What is “ad placement?” Well, that just means the areas on your site where you put ads. If you are smart, you will experiment to find the spots that earn you the most money, or get the most attention. But, the key is experimentation. Try one place and gauge the interest and the results. Move the ads to a different area and see how it works there. Try out a half dozen or more ad placements to see which works best with your readers and the products that you are offering.
A Primer in Ad Placement
For the most part, one of the most important considerations in ad placement is whether the ad is “above the fold” or “below the fold”. What does that mean? Well, it is a term that dates back to the early newspaper days, a hundred or more years ago. Think of a newspaper. Generally, a broadsheet or standard sized newspaper is folded in half. When you want to read it, you unfold it in the middle first. An ad “above the fold” is an ad that appears on the page above where the paper is folded. An ad “below the fold” naturally is placed below where the paper is folded. For a website, it is generally accepted that an ad “above the fold” is an ad that appears on the average computer monitor when you go to the site and there is no need to scroll down. If you have to scroll down to see the ad, that ad would be considered to be “below the fold.” Now, everybody’s monitor is different, and the screen resolution of screens is set up differently, so not all pages view the same on every computer, but we are talking in averages here. If an ad shows without scrolling down on 50% or more of monitors that ad would be considered to be above the fold.
Ads above the fold are generally more valuable and will make you more money than ads below the fold. There can be variations to this, though. For example, I have one site that gets hundreds of comments on each article on the site. Thus, I have placed an ad below the fold, which is near the area where you would go to leave a comment. That ad is quite effective, even though it is below the fold. I knew, though, that a lot of readers go to that area of the site because they want to leave a comment. If you have an area on your site that naturally draws people, it would make good sense to put an ad near that area as well, even if it is below the fold.
Do you know what a heat map is? It is basically a picture of a website. Areas of the map will show in different colors, and the color will indicate where most people’s eyes go on the site. In other words, by looking at the heat map of the site, the areas where more eyes go, which is indicated by color, will generally be the best place to place advertising. Using heat maps is something that will really pay off for you over time.
The content of your site is the articles, pictures or whatever it is that you are putting on the site for people to look at, read, or see. Usually, if you can place an ad within the content, right next to it, that ad will likely be quite productive for you. The further you move away from the content of the site, the least effective the ad will be, most likely. The closer to the content, the better the ad will perform. Of course, there are exceptions, but this is a good rule to follow.
The real key in achieving good ad placement on your site is to experiment and look for new locations where you have not tried ads before. When you find a location that is effective, try to keep putting ads there and reaping the rewards of doing so. Try spots above the fold if at all possible, because generally, the money is above the fold.
Good luck with your new website!