Ad viewability directly impacts publisher revenue. Do you know about the average publisher’s viewability rate? It is approximately 57%, meaning the remaining 43% of ads are never seen. Merely placing ads on a website doesn’t necessarily ensure they would be seen. There could be multiple reasons that can interrupt users from viewing the ads. So, how can you improve ad viewability? Google constantly improvises the standards of evaluating ad performance; viewability is now considered the most important metric.
The topic of ad viewability has been here for a while, but most publishers are unaware of how to boost it. In this blog, you will learn about the most effective methods publishers can use to push ad viewability. Let’s get started!
What is Ad Viewability?
Ad viewability defines the probability of an ad being viewed by a user or not. For example, an ad placed at the bottom of the webpage may not be considered viewable if a user scrolls down until the ad.
Publishers having high viewability scores often have high-value inventory. Buyers are usually open to making higher bids for this kind of inventory since they know their ads will have a higher chance of being viewed.
How to measure ad viewability?
According to Google, display ads that are 50% viewed for at least one second are counted as viewable. Similarly, video ads that are 50% in view and played for at least two seconds are considered viewable. Google states viewable impressions as “Active Views”. Publishers should keep a check on their viewability score. It is because the purpose is not restricted to achieving an impressive viewability score but to improve value for advertisers by maximizing the ROI on their ad spend.
How to improve ad viewability
There are some tips and tricks that can help publishers push their ad viewability. Let’s get to know about all of them:
1. Test Ad sizes, positions, and layouts
Most publishers think that the most viewable ad position is at the top of the webpage, but it is actually right above the fold. You must know that placing the right ad size in the correct position increases its chances of being viewed. Certain ad sizes, such as 300×250, 728×90, and 300×600, along with vertical sizes, such as 120×140, 160×160, 240×400, and 120×600, are considered the most viewable.
Vertical ad units usually have a higher viewability rate as the length of these ads successfully keeps them in the viewport even if users scroll through the page. Ad formats such as Docked and Sticky ads also help achieve higher viewability by sticking to the user’s screen; these ads are compatible with desktops too.
Moreover, A/B testing different ad layouts helps make a data-backed decision around which layout works best and which doesn’t. The winning layout keeps users engaged for an extended period of time without hampering their website experience.
2. Analyze devices and channels
Different publishing channels and devices score differently for viewability. It is based on factors such as the level of user engagement, the traffic volume of that channel, the number and frequency of ads, etc. For example, viewability for display ads could be the best on responsive blogs. Similarly, video ads may secure the best viewability score compared to web or app-based ads. Monitoring the channel-wise viewability and comparing this data to create ad layouts can be an excellent method to identify the best channels and devices for advertising.
3. Fix page load speed
Poor page load speed is one of the biggest reasons for low ad viewability. No matter how perfectly you have placed the ads, the users are bound to bounce if your page doesn’t load on time, leading to low viewability. But there are a few ways to fix this issue. Here they are:
Lazy loading basically renders content and ads only when they are in the user’s viewport. This boosts ad viewability by reducing the number of impressions served out of the view.
Also, asynchronous loading using Google Publisher Tag (GPT) and AdSense tags makes ads load independently of other page resources, improving page load speed.
You can also try minimizing passbacks. It means reducing the number of ad calls made from one server to another via passbacks. The low number of ad calls translates to faster loading and better viewability.
4. Optimize for mobile
With the growing mobile traffic, optimizing ads for mobile is more crucial than ever. To begin with, here are some minor changes you can make to boost viewability:
Try replacing 320×50 ad units with 320×100 unit sizes. This large banner ad works best when placed above the fold. Optimizing placements for different screen sizes can also push viewability. You can see the most used device in your Google Analytics.
Also, you can use a 300×250-sized ad unit because it generally fits all mobile screens. Placing this ad unit below the fold can meet viewability criteria quickly. Moreover, this particular ad size often gets a high fill rate.
5. Improve Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are a collection of metrics (First Input Delay, Largest Contentful Paint, and Cumulative Layout Shift) that Google thinks have a major impact on user experience.
Improving Core Web Vitals can increase the viewability score by enhancing the website’s performance. Enhancing these metrics will also help you to gain a higher ranking on search engines. There are some plugins available for this which means you can quickly install plugins in WordPress to improve your core web vitals.
Improving ad viewability is essential in ensuring gradual enhancement in inventory quality and ad revenue. The levers of ad viewability are fixing page-level issues or tags causing latency, testing on the ad unit level, and optimizing the site by A/B testing or a complete design overhaul.
To streamline your efforts, you can start by measuring your active views. Now, create a roadmap on how you are planning to improve viewability. Once you know the methodology, begin executing the plan and measure the results.
It is pivotal for publishers to understand that viewability is not a tactic to boost engagement or revenue. It is more about delivering ads and technical website rendering to ensure publishers can fully utilize their inventory.
If you want to boost your ad viewability, get in touch with us now. We have a team of experts who are well versed with the latest and best ad practices. We can always assist you in maximizing your ad revenue.