Ad Placement: A Few Simple Tips

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What do private ads, affiliate ads, Google ads, and pretty much all other forms of advertising have in common? They all can benefit from proper placement on your blog. In this article, we will go over the basic blog layout (i.e. header, sidebar(s), content, footer) and a few very simple ways that you can more effectively place advertisements for high conversion.

Header Ad Placements

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The header is the “top” of your blog. Most headers consist of the blog’s title/logo, a navigation bar, search, and maybe a few images. While these features are important in design, you can utilize the space directly above the header to place an ad. The header area is most likely going to be where your readers will look at first glance, so consider placing a banner advertisement.

Sidebar Ad Placements

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Two Column:The upper area of a sidebar is a GREAT place for 125×125 block advertisements. I am sure you’ve seen them all over the place, but just in case that you haven’t just check out any major blog and you will spot it immediately. Block ads are all the rage, and for good reason! They convert quite well, and they are easily adjustable to fit most blogs.

Three Column:Try placing a skyscraper ad in the middle column if you have a double-right or double-left sidebar. Your readers will scan their eyes over it to look at the far-sidebar elements, so you may end up converting a bit more efficiently.

Content Ad Placements

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Posts are a great place to position your ads for conversion. You can accomplish this is three ways: images, contextual ads, or affiliate linking.

Using images can be very effective if you place them near the top of the post. People often scan for the titles of posts, so place your image ads near the title! Using a simple text wrap around an image like John Chow can be extremely effective. I wonder how much he charges for that prime real estate…

Contextual ads are a great way to advertise on your blog. Just make sure that your SEO is properly done, and your content is written in a manner that the ad program can illicit the proper keywords for targeted ads. Kontera is a very popular place to get started with contextual advertising. Give it a try!

Now that you’re already thinking about putting ads in your posts, consider placing affiliate links in articles that are related to your affiliate offers. You can very cleverly write some pseudo sales-copy to help encourage people to click on your offers… but that is another story altogether. 😉 Check out Affiliate Pro for a paid solution to make this process much easier.

Footer Ad Placements

To be honest, the footer is not a place that I would recommend placing an advertisement. It is generally one of the lesser trafficked areas on any web-page, although lately a lot of bloggers have been opting for active footers that are populated by plugins. My recommendation is to keep ads within the posts and the upper portion of your blog!

Your Thoughts

What kinds of strategies would you recommend? Have you had any success with a particular way of using ads on your blog? Please let us know by leaving a comment!

About Nate Whitehill

Nate is a co-founder of Unique Blog Designs and has been a user experience and visual designer for over a decade. He aspires to make the world pixel-perfect. Follow Nate on Twitter
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  • Dont have any clues, I make nothing off of ads on my site at the present time. Not to many people click on them these days.

  • Have you been monitoring your traffic with google analytics for conversions and/or Crazy Egg?

  • Do the 125×125 actually convert well in terms of EPM or are bloggers selling monthly ad space instead?

  • Unlike some other traditional banner sizes, 125×125 block ads are very easy for a reader to glance over and quickly make a decision about whether to click or not. The also provide for a nicely proportioned and effective monetization for many different types of blogs. So yes, they do sell more ad space, and they also convert well in terms of EPM.

  • I heard from Darren at problogger.net that 300 by 250 ad format wraped around content at the top of the post converts very well for Adsense. I did it and since then my CTR increased by about 2 percent.