Where do you see the most successful ad placement?
Do you know which location gets the most clicks for your banner? Let’s find out…
Here’s a “heatmap” from Google that shows how banner location affects click-through rates. Colors fade from dark orange (best performance) to light yellow (weakest performance).
As you can see, ads placed “above the fold” and closest to primary content perform better than ads placed near the bottom of the page. This makes sense because website users are primarily “content seekers”. However, there are cases when banners placed at the bottom will perform well too (like at the end of an interesting article.)
Here are some specific numbers that come from a Yahoo! study conducted a few years ago. Publishers were asked, “Where do you see the most successful ad placement?” Here are the results:
Leaderboard – 27.32%
Right rail – 9.28%
Left rail – 7.88%
Embedded in content – 44.66%
Below the fold – 1.93%
Rotating positions – 4.73%
These results tend to confirm the Google findings, with leaderboard banners getting a large percentage of responses (27.32%.)
However, the best response was for ads that were embedded in the content (44.66%.) This is especially true when there is a perfect match between the content and the banner ad’s style since readers perceive the ad to be part of the website’s content and click on it as a result.
While I generally recommend placing your banner “above the fold” and matched to the website’s style (when possible), the fact remains that every scenario is different and the best location for your banner is best determined through proper testing.