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Some people are of the opinion that Monetizing your website by placing ads are bad for the user experience on your site. Infact, if you ask professionals from the UX design industry, most of them would be against showing ads.

But then, let’s think of it this way, “Ads help users in reaching the products they need”. How can something that helps the user can spoil the user experience?

Ads aren’t a problem, but the way they’re shown to the user can be problematic. If the right ad is shown in the right way then the user will be delighted, not frustrated.

So instead of asking “whether ads spoil the user experience?”, we should ask, “what’s the right way of showing ads?”. If you’ll ask the right question, then you’ll reach the right solution.

To show the ads in the right way, we need to follow good practices, and we also need to avoid some bad practices. That being said, in this article, we’re going to talk about what you should do and what you shouldn’t do to serve the best user experience while monetizing your website at the same time.

  • How to Determine The Best Position For Your Ads
  • What Makes a Good User Experience
  • How Can You Improve Your Website User Experience
  • What Are The Benefits of a Great User Experience
  • Finding The Right Balance Between Website Monetization And User Experience

How to Determine The Best Position For Your Ads

Although choosing the right placement for your adverts is not very difficult, it does require some data and research to know where your ad inventory can perform best.

Explore: 15 Practical Ways to Keep Visitors on Your Website

Many publishers initially started with A/B testing based on their website’s layout until the heat map tool from AdSense got released. This development has become very helpful, especially for new publishers starting out with display ads on their websites.

Here are the AdSense heat map suggestions for ad placements on a sample page layout. The darker the shading is, the bigger the chance for the ad position to perform well.

It is important to note that it is not the only layout you can follow. Google Analytics’ Page Insights can also be an excellent source of information to find out where users frequently linger across your website, aside from a few other third-party plugins and tools.

If you’re serious about maximizing display ad revenue, the following factors below will decide where to position ads on your site:

Devices and Viewability

Just like the geographic location, the device used to access a website is an important factor when determining placement for ad inventory.

It’s better to implement ads that will not push content below the fold. What works best is using an ad wrapped around the content for better viewability.

Here’s a typical ad placement mistake we see with mobile traffic:

Let’s say a user is using his mobile device to browse feeds on Facebook. He sees an interesting link, clicks on it, and it directed to the particular web page.

When he arrives at the website the first thing he sees, even before the title, is an ad. Even though this is very intrusive, he decides to scroll down to read the article and instead he sees another ad just below the title.

There is a growing number of publishers who do this to maximize revenue. They are willing to sacrifice user experience for an additional monetary gain.

Although it might seem lucrative, this strategy is however not very efficient. If you want to grow your organic users, then we recommend that you keep your layout clean, use nonobstructive ads and promote good quality content.

Traffic Sources

Geography is a crucial factor in determining ad size and placement. The standard IAB sizes for desktop 300×250, 336×280, 728×90 and mobile 320×50, 320×100 is very common amongst different kinds of websites because of the significant volume of advertisers that use these formats.

This means that the demand is huge for these ad sizes, however sites with their biggest traffic from Sweden or Finland, as an example, might perform better with an ad size of 980×120 since these tend to deliver impressive results regarding CPMs within that particular region.

Another example is Poland where 750x ads get used a lot.

This Google’s ad size guide will show you all the regional ad sizes related to geographical locations.

Quality of Ad Space

Cost per Mille (CPM) or the cost for every thousand impressions is usually the measure used in computing ad revenue for individual ad placements. If you want high CPMs, then it’s best to position your ad where it can be seen and possibly get clicked on.

Please note that if this ad is to close the navigation links as if intentionally deployed to get clicked, then this could lead to account violations, especially if you’re using monetizing your website with AdSense.

Past Performance

History is defined to be the study of past events. The numbers usually do not lie unless they are skewed or inaccurate. But past performance is an excellent source of information to determine where and in which specific placements ads can best perform.

What Makes a Good User Experience

User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project.

UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.

Factors that Influence UX

At the core of UX is ensuring that users find value in what you are providing to them. 

In order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
  • Usable: Site must be easy to use
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them
Areas Related to Building the User Experience

UX is a growing field that is very much still being defined. Creating a successful user-centered design encompasses the principles of human-computer interaction (HCI) and goes further to include the following disciplines:

  • Project Management focuses on planning and organizing a project and its resources. This includes identifying and managing the lifecycle to be used, applying it to the user-centered design process, formulating the project team, and efficiently guiding the team through all phases until project completion.
  • User Research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.
  • Usability Evaluation focuses on how well users can learn and use a product to achieve their goals. It also refers to how satisfied users are with that process.
  • Information Architecture (IA) focuses on how information is organized, structured, and presented to users.
  • User Interface Design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do and ensuring that the interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions. 
  • Interaction Design (IxD) focuses on creating engaging interactive systems with well thought out behaviors.
  • Visual Design focuses on ensuring an aesthetically pleasing interface that is in line with brand goals.
  • Content Strategy focuses on writing and curating useful content by planning the creation, delivery and governance behind it.
  • Accessibility focuses on how a disabled individual accesses or benefits from a site, system or application. Section 508 is the governing principal for accessibility.
  • Web Analytics focuses on the collection, reporting, and analysis of website data.

How Can You Improve Your Website User Experience

Consider your mobile and tablet users

Under every normal circumstance, you should have a responsive website, which means it would be able to scale up or down to fit any screen size (whether that be a desktop, tablet, or smartphone). But responsive design isn’t something you can have with just an easy click.

Still, the fastest way to send mobile and tablet users away from your site is to ignore how your website functions on mobile and tablet devices.

For example, if a mobile user has to zoom in to view your site on their device, or if your buttons are too small for them to easily click, many mobile users will simply back out of your site.

Responsive design best practices include:

  • Ensuring that the font size is large enough to read on a small device. You don’t want your user to have to zoom in, especially on buttons, since the screen likely won’t let them zoom in and click at the same time. And since tablet and mobile users are using their fingers instead of a mouse, it’s important to make sure that everything has a bit more padding to keep things comfortable.
  • Sticking to one main focus for each page. Screen size is extremely limited on a mobile device, and trying to clutter too many things onto the screen is a quick way to frustrate your mobile users. We typically emphasize white space, minimalism, and one key focus for each page.
  • Including a mobile menu. On a desktop, your navigation probably stretches horizontally across the top of the screen, but on a mobile menu, it’s all about the vertical. If a user can tap on a button that displays the menu vertically down their mobile screen, they can navigate around your site much more easily.
  • Reducing the size of your forms and including functionality that auto-generates the right keyboard for the field. For example, if you have a field for “zip code,” the ideal situation is for the keyboard to load a number pad when the user clicks on it. If they have to manually choose their number keyboard, they can get frustrated.
Optimize Your Website For Speed

If a page has a high bounce rate, there’s also a good chance that it doesn’t load quickly enough. Bounce rates increase by 50% if your website takes 2 seconds extra to load. After a 3-second loading time, 40% of users will back out of the site.

That means if your bounce rate is at a staggering 90%, it could be as low as 50-60% (a much more reasonable range) if only it loaded faster.

But what exactly is slowing down your website? There are many possibilities. If you worked with an inexperienced designer or developer to create your site, they may not have taken the time to properly compress files and clean up any errors in their code.

If you used a free website tool, all those fancy themes and extra plugins could be teeming with elements that dramatically slow down your site.

Some common culprits of a slow page load include:

  • Large image sizes added to the site
  • Embedded videos
  • An inadequate web hosting server
  • Poorly coded plugins
  • External scripts
  • Improper compression

If you want to check your website speed, there are plenty of free tools out there that will help you do just that. You can input your website’s URL into Pingdom or Hubspot’s Website Grader.

