Domain Monetization 101 – Lesson #1: Ad Placement

I am starting a new series on my blog – Domain Monetization 101. In this series I will go-over many of the concepts I’ve learned over the last few years of testing different domain monetization strategies. Since my focus has never been on selling, I’ve been completely absorbed in monetizing my domains and have learned some valuable lessons along the way – I hope these lessons are useful to some if not all of you!

Ad placement is one of the most important pieces in the Domain Monetization Puzzle. Many people think that just putting ads on your site will provide guaranteed revenue as long as you have traffic coming to your site.

I learned very quickly that the placement of ads on my sites was crucial to how well they would monetize over time. It wasn’t enough to find an ad that would appeal to my target customer – I also had to put it in a place that would encourage clicks.

So what is the perfect ad placement setup? There is none! This varies on a site-by-site basis with a few guiding principles that can put you on the path to success. Below are three tips you can use to optimize the ad placement on your site.

1) Your most important ads should be above the fold. Assume that your user doesn’t scroll – your best ads should be at the top of the page.

2) Place ads within content blocks not just in the sidebar. I have found that ads placed within content blocks receive strong click-through rates and can make a big difference in the revenue of your site.

3) Change the order of your ads frequently and measure the results.Try switching the ads around and let them run for a week – if you see a big spike in revenue you know that you’ve created a successful optimization.

While these may seem like little things they can make a BIG difference. I can oftentimes make some small targeted changes to the ad placement on my site and see revenue grow over 50% in as little as one week. In fact – this year two of my domains have seen over 100% growth and the only change I made is where the ads were located on the page!

So next time you build a site – don’t just let it sit month after month. Figure-out what your average monthly revenue is – make some targeted changes – and increase your revenue. Do this across all your sites and you might just give yourself a nice pay raise!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Michael March 17, 2010, 2:39 am

    Another good placement is actually beneath the content. The idea is that after a reader finishes reading your article, they’re looking for somewhere to go to either make a purchase or find more information. Makes them more likely to get clicks despite being below the fold.

    Nice article Morgan.

  • TeenDomainer March 17, 2010, 3:02 am

    Like the post, I recently switched some layouts and locations of ads and already I see a big difference in my earnings.

  • Morgan March 17, 2010, 3:15 am

    Thanks @Michael – true ads at the bottom of the page can work as long as someone reads all of your content.

    Glad you liked the article – more to come 🙂

  • Morgan March 17, 2010, 3:16 am

    Thanks @TeenDomainer – amazing what a difference little changes can make!!

  • Mojito Recipe March 17, 2010, 12:25 pm

    I try to follow the pros. for layout ideas. For example,


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