This post was most recently updated on September 12th, 2021
Publishers often have many questions about sticky ads or anchor ads. What are they? Can they be used on mobile devices? Does AdSense allow sticky ads? Which ad sizes are the most popular or perform the best? How to implement them?
Sticky ads are anchored on one area of the user’s view, and even though he scrolls up or down a page, the ad will stay within the user’s view. This ad generally improves CTR by 40-60%, CPM by 30-70%, and doubles viewability compared to other standard web ads. it’s also in high demand with advertisers as it provides high viewability rates and performance.
As a publisher, you can show this ad on both desktop and mobile devices. However, as with every ad category, you should consider its particularities and the nature of the domain where it will be applied.
For desktop devices, the popular ad locations to include a sticky ad are within the sidebar using sizes of 300×250, 160×600, or 300×60, or at the top of the screen with a leaderboard 728×90 ad unit.
For mobile, the only available size is 320×50, which tends to be displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Below is an example of anchor ads allowed on mobile devices through Auto Ads on AdSense.
If you decide to implement this ad unit type, you should follow certain steps before deploying it properly on your website.
First of all, you should declare the ad as a sticky ad. Therefore, the code tag must state the ad unit as an anchor ad, and the declaration process is through Google Ad Manager.
In Google Ad Manager do the following:
Step 1: Go to the Inventory tab.
Step 2: Click on Ad Exchange Rules.
Step 3: Click on Publisher declarations.
Step 4: Choose Display for a website or mobile app.
Step 5: Click New Display or New Mobile app publisher declaration.
Step 6: Enter the name of your declaration.
Step 7: Configure the targeting of your inventory.
Step 8: You may also need to specify the Inventory size and Device category.
Step 9: Check the box under Sticky ads to indicate that the selected inventory serves vertical sticky ads, top horizontal or bottom horizontal.
Step 10: Save.
Anchor ads should not lead to a bad user experience by lowering the webpage’s speed, overlapping, or coming too close to the content. Sticky ads might also not be ideal for all types of websites. For example, gaming pages or dynamic evolving pages.
Navigation and site flow should not be affected. All ad networks do not support these ad units, and not all the publishers have the resources to deploy or customize this type of ad. Finally, it might lead to altering the performance of other ads in your ad inventory because of its position and viewability.
Ad networks that allow sticky ads include Appnexus, Oftmedia, District M, 33across, AOL, Sovrn, and others.
Lastly, to exploit the full potential of this ad, you can refresh it. You can use triggers to refresh the ad that relies on ad viewability, scroll movements, user activity, etc.
As with any new ad implementation, publishers should always conduct A/B tests on sticky ads, whether implementing them on mobile or desktop. As previously mentioned, not all publishers or ad networks are prepared to deploy sticky ads.
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