Top 5 Ad Placement Tactics You May Not Know

June 24, 2019
Ad Placement Tactics

In the past we’ve talked plenty about engagement, viewability and layout optimization, and while the basics are easy to understand, making decisions can sometimes be less so. What do you do when viewability comes at the expense of engagement or when your partner policies are in conflict with the user experience? Well, there’s rarely a straight answer that works for everyone, but we’re here to give you some specific ad placement tactics that you can most likely implement right away.

Use the background

When it comes to ad placement, most often you will see publishers using the background space for the implementation of skin ads. However, these don’t really pay as well as they used to, unless you have managed to make a bunch of direct sales for such ads. Otherwise, you would probably be looking at really low fill rates and even in the best case scenario you’d be trading off real estate that way exceeds the revenue it generates. Instead, with a few handy lines of code you can use that same space for regular display inventory, that you have more control over.

In this example you can see two 160×600 sticky banners implemented properly outside the content area. The ads only display for users that have a large enough screen resolution to facilitate the placements way outside of any other elements to avoid stacking. They also don’t display immediately at the top of the page, but are instead triggered when a user scrolls down, so the page doesn’t look too crowded when initially loaded.

Example: 160x600 Sticky Banners

Here you can see what the page would look like when the conditions for displaying the ads are not met.

Displaying Ads Example

Ads within content

With only a certain amount of ads allowed per page it’s often difficult to figure out whether to place them within the content or in the sidebar. Both have their pros and cons, but here’s a simple method that may help you decide one way or the other.

If your articles are rather text-heavy, absent imagery, you may want to place some ads in between paragraphs. Long passages can be quite heavy on the eyes and even though advertisements aren’t part of the content, they can serve as line breaks and diversify the page visually. This is not just for aesthetic effect, but to keep users engaged for a longer period of time which consequently translates into revenue increase.

On the other hand, if your articles feature a large amount of images and other media, it may be best to keep ads out of the way and into the sidebar. Too many visuals stacked together leads to text becoming way too fragmented and unpleasant to read, which increases drop-off rates.

Utilize the comment sections

You probably know that the top section of a page features the highest engagement and while that’s certainly true, there are other areas that can also be of high value. Comment sections are an example of such, especially when the content spurs a lot of debate.

If your users are active, you can be certain that placing any banners nearby discussion boards will grant those placements decent viewability and click rates. It is best to position ads in proximity to the input field, since that’s where people would be for the longest time as they are typing. Usually the best spot is just above the first comment, but since most publishers are nowadays using third-party add-ons for the task, which they have little control over, then the preferred position is right above the widget itself as shown at the example here.

Third-party Add-on placement example

Use end-of-page instead of footer ads

Ads on the bottom of pages don’t usually sell high but they are used quite often because of the consistent revenue they provide. A popular method for implementing these is putting the tags in the website’s footer, as that makes it simpler to replicate over all the page templates. However, when it comes to the ads’ effectiveness that’s actually one of the worst places you could choose. Footers are the least visited part of a website and even for users that happen to reach the end of the feed, it’s rare for much of it to fall naturally into view. Thus, even though less convenient, publishers are better off placing ads right where their main container ends instead. It’s even better if there is pagination or other navigational elements sitting beside them as well, since they give users something to engage with and respectively keep ads on their screen longer.

Simply put you should do this…

Ad Placement example

…instead of this:

Footer ads example

Don’t mix large sidebar ads with navigation

Sidebars are the primary dock for what’s commonly referred to as “supplementary content”, which includes all kinds of links and widgets, but most of the time it’s navigational elements. Because of its secondary nature, publishers are often under the impression that it makes little difference how they throw ads into the mix, which can be quite harmful to engagement.

You should certainly keep placing ads in between widgets to utilize the real estate to its fullest and avoid ad stacking, but you should consider which ad size best fits each location. Tall banners (such as 160×600 and 300×600) are not well suited for the middle parts of the sidebar, since they push navigational links too far apart and as we’ve already mentioned in previous posts, you profit much more from consecutive page views than individual ad clicks. It is best to keep such placements either at the top or bottom, where they won’t interfere with the other elements. And for all the breaks between widgets you’re usually better off using the more compact 300×250 size, which allows users to have an easier time creating follow-up page views and  in doing so also generating more impressions.

