Know Your Ads: AdThrive Ad Placements

When you partner with AdThrive, you receive a custom-designed ad layout that's uniquely optimized for your site design. Your ad preferences, site structure, viewability, and traffic all come into play when choosing the best ad placements for your site.

If you ever want a refresher on the ads running on your site, you can check the ‘Earnings by Ad Unit’ widget in the Earnings tab of your AdThrive dashboard. This widget shows you each main ad placement we’ve set up for your ad layout.

You can ALWAYS revisit your preferences for your ad layout in the Ad Preferences tab of your AdThrive dashboard or reach out to our team to talk through any specific ad options for your site.

Header ad

Primarily found on: Desktop, tablet


Sometimes called a “leaderboard ad,” the header ad is a long rectangular ad that appears at the top of a website.

Although the header ad doesn’t have the highest viewability (a measurement of how well the ad is seen by your site visitors) since readers can quickly scroll past it, we're often able to negotiate premium campaigns with AdThrive advertisers directly targeted to the header ad that you can only get because you’re an AdThrive publisher!

Sidebar ad

Primarily found on: Desktop


A sidebar ad runs in the — you guessed it! — sidebar of your site.

The top of the sidebar used to be the gold standard for sidebar ad placement, but now viewability determines where the ads will earn the most money, so we work with you to find sidebar locations that are the most viewable to your readers.

AdThrive sidebar ads are typically open to several different ad sizes to ensure the most competition for each spot in your sidebar. A sidebar that is at least 336 pixels wide keeps your site open to the highest-paying ad sizes!

Sticky Sidebar ad

Primarily found on: Desktop


The sticky sidebar ad is an ad at the bottom of your sidebar that “sticks” to the top of the screen and scrolls with the reader. Due to its high viewability, it can pay 2–3x better than a non-sticky sidebar ad.

The sooner a sticky sidebar ad comes into view and begins scrolling with a reader, and the longer it’s able to scroll, the better it pays!

Content ad

Found on: Desktop, tablet, & mobile


These highly-viewable ads appear inside the body of your posts on desktop, tablet, and mobile, usually between paragraphs.

AdThrive technology detects a reader’s screen height and intelligently spaces out these ads to maximize your ad earnings AND keep sites reader-friendly! Our ad partners prefer this conservative approach to content ads — in fact, when a new site joins AdThrive from another ad management company, we’re often able to dramatically reduce the total number of content ads and still make more money overall.

Content ads are especially valuable on mobile, since your sidebar ads don’t run there! Typically, we recommend content ad spacing of one ad per scroll on mobile, up to the limit we set.

Recipe ad

Found on: Desktop, tablet, & mobile


A recipe ad is an ad that shows up inside the recipes on your site. Readers tend to spend a lot of time viewing a recipe’s ingredients and instructions, so an ad placed inside the recipe box is extremely viewable and pays very well.

You don’t need to be using a recipe plugin to take advantage of a recipe ad — if you share recipes on your site using a consistent, structured format, we can target an ad to appear inside those recipes.

In-Image ads

Found on: Desktop, tablet, & mobile


These ads overlay images on your site and always have an ‘X’ so readers can close them to view the full image. We have the ability to set restrictions on the number of in-image ads and how frequently they appear for your readers.

For these ads, we don’t run:

  • “Takeover” in-image ads that expand over the image.
  • In-image ads with sound.

Sticky Footer ad

Found on: Desktop, tablet, & mobile


Since very few readers ever make it down to the very bottom of your site, regular ads in the footer area of your site have extremely limited viewability.

The sticky footer ad solves that problem by sticking to the bottom of the page while your reader scrolls down, making it one of the most viewable and valuable ad units you can run on your site.

In fact, it can increase the “viewability score” of your whole site with advertisers and can open the door to higher-paying ads in your other ad spaces as well!

The sticky footer ad always has an ‘X’ at the top right so readers can close it if they want. You also have the option to remove your sticky footer close button, to increase earnings.

Video ads

AdThrive offers a variety of options to monetize your video content! For more information on our different video players and how to add them to your site, head over to our section on Video ads.

Highly-viewable ad types

Our latest ad types we’ve rolled out are designed to increase the viewability of your existing ad placements, which means they are extra valuable to advertisers, and high-paying for you! When these ad types serve, they will display in the ad placements already active on your site — the number of ads on the page will stay the same. Check out the FAQs on each type to learn more!

Expandable Sticky Footer ad

Interscroller ad

Interstitial ad

Native ad

Outstream ad

Ad experiences we don’t allow

These are examples of the kinds of ads we DON’T run here at AdThrive because they create a poor user experience, and, while they may boost revenue short-term, can ultimately hurt your reputation with advertisers in the long run.

  • Invasive, full-screen content ads on desktop or mobile that create a poor user experience.
  • An aggressive (or unlimited) number of content ads. We always set a maximum number of content ads customized for your unique site experience. Because they are inserted based on screen scrolls, shorter posts will always display less than the maximum.


  • Video ads that autoplay sound.
  • In-image ads that take over the entire image.


  • Prestitial or postitial ads (the large ads that cover the entire screen on mobile or desktop and have a countdown before or after the video ad).
  • Ads that cover more than 30% of your content on any device.


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