6 High-Performing Widget Formats for Content Recommendations

By January 25, 2018Publisher

In this guide, we’ve collected the six most common and best-performing widget formats.

What is a recommendation widget?
A recommendation widget is an area on a publisher’s website where content is presented for the user to guide him or her on what to read, watch, or do next. The most common placement for a widget is below an article, where the user gets recommendations for additional articles to read.

It usually takes the form of the picture in the top of this post (the picture is just a mock-up). The concept is that the user is given a number of articles and native ads that are deemed suitable, given the context of the article and who the user is.

What can a widget look like?

When it comes to widget design, the only limitation is your imagination. However, for best performance, a widget should be designed in such a way that it matches the other elements of the publisher’s site. If it looks completely alien and out of place, visitors might be reluctant to click on it.

Different widget designs also perform differently, depending on the site, content and users. That is why we have over 3000 unique widgets live at the moment (number last updated 2018-01-25). Together with the individual publisher, we’ve carefully tested each one to maximise performance.


What content do you present in the widget?

This will differ from publisher to publisher, of course. However, Strossle’s widgets use machine learning to present the most relevant articles and native ads for each user. This approach is  fundamental to creating  a high-performing widget, as no one clicks on content that doesn’t interest them or grab their attention.

Examples of widget formats:

The formats we will go through are:

  • The Article Format
  • The Header Format
  • The Slider Format
  • The Sidebar Format
  • The In-Feed Format
  • The Fly-Out Format

The Article Format

This is the king of the widgets and the most common widget that you’ll find on sites. It is placed right below an article and contains recommendations of new articles to read when you are done. When designed right, these widgets have a very high click-through rate (CTR). Sometimes as high as 30%!

The Header Format

The header widget is right at the top of the website, in the immediate sight of the visitor. This allows your visitors to browse your articles from the moment they land on your page.

The Slider Format

The slider widget displays your content on a big screen. It can automatically show visitors the best-performing content on your site, which gives your best content a boost. We always integrate this widget seamlessly into the site.

The Sidebar Format

The sidebar widget is, as the name suggests, a widget displayed on the side of the feed (usually to the right). You will typically see two different versions of this sidebar format. Sidebar widgets are displayed either as a text list or as true content recommendation with both images and text. The latter performs much better than the basic text versions.

The In-Feed Format

The in-feed widget is one that is incorporated into the feed of a publisher’s page with multiple articles or within an actual article. These widgets usually perform best with one piece of content, where they often achieve a high CTR.

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The Fly-Out Format

The fly-out widget will show up when a user scrolls through a certain point of your website. A user-friendly way to draw attention at the right moment. 

Get a free widget and free design from Strossle

Feel free to check out formats.strossle.com and demo.strossle.com for more inspiration.

Do you want your own free Strossle widget?

Fill out the form at the bottom of the page here.