If your site takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load, there’s a good chance that your bounce rates are suffering because of it.

If enabling compression or dealing with external scripts sounds like work that’s more technical than you’re comfortable with, the good news is that we handle all of this for you.

Below are some tips you can implement to increase the speed of your website:

Choose the right format and compress your images

One of the key things we do is make sure the images on your website are optimized for the web. In fact, one study found that 90% of slow websites have unoptimized images.

Ideally, your images should be as small as they can be (far smaller than 1 MB) while still maintaining their quality.

Eliminate heavy plugins

Sometimes, improving site speed means taking a deep dive into the back end of your CMS or website platform to investigate more technical and code-related issues.

This is especially common when we’re dealing with a site that was originally built with WordPress. That’s because WordPress sites are notorious for their heavy plugins and poorly written code that bog your site down.

Simplify your message

Another way to improve your users’ experience on your site is by simplifying your message. According to a recent Web Usability Report, the lack of a clear message is the Number 1 reason most visitors leave a website:

Add a Clear call to Action to Every Page

It’s easy to forget about calls to action when you’re focusing on big-picture elements like look, feel, and page layout. However, calls to action are such a crucial element of your website design that they deserve their own special attention.

Every single page on your website needs at least one clear, compelling call to action. It could be a link, form, or button that helps users take the next step.

This can be as simple as linking to your services page from your homepage, or as complex as offering an online scheduling tool that allows users to secure an appointment.

There’s also a very good chance that many of your pages will have the same call to action. Most commonly, businesses want to send users to their contact page.

If this describes you, we would likely have a call to action that leads to your contact page from nearly every page on your website.

This is a part of the design process that should be thought about critically, as some pages are more suited to certain calls to action.

We know every business website is different, so when it comes to your customers’ user experience, we never take a blanket approach.

Here are some ideas for calls to action that we’ve included in some of our previous projects:

  • An option to subscribe to your blog or newsletter
  • A link to your contact page with a form for the user to fill out
  • Links to other pages on your site with more information on a topic
  • Downloadable PDFs (spec sheets, product catalogs, and helpful guides)
  • An online scheduling tool that allows the user to make an appointment
  • A link to log into your website (as an employee, paid user, volunteer, etc.)
  • A link to related blog posts throughout (and at the end of) a blog post

Ultimately, there should be no page on your website where a user would think, “I want to learn more about this business, but I don’t know how.”

Users are impatient and they won’t spend more than a few seconds looking for that next step, so it’s important to anticipate how they may want to learn more about your business based on the content they’re currently viewing.

Choose colors and fonts that are easy to read

This is something that designers spend a considerable amount of time thinking about when planning out a client website. Of course you want the layout to look attractive, but you also try to make life as easy as possible for your users through typography, layout, and color choices.

Incidentally, you often see a correlation between these elements and bounce rates — the harder it is for your visitors to make out what your page says, the more likely they are to back out of it.

For colors, you always aim for a good contrast. There’s a reason that most word processors have a white background and black text — it’s simple, clean, and always easy to read.

But most websites aren’t just black and white, so we have to look carefully at the colors you’re using and make sure that there’s a healthy contrast between backgrounds and font colors.

There’s a good bit of color theory that can go into this, but we can break it down quite simply: If your site uses a darker background, you should opt for lighter text. If you’ve chosen a lighter background, then opt for darker text.

Next, you can choose a font that’s highly legible. It’s easy to gravitate toward the more unique fonts out there. Or, as every site seems to be transitioning to the thinner, more modern fonts, it’s easy to choose a font that’s too thin.

But the most important thing isn’t that your site’s font is the most fun or unique — it’s that your users can actually read it without squinting or zooming in.

Remember, what is easy for you to read may be difficult for others. That’s why you should put your years of design expertise to work and choose the right colors and fonts to clearly express your brand while still giving your website visitors the best experience possible.

