A Quality User Experience is very important when it comes to website design and development. A huge part of this experience is the layout and placement of advertisements and other information on the pages within a website. One question that may arise in these situations would be: “how many ads should I put on my website?”
In order to answer this question, one must take into consideration the layout of the site itself, as well as the amount of content it holds.
Where to Place Ads
A website that is very simple and small in size may only require one advertisement on its homepage, whereas a larger website with more pages and content may need more than just one ad for each page. However, many websites will find an ad placement somewhere within the top 3 sections of the page to still keep a good user experience.
Typically, websites will either have a full-width or sidebar-style advertisement. The full-width ad will take up the whole screen and show its ad from edge to edge, whereas a sidebar ad is typically smaller and can hold at least two ads that are split into halves side by side.
These ads can be seen on each side of the page and should not appear in large amounts, as they would distract the user from reading and viewing content on your website.
Every website ad placement is different and it all depends on what you want to accomplish with the design and development of the site itself.
However, these tips might help:
- Most publishers use a sticky footer and sticky sidebar ad. If you are using Google Adsense, these are the anchor ads. There are rules about how the sticky ads display, so be careful there.
- Google recommends that you place an ad above the fold (the part of the page that is visible without scrolling down) and another ad directly below it. Doing so will divide your page’s content into three basic reading levels, which helps keep users engaged because they have to scroll less.
- Ads should never interfere or take away from the content. Blend them in as best as possible.
- Forms, buttons, and other elements on the page should not block ads.
- The middle of the page is a good placement for an ad.
- 1 ad per section is a good rule of thumb.
- Ads should not appear close together or on top of each other, as this can draw too much attention and distract users from what they are trying to view/read.
- Multiple ads that fit into one space will be better than the same number of individual ads spread out across the page.
- Remember not to place any ads in header/navigational menu areas. This is an area where visitors are more likely to interact with your website.
- Ads can slow down your website. After adding them, check your page speed using a page speed tool such as GT Metrics
It used to be assumed that more ads equal a higher bounce rate. Bounce rate, defined, is when a visitor clicks away from your page back to the search results, although this will also depend on where the ad is placed.
Using multiple ads to support your web page may or may not increase bounce rate, but it’s a good idea to measure. If you have too many intrusive ads (pop-up, flash elements), you may have a challenge.
Balance is key when it comes to placing ads on a website.
In summary, placing too many ads on a website can produce a low user experience and a high bounce rate. A good rule of thumb is to place two ads per page and keep them within the top 3 sections of the web page.
That being said, others have placed much more on their page and have had no increase in bounce rate.
Lazy Load Your Ads
Instead of loading your ads right away, use the lazy load script that will only display them when they are visible on screen. Your page speed may increase and the bounce rate will decrease.
This is a good solution for both people who want to have many ads to support their site, while also maintaining a low user experience.
The plugin Advanced Ads will allow you to place ads throughout your website strategically and measure the performance of each ad and its location.
You can choose the Lazy Load option when creating an ad placement as well.
Ezoic, an advertiser that is a step up from Google Adsense, also has a lazy load option when running ads.
Make Sure Your Ads Fit
Often, it’s not the number of ads on a web page that’s the issue, but rather the size of the ads.
Make sure any ads you run are in the proper size for the resolution of your website. You don’t want ads overlapping content on the page. Nor do you want an ad to be so large on mobile that the user can’t close it, or scroll.
Keep in mind that ads will show differently on a smartphone than they do on a desktop.
Ads are only one small piece of the overall design of your website- it is improper to let them take up so much room, and overshadow everything else.
You want to consider what the ad is offering, what content you have on your page, and if they match up.
When you let Google Adsense run automatically, optimizing for you, you’ll see ads in the header, sidebar, footer, and within the content. While you can remove certain placements and pages, it maxes out at 10 placement removals, unfortunately.
For example, when Google Adsense runs on my real estate website, it disrupts the flow of my real estate listings. It doesn’t look seamless and creates a bad user experience. Therefore, I block ads from appearing on that content, specifically.
How Much Are You Really Making?
The other thing to consider is how much you are actually earning from your google ads. Let’s assume you are earning $15 RPM. RPM is the revenue per thousand impressions.
If you are only getting a few hundred to a few thousand people on your website every month, that’s not likely going to result in much revenue. Some suggest that you wait on ads until you have 10,000 visits per month.
In any case, using a plugin like Advanced Ads, you can measure exactly which ads, and which placements, are working, which will allow you to remove ads in the areas that don’t convert.
Maximizing your revenue while minimizing the distraction of ads is essential.
Which Ad Placements Earn The Most?
The best place for your ads is in the topmost section of your webpage. If you want to run multiple ads on a page, make sure there isn’t more than one in each topmost section (header, sidebar, footer). It’s fine if they are all in the header- that has become quite popular.
It’s best to have a couple of ads above the fold. The only exception is if you have a high converting lead capture form on your page, then place that above the fold and remove all ads from that section.
You can also display a video ad below the first paragraph or just below a header on your page as long as it doesn’t block text.
The bottom section of your page should be left blank unless you are creating broad match ad groups and keywords like “coupons” or other terms that can’t really go anywhere. You don’t want to display ads for every single product in every location because users will be clicking everywhere trying to get rid of the ads! It’s annoying.
If you are publishing more than one page per day, the best time to display your ad is on your archive pages (or archive listings). People like reading archives of old posts and it will be relevant for them to see that ad there.
Matched content which appears next to your blog posts or website pages can be very lucrative once you get enough traffic. You have more control over what ads are shown on this type of contextual advertising.
There is no “correct” number, but it’s best to have a couple of ads above the fold, and maybe one more in each topmost section (header, sidebar, footer).
The topmost section of your web page.
Measure which ads, and which placements, are the most profitable using a plugin like Advanced Ads, then remove anything that doesn’t convert.
It’s best to have a couple of ads above the fold, and maybe one more in each topmost section (header, sidebar, footer
Anywhere that breaks the content flow, and not too close to your own call to action.
Archive pages or archive listings have a lot of traffic so it’s better to place an ad on those pages.