Google AdSense offers everything a small-to-medium publisher might need to run a profitable website. But performance ultimately depends on creating effective ad placement. With AdSense ad placements, publisher can pick out ad units for advertisers to run placement targeted ads.
But Wait, What is Ad Placement?
Sometimes, advertisers want their ads to appear on a specific location of webpage (such as top right corner of screen). It’s up to publishers to provide advertisers with ad units where placement targeting is possible and this is achieved by creating ad placements.
Ad placements are specific group of ad units created by the publisher. If they want, they can make the entire website available for placement targeting or just a few ad units. Placements are made visible to advertisers in two ways:
- If a publisher is using AdSense, their placements will be automatically available to the advertisers. However, when advertisers use these placements, their ads will appear anywhere on the webpage, meaning, ad targeting is not possible.
- If the publisher defines ad units for ad placement using custom channels. And when advertisers use publisher-defined ad placements, their ads will appear on specific ad units provided by publishers.
How Can Publishers Create Ad Placements?
To make an ad placement in AdSense, simply go through these steps:
- Sign in to AdSense account.
- The click Ads and then choose Custom channels.
- Here, you can either select an existing channel or create New custom channel.
- Give the channel a name and go to the ‘Targeting’ section.
- Complete the requested settings: Ads appear on (home page, landing page or custom page), Ad location, Description, and Site language.
- Finally, Save the settings.
Note: If you change the name of channel, you will lose the advertisers bid on that placement.
Best Practices for Creating Ad Placement
If a publisher is found to misrepresent the ad placement then it will result in penalties. Depending on the severity of the misrepresentation, publisher can lose payments or AdSense account will be disabled from further use.
Here’re some best practices for ad placement that can save you from such loss:
Do not suppress your content: Ads are as important as content. User is on your website to check your content and while exploring the webpage he might view or click a few ads on page. This means content comes first. If user doesn’t find anything relevant as soon as web page opens, he will leave the page.
Know your users: Make sure the content and ads are organized in a way that users will appreciate. For this, try heatmap tools to find out the most active locations on your webpages. Also, find out how often users visit a page, what kind of content is most popular, and any navigation issues. Answers to these questions can help you improve your website and decide locations for ad placements.
Ads should be distinctive: Users shouldn’t get confused between the ads and web content. The ads should have a distinctive look and feel, should have border lines, and color palette should be different than content. Otherwise, Google will block such ads from appearing.
Run tests: If you search on Google for best ad placement locations, you will find some articles telling you which ad placement locations are the best. However, implementing them blindly is not a good idea. It’s always better to run tests for different ad units. And based on the results of tests, choose the ad type, format, and placement.
What Practices Should Be Avoided?
Too many ads above the fold: Above the fold is most visible section of any webpage. Running ads here is most likely to get better results. But that doesn’t mean you will fill the user’s screen with ads as soon as the page loads. If the user cannot easily access the content, he/she might leave. This can directly affect impressions and CTR.
Avoid interstitial ads on large screen devices: No matter how effective interstitial ads may sound, they are not for every website. Interstitial ads block the user’s entire screen. The users can find it annoying to see interstitial ads when they were expecting something else.
Auto paying video ads: Nobody likes autoplay video ads. Firstly, they increase the page load time as video takes more time to render on web pages. Also, autoplay video ads with audio on, disturb the user while he/she may be concentrating on a task. An autoplay video ad would feel imposed on user without his/her consent to see an ad.
Excessive pagination: There is a limit to number of ads can be placed on a web page. Due to this, some publishers try to divide the content and publish it on multiple pages to increase impressions. This is not a recommended practice as user may get annoyed and simply turn to other resources for information.
AdPushup is an ad revenue optimization platform, we help publishers increase their ad revenue by using ad layout optimization, header bidding, ad mediation, adblock recovery, innovative ad formats, and AMP. We are a Microsoft Ventures funded startup, a Google NPM AdX Partner, and winner of NASSCOM Emerge 50 award for innovation. You can request a demo here.