Ads are the best way to gain revenue as a publisher. If you want customers to visit your website or buy your product, you need to ensure you attract them with some nice ads so they engage with you. But deciding what to use as content for the ads and where to place them can be quite tricky. Even a few inches can make a huge difference.
For example, an ad placed in the center of the page may do a lot better than one that is placed near the navigation bar, depending on where you have white space available. Page insights from Google Analytics can be a great source of information to find out which part of your website users spend the most time on.
What do you need to find the best ad placement on your website?
Above the main content and in-feed are typically the most popular spaces to place ads but you still have to do your research. Ad placement takes into account the size, type, and location of ads. Google’s Adsense helps publishers choose from a predetermined set of placements, or customize their own. The placement of an ad determines its viewability, which is the most important metric to consider. Here are things that will help you find the best placement for your ad on a website.
Analytics or SEO tool
A tool to help you monitor web traffic and analyze the audience could help you decipher the source of your traffic and the nature of devices your visitors use, their demographics, and other important data. There are several tools to choose from.
Using a Heatmap
Ever wonder exactly where your visitors’ eyes are going on your site? Heatmaps are a popular way to detect which parts of a website are the most attractive to viewers. They collect data from a webpage and show you which area of your page visitors have clicked the most.
Use Ad Manager
An ad management tool can help you keep a tab on how much exactly you are earning, showing you how much each ad type generates in revenue.
Once you have acquired the tools, you can make a placement choice by taking into account a few factors. These are:
Begin by deciding your revenue model
This is the first and most important step. It starts with determining whether you get paid based on cost per impression (CPM) or cost per click (CPC). The former requires strategies that are partial toward increasing the viability of ads. CPC models, on the other hand, focus on increasing the number of clicks per ad. Your ad placement depends on the focus. What if you deal in both CPM and CPC? In that case, calculate which model brings in the most revenue, and make it your primary concern.
Understand your audience, in terms of web traffic
Analytics is a great way to find out where in the world your traffic is coming from as well as what they’re interested in when they get to your website. You can explore which ad placement is popular with advertisers, and focus your ads there. This could help you narrow down on pages that have heavy traffic and stop running ads on pages that aren’t as popular.
Understanding your audience requires you to see things from their point of view. When they visit a particular website, which part of it are they going to see first? If you are publishing ads on another website, study its layout intently, and think like a consumer first. If you are publishing ads on your own website, try and judge why people are visiting your site and then place the ads accordingly. The ads should not be intrusive yet should be effective enough to capture attention. Some parameters like monthly page views and users should help you get started. Google Analytics can help you find which geographic location is giving you the most amount of traffic.
Judge Ad viewability
Viewability rates help you check which ads get viewed on your website. This is important because placing ads on a website doesn’t guarantee that visitors or prospective customers will see them. Publishers with a high viewability score have high-value inventory, and will usually get higher bids from advertisers as their ads are more likely to be seen. It is important you choose the pages with the most traffic and lowest bounce rate to guarantee viewability. According to Digiday, around 54% of ads aren’t viewable. This is quite frustrating for advertisers as it indicates 50% of their expenditure is wasted. Try to find placements that get appropriate view time by users.
Listen to Google, but don’t follow guidelines blindly
Google’s quality is unmatched, making it a leader in ad technology. Boasting the largest pool of buyers and sellers, it has a goldmine of data and insight that you cannot afford to ignore. There are some standard common ad sizes for Google Display Ads, each with its own pros and cons. You can choose to place ads in between content on the desktop web page, on the site’s leaderboard (either in line with or under the company’s logo), or even as a sticky sidebar on a desktop webpage. Google has adopted certain ad viewability standards that you’ll need to peruse to ensure that you get maximum impressions for your spending.
Don’t stop testing
Testing ads regularly will help ensure you get the best return on your investment. This includes testing out different layouts, checking whether the ad looks good above or below the fold, moving the ads to different locations, changing sizes, or something else. You can also look at A/B testing, and different types of ads, video formats, and rich media. Keep testing until you find the combination that works best for you. Follow the heatmap’s suggestions to help you with this.
In conclusion, ad placement makes a huge difference, especially today when the average attention span of your website visitors continues to drop. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with content, and they likely won’t click on something unless they get something in return. This means they aren’t likely to click on an ad unless it is very interesting or placed in such a way that it is impossible to miss. In such cases, ad placement and the content itself dictate whether you will get a click or not. So follow a systematic approach that relies on data, and you’ll be able to maximize the revenue from your ads.