Successful online advertising is a function of:
- traffic (monthly pageviews)
- ad placement (where your ads are on the page, how many are on a page, and what size your ads are)
- yield (how often a money-making ad is served in lieu of a non-paying backup ad)
- and market match (how well targeted the ads are to your audience)
In this article, I want to address ad placement, ad sizes and yield. Many studies have shown that ads above-the-fold perform better. I usually aim for two ads above-the-fold, and I’ll sometimes add a another ad below the fold (just below the main content or above the footer.) The best performing ad sizes are:
- medium rectangle: 300×250 pixels
- leaderboard: 728×90 pixels
- large rectangle: 336×280 pixels
- wide skyscraper: 160×600 pixels
The reason these are the BEST ad sizes is because they are big (in size) and they are popular, meaning that many, many, many advertisers use these sizes, and so your yield will INCREASE when using these ad sizes. If you use a less popular size, there will be fewer advertisers bidding on your ads. If you use smaller sizes, your ads won’t perform as well because they will be less visible to your visitors.
As far as recommended placements, this relates directly to both your web design, and how comfortable you are placing ads that mingle with your content. Many prefer to put ads away from the main content, which is of course your choice. But ads that are closer to the content do earn more money.
Ready to explore the world of advertising, but don’t know where to start? Take the first step by asking me your most pressing advertising question here.
Here are some above-the-fold screenshots of popular ad-supported sites that use the leaderboard/rectangle combination that I recommend. Notice that some sites place the leaderboard above the menu, and others use it below the menu.