The Interscroller – Making Mobile Ads Better

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer 

More than half of all Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. Keeping your customers and readers engaged on your mobile website is challenging enough without intrusive ads. If you are an advertiser, you can increase brand awareness and conversions with less intrusive, more effective mobile ads by using the interscroller ad.

There isn’t a lot of real estate on a smartphone screen, but you can pack a lot of information on it, especially if you use the whole screen. That’s why companies use interstitial ads as a gate to their content. Some use the whole screen and won’t let you skip them for a few seconds. They are the most annoying of all. The scroller ad is a better solution because they give the reader more control in accessing the content below. But they can still be annoying. On my phone, it is hard to scroll them without inadvertently clicking on the ad and unwillingly go to whatever web site was being promoted. Irritating!

The Interscroller Ad

The interscroller ad reverses the idea of the scroller by fixing the ad content “underneath” the web page content. Instead of the ad scrolling over the content, the content scrolls over the ad.The ad itself doesn’t move, rather you scroll the web content over it to reveal it from the bottom up. When the entire ad is revealed, the content below the ad will begin to scroll up to cover the ad.  This has the effect of reducing inadvertent clicks on the ad and improving the readability of the content by allowing the reader to easily move past the ad. 

The interscroller is not as prominent on the web as the scroller ad, since it is a relatively new ad format, but I sense they will be used on more and more websites. 

 

 

SEO

In April of 2015 Google began using the  mobile-friendliness of websites as a ranking signal. Surprisingly, I see several websites that even today are impossible to read on a smartphone without zooming in or using a magnifying glass. Their owners still seem to believe that customers only visit their websites on desktops. That may be true of some sites, but it is getting harder to believe as mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop usage in October, 2016.

On August 23, 2016, Google warned that intrusive ads will begin penalizing search rankings.  SEO experts confirmed that the policy began rolling out on January 10, 2017. Advertisers moaned as users rejoiced. The broad implication is that search rankings will favor positive user experience (UX) when visiting mobile websites. Since there are many more types of advertisements that negatively affect UX, webmasters and website owners should pay more attention to the overall usability of their mobile websites.


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When to Use Interscroller Ads

On this blog, I use a right sidebar for ads. There is less reason to show ads embedded if the sidebar is being displayed, so I chose to set the interscroller ad seen above, to not show if your device screen or browser window is greater than 480 pixels wide. If you are using your desktop PC to view this page, you can see the interscroller if you resize your browser window to less than 480 pixels wide. Most all smartphones have screen widths of less than 480 pixels, so the interscroller will display on them

How to Use Interscroller Ads

So how do you begin using interscroller ads? The different methods include hand coding HTML and CSS, plugins, and using a digital ad management platform.

Even though The Practical Computer uses WordPress, the interscroller ad here was implemented by hand coding HTML and CSS code. If you are comfortable editing HTML CSS in WordPress or other website, you can get started by using the code I used for this article as an example. You can find it on my CodePen page.

If you are using WordPress and you’re not comfortable editing CSS and source code, there is an easier solution – use a plugin specifically for interscroller ads. Unfortunately, at the time this article was posted, there was only one plugin available specifically for interscroller ads – Interscroller Ads by CodeCanyon.

Regardless of the methods you use to manage your digital marketing efforts, effective mobile advertising should play a big role.

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