I designed and launched an improved Long-Form Content reading experience, by creating an extended layout for desktops and larger screens.
Previously all article pages used a two-column layout, where the body of the article was in a 630px wide column and next to it was a corresponding sidebar in a 300px wide column. This was the optimal layout for advertising as the 300px column contained both a 300×250 and a 300×600 ad unit on desktop pages.
However this layout was not ideal for articles that were image or text heavy, as it provided a poor reading experience. I tested a new 970px extended layout on articles that had a longer than average character count or had numerous photos and found that compared to our normal article pages which were around 630px wide, these new extended articles had a 29.81% increase in Avg. Time on Page.
This new extended layout allowed photos, galleries and videos to be displayed at a full-bleed (edge-to-edge), and had a more premium look to them. However because I got rid of the 300px column sidebar, I had to find a new way to incorporate advertising within these posts. This was done by injecting ads in-between paragraphs after a certain character length.
With this ad injection solution in place, the extended article template was now a viable option for our editorial teams as it was being monetized, gave desktop users a premium reading experience, and increased the time users spent on the page.