Engage widget best practices


  • Image recommendations perform better than text recommendations
  • Some news sites, text only listings perform very well d/t the number of recommendations we can have in the space ie. a text widget with 6 links may perform better than a widget with 2-3 links
  • If text links include both paid and organic, paid on left and organic on right performs better
  • Square images perform better than rectangular
  • Larger images outperform smaller images
  • Images to the left, text to the right outperforms text to the left, image to the right
  • The more native the widget is to that of the publisher page, the better ie. font, font size, colors etc.
  • Listing title font sizes between 12-16 pixels
  • A hover effect for the widget titles increases RPM
  • The more paid recommendations you have RPM increases
  • Putting a border around a widget or individual recommendations typically increases RPMs
  • Full-width images perform better than smaller (mobile)
  • Outstream video within, above, or below widget increases widget RPM
  • Native widget – This is a single link which requires marketers to pay a higher CPC or CPM for the placement. 100% SOV for marketers yields high CPCs and RPMs. 100% fill rate as widget will backfill to our premium secondary network if we don’t have any native brand content to run
  • ‘Sponsored’ in headline generally performs better than before every source name
  • Text under image performs better than overlay

Where should I place my widget on the page?

  • The closer to the end of content the better. For example, sidebars are sometimes high view-ability but because of their location next to content, as opposed to below, they don’t perform as well.
  • Less competition is better- less to click on our widget the better
  • Minimal break lines and the less space between the end of content and the widget is better- ie. no sharing tools
  • Read More on mobile – brings widget higher up on the page, increasing viewability and RPM

How do I get Outbrain implemented on my site? General Setup

  • Fewer filters on paid recommendations yields higher CTRs
  • Link to JS installation guide


  1. Disclosure – required to use “Sponsored” or “Paid” or “Ad” labeling i.e. “Sponsored Content”.
  2. “Promoted” is not allowed. The term “Promoted Stories” was specifically vetoed by the FTC
  3. Labeling – sponsored needs to be called out in the widget header or before each of the source names/ overlaid on the image, if a mixed widget/ not included in the header.
  4. Links should not read “Sponsored by” but rather “Sponsored | Source Name”. This ensures that if the link is earned media, it is not claiming to be sponsored by the destination URL/ site.
  5. Attribution – “recommended by Outbrain” required to be at top of widget. Organic widgets do not need logo. “by Outbrain” is acceptable if you need to save space. Avoid using the Amelia logo only. We should be using the full Outbrain logo with grey or orange coloring.

Need Further Help?

Speak to an Outbrain expert

Contact Us