Lesson Overview + Resources:

Before jumping into specific ad layout recommendations, we’ll discuss why ad placement really matters.

There are a few key reasons why every publisher should be concerned with ad layout and density, and most of them tie directly back to your ability to earn revenue.

Some of the points to be discussed include:

  • User experience
  • Supply vs. demand (the very delicate interplay in how ad layout influences total publisher revenue)
  • Direct advertising
  • Blacklisting (and the huge implications it has on your ad revenue)

Here are some additional resources pertaining to the importance of ad placement:

Read the Transcript:

Before we jump into specific recommendations on ad layout, let’s go through why ad placement really matters in the first place.

There are a couple key reasons why every publisher should be concerned with ad layout and density, and most of them tie directly back to your ability to earn revenue.

The first, and foremost concern when it comes to ad layout is user experience. Users hate an experience cluttered with too many ads, or a disruption to their experience by an ad. They’ll happily accept experiences that incorporate ads so long as they don’t interfere too deeply with their ability to digest content or meet their needs.

Ultimately, ad clutter or poor ad experiences will result in unhappy users, which leads to reduced page views, which significantly alters your ability to drive ad revenue.

Now let’s talk supply and demand. Everyone is likely familiar with diamonds, but do you know what makes them so valuable? It is the fact that they are so rare. They are in high demand because there is a low supply.

The more rare an item is, the higher a price people are willing to pay for it. The more common an item is, the lower the price a person is willing to pay. Publisher ad inventory is no different. Make too much, each unit becomes less valuable. Limit the inventory, individual unit price will soar.

Supply and demand create a very delicate interplay in how they influence your total publisher revenue. Increase your supply (or, the volume of ads) and the demand for that supply will go down (meaning, your CPMs).

You want the perfect balance between that supply and demand to maximize top-line revenue. Increasing the sheer number of ads shown increases your supply. 

Adding too many ads to your experience will increase the publisher’s supply to the point that demand drops precipitously and ultimately starts to decrease top-line ad revenue.

Something we’ve learned from our direct sales team, who works to sell inventory directly to brands and agencies, is that one of the most common areas of pushback from advertisers on a publisher website is ad clutter. If a brand or agency views a publisher website as overly-cluttered with ads, it has no hope of earning direct advertising deals, which are huge drivers in increasing ad revenue.

Because advertisers don’t love overly cluttered sites, programmatic players like SSPs and DSPs may also black list sites that are overly cluttered with ads in an effort to keep advertisers happy and willing to spend on their platform.

Getting black listed on one of the major players in the ad supply chain can have huge implications on the amount of ad revenue a publisher can ultimately earn, as it cuts off vast swaths of buyers with the push of a single button.