Your website can generate money outside of your core business. After all, digital real estate is worth money.

What Is Ad Placement? 

In its simplest definition, ad placement means the group of ad units that specify the areas on the website where advertisers can place their ads. Ad placement criteria include the size, type, and location of the ads. For example, you can find ad placements noted like this: 

  • 728×90 (size in pixels) – above main content (location) 
  • 300×250 (size in pixels) – in-feed (location)

Each ad network has its own placement criteria. Some offer automatically created placements, others allow publishers to define their own placement criteria. 

Types of Ads and Placements

Before exploring the best ad placements, let’s review the basics of ad types. Ads come in several sizes and formats, from full page to small squares. Here are the most common:

Full page

The image below shows the layout chosen by a specific publisher. At the sides, you can see a full page space for placing ads. Full-page ads go above and below the fold, and there are among the most expensive ad types. 

codefuel monetize

Half-page ads are usually expensive due to the large space they take. They are used by publications to show sponsors. See this example on the Forbes website:

Half page ad of Forbes


Here, the large ad pops when you start consuming the content relevant to the ad. Sometimes large ads can be effective on social media platforms, like this on YouTube.  

YouTube Ads

Image source

Banner ads

These are the ads you usually see displayed on web pages. They often appear in the side, top, or bottom sections of websites. Publishers broker their ad space with ad networks or you can buy the ad space as you’ll do in a newspaper. 

They can be horizontal or Vertical, that is also called a skyscraper

Large square

These are usually found at the sides of SERP or website pages: 

vimeo large square ad placement

Small Square

These small 200×200 pixels can help your audience remember a product related to previous searches or relevant to the content: 

small square ad placement

They are often found at the sides or also below the fold. 

Ad Layout and Placement

Now that we have reviewed ad types, it is time to talk about ad layout or ad placement

There are two key terms you need to know when considering where to place your ads: above the fold and below the fold. 

Ad Placement types

Above the Fold (AF)

This is the part of the webpage that is first displayed to the viewer, without the need to scroll down. Since this part of the page is what the user sees right away, it is considered one of the most expensive ad spaces.

Example of Above the fold Ad placement

Another example of above the fold placement:

Example of Above the fold Ad placement

Below the fold (BF)

Placing ads below the fold may seem unproductive, but in reality, it can be a cost-effective way to catch your user’s attention. As the viewer consumes the content, you can place the ads to complement it based on previous searches. Here’s an example: 

below the fold ad placement

Why Is Ad Placement Important?

When planning an online campaign, advertisers usually focus on how captivating and catchy the ad is, but where the ad will be displayed is as important. After all, the ad can be great, but if it is not in the right place, chances are your audience won’t see it. Ad placement can effectively make or break a campaign. 

For publishers, designing your website to position your available ad space right, is even more important than choosing the size of the ads. Your site should offer spaces that are attractive to advertisers. If your ad space is hidden below the fold or tucked in a corner of the page, advertisers will not bid for your space. 

Therefore, above the fold, or positions that require minimal scrolling are the best. 

Even more important, if viewers cannot easily access the ads on your site, this can bring down your Click-Through-Rate, affecting your monetization income. 

What is Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and why it is critical for a publishing website? 

Click-Through-Rate calculates how many people actually click on your ad (clicks) per the number of people that view the ad (impressions).

This is the formula:

CTR = (Total clicks on Ad) / (Total Impressions) 

CTR is critical for publishers because a higher click on your ad means it is performing well and appealing to the advertiser’s audience. This can establish your position as a publisher and earn you better advertising bids. 

One of the ways you can increase the CTR for your ads is by using display ads on your page. Here are some reasons display ads can help increase CTR

  • They include images and media- being more catchy and attractive for viewers. 
  • They boost brand awareness– helping the audience to familiarize themselves with the advertiser’s brand. 
  • They are less expensive than traditional advertising

How Do You Find the Best Ad Placement on Your Website? 

Finding the best place for ads on your website requires knowing two key factors: your website and your audience. You need to find where your viewers like to hang out on your website, check the number of visitors and where they come from.

1. Prepare the tools  

You will need some basic tools to work with:

Analytics or SEO tool: to monitor and analyze the traffic and audience. The analytics can tell you where your traffic is coming from, what devices your visitors use most, demographics, and similar data. 

Heatmap: heatmaps became really popular in recent years as a way to detect which parts of the website are the most attractive for viewers. Heatmaps collect the data from a webpage displaying which content of the web page is clicked more or gets more attention. Heatmaps can tell you on which areas of your page where viewers clicked the most, and how far the viewers scroll down. For example, see this heatmap of a Facebook page: 

Website Heatmaps

Ad Manager: An ad management tool can help track how much exactly you are earning on your inventory. You can know how much each ad size or type makes. 

2. Understand your audience

Once you have your tools ready, start by analyzing your audience. Use analytics to understand which country your traffic is coming from. So you can explore what ad placement is popular with advertisers in the most popular areas and focus your ad placement on that.[ADD GOOGLE ANALYTICS SCREENSHOT] This can also help you discard which pages are getting less traffic and improve them.  

