Design Ad Placements Tips To Maximize User Experience In Mobile

If you’re not capitalizing off of mobile ads, then you’re losing quite a bit of ad revenue! With over 40.1% of all web browsing occurring on mobile devices, mobile ads are a lucrative sweet spot.

However, with the limited screen real estate available on mobile devices, it becomes all too easy to disrupt user experience. Consequently, making mobile ads a revenue sore-spot for publishers who have yet to optimize their ad units. Unlike desktop ads, their design and placement require extra care and attention. Publishers must walk the fine line of maximizing revenue while balancing user experience.   

There are various ad types, sizes, and layouts for mobile that don’t come at the cost of user experience. We’ll dive into some of the best ad types, unit sizes, and tips and tricks that can maximize your mobile ad efforts. 

Best Ad Types For User Experience 

It’s important to note that ad types that register strong impressions aren’t always the most user-friendly and vice versa. So while we can make recommendations, the true success comes from understanding your user’s intent and testing different ad types against it. Our list of favorable mobile ads are:

Banner ads

Banner ads are a typical starting ad design for most publishers going mobile-friendly. The ads display text and images on a “banner” at either the top or bottom of the page. They’re easy to implement, fast, and flexible for various ad campaigns. They also don’t interrupt user intent and will rarely offset your content’s balance. As a result, they are a 5/5 when it comes to user experience. 

The best mobile banner ad sizes are 350×50 and 300×50. Due to their relative size and placement, many users have developed a “banner-blindness,” leaving these to underperform often. So long as you’re a part of a quality network, there’s still hope. They will produce high-value and engaging content geared toward avoiding banner-blindness. 

Native ads

Native ads mimic the content format so that the ads are almost indistinguishable from the content surrounding them. Because they blend seamlessly into a page, they don’t hinder user experience. It’s an easy way to increase ad viewability on a mobile device without disrupting user intent.  Hooray, for another 5/5 on user experience! 

Well-performing mobile ad sizes are 300×400 and 320×480. For many publishers, crafting native ads can be difficult as they require a great deal of design to blend with the surrounding content. Working with an expert AdOps team can help you deliver quality, high-performing native ads. 

Sticky ads

Sticky ads are ads anchored to a page that remain fixed as the user navigates the page. They register high impressions, which makes them intriguing to many publishers. 

However, because they are fixed to a specific section on a page, they can quickly lead to a lousy user experience if not implemented well. They require a bit of extra attention to perform at their best, which is probably why AdSense does not allow them. In fact, you can receive a site ban for attempting to force them onto their site. 

Rich media ads

Rich media are high-quality, interactive ads. They can include anything from audio to video content and focus on grabbing a viewer’s attention. They’re far more entertaining for users, and honestly, a nice break from some of the traditional/plain ads we’re used to seeing. Rich media ads are typically heavy files, so working with an AdOps team is the best way to ensure page speed doesn’t suffer.

Best Practices

Go with the ‘fold’ 

Some of the research for high-performing ad placements has already been done for you. It’s generally accepted that a 300×250 ad unit placed just below the fold outperforms other arrangements. They generate an approximate 50% viewability rate, making them a solid place for publishers to start.   

Remove sidebar ads

Though these might make sense for your desktop ad layout, sidebars ads are insignificant on mobile devices. They’re rarely in view for most users–so stop keeping them around. In addition, opting to block them from rendering can improve page load speed for the user.

Avoid false-bottoms

When a banner ad is inserted directly in the middle of content, readers may get the impression the blog/article is done and move on. This is why it’s important to avoid putting any large ad types in the center of your content, especially after finishing up a thought. If you’re going to opt for more center-placed ads, be sure to alert readers that there is more content to follow.

Layout testing

Ultimately the best gauge of what ads work best for your users is by A/B testing layouts. Though there are placement recommendations out there, it’s no guarantee for your traffic’s behavior. Instead, test different arrangements to optimize impressions, engagement rates, and page loading speed to creating high-performing mobile ad units for your website. Testing regularly will give data-backed insight into the best revenue opportunities for you.    

Use a header bidding provider

Upgrading to header bidding can quickly provide you with the best design ad placements for mobile. Header bidding is an advanced programmatic technique that auctions off ad units to an array of ad networks simultaneously. Newor Media aims to maximize revenue through optimized ad layouts and increased demand-supply. For publishers, it means having your ad units being cared for by professionals. 

We use insight from your personal website and best practices to drive ad performance. We’ll work to regularly access the different aspects of ads that can lead to poor user experience—assisting with everything from the number of ads to placement and page loading speed. 

By working with us, publishers can benefit from receiving high-quality ads due to our premium network stack. Having access to these kinds of top-tier networks means getting relevant and engaging ads that are less likely to compromise user enjoyment. 

When done well, mobile ads can quickly become a profitable stream of ad revenue. Working to create high-performing ad layouts that balance user experience is the critical key to success. Since what works best varies from publisher to publisher, it’s best to use the solutions to guide yourself to quality layouts that improve through regular testing. For publishers looking to optimize mobile-efforts, Newor Media is the next stepping stone.

Bridget George

Senior Account Manager, Publisher Development: Newor Media

Bridget is a dynamic business development and account manager. She has been in the ad tech industry for over 7 years and is known for her ability to drive innovative solutions and foster strategic growth. Passionate about her work, she excels in managing key accounts and ensuring client satisfaction.