Advertising Top Stories
2 mins read

Why publishers need to rethink their attitude to below-the-fold ads

WNIP Sponsored Post

The advertising buy side (brands, marketers etc) has always placed a premium on above-the-fold (ATF) ad units. Research from Adomik indicates average ATF bids are $0.43, compared with just $0.08 below the fold (BTF).

However, new research from publishing solutions provider, Sovrn, shows that what brands think they know about ads placed above and below-the-fold could be totally wrong.

Using standard metrics ATF ads are 16% more likely to be in-view than those below-the-fold. But standard metrics don’t give you the whole picture.

Sovrn’s research reveals that BTF ads that are viewable are seen for 2.6 times longer than ATF ads, offering far higher levels of engagement. These findings are corroborated by Chartbeat research, which indicates that almost two-thirds (66%) of engagement happens BTF.

A look at user mind-set helps to explain this. If a user arrives at a page where the content is interesting and engaging they will instantly start to scroll and read. This means they are less likely to pay attention to an ad at the top of the article.

When ads are contextually relevant and timely, the ad at the bottom of the page is no longer a distraction, but a productive way of continuing the user journey. As a result, engagement, click through and conversion rates are far higher for ads at the bottom of a page than those at the top (assuming the ad was loaded on-view).

This is particularly true for high value products such as cars, holidays, financial services products or insurance. Once a user has read and engaged with an article that offers advice on these subjects, they will look for a solution, so if there is a relevant ad that provides a relevant answer they are highly likely to click it.

Sovrn’s findings challenge much of the traditional perceived wisdom of online ad placement, and demonstrate that there is a lot of value to be had by advertisers that are able to look beyond the fold.

Download the whitepaper here