3. Check ad viewability

Viewability rate checks how many of the ads on your website get viewed. Placing ads on a website doesn’t mean your audience is actually going to see them. Publishers that have a high viewability score are considered to have high-value inventory. These high-level publishers usually get higher bids from advertisers because their ads will be seen. 

How do you measure ad viewability? Google considers as viewable a display ad that is on view for at least a second (even if they are 50% in view). The same about video ads, but it requires two seconds to be considered as viewable. These are the “Active Views” you see in the analytics. 

How do you improve ad viewability?  

  • Test ad layouts, sizes, and placements. 
  • Check your page load speed. 
  • Optimize your site for mobile. 

Test how the ads work on different channels.


4. Evaluate past ads performance

Start with what you have. Review the performance of the existing placements in terms of viewability, CTR, and revenue generation. Keep what is working and rework what is not. Use the findings as a base for further testing. 

5. Keep testing 

Try different layouts, above/below the fold. Experiment with A/B testing. Try different types of ads, display, rich media, video until you find which combination works better for the highest engagement according to the heatmap. 

6. Let Our Experts Help You With The Process

All these trying and experimenting can be time-consuming and overwhelming when doing it yourself. Using the help of experts like CodeFuel can save you time and money by automatically choosing the best placement for display ads. 

  • Do you need any help? Our monetization experts are happy to help.

How Do You Find the Best Ad Placement on Your App? 

One of the most popular app monetization strategies is In-App advertising. Unlike mobile web as these ads appear when a person is using the app. You can place display ads, banners, or video ads. 

Whatever type of ad you want to display, first you should optimize your app for ad placement. Think about monetization right from the start. When designing your app, think about what monetization model you will choose. If you’ll include in-app advertising, show it in the interface. There are two main criteria for in-app advertising optimization: 

Optimize for viewability: When choosing the ad format to display on your app, take into account the size of the ad vs the size of the screen. Small banner ads are likely to be too small for a user to view. 

When designing the UX of your app, think about where the ads have a greater chance to be viewed. 

Mobile App Ads

Source: Google

Optimizing for Revenue: That means, optimizing to get as many clicks as possible. 

Check your revenue model first, and classify the ads according to how the advertisers pay – per click, per conversion, or impression. Many advertisers pay per click. 

You can learn more about models in our guide to monetization metrics: What Is and How to Increase Your Page RPM?

How Advertisers Decide Where to Place Ads

Advertisers want to place ads on websites where they can get good returns for their money. Therefore, there are a few factors they consider when choosing where to place an ad:


The target market Companies want to advertise as close as possible to their target market. If your website delivers content to and has a lot of traffic from a company’s target audience, you’ll attract companies in the industry that want to advertise with you. 
The medium Again, it is all depending on the target user. If a company’s target users consume the products/services via mobile, then in-app advertising can be the solution. If through a website or via search, then search ads and display ads can be a way to attract these companies. 
The ROI Advertising can be pretty costly so advertisers will look for the option that gives them the best ROI. Online advertising is more cost-effective than traditional advertising. Instead of investing in traditional advertising, a company can buy two banners for a year, on a website with good traffic and CTR and maximize its exposure and conversions. 


How to Make the Most of Ad Placement on Your Website?

Consider your visitors’ user experience. Think about what the user is trying to do by visiting your site. Use the heatmaps to discover the customer journey, what does the user do when is visiting a particular page, where they focus their attention. 

Once you define the area that catches most of the attention of visitors, think about how you can incorporate ads on this area without disrupting the user experience. The key here is to think like a user. 

The ads should be easy to identify as such. Avoid misleading users with images and content that make it difficult to tell if it’s an ad or not. Label ads properly. 

Keep your site looking clean and not ad-cluttered. Sometimes less is more when it comes to ads. Take into account balancing the size and quantity of the ads. 

Look at your site for user experience. Check if your content provides value, if it is easy to find. Evaluate if your content is easy to differentiate from your ads or sponsored content.

Tips for Ad Placements to Get Results

Multisize ads placements

Leverage multiples ad sizes to maximize returns on your pages. Different types of advertisers require different formats. Add video, rich media, display and in-feed ads so you can offer a mix that can work for several advertisers. 

Sticky ads

These clever ads stay afloat when a user is viewing your webpage. They have the advantage of increasing ad viewability, resulting in a higher yield. However, not all networks allow sticky ads. 

Ad refresh

These ads generate more revenue by refreshing ads on a page as long as the users are active, based on triggers. This increases the number of impressions and the chance of the viewer clicking through the ad. 

Lazy loading

This feature enables ads to serve only when after a certain trigger, for example, when scrolling down. This makes the website easier to load, enhancing the user experience. 

Let CodeFuel Experts Help

To get the most of your ad placement, you can follow the tips we presented in this article. However, optimization and monetization require a bit of time and skill. Moreover, you have to analyze and research user intent. Here is where CodeFuel can help.  You can enrich your website with display ads, text ads, and shopping ads that are specifically relevant to your audience, and match its intent every time. Learn more about how high-intent ads result with high-intent visitors. Contact us.