Ad Density and Clutter Best Practices

Ad Density and Clutter Best Practices

Ad Density and Clutter Best Practices

Ad density is the percentage of the screen’s visible area taken up by advertisements at any given point.

What is “ad clutter”?

Ad clutter typically refers to an excessively high ad density—that is, having too many visible ad units on a page at once.

Mobile AD Density versus DESKTOP.

On mobile devices, there is a well-defined metric for ad density, but there is very little guidance for desktop devices.

Density of mobile ads.

The ad density standard for mobile devices is very clearly defined by the Coalition for Better Ads. They suggest:

“Ads don’t take up more than 30% of a page’s vertical height.” Ad density is calculated by adding up all of the ads’ heights within a mobile page’s main content section and dividing that sum by the page’s total height.

Density of Desktop Ads.

However, there are no such clearly defined guidelines for desktop experiences. You have arrived at the point where a science and an art meet.

It’s hard to say exactly what makes an experience too “ad dense” because there are so many different ad units available and so many different ways to incorporate them into your website’s content.

Why ad density is important.

Every publisher ought to be concerned about ad density for a few primary reasons, the majority of which are directly related to your capacity to generate revenue.


When it comes to ad density, user experience is the most important factor. Users despise an advertising-heavy experience. As long as they do not significantly hinder their ability to absorb the content, they will happily participate in experiences that include advertisements.

Ad clutter will ultimately result in dissatisfied users, which will decrease page views and significantly alter your ability to generate ad revenue.


The relationship between supply and demand and how it affects your total revenue is extremely delicate. The demand for your supply (such as your CPMs) will decrease as you increase your supply (such as the volume of ads).

To get the most out of your revenue, you want to strike the right balance between supply and demand. Your supply is increased by increasing ad density.

When you cross the line into ad clutter, your supply almost always grows to the point where demand suddenly drops, eventually leading to a decrease in your top-line ad revenue.


Ad clutter is one of the most common areas of criticism on individual publisher websites when our direct sales team sells inventory directly to brands and agencies.

In the event that a brand or organization sees a distributer site as excessively jumbled with promotions, it has no expectation of procuring direct publicizing bargains, which are gigantic drivers in expanding promotion income.


Programmatic players like SSPs and DSPs may blacklist sites with too many ads in an effort to keep advertisers happy and willing to spend money on their platform because advertisers don’t like sites with too many ads.

When a publisher is blacklisted on one of the major players in the ad supply chain, it can cut off access to a large number of buyers at the push of a button, reducing the publisher’s potential revenue from advertising.

Best Practices for Promotion Thickness.

Our team’s best recommendations for striking the right ad density balance to maximize revenue include the following:

-Apply the 30 percent Rule to Mobile: Just, on cell phones, ensure you are following the 30% promotion thickness or less rule gave by the Alliance to Better Advertisements.

-Use a Mix of Standard and High-Impact Ads: Using a combination of standard display ads and high impact ads is an easy way to keep ad density in the right place. This strategically works in high-impact units that significantly increase ad revenue with each impression, preventing you from using an excessive number of display advertisements, which will eventually result in clutter.

-Incorporate ads with adhesives: Adhesive ads can help us achieve a happy density balance, as we’ve discovered. Instead of using a lot of different display ads scattered all over the page, you could make more money by using a single adhesive unit that follows the user down the page and refreshes every so often.

Ad Density and Clutter Best Practices

– Utilize Rails: We have observed over the course of our time working in the digital advertising sector that rail units simply have a tendency to function effectively for both advertisers and publishers. These ads are relatively straightforward and are prominently displayed in users’ viewports. They accomplish the task well while remaining simple and elegant.

-Pick Intuitive Units: Including interactive units in your ad mix can also help. Interactive is the way to go if you want to raise your CPMs with fewer ads total. This means that you should think about all kinds of rewarded video, gamified units, and similar units.

– Choose the Best Placement for Display Ads: If you want to reduce the total number of display ads you show in order to reduce clutter, you need to choose the best location for those units to get the most CPMs from them. Some suggestions include: getting advertisements far from navigational components, guaranteeing there is a lot of cushioning among promotions and content, and keep advertisements toward the top however lower on the noticeable piece of the screen (for example try not to put a promotion right at the highest point of the page where the client will promptly scroll away from it).

In our article on advertising layout optimization best practices, you can learn more in-depth information about each of these recommendations. Examining various ad units and their best uses will also be helpful.

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