And here you can see from around the web, they have the ads placed here. These are native advertisements.

native ads

How Native ads and Push ads Differ

Now the difference between a native advertisement versus a push ad is that if I was on this website, I might see a push notification pop up at the bottom of the page, showing me an ad.

I don’t even need to be be on a website or even be on the internet, but all of a sudden my computer is going to pop up a push notification because I might have subscribed to somebody’s push notifications and they’re monetizing it by joining a place like Revcontent and they’ve become a publisher.

What’s happening is that they are pushing out ads on behalf of another website owner. Revcontent can use push ads or native ads. There are other platforms out there; there’s Taboola and Outbrain which perform the same function.

Then you have push networks, which used to be strictly just push ads. For example, you have PropellerAds who focused mainly on push ads. Now they’re starting to bring in pop up ads.

You’re also seeing those networks starting to pull in native ads as well. For example, Richpush, which is another traffic platform that I’ve talked about before on my channel. And as you can see, they do focus on push ads, but they’ve already launched their native ads.

Richpush push ads

Advantages of Push Ads vs Native Ads

Now let’s talk about the advantages. Why do we run these ads versus going to Facebook ads, which we know is one of the best traffic sources in the world? We also know that Google has really extremely high-quality traffic. Why are we wasting our time and budget on other networks like push or native ads?

Well the bottom line comes down to affiliate marketers not generally being accepted into places like Facebook and Google. They don’t really like our ads, our landing pages or what we’re promoting.

No matter what offer you’re running as an affiliate, you’re generally going to have a hard time getting approved for the long haul and trying to scale. That’s where these other ad networks come in. If you come here, you can start scaling rather easily because they accept more advertisements.

They accept more things that would generally be disapproved on other platforms.

Disadvantages of Push Ads vs Native Ads

So, what’s the downside? Is this the best place to start as an affiliate marketer? Probably not, because this type of traffic is very hard to target. If you don’t have skills in targeting, you don’t know how to find placements and analyze them to make sure they’re going to work with your offer.

Then you’re really setting yourself up to waste a lot of money.

That’s why, even though the cost per click is really low, you’re going to get a bunch of sites in here that probably are just junk sites. In fact, some of them will probably be fraudulent. They won’t even be sending you real traffic because some people will actually have bots to send you a bunch of fake traffic.

And how do you know if you’re getting fake traffic or not? Well, that’s the key here. And, that is what makes native ads a little more risky. 

You need to make sure you do your research. And that’s why they have abilities here to do blacklisting. You can optimize your widgets. You can bid on each placement and you can find out which ones convert. But to do this, you need to be using tracking.

push ad blacklist

For a detailed look at how to set this up and how to properly track your data, check out the case studies inside PowerhouseAffiliate. You can see actual widgets and how we optimize them.

How is This Different from Facebook Ads?

Why would you start with push or native ads if you can get pinpoint accuracy with Facebook ads, actually targeting people by their age or by their interests? Let’s say that you are promoting, for example, a product like a fishing rod. If you come to try and run a native ad for a fishing rod, you’re likely not going to get any useful results.

You’re going to be spending so much money trying to find a website related to fishing. On the other hand, you can go to Facebook and you can target people who like fishing people of a certain age demographic. You can target male people who are retired and like to go salmon fishing, and then you can start pitching your fishing rods to these people directly.

You can’t do that using native ads.

Affiliates who run native ads are generally running offers that are broad to everyone. These generally take the form of make money online, computer security, skincare, diet, dating and love. These topics have greater potential with native ads.

If you’re going to target a competitive niche do not start with native ads. Instead, go to someplace like Bing, where you can target specific keywords, and you can actually target what people are searching for in your niche.

How to Maximize Your Potential with Push Ads vs Native Ads

Now let’s just say you want to run native ads or you want to run push ads. How do you find these placements? Well, first of all, you have to start out fairly broad because these platforms generally will not let you just go in and pick one site and start blasting it with traffic unless you have an ad rep.

Use an Ad Rep

This is key. If you’re going to these native ad platforms and you’re not using an ad rep, you’re basically blasting money at just everything, hoping something converts. That just is not going to work for you. That’s why you need an ad rep.

Your ad rep will be able to set up a blacklist in place for you. As you can see here, I have a blacklist of widgets. This was done by the platform and as well as finding widgets that I knew just weren’t going to convert.

Tracking, Tracking and more Tracking

Secondly, I’ve gone through and watched the data over time, to find these widgets that actually convert.  There are ways that you can see if they’re real sites. If you see a site getting some conversions, that’s a good sign.

Do you want to increase your budget on these? There are tools you can use. For the push ads it’s difficult because they’re all numbered, but for the native ads running on websites, you can see exactly which site is running your ads.

I could take this website, and check it out to see if it’s actually a site I want to focus on. Then I could jack the bid on this specific website, if I think it’s related to my niche. In this example, you can see it’s still kind of broad, but it’s generally focused on a female demographic.

push vs native advertising

This might be a good site for a skincare type of offer, or maybe a diet. So StyleCaster could be a potential target for me in the future. I can come into my dashboard and I could increase my bid here. Next time, I could talk to my ad rep and let them know that I want to run ads on StyleCaster. They’ll tell me how to do it and I can run ads specifically just on this site.

Revcontent ad bid

How to Check if Your Traffic is Legit

You can see that you really have to do your research and use tools that can help you find good placements. One of the tools that you can use to check on a website to see if it’s real is SimilarWeb.

If you’re suspecting that you have bots or you have fake traffic coming in, this is a great tool you could use to look at some of the site’s data. You can see the average visit duration here is 46 seconds. Not great. You generally want something above two minutes.

Check for fake traffic

Look at the bounce rate. Again, super high. You want to see something below 60. So, this isn’t a great site. Their visitors are not really engaged.

An example of a website that IS working well and has an engaged userbase would be The Washington Post. We can see the bounce rate here is below the 60. We have an average duration of two minutes and 50 seconds, showing that people do remain on this site.

The Washington Post is obviously a quality site because it is a major news network site. You can have your ads on The Washington Post and know that it’s very unlikely that they’re sending fraudulent traffic to your widgets.

Good traffic from push or native ad

These are the types of sites you want to focus on when you’re running native ads.

When it comes to push ads, these are a completely different beast. We’ve done case studies on push ads as well, but again, you’re getting into more susceptibility to fraud because people can do whatever they want once they have control of placing your ads.

That is why the cost per click is so much lower. That is why you can pretty much run anything on a push ad network.

Where Should You Put Your Money?

If I was to start out as an affiliate marketer, I would probably start out on Facebook, simply because of all of the targeting options.

If you have a white hat offer, start on Facebook, Google, or Bing. All of these places require you to have a nice-looking website, a real product, and real legal pages. Now, if you can’t get that working for you, then maybe try some more aggressive, more CPA-related offers and come into these push ad networks and these native ad networks.

Keep in mind, you need to track data. You need to find placements that will work for you, and you really, really need an ad rep.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article gives you a little insight into native ads and push ads and answers the questions of why you might want to use them, and why you might not want to use them right now. It’s definitely not one of those places you want to just start out your affiliate career, unless you have a good understanding of how they work.

If you want more information, come into PowerhouseAffiliate! Check out our training on native ads, push ads, some of the case studies, and we’ll be talking to you soon!

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