Ad Viewability is a key factor affecting the price that advertisers are willing to pay for your ad inventory, making viewability one of the few levers that publishers have to influence bid rates. Being able to monitor and optimize ad viewability can directly increase your CPM rates.
Active View is Google’s reporting technology that provides insights on the viewability of ad impressions to help you make better campaign decisions. The use of Active View allows you to more accurately measure viewable ad impressions for display and video inventories. If you are using Active View in your Google Ad Manager account, you can rest assured that it is compliant with the IAB and MRC viewability standards.
How Do Ad Viewability Impact Publisher’s Revenues?
A 1% Increase in viewability = 2% increase in CPM
Digital advertisers know that ads with high viewability generate a better return on investment for their campaigns. So advertisers are targeting sites and ads with high viewability. They are also willing to pay a lot more to win these ad placements. On the flip side, advertisers are excluding web pages and ad placements with less viewable ads because they know they are adding very little to the performance of their advertising campaigns.
Ad Viewability is a key factor affecting the price that advertisers are willing to pay for your ad inventory, making viewability one of the few levers that publishers have to influence bid rates. A 1% increase in ad viewability leads to an average 2% increase in CPM, giving publishers a valuable and measurable incentive to optimize for viewability.
It’s easy to think of ad viewability as a metric that only concerns advertisers and buyers. Equally, many publishers see viewability scores as being another tool that buyers can use to squeeze rates ever lower. Whatever your thoughts on that, the reality is that buyers are definitely using viewability when booking their spending.
Publishers with low viewability will be overlooked by buyers who set minimum thresholds. Those with higher viewability will not only be considered but can justify a premium. Ensuring strong viewability helps secure higher bids and more demand for your inventory, so is very much a concern for publishers looking to improve their revenue.
What Are the Metrics to Measure Ad Viewability in GAM?
There are a number of third-party tools that can be used to measure viewability, but most are aimed at the buy-side of the industry, allowing them to verify the viewability of the impressions that they buy. Most publishers will rely on viewability reporting provided by Google. This is easily available and free to publishers.
Google offers three methods to report on viewability, depending on your setup. What is most important for publishers is to pick a single method and stick to that. This allows progress to be accurately tracked as viewability optimization is performed:
- Active View Viewable in AdSense
- Total Active View % viewable impressions in Ad Manager
- Active view viewable in Ad Exchange
Tips to Improve Ad Viewability
With ad viewability becoming an increasingly important factor affecting publisher earnings, publishers are inevitably looking to optimize for ad viewability. The good news is that most publishers can make an impact on their viewability with some reasonably simple changes. As with many types of optimization, it gets more difficult to find improvements as your viewability scores improve, but the strategies below will increase viewability for most.
Publishers have four categories of improvements they can make to improve their ad viewability scores:
Most web pages have three common ad positions:
- A leader at the top of the page
- Ad in the sidebar
- Or, another leader at the bottom of the page
Position the top leader below your site navigation bar instead of at the top of the page. Users often scroll past the ad before it loads when this ad unit is above the navigation bar. Which means the viewability is poor. Publishers can improve viewability by moving this ad unit below the site navigation bar making the content below visible while the ad unit is loading. For mobile pages, using a 300×250 ad provides a much higher viewability on mobile and the average eCPM increased by 50-60%.
The ad size you use and where you put them on the page. Longer vertical ads provide a 20-22% uplift in viewability. It’s better to try to use at least one vertical unit on every page of your site. Preferably in the sidebar of your site layout to avoid interference with your site content. Likewise, several studies on video ads have shown that bigger video ads perform better than their smaller counterparts.
Sticky ads follow users as they scroll down the page. When used correctly, they can significantly improve the performance and appearance of ads. Make sure they do not cover or hover over other content, though. They should only be sticky where there is no content below them.
Page Load Speed
In digital advertising, slow-loading web pages lead to poor user experience and high bounce rates. To improve this, publishers can make several technical adjustments for speed optimization, including enabling file compression, reducing