What Are The Benefits of a Great User Experience

Increased Customer Engagement And Retention

The development of an interface to better navigate and simplify research attracts not only new users but also makes them want to continue their digital experience.

In this way, there is a lower probability of bounce and a higher conversion rate. A well-designed user interface encourages customer engagement, which leads to becoming more loyal to the brand.

This is very important, since in the current digital environment, with increasing competition and rapid technological advancements, it is essential that business invest in customer retention strategies.

Acquisition of New Customers

A successful UI design contributes to a positive user experience, which is a competitive advantage. The effort to provide a consumer-tailored interface may be a brand factor differentiator.

In this way, it attracts new customers and consequently increases sales. Thus, the bet on user interface design is able to enhance business, maximising revenue opportunities.

Increase Productivity

Delivering the best user interface, coupled with cost savings and application of resources in what is essential, leads to improvements in productivity. This productivity is reflected in both the user and the brand.

With a user-friendly interface and easy navigation, the user decreases search time and increases satisfaction, fulfilling his needs in a fast and efficient way. In turn, the brand increases sales volume, improves customer loyalty and minimises costs and resources.

Lower Development Cost

A well-planned design from the start avoids future problems. This includes any training needs and interface support, such as correcting navigation errors, eliminating non-relevant functions and features, or adjusting the design to be accessible and functional.

All of this involves high costs. Thus, an intuitive and user-friendly interface benefits not only the users but also the business, as it causes fewer problems and frustrations to designers and avoids additional costs and features.

The projection of the user interface design, when done well, reduces costs, time and effort throughout the later stages, which means that the strategic decisions taken at the start of the project determine the cost and performance in the future.

Lower Customer Support Costs

Usually, users express doubts or difficulties when navigating the interface. However, if the interface is intuitive, customer contact with the support service will be less frequent.

This way, the company benefits by reducing costs in customer support. A simple and functional interface minimises occurrences of errors, doubts and unwanted actions in the navigation process, avoiding customer support costs.

Finding The Right Balance Between Website Monetization And User Experience

Load Your Ads Faster

When your ads don’t load on time, they leave a blank space within the content. It breaks the continuity of the page that can irritate the user. In a few cases, it can also create the illusion that the article is complete and the user can bounce from that point.

The bounced user may end up thinking that your site has incomplete information. If your ads aren’t asynchronous then they can even stop your page from loading further. Therefore make sure that your ads are loading faster.

Maintain the Number of Ads

There should be a balance between the amount of content and ads on your webpage. If a user is consuming more ads than content then it will definitely be irritating.

Google vaguely says ads should not be more than content, so we can assume ads should not cover more than 50% of the content. The Better Ads Standards says that mobile ads should not cover more than 30% of the vertical height and sticky containers should not cover more than 30% of the screen.

 Content is the ‘value’ you provide to the user and earnings from the ads are what you get in return for the provided value. Users come back to the sites that provide more value to them.

Visit premium sites like The Verge and you will see that most of the articles have only one ad within the content and the remaining ads are outside it. Some short content may not have any in-feed ads at all.

Similarly, you can set a standard number of words the user should be able to read before seeing the next ad.

Explore: You Can Earn Cash Online Through Banner Ads

The above suggestion doesn’t mean that you should strictly reduce the number of ads on your site. There are other places like the head, the panels, the space below the article to show ads without hampering the reading experience.

There are ways like refreshing the ads to increase the number of impressions with a limited amount of ad space.

Even if you decide to decrease the number of ad units on your sites, you cover the resulting loss of revenue by increasing the number of page views per visit. To increase the page views, you can implement various strategies like:

  • Test various site layouts.
  • Use a content recommendation system.
  • Create a series of articles.
  • Use sidebars with popular content
  • Ad a search bar
  • Write on closely related topics
  • Create an interlinking strategy, etc
Try Native Ads

Some people may argue that native ads can make it harder for the user to differentiate the ads from the content, this is why we suggested marking your ads in the beginning. Native ads don’t have the motive of confusing people, it has more to do with the user’s attention.

