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Official Microsoft Tips To Help You Design Landing Pages and Sponsored Ads

To ensure that ads serving on Bing and Yahoo! are high quality, Microsoft has developed Relevance and Quality Guidelines with the goal of creating a high quality user experience.

“There is one particular part of the Relevance and Quality Guidelines that continually receive questions about – sponsored ads. This section of the guidelines falls under Landing Page and Site Content Quality,” said Jayne Elliott over at adCenter blog.

“The guideline specifically states the following as examples of low quality or low-value page content:

  • Display a high density of advertising above the fold, and/or consist significantly of advertising or links.
  • Feature content that functions primarily to support ad monetization,” stated Elliott.

She also shared some tips to help design landing pages with the right balance of sponsored ads and primary content.

Per Elliott’s blog post:

  1. Fill the page with valuable and interesting content. Make sure this is the primary purpose of the page. This content (not sponsored ads) should take up the majority of the space above the fold. Don’t fill the page will sponsored ads.
  2. The user’s eye should be drawn to your content (not the ads). To ensure that this is the case, avoid putting the ads in the middle of the page or putting the ads in a larger or bolder font than the primary content.
  3. Sponsored ads should be clearly labeled. Don’t make the ads blend in with the content; you shouldn’t mislead users into believing that a sponsored ad is actual content.
  4. Display ads are sponsored too! When considering how much content on the landing page is taken up by sponsored ads, don’t forget to consider any display ads you may be showing. Pages with an overabundance of display ads create a poor user experience.
  5. It’s acceptable to place ads on the top or side of the page above the fold, but they should not take up the majority of “above the fold” space. Placing the majority of sponsored ads below your primary content is always a good practice and likely to result in higher quality, a better user experience and fewer disapprovals. The user should see your interesting and valuable content right away instead of seeing a page full of sponsored ads.
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