Two things that can impact the performance of your ad and decide if it it will be a hit or a flop when advertising on web pages are the relative position of the ad on the web page and the context in which the ad will be displayed. Let’s take a look at each to see how it can influence your views and clicks rate.
Positioning your ad on a web page is crucial to good ad performance. The placement of your ad largely depends on the behaviour of the users on the web page you’re advertising on. One of your guidelines when deciding on the advertising position can be the web page price list – they tend to price better performing ad positions higher than those with lower click rates (exceptions being pop ups and large ad formats). General rules on ad performance depending on the location are:
- ads on top have more views than those on the bottom,
- ads integrated in the content have more clicks,
- ads on the left perform better than those on the right.
Your best advertising position is therefore a content integrated high left positioned ad space.
According to an eyetracking research by Nielsen, people tend to read web pages in an F shaped pattern, which gives a good explanation why the top left ads perform well. Even thought web page design has changed slightly, we still read from left to right and focus more on top content.
When reading articles, users end to click on links within and on the bottom of the article, and the same goes for ads. According to Google, users tend to click more on bottom ads when they have finished reading the article.
In my experience, ads placed on the bottom of the web page do not perform as well as those on the top when they are on the homepage or one of the main pages, but their click rates do get higher when they’re at the bottom of articles.
Even if you’ve placed the ad perfectly on the optimal position on the web page, you will not get that may clicks if you are out of context. That’s the reason targeting is important. You can have lots of exposure advertising with a newspaper, magazine or web portal, but your ad needs to be in the right place to have best performance. Having your ad next to a relevant article can be more beneficial than paying larger sums to have it on the main page – and the clicks you get will be of higher quality, from those people interested in your product or service.
Check with the web page you’re advertising with what kind of targeting they can offer you. Can they tie your ad in with specific themes or tags? Can they offer you fixed positions in relevant sections? Can they guarantee that ads will be shown with appropriate content only?
Appropriate content is important. There was a very big cruise ship accident a few weeks ago; for a few days it seemed like the only topic on the Internet was the cruise ship, with images, videos and articles describing the accident. If you are a cruise ship company, advertising right next to articles describing the accident is not the best move you can make. Even if your ad emphasizes security (Trust us! This could never happen to us!), it will be tied in with negative emotions and fear – and that’s not something you want. On the other hand, advertising travel insurance here would be an excellent move.
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When choosing ad placement and content, you might think about having two parallel campaigns to see which performs better. Make two ad formats, place one in the top, integrated position, another on the bottom after relevant articles and watch the statistics. After about a week your should have a clear picture which ad performed betted and continue the campaign with the ad that yielded better results (or both if the results were similar).