Publishers wield a lot of power in the world of advertising. An ad’s position on a website directly impacts the results that advertisers achieve. Ads in prime positions see much higher engagement and receive more clicks than ads in less desirable spots. It is part of a publisher’s job to maximize performance for their advertisers.
When allocating budgets and deciding on annual spend, advertisers will almost always ask about return on investment (ROI). What sort of ROI are existing advertisers achieving? How can better ad creatives or better ad placements be used to achieve an even greater ROI?
Ad placement is an important consideration when setting up your site for advertising. Get it right, and you’ll have advertisers clamoring to work together. Get it wrong, and you’re in for a world of hurt.
Unfortunately, ad placement isn’t necessarily intuitive. Some things that may seem obvious — for example, ads at the top of a webpage are more desirable than ads below the fold — aren’t universally true. Many publishers have questions about where to place image ads and video ads to get the best performance for their advertisers. All metrics, including impressions, hovers, and clicks, are impacted by where an ad is placed.
What strategy have you adopted for placing ads on your site?
We know that optimal ad placement varies depending on the website. Website design, audience size, ad format, and other factors play a role in determining where you should place your site’s ads. However, there are certainly a number of best practices for increasing performance.
Consider the following:
What is each advertiser hoping to achieve by running a campaign on your website? If you don’t know, now is the time to ask. Perhaps they desire increased visibility or awareness. Maybe the advertiser simply wants clicks and conversions. It is impossible to know a specific advertiser’s goals without asking. The goals that each advertiser is looking to achieve will play a role in which ad placement you recommend.
How many different positions are you offering currently? As a digital publisher, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each position that you’re offering. Why should an advertiser choose the leaderboard position over a sidebar spot? What about in-story ads? Are those effective? Everyone on your team should be able to answer these questions with no hesitation.
If you don’t know these answers, then now is a good time to take a look at your advertising reports. Broadstreet’s publisher dashboard offers all the data you need to research the pros and cons of each ad placement, as well as the results that existing advertisers are achieving. Advertising analytics can help you understand how the results vary depending on the ad formats and placements. For example, visitors might be more likely to watch video ads when they are in certain places or pages on your site.
Increasing ad visibility is very important for digital publishers today. Viewable ads need to be properly served, can’t be placed too far down a page, and must be optimized for both mobile and desktop. Mobile viewability is a hot topic that your advertising clients are going to want to talk about. It’s important to set them up advertisers for success, and knocking out these basic requirements plays a large role in this.
When it comes to ad placement, including video ad placement and image ad placement, you want to consider how many people are likely to see an ad based on its position on your website. For example, what percentage of your readers scroll to the very bottom of a page? If that figure is low, then you can expect that ads appearing along the footer of your website aren’t going to generate a strong ROI. Instead, consider suggesting a sidebar ad that adjusts for mobile users. Advertisers want people to see and click on their ads, so it’s your job to make this happen.
Contextual ad placements are when an ad appears in a relevant section of a website or a publication, based on the context of the ad. For example, consider an ad for a lawyer that appears in the crime section of a local news site, or an ad for summer camps that appears in the education section. Contextual ad placements deliver extraordinary results, and we recommend placing ads contextually whenever possible.
Conducting research can be eye-opening. Even if you think you know which ad placements are generating the greatest ROI for your clients, digging into the data in your Broadstreet dashboard will help you uncover even more opportunities to improve your advertisers’ results.
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