Ad Placement Tips for a Successful News Website
When it comes to CPC and CPA inventory monetization, there is always a way to earn more. Experimenting with various ad placement patterns and formats is the most straightforward method of increasing the campaign efficiency for publishers. In a nutshell, site owners and webmasters need to discover the combination of ad units that works best for their audiences.
In most cases, achieving this goal requires tinkering with numerous ad types and locations. To make things easier, publishers can use the best practices applied by major media websites and optimize these ad setup options for their own inventory. Have a look at the tips outlined below and see which ad placement tactics have proved to be efficient for Bloomberg, Business Insider, US News, and other top news websites.
Above or Below the Main Menu
Placing 728*90 "leaderboards" above the content section is a popular tactic, because such ads attract both audiences and advertisers. However, this option may become overused in the near future, which means the users may stop paying attention to such ads. For this reason, you need to use it with caution and test the performance of such ad units for more prolonged periods of time.
In the case of websites with full-size horizontal navigation menu, there are two placement patterns for publishers to choose from. If you use drop-down submenus, consider placing the leaderboard above your menu: this way the drop-downs will not obscure the ad. In the case of one-level menus or horizontal submenu layout, you can place your leaderboard ad either above or below your menu.
In the Content Section
In-text ad blocks work well for websites with engaging content. This format correlates with significantly higher click-through rates when the visitors are concentrated on reading. These blocks are typically wrapped with text and aligned to the left or to the right. Popular size variations include 300*250 and 336*280 px.
Alternatively, 728*90 "leaderboards" or 468*60 "banners" can be inserted between the heading and the paragraph, between two paragraphs, or at the end of an article. This approach is not common, so readers will most probably pay more attention to these banners.
Sidebars provide plenty of space for delivering advertisers' messages via rich media and creative solutions. Although 300*250 and 336*280 "rectangles" are virtually omnipresent, 300*600 "half page" blocks grow increasingly common.
A general rule is that non-standard locations are an important thing to keep in mind, as users tend to ignore ads that are located in similar spots on different websites. Another rule of thumb is that bigger blocks generate more revenue because the demand for them is significantly higher among brand advertisers. Moreover, larger ad units can accommodate smaller creatives: for instance, you can display a 300*250 ad inside of a 336*280 placement.
Alternatively, you can use, one 120*600 or two 120*240 "skyscrapers" in sidebars to make your ads more prominent.
Making your site profitable requires complex measures. Publishers rely on ad optimization, because this method enables them to obtain tangible results in the short run. To achieve better results over shorter periods of time, you can apply A/B or multivariate testing (MVT) to every ad combination. This way you can trace the performance of your ads in real-time, and choose the placement options that prove to be optimal for your site and your audience.