Conclusion

These are just some of the most common practices we’ve established with our trusted publishers, but remember there’s plenty more to look into if you’d like to have a comprehensive ad strategy. Make sure to also consider the specifics of your own property, as with different publishers and designs not all of these may be equally applicable. And when in doubt – experiment!

Still need help bringing your website to the next level or resolve implementation difficulties? Get in touch with the PubGalaxy team today and let us lift the burden!

* indicates required

Understanding Performance Fluctuations Over Time

April 22, 2019
roller-coaster-up-and-down

A common question among publishers, especially in their early stages, is why there are certain fluctuations over the year both traffic- and revenue-wise. For many, these changes appear random, which leads to having a tough time trying to evaluate the state of the business and making informed decisions. Luckily, there are common reasons behind the fluctuations, and today we’re here to explore why and when these changes occur, how to prepare for them, and how to read your data correctly.

Continue reading

Viewability Debunked: Industry Trends and Tips for Optimization

April 16, 2019
eye-viewing-technology

If you’ve been following our blog you may have noticed we mention viewability quite often and for good reason. It’s become one of the key factors for evaluating inventory, which is hardly a surprise considering that the purpose of ads is above all to be seen. The advancements in technology now allow for much more precise tracking of this metric than ever before which has definitely been well received by advertisers overall. On the other hand, for publishers, the topic of viewability has been a rather controversial one and has led many to change their long-established practices completely. Having a precise record of an ad’s on-screen time has its pros as well, but it’s definitely taken a toll on media owners and has changed things irreversibly for both programmatic and direct sales.

Continue reading


Building Lasting Demand Partnerships

April 4, 2019

This March was eventful for PubGalaxy and especially for our Demand Partnerships Manager, Pavel Mitev: he got on a trip around North America to meet with a few of our demand partners, namely OpenX, IndexExchange and DistrictM. In a global world where everything happens over the Internet, meeting people in-person makes all the difference for building lasting relationships.

Pavel’s first stop was Pasadena where he got see the OpenX HQ and exchange views on industry trends and developments. They talked about PubGalaxy’s priorities for 2019 and potential partnership opportunities.

Pavel Mitev, Demand Partnerships Manager at PubGalaxy, and
Len Mendoza, Account Director, Partner Services at OpenX.
Continue reading

Top 5 Tips: How To Be Attractive To Advertisers

March 26, 2019

Programmatic monetization has been improving rapidly and has become quite sophisticated nowadays, however, direct advertising partnerships are yet to become obsolete. Such deals bring plenty of benefits to both publishers and advertisers, despite the fact that it’s usually quite time consuming to secure, manage and deliver on them. If you’ve never run direct campaigns before or you’re just starting out you may need a little help, so here are our top 5 tips for being successful in doing so:

Continue reading

Mobile vs. Desktop – The Race For Domination

March 18, 2019

Mobile browsing has been around for quite a while now and it’s been a real paradigm shift for many people in the business, especially lifelong desktop users. In the past, media owners could simply make a few adjustments so that their websites are adaptable to the smaller, vertical screens of portable devices and that was good enough. For better or for worse that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, as the advancement in hardware and connectivity has lead to an exponential increase in mobile activity. Today we’re seeing more and more publishers picking up the pace and creating a tailored experience for phones and tablets, using the technology to their advantage.

Continue reading


Long-term growth and profitability through layout optimization

March 6, 2019

The rapid evolution of advertising and publishing technology has lead to a more transparent, streamlined business model, but also a significant increase in the resources required for managing all the assets coming into play. While the benefits of programmatic are undeniable, the current state of affairs is also the underlying cause for neglecting certain practices, that require a bespoke approach for each web property, such as layout optimization. For that reason, we wanted to give you a brief overview of the process, its importance for digital publishing and how it can help grow your business.

Continue reading

PubGalaxy In The News: MediaPost

September 7, 2018

Ads.txt Is Only The First Step In Combating Ad Fraud

Fraud is one of the most prevalent issues in the ad-tech industry. As quickly as technology evolves to fight it, fraudsters are adopting new techniques to continue their ill-intentioned campaigns. Continue reading