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Best Practices for Mobile Display Ads

Mobile Display Ads

If it happens online, it happens on mobile. If you’re running display ads on your website, those ads had better be visible to users on mobile devices. Mobile ad setup doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does require a few extra steps that you might not be prepared for.

Mobile ad spending is expected to reach $156 billion by 2023, buoyed by the rapid acceleration in mobile usage during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Publishers that aren’t prepared to run display ads on mobile stand to miss out on a significant chunk of revenue in the coming years. 

By following best practices for mobile display ads, you’ll be laying the groundwork for your publication to generate more revenue through direct digital ad sales. Once you’ve laid the groundwork with your display ad setup, you can move on to advanced tactics and strategies for ad revenue optimization, like implementing a data-driven approach to ad revenue.

In this article, we’ll be sharing best practices for mobile display ads that online publishers should be following to make the most out of direct digital advertising sales.

1. Know Where Your Users Are Reading From (Mobile vs. Desktop)

2. Consider the Page Layout

3. Are Your Ads Highly Visible?

4. Mobile Responsive Image Quality is Important 

5. The Next Generation of Dynamic Ads

6. Don’t Forget the CTA 

Let’s get started.

Display Ads on Mobile

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated innovation in the mobile advertising space, with publishers creating new products to address shifting behavioral patterns. What has your publication done to keep up?

In an ideal world, publishers would be providing the capability and the inventory for advertisers to run both traditional display ads and mobile ads on their websites. Digital news publishers often sell space to advertisers and agencies that want to connect with the publisher’s audience. 

Today’s advertisers have plenty of platforms and publishers to choose from when they decide to run a mobile advertising campaign. The decision to advertise with a particular online publication is often made based on the advertiser’s desire to reach the publication’s audience or readers. However, having a desirable audience is not enough to win over the largest advertising clients. For that, publishers should have access to sophisticated advertising tools, so advertisers can reach targeted audiences using the methods they prefer. 

Top advertisers engage exclusively with publishers offering the best advertising opportunities. Take advantage of these best practices for mobile display advertising to prevent being left behind.

1. Know Where Your Users Are Reading From

Understanding where your users are reading from is the key to successful mobile ad setup. If 90% of your readers are reading on desktop computers, then mobile ads might not play a central role in your direct sales strategy. However, industry trends tell us that far more visitors are consuming content on smartphones and tablets. Therefore, running a successful direct digital advertising sales program requires selling mobile ad placements.

2. Consider the Page Layout

What do you know about best practices in website layout and page design? Page layout influences the positions where you can place display advertising on your website. Premium placements on a desktop version of your website might be different than on a mobile version of your site. Consider the page layout when setting pricing for display ads on mobile.

3. Are Your Ads Highly Visible?

Page layout goes right into visibility. It’s possible you might be accidentally selling ads that readers don’t see, like ads below the fold or along the bottom of a page. If ads in a particular location are continually performing below average, this could be the reason why. Carefully consider your display ad setup to determine whether advertisers are getting what they paid for when they place display ads on your website.

4. Mobile Responsive Image Quality

As a best practice for mobile display advertising, all the images on your website should be responsive. Responsive images help deliver optimal file size, which is another way of saying the right image size for the right screen. Responsive images improve the overall user experience, and they decrease page load times.

5. The Next Generation of Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads combine the very best of personalized mobile display advertising with the speed of programmatic advertising. Dynamic ads automatically change in order to adapt for each user, based on that user’s device and a number of other characteristics. This ensures that each user is seeing the optimal ad creative at the optimal time. As a best practice, all digital publishers should be offering dynamic display ads on mobile in 2021.

6. Don’t forget the CTA 

The right call-to-action can make up for a multitude of mistakes. The call-to-action, or CTA, is the next step that a visitor is implored to take after viewing a mobile ad. In the vast majority of cases, we’re talking about clicking on the ad to visit the advertiser’s website. However, sophisticated advertisers are designing mobile ads that entice viewers to complete all types of actions, including signing up for newsletters or mobile text message alerts. 

Final Thoughts on Best Practices for Mobile Ads

The mobile display advertising best practices outlined above are a great jumping off point for publishers in direct digital ad sales. However, we know that competition for advertising dollars is fierce, particularly for publishers in competitive markets. In addition to putting these best practices in place, make sure you are up to date on the latest trends in mobile advertising and consider reading up on the best strategies for selling ads to stay ahead of your competition.

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