Part 1: Ad Layout Best Practices


Lesson Overview + Resources:

Before digging into specific ad placements, let’s explore the two categories of ad formats you could choose to serve: video and display ads.

In this lesson, which is part 1 of 3, we’ll discuss video vs. display ads as well as best practices for ad location including:

  • Keeping ads away from navigational elements
  • Using plenty of padding
  • Staying above the fold (but low)

Here are additional resources pertaining to the lesson above:

Read the Transcript:

Before digging into placements, let’s talk a bit about the two categories of ad formats you could choose to serve. You likely already know that you can choose to show both video and display ads.

What you might not know is that video units typically drive 6 times higher CPMs than display units. And, with many of the advances in video ad technology, it can all be done without creating a negative user experience. So, if you haven’t considered video yet, we implore you to at least think about it!

Now, let’s dig into placement best practices for all units!


Let’s start by discussing ad location.

Location is about as important in advertising as it is in real estate. Let’s go through some of the best practices you should know for ad location as a yield operations professional:


When you’re serving ads to users on your website or app, you need to remember this: Users generally do not want to click on ads, and they especially don’t want to click on ads if they  didn’t intend to click on them. 

That’s why it’s critical to make sure you are keeping all ad content as far away from navigational elements, such as top-level website menus, as possible. Doing so can reduce accidental ad clicks and keep your users happier.

Accidental ad clicks can also cause problems with SSPs or DSPs if enough accidental clicks begin to look like nefarious traffic, or hurts advertiser campaigns by causing them to pay for clicks that weren’t “real”.

Number 2, you’ll want to MAKE SURE THERE’S PLENTY OF PADDING around your ads.

While you’re already thinking about how to get your ads away from your navigational menu, you might as well consider the padding around the ad altogether. 

That’s because you need to have proper padding around each ad unit for much the same reason you need to keep ads away from navigation elements. You don’t want to artificially drive up your ad click-through rate (CTR) or even risk getting Confirmed Click applied to your site by Google.

Giving ads enough breathing room, will certainly help with this.

And, number 3, you’ll want to STAY ABOVE THE FOLD, BUT KEEP IT LOW IF POSSIBLE.

You generally want to place ads above the fold — or, before the first scroll — but you might be surprised to find out that higher on the page isn’t always better. In fact, the lower you can place an ad while keeping it above the fold, the better.

Why? Because often, users will instinctively scroll past an ad that appears at the very top of the page. They didn’t load the page to see an ad, and they will immediately recognize that an ad is loading and scroll right past it to get to the content.

Putting the ad below some of the content while keeping it above the fold can eliminate that problem and assure higher ad viewability.