Four ways to avoid accidental clicks on your ads

Isn’t it frustrating when you’re navigating a site and accidentally click an ad, leading you completely off course? It's no fun for your readers, and it can potentially hurt your ad earnings as well. Too many of these accidental clicks...

By Laura Clark

Isn’t it frustrating when you’re navigating a site and accidentally click an ad, leading you completely off course?

It’s no fun for your readers, and it can potentially hurt your ad earnings as well. Too many of these accidental clicks (where a reader intends to do one action but clicks an ad by mistake) can lead to unusually high click-through rates, and advertisers can reduce or stop bidding on that unit until the issue is resolved.

We’re here to help make sure your readers get to their intended destination on your site — and protect your ad revenue — by identifying and tweaking the four most common areas where accidental clicks tend to happen.

1. Do your pop-up close buttons overlap your ads? 

First, check out any pop-ups on your site. 

Well-placed pop-ups are like added spice to a recipe — too much and they can overpower your site but the right strategy is very effective for engaging your audience, especially building your email list. 

We want to make sure both your ads and your pop-ups have the necessary room to work effectively. 

The most common place we see accidental clicks is when readers intend to close the pop-up window but unintentionally click an ad instead because the close button is overlapping it. 

Start here: 

In incognito mode, take a look at your site on both desktop and mobile. Check to see if your pop-up’s close button is at risk of covering any ads, especially the sticky sidebar ad as you scroll down the page and the content ads on mobile.

Check out the close button customization options for your pop-up settings. 

We recommend: 

  • Moving the close button to the side of your pop-up that’s opposite the sidebar of your site 
  • Making sure the close button is large enough
  • Making sure the close button is completely inside the pop-up box
  • Moving your pop-up to a different place on your site, if necessary

2. Does your drop-down navigation bar expand over ads? 

Next stop — let’s look at the top of your site. 

A drop-down menu is a great way for your readers to easily navigate around your site but sometimes it can cover your header ad or top sidebar ad, leading to accidental clicks. 

Take a few minutes to assess the drop-down area to help your readers get to their desired destination and protect those ads from unintentional clicks.

Start here:

Click or hover over your navigation bar to expand the drop-down menu and check to see if anything covers the header or top sidebar ad. 

If so, we recommend:

  • Adjusting the size of the drop-down menu. Depending on your theme and site design, you can either adjust those settings yourself or ask your developer. 
  • Moving drop-down menu elements so they don’t cover ads. For example, moving the drop-down to the side of the page that’s opposite your sidebar.
  • If you’d like more customization options, reach out to your account manager and we’ll work with you to make adjustments that best fit your site.

3. Are things overcrowding the footer area of your site?

Next up, head to the bottom of your site and take a look around your sticky footer ad. 

This is one of the most viewable and valuable ad units on your site so you want to make sure nothing gets in the way of this ad’s earning potential! 

Readers trying to interact with other elements in your footer can accidentally click on the ad instead. Other common culprits are the “Back to top” button or social media share buttons that tend to crowd or cover that space on your site, especially on mobile. 

Start here: 

Check out your site on both mobile and desktop. Scroll all the way down and watch for 30–60 seconds to make sure you can see how all the elements interact with one another. 

  • To avoid any accidental ad clicks from people trying to close the sticky footer ad, you can remove the close button altogether by reaching out to your account manager. As a bonus, removing the close button can boost your revenue for this ad unit by 3–5%. If this option doesn’t fit with your business goals, send us a note so we can work with you to find a solution!
  • Check the performance of your sticky navigation bars, “Back to top” buttons, or social media sharing tools — if they’re not providing overwhelming value, remove as many as possible.

4. Are floating or sticky elements crowding your ads?

Last but certainly not least, take a look at any other sticky or floating elements on your site, like social media sticky buttons or any notifications that slide in to cover ads. 

While they may be effective in driving traffic to the desired location, you’ll need to consider whether they could end up covering ads and causing accidental clicks.

Start here: 

Looking at your site on desktop and mobile, scroll down and watch — does anything cover your ads? Watch for at least 30–60 seconds to give your ads a chance to refresh and also assess whether there’s any shift that could cause an accidental click. 

If so: 

  • Can you rearrange things to move floating or sticky elements away from your ads? 
  • Dig into your performance metrics, like clicks. Remove those elements if they don’t add a lot of value to your site.


Hopefully, these quick tips shed light on how to avoid accidental clicks in order to keep your content front and center and advertiser spend flowing to your site.