If one ad earns $4 RPM, 20 ads on a page will earn $80 RPM, right?
Nope. I wish, but sadly more ads on a web page isn’t necessarily the answer for more money.
The 80/20 rule definitely applies to display ad revenue.
I earn the majority of my ad revenue from 4 units. 2 of them are sticky ads on desktop. 1 is sticky on mobile.
Before you close this tab and jump into your site and make your AdSense ads sticky, DON’T DO THAT. Keep reading.
You ARE NOT permitted to make your AdSense ads sticky on desktop.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have sticky AdSense ads.
I know, that doesn’t make sense, but it will. Keep reading.
While AdSense doesn’t permit sticky ads directly on desktop, you can enjoy sticky ad revenue by using ad networks. I do this. I explain 2 proven options below.
What are sticky ads?
Sticky ads are those that float down the page as a visitor scrolls down. I don’t have to tell you that having ads stick are much better at getting attention than ads that don’t stick. More attention = more clicks = more ad revenue.
There are different sticky options for desktop and mobile. I explain both below and how you can get those sticky ads on your site.
Desktop Stick Ads
There are 2 main sticky ad locations for desktop. They are:
- Sticky sidebar; and
- Sticky middle, usually a 728×90 on desktop.
How do you get some stickiness happening on your site?
Ezoic is more of a self-directed ad network that enables testing placements, colors and sizes. Their ad options include a sticky sidebar option.
Monumetric is a managed ad network that offers both sticky sidebar and sticky middle content.
Are AdSense ads included?
Yes, among others.
With Ezoic you can load multiple ad networks into the sticky ad location, including AdSense. The highest bidder gets the spot. If AdSense wins the bid, an AdSense ad will be displayed legitimately. Ezoic is a certified publishing partner with Google. There’s no risk of any problems if AdSense ads display in the sticky sidebar.
Monumetric has relationships with many advertisers and networks, including using AdSense ads. Again, the highest bidder gets the spot. Like Ezoic, if AdSense wins the spot in a sticky ad location, there’s no risk of problems with AdSense.
2 tips for sticky middle ads on desktop
I admit it. I get annoyed visiting sites with a sticky middle ad. I don’t mind sticky sidebar ads, but sticky middle ads get my goat.
And yet I use them… with a twist.
I asked Monumetric to adjust the sticky middle ad in the following 2 ways:
1. Delayed pop up: I have the sticky middle content unit delayed 15 seconds. I much prefer this because it gives visitors a chance to settle into the content without being bombarded with an annoying ad right off the bat. Moreover, delaying the sticky middle doesn’t get in the way of the premium above-the-fold ads that perform really well.
2. Centered in content, not the site: By default, sticky middle ads are centered in the entire website. I find this to be a bit of an eyesore on content with a sidebar. In some cases it can overlap the sidebar. Moreover, people focus on the content and the ad, which isn’t centered relative to the content, looks odd.
Obviously you don’t have to implement these tweaks, but I think they’re a good way to implement sticky middle content ads on desktop.
Mobile Sticky Ads
There’s only one sticky ad on mobile. It’s called an anchor and it sticks to the bottom of your site on mobile devices as visitors scroll down the page.
This is the one sticky unit that AdSense permits directly. In order to implement an AdSense anchor ad, you need only turn “Page Level Ads” in your AdSense account (anchor and vignette ads fall under what AdSense calls Page Level ads). You can opt to include a vignette ad, which is an AdSense interstitial that pops up when a visitors clicks a link on your site to visit a different page or post on your site.
I have both anchor and vignette ads turned on all my niche sites.
If you use Ezoic or Monumetric, you can turn on Page Level ads via them if you prefer.
Sticky ad FAQ
Can you use both a sticky sidebar and sticky middle content ad at the same time?
Yes. I do via Monumetric.
Can you use both Ezoic and Monumetric?
Yes. You can add Monumetic inside Ezoic to test against other ads in each placement.
Can you use both Monumetric and AdSense tags?
Yes. I do. There are some AdSense units I want on my site that Monumetric doesn’t offer.
Can you customize the sticky middle ad unit?
It’s up to Monumetric. They were kind enough to center it in the content column for me and include a delayed display option where I can set the length of the delay (currently 15 seconds). Just ask them.
How big are the sidebar sticky ads?
They can be 300×250, 160×600 or 300×600… the typical sidebar ad sizes.
Do AdSense nessie arrows show up on sticky ads?
Yes, they do, which is fabulous. I did notice one day the arrows were gone, but returned after one day. I suspect, as usual, that nessie arrows automatically turn off when CTR climbs to a certain level (this is merely an observation on my part; I have no evidence that this is what happens).
Can you customize the colors and font of sticky ads?
In Ezoic, you can customize the ad colors. I haven’t been offered that option with Monumetric, but then I haven’t asked.
Can you make AdSense link units sticky?
No. It’s not an option with either Ezoic or Monumetric. It would be sweet if we could. Those suckers get a lot of clicks.
Can you get a large unit for a sticky middle content?
Ha ha. That’s basically asking for an interstitial. No, you can’t. It’s a 728×90 unit so it doesn’t cover up all the content.
Does desktop ad revenue even matter anymore?
Yeah, but admittedly more and more of my niche site traffic is mobile. I suspect that trend will continue. The percentage of desktop traffic varies niche-to-niche. Visitors to this site (fatstacksblog.com) are predominantly on desktop which I suspect is the case for most business oriented sites (i.e. B2B sites). However, for general consumer niches, more and more of the traffic is on mobile.
Don’t sticky ads annoy visitors?
If you’re concerned about this, in my view, the sticky sidebar isn’t very intrusive, yet earns well. Admittedly, the sticky middle is a nuisance. I mitigate this by delaying its delay, but that’s still annoying (it acts like a popup). Sticky ads aren’t required, but they do help make more money.
Isn’t it better to make opt in forms sticky?
Depends on the niche. If you make a lot of money or enjoy other substantial benefits from your email list, then of course you’ll want to dedicate your sticky locations to an opt in form. If, however, your email newsletter isn’t particularly lucrative, use sticky ads.
Get sticky ads on your site today
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.