A Simple Guide for Ad Unit Planning (PDF)

Ad Unit Planning

When launching a new website, thinking about how your ad units will be laid out sometimes doesn’t make the priority list. And why should it? For most local news publishers, just getting a website live can be a challenge. Then comes design, hosting, writing content, and trying to secure your first advertisers.

At Broadstreet, we deal a whole lot with local ads, and we’ve recognized a few patterns in the lifecycle of local news sites. Most, for instance, start with many small ad slots, each with 100% run-of-site and share-of-voice.

We were talking with a publisher recently when she said, “Well, right. When you’re just starting out, you’re happy to have anyone advertise!”

It’s true! But as your publication grows, you will inevitably start thinking about using an adserver to manage your advertisers and ads. And then you will run into “good” problems, such as:

  • I have more advertisers than I have ad space!
  • 100% run-of-site and share-of-voice is getting too expensive for my advertisers!
  • I want to run ads from a network, but I don’t have any standard ad sizes!

We’ve put together a guide that will help you plan for long-term flexibility when managing your ads.

Of course, these are simply guidelines, but we’ve found that some of the most mature publishers on our platform tend to use this model. It includes:

  • Planning out ad slots/zones (most publishers should need no more than 15)
  • Planning for advertising in specific site sections
  • Ways to plan out different share-of-voice in ad zones

That last one is tricky. A big reason many local advertisers don’t use Facebook or ad exchanges is that they never see their ad show up! The exchange report suggests their ad is running, but they can’t see it running.

Typically, if you tell an advertiser “you’re ad will show up on average, 1 out of every 3 page loads,” it’s a much more comfortable sales situation.

Anyway, here’s the guide, which can also be downloaded here

Ad Unit Planning

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