The Fundamental Value of Implementing Desktop Anchors

By Adrian Piattelli |
April 26, 2019
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Ad Ops & Digital Publishing News - Sortable

Ad placements tend to be one of the most overlooked aspects of running a website. When publishers place banner ads wherever they feel like it, they won’t realize how effective the careful placement of ads can be. Every website is different and 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 for extremely long articles to monetize the length of the article while improving page load speed and ad unit viewability.

At Sortable, our team is continuously strategizing with our publishers to ensure they are getting the most out of their ads. One specific ad unit placement we recommend is a desktop anchor—this is a 728x90 ad placement that appears at the bottom of the user’s desktop screen. Desktop anchors are beneficial for publishers for several reasons:

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

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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 third-party desktop anchors use limited demand and tend to have poor revshares. With Sortable, you can eliminate any third-party solutions and work directly with our team to implement a desktop anchor. At Sortable, when you implement desktop anchor ad units, these are the steps we take:

  1. Configure the desktop anchor design and ad sources for you to ensure header bidding, Exchange Bidding, server 2 server demand, Google Ad Exchange 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 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.  

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One concern that Sortable has heard from publishers is that some users may find desktop anchors distracting. From what we’ve seen, users are accustomed to this type of ad and 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 Sortable highly recommends to its valued publishers. If you’re interested in implementing desktop anchors, contact your account manager or email success@sortable.com.

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