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Grow your ad revenue and get your website into shape for the holiday season! Check out our blog post for additional information.

Performance reports

Viewability best practices

Use the viewability best practices list below to learn about which areas you should address for better viewability results.

Page length

Short form content yields higher viewability, therefore set pages to have only one fold.

Ad placement

First, let’s review what we must measure before an ad impression is counted as viewable.

  1. A user must navigate to an area of the page where 50% of the ad’s pixels are visible in the browser window.
  2. The user must pause or proceed slowly enough that the ad is on screen for one continuous second. Scrolling past an ad too quickly won’t count.
  3. The ad must be rendered when the user navigates to it.
Viewability icon With this in mind, we reviewed Active View data across the AdSense network and compared a broad range of site designs with high and low viewability. To help maximize the number of viewable impressions generated by your site here are some suggestions based on our research.
General ad placement
  • Content: Produce appealing content and page design that users want to consume and engage with.
  • Ad Placement: Place ads in line with the main content or in content-rich areas of the site. When choosing ad placements it’s important to consider the user experience. Avoid placing ads in areas with little or no unique content or overloading certain areas of the site with too many ads.
  • Speed: Ensure page loads are fast and reliable, including ad rendering time. Use of asynchronous ad code is recommended, and speed optimization tools such as Google PageSpeed can be used to analyze and optimize site performance.

Before making any ad placement decisions we suggest reviewing the Google Analytics screen resolution report to understand where your site’s page fold is most often located. To access the screen resolution report in Google Analytics: visit the Audience tab, expand the Technology category, click Browser & OS and then select Screen Resolution as the primary dimension. After understanding how your site is viewed, review the suggestions below to increase the opportunity of your ads becoming viewable.

Above-the-fold (ATF) placements
  • Content: Offer engaging content on the first page and try to make as much of it viewable without scrolling (by using wider, shorter, or content-rich page design). This will ensure that users have time to read, digest, or interact with ATF content and ads.
  • Ad placement: Consider placing ads near the bottom of the screen (right above the fold). This placement has shown the highest viewability rates from our data. Ads placed just below the top navigation bar have a higher viewability rate than those placed at the very top of the page. At the same time, don’t forget about user experience. Too many ads above the fold will make your page appear cluttered and your visitors may leave the page too quickly.
  • Speed: Ensure your ads load quickly so users don’t scroll past them before they load.
Below-the-fold (BTF) placements
  • Content: Create engaging above-the-fold content that invites your visitors to scroll down the page to see what is below the fold. This will lead them down the page revealing BTF ads. Place visible headlines of the next article or story near the bottom of the top fold to encourage the user to find out what’s further down the page.
  • Ad placement: Ads placed on the left or right side have higher viewability rates than those placed in the middle. Additionally, placing ads in a separate column from the content can keep the content column clean and unobstructed, and may increase the chance that the user proceeds down the entire page.

Site performance

Responsive web design icon With so many screen sizes and devices for viewing content, “the fold” is no longer a fixed location. Consider using responsive web design and responsive ad units for improved viewability regardless of which device users use to visit your site.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design allows you to dynamically control the presentation of your website according to the properties of the screen/device that it’s being viewed on. For more information on responsive design, review our Multi-screen guidelines and the Web Fundamentals resources on the Google Developers site.
Responsive ad units
Choose AdSense’s responsive ad units so that they fit the particular browser used to view those ads. This provides a good user experience, regardless of which device (mobile, tablet, or desktop) they select to view your content and ads. By using responsive ad units, you can control the size of the ads on your page, in line with how you control the layout of the rest of your page across devices. Learn how to create a responsive ad unit.
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