What is the true value of having your CTAs and revenue-earning elements above the fold? To answer this question, Chitika Insights looked into its data trove to model the CTR on its ad – when placed above the fold, as opposed to below the fold ads.

Sometimes we at Chitika Research forget that we do, in fact, work for an advertising network, and as such have a wealth of data that pertains directly to the business.  With that in mind, I’m kicking off a new series on advertising layouts and how they impact the ads’ clickthrough rates.

Before we proceed, let us look at the methodology here:

Study Methodology

This study was done using data from the Chitika network. Chitika analyzed millions of impressions from its ad network looking into the position of the ad. The main factor was to compare the CTR when the ad was “above the fold” vs “below the fold”.

By analyzing the positioning of the ad, this study and insights were extracted. Read more about the methodology here.

Key Findings

For this initial study, we took a simple bit of general knowledge – ads above the fold are more effective than ads below – and put our data to finding just how much effect this really has.

Over a sample of 22,211,015 impressions, we found that an ad above the fold will have a 44% higher clickthrough rate than one below the fold, all things being equal.

“An ad above the fold will have a 44% higher clickthrough rate than one below the fold, all things being equal” – Chitika Insights

Raw Data

Clickthrough Rates by Ad Placement: Above vs. Below the Fold
Impressions Clicks CTR
Below Fold 9,362,053 60,918 0.651%
Above Fold 12,848,962 120,708 0.939%
Total CTR 22,211,015 181,626 0.818%
Source: Sample of traffic coming into the Chitika advertising network

The way we came to this conclusion is by comparing the Y-variables of the placements of the advertisements themselves to the height of the page’s viewable area.

As viewable area shifts with screen resolution, this method is appropriate across multiple screen sizes.  The same pool of advertisements was used for all ads, ensuring an applicable comparison between the above- and below-fold data.

The applications of this data are primarily for website owners and marketers interested in conversion rate optimization – having a general modifier for above-the-fold placement should factor into the determining of which ads to place where, and the appropriate pricing for the various ad slots.

“This data helps website owners and marketers interested in conversion rate optimization” – Chitika Insights

In addition, for your own conversion rate optimization purposes, if you don’t have the level of traffic needed for in-depth A/B tests, our new company, Poll the People, allows you to A/B test your designs for conversion rate optimization with real people. Free Signup included.