The Fundamental Value of Implementing Desktop Anchors

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Ad placements, like desktop anchors, tend to be one of the most overlooked aspects of running a website. When publishers place banner ads[3] wherever they feel like it, they won’t realize how effective the careful placement of ads can be. Every website is different. You need to consider multiple factors when optimizing your ad layouts.

Here are a few guidelines for ad placements:

  • Focus on where users are going to be looking and place ads in areas that users can see, but that are not distracting.
  • Monetize users’ time on the page by using refreshing anchors, adhesion units and stickies.
  • Use lazy loading[4] for extremely long articles to monetize the length of the article while improving page load speed and ad unit[10] viewability[5].

As a publisher[11], you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your ads. One specific ad unit placement that is recommended is a desktop anchor. This is a 728×90 ad placement that appears at the bottom of the user’s desktop screen.

These are beneficial for publishers for several reasons:

  • The ad units are always viewable.
  • The ad unit can be refreshed to increase viewable impression[6] volume (potentially increasing Session RPM).
  • They fit in with most website themes and designs.

As a publisher, you may already be using a third-party solution to implement desktop anchor ad units. What you may not know, is that these use limited demand and tend to have poor revshares.

When you implement desktop anchor ad units, these are the steps you should take and they may vary from publisher to publisher:

  1. Configure the desktop anchor design and ad sources for you to ensure header bidding[7], Exchange Bidding, server 2 server demand, Google Ad Exchange[8][1] demand and other demand sources are eligible to compete.
  2. Activate the desktop anchor remotely for you—no code or any other changes are required on your side.
  3. Track changes in pages per session, revenue, fill, CPM[2], and session RPM.
  4. If there are positive changes in revenue per user without changes UX (pages per session) we can activate the anchor permanently for you.
  5. Test refresh on the anchor and we will use the monitoring detailed in Step 2 to determine if refresh produces positive results.

What we’ve seen from desktop anchors, otherwise known as sticky or adhesion ad units, is that they will increase your viewable impressions which are very desirable for advertisers. Furthermore, if you activate refresh on this placement it can bring in additional high-value impressions.

Some publishers may find desktop anchors distracting. From what we’ve seen, users are accustomed to this type of ad. If they find this format distracting they can choose to “x” out of the ad for their session. Considering this high impact ad format can be activated automatically, improves the viewability score of your site and can increase revenue, desktop anchors are a format that many ad ops[9] solutions highly recommends to its valued publishers.

1. Google Ad Exchange. Ad Exchange is often referred to as the premium version of AdSense, and also a Google-owned ad network of sorts. To join Ad Exchange, publishers need to meet specific requirements such as 500 000 minimum monthly traffic, be invited or join through a Google certified partner. Recently Google has rebranded this product, and it is now called Google Ad Manager.
2. Cost Per Mille/Thousand [CPM] ( CPM ) Cost per mille, or thousand (mille = thousand in Latin). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising. See also CPC and CPA.
3. banner ads. Banner ads are image-based rather than text-based and are a popular form of online advertising. The purpose of banner advertising is to promote a brand and/or to get visitors from the host website to go to the advertiser's website.
4. lazy loading. With lazy loading, instead of all the content of a web page being downloaded and loaded all at once, content only loads when the users visit that specific part of the screen as they scroll down. The most significant advantage is saving on bandwidth usage which is especially important in countries where internet speeds are low, and data costs are high.
5. viewability. Viewability relates to the amount of time a user saw an ad.

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