Having adverts on your mobile app or game is a great way to earn money from your project. The global revenue from mobile adverting has grown year on year, and shows little sign of slowing down.
However, it’s not as simple as just slapping some adverts willy-nilly in your app and hoping for the best. In fact having too many, or badly placed ads leads to a poor user experience, which in turn means lots of 1★ reviews, and poor user retention.
The first thing to decide is who’s adverts to show. There are many ad providers out there, each with their own benefits and downsides.
My personal favourite is Google Admob, it’s one of the largest Advert providers in the world, with 31% of all adverts seen being theirs. They have a large global reach, and are quick to implement new privacy settings, like GDPR and the New Apple iOS privacy rules.
Having chosen your provider, and installed the SDK etc. It’s now time to decide what type of ads to show, and where to put them.
The best type of adverts to use for mobile games are Interstitial ads and Rewarded ads.
Rewarded ads work best when used in conjunction with free in game objects or currency.
For example, Rovio’s Angry Birds Friends uses rewarded ads to give the player the option for a double spin on the give away wheel.
Where as Elex’s The Walking Dead : Survivors offers players the chance to double the contents of reward boxes by watching a rewarded advert.
Rewarded ads are full screen adverts, which the player cannot skip through without losing the reward.
They are usually triggered by the player pressing on a button on screen.
You shouldn’t however try and trick users into watching rewarded ads by using them like normal interstitial ads.
For AdMob certainly, this is against the terms of service, and may result in your account being restricted or closed.
Interstitial adverts are full screen ads which may or not be videos. These are displayed by the game at specific points as specified by the developer.
It’s best to put these at natural break points in your game’s flow, like the end of the players turn, or after the Game Over message.
Putting them elsewhere, such as displaying an advert during gameplay, or having one appear every two minutes when the player is in the games main menu will feel jarring to the player, and break any immersion they may have in your game.
If your project is an app rather than a game, then I find it best to use a slightly different approach to using adverts.
Firstly, depending on what your app is, it’s quite likely that it doesn’t have the same flow as a game, nor natural break points. Because of this full screen interstitial ads aren’t so beneficial.
Instead I find placing a simple banner advert at the bottom of the screen is the best practice. Although ensure it’s not blocking any essential UI components or anything else the user needs to see or interactive with to use your app, again, this tends to lead to 1★ reviews and lots of uninstallations.
Depending on what your app does, it might be possible to implement a rewarded advert to unlock premium features for a limited amount of time, but I have found people are generally not interested in rewarded ads in applications.
Things to NEVER do
It is also quite important to make sure you never do any of the following with your adverts, or you risk being penalised or your account restricted.
NEVER EVER EVER click on your own adverts in your app. If you need to click on it to test the reward or for some other reason then make sure you switch to test adverts! Ad providers can 100% tell that you are doing this.
You’re also not allowed to ask users to click on your adverts.
And that’s about it
Hopefully you are now a little more knowledgeable about Mobile adverts and how best to use them in your projects.
I also find that it can be worthwhile to offer advert removal as an In App Purchase from inside the app or game, but that’s a blog for another day 🙂
If you have any questions, then feel free to ask them on the Dev with Dave forum (which is >here<)
Good luck 🙂