When the ads blend with the content, they don’t distract the user. Your content is consumed in an attentive state of mind. The user’s focus remains the same when the ad comes in the view. If the user doesn’t click the ad, it doesn’t distract the user even if it remains in the view.

On the other hand, when the ads are distracting, the user first gets disturbed by the ad, then sees the ad with a disturbed mind, and if the ad isn’t interesting, the user comes back to the content in the same distracted state.

Apart from display, content recommendation platforms like Taboola are also used for native ads. While the recommendations blend well with the site, you have to be careful with the user experience.

Some irrelevant and misleading ads can hamper it. There are controls to mitigate the irrelevancy, but there are shortcomings too.

Label Your Ads

The ads on your website should be declared as ads, not as native content. Users can feel deceived when they reach an advertisement unknowingly. If the trust between you and your user is broken, then you may lose your user forever.

Therefore mark your display ads as “Advertisement” and sponsored content as “Sponsored”. The user should be able to distinguish between ads and the native content.

Show Personalized Ads

Personalized ads are even better than contextual ads. Personalized ads analyse the user on the basis of multiple data points like demography, geography, interest, behaviour, weather, device, time of the day etc.

When all such data points are analysed together for a single user, an accurate prediction can be made about what the user needs at a particular point of time.

Once the need is estimated, the ads that can help to satisfy the need are delivered. Personalised ads save the publishers from irritating the users with irrelevant ads.

If you are selling via a programmatic technique (like header bidding), then you don’t have to do anything. The ads will be personalized to user. In case you are using a contextual ad network, you should start exploring other options.

Try Contextual Ads

It is a known fact that the ads help the users to reach the products they need, contextual ads can help with that. Contextual ads are the ones that are related to the content the user is consuming on the page. The context of the content helps us in knowing what the user is looking for.

For example, a user reading about fixing a garden-related problem may be in the need of a garden tool. Showing the ad of the tool that can solve the problem will save the user from searching for the tool separately.

In this way, the ad on your page has helped the user in reaching the right product and therefore it delivered a good user experience.

What Should be Avoided?

On the basis of the research conducted by the Coalition of Better Ads (a survey of more than 66000 users), we should avoid some experiences that can upset the user.

Pop-up Ads: These ads cover the main content and obstruct the user from consuming it.

Auto-Playing Video Ads with Sound: Such ads catch the reader off-guard and compel them to switch off the sound by closing the complete window.

Prestitial Ads with Countdown: Prestitial Ads make the user wait until the ad is finished, the waiting time annoys the users.

Large Sticky Ads: Sticky ads at the bottom of the screen that covers more than 30% of the screen makes it difficult for the user to consume the content on the screen.

Flashing Animated Ads: Ads that are too flashy and change colors continuously keep distracting the users until they’re in the view.

Full-screen Scroll-over Ads: These ads require the user to scroll them over while they appear on top of the content. Such ads are seen on mobile devices and they can disorient the user.


When you use ads to monetize your website, they do not disturb your user experience if they’re presented in the right way. The ads shouldn’t obstruct the user from consuming the content.

The user should have control over the ads, and the ads shouldn’t behave in unpredictable ways. If you’re providing the right value to the user, then ads can even improve the user experience.

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MegaIncomeStream is a global resource for Business Owners, Marketers, Bloggers, Investors, Personal Finance Experts, Entrepreneurs, Financial and Tax Pundits, available online. egaIncomeStream has attracted millions of visits since 2012 when it started publishing its resources online through their seasoned editorial team. The Megaincomestream is arguably a potential Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, videos, features, and information, as well as a highly engaged global community for updates and niche conversation. The platform has diverse visitors, ranging from, bloggers, webmasters, students and internet marketers to web designers, entrepreneur and search engine experts.