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Choose Sizes and Placements for Mom Blog Ads

Every Web page is different; the ad placements that work for some will not work for others. Above-the-fold versus below-the-fold ads yield different results. The most important general rule to follow is that your blog readers are there — first and foremost — to read your content. So make that content easy to find.

Generally speaking, you don’t want more than four to six banner ads on any one page. For blogs that tend to have shorter blog posts, stick with four ads. Longer pages that require scrolling can get away with adding more ad units without distracting from the content.

Above-the-fold ad placements

Companies such as Google have invested much time and energy to determine where ads perform best on a page by getting the most click throughs. It uses tools that create a heat map to show what parts of a page are hot (with the highest number of clicks).

You can learn more about Google’s ad placement recommendations online or in the following figure, which shows Google’s heat map and recommendations for ad placement.

Google’s advertising placement recommendations.
Google’s advertising placement recommendations.

As you can see, both Google and others have found that ads perform best when they are at the top of the page above the fold or placed within your content area. Above-the-fold ads are the most desirable for advertisers, and usually cost more than ads below the fold.

But you can’t squeeze more than two ads at the top of the page, because you only have a limited number of pixels to make a great impression on a new reader. Whether you place one or two ads above the fold is a personal preference.

Following are two great examples of above-the-fold ad placements that don’t intrude on the blogger’s content. Laurie Turk from TipJunkie uses a leaderboard ad above her content and a medium rectangle ad at the top of her sidebar. Amy Clark from MomAdvice has a narrower content area and uses a wide skyscraper ad to the right of her content.

TipJunkie has two above-the-fold ad placements.
TipJunkie has two above-the-fold ad placements.
MomAdvice has one above-the-fold ad placement.
MomAdvice has one above-the-fold ad placement.

Below-the-fold ad placements

Depending on the type of ad, sometimes below-the-fold placements can actually perform better than above-the-fold ads. A great example of this is using an ad placement within your content or right at the end of a post.

The end of a blog post is a great place to put a call to action — inviting your readers to do something next after reading your post. Choose your call to action carefully. An ad that pays by the click (such as Google AdSense) is a better choice for this position than an ad that just pays by the impression.

Alternatively, you may want to reserve this area for suggestions to read related blog posts, to subscribe to your feed or newsletter, or to comment on your blog. See this example of a blog that effectively combines several calls to action at the bottom of a blog post.

SkipToMyLou below-the-fold ad placement.
SkipToMyLou below-the-fold ad placement.

Cindy from SkipToMyLou makes the most of the end of her blog posts by placing a below-the-fold ad, RSS and social media sharing buttons, and three related post suggestions.

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