How to Utilize Advanced Ad Types and Placements on Your Website

Banner Ad Strategy, Getting Started

AdvertServe offers an array of different ad types and placements for every possible need. This makes the platform highly customizable for every type of use case and website monetization need – want to add a popup to your site and charge a premium for it? You can get up and running in minutes with AdvertServe.

However, the selection of choices can be overwhelming at times, and it might not be immediately obvious where to set things up on the platform. In this article, we’ll run through some common cases and examples and show you exactly how to integrate them on your own site.

It helps to divide your ads variations into two broad categories: design and placement. Design affects what your ad looks like, and if it behaves in any unique ways, while placement affects where on the page your ad appears.

1. Ad Design Options

The vast majority of the ads on your site will probably be banner ads. And as long as you’ve added a zone to your site that supports banners, you’ll be able to assign all different types of banner creatives to that zone.

It starts when creating your zone. You’ll define your zone as a banner zone, and define which specific banner type you’d like to support.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to associate any media you create to this zone and have it be served through this zone. All you need is to make sure that the media you create is also set to be a banner, and matches the zone’s dimension (size). You can see in the screenshot below, we’re making sure that this banner’s size is set to 300×250, which will match our zone’s 300×250 size.

Here’s the thing. Assuming your media is set to the right dimension, you actually have an array of different creatives that you can choose from, which all belong to to the “banner” category. When you click on the “Type” dropdown while creating your banner, you will see an array of different formats you can choose for your ads; any of these options will then show up in the appropriate 300×250 spots on your site.

So, you might be fine with just the standard “graphic banner”. But if you’d like you can choose to upload any of the following and they’ll function in exactly the same way as a standard banner (follow the links to see live examples in a new tab):

  • Carousel – show several images in one banner that automatically rotate between themselves.
  • Expandable and Pushdown banners – a banner that expand to a larger image when you hover over them, or touch them on mobile. The pushdown banner will push your site’s content down, while the expandable banner will overlay itself on top of your content.
  • Flash – uses the flash animation format, if you have a need for that
  • Flip – uses a flip animation to show the other side of your banner when a user mouses ever it
  • HTML – insert any sort of custom code into here. Perfect for serving 3rd party tags that fit a specific dimension, for example a 300×250 ad tag from Google Adsense.
  • HTML5 – upload a zip file with custom HTML5 animations and effects
  • Magic banner – build your own HTML5 banner with up to 10 slides right inside AdvertServe, by uploading individual photo elements on to the page.
  • Video banner play a video within your ad code, instead of just showing a banner or animation. Supports media files like .mp4 and .wmv. (note that additional bandwidth charges apply for video)

Any time you select one of the options above from the “Type” dropdown, you’ll be shown different options further down the page that correspond to that type. So the Custom HTML type will give you a place to paste in your HTML, while the Magic Banner type will actually present you with the HTML5 banner builder.

In this section, we’ve focused on differnet variations of banners. AdvertServe also offers other different creative formats like VAST video ads, wallpapers, popups and pop-unders, as well as dynamic HTML and text formats.

Here too, creating each of these starts by defining a new Zone for that type of ad. Once you’ve created that zone, you can then head over to your media section to create the appropriate media type for that zone. (Note that these other creative types don’t have a defined size associated with them.)

2. Ad Placement Options

Phew. Hopefully you’re still with me, and have a better understanding of how you can choose different ad types and behaviors that can all be added to you ad zones (as long as the sizes match!). The next broad variable is where on the page these ads appear.

You might have a 728×90 that you choose to display between articles. And you might have the exact same size which you choose to add as a sticky crawler that affixes itself to the bottom of your site.

Deciding how exactly your code appears on the site is defined when generating the code for your ad zones. You can generate new code for a zone using the “generate code” icon beside each zone, or, if you need more complex configuration, you can use the “code wizard” from the top menu.

You’ll be given a popup to choose what type of code you’d like to generate. We recommend AJAX whenever possible, it gives you the most versatility and site performance.

On the next page, you’ll be given a long array of options to configure your ads with, and this is where the magic happens. By checking the option for “effects” in your code generator, you’ll see a list of different ways in which that zone’s banners can be displayed on the screen.

Here are a few common options to note:

  • Adhesion banners – make a banner stick to a specific area on the page
  • Crawler – make a banner stick specifically to the bottom of the page, with a colored background
  • Castaway – make an ad automatically disappear after a certain amount of time on the page. Good for extra large ads that you don’t want to keep permanently on your site.
  • Lightboxes, overlays, and smoke screens – different options for having a banner pop up and overlay itself over the site’s content. Note that these can be intrusive, and may go against site usability best practices.
  • Shoutbox – a banner that appears at the bottom right corner. Great for video ad creatives.

Best practices for ad zones

A few things to keep in mind:

Firstly, different banner sizes will work better with different effects. So a wide and thin banner would work well as a crawler, while a big square banner makes a great overlay. Make sure to have the final placement of your zone in mind when creating your zones (and don’t forget zone substitution if you’d like to keep desktop and mobile seperate).

Second, you could probably use one ad zone and place it all over your site, but you might not want to.

As you have seen, the process of defining your zone is seperate from generating the code that defines where and how it runs. This means you could have a single 728×90 which you generated two different codes for – one that goes between your articles, and one that functions as a crawler.

Any new campaigns and media that you associate with this one zone would start appearing in both places. This might work fine for some, but you might find it’s best to keep your premium zones seperate and charge more to place ads there.

So you’re better off creating a “basic 728×90” zone which you add between articles, and a seperate “premium 728×90 crawler” and adding it specifically as your crawler using the code generator’s settings. That way, you can assign your basic ad campaigns just to the first zone, and your premium campaigns can be assigned to the second one (or to both).

In summary

There is a lot going on when it comes to placing your ads on your site. Try to take a step back and first imagine what ads you’d like to see on your site, and then figure out how to implement them. We are always available to help you get set up and properly integrated on your website.

Remember, there are two broad criteria that define your ads – media design and behavior (like a carousel or an animation) versus placement (such as popups and crawlers). By keeping those two parameters seperate, you can drill down to the right configuration that works best for you.

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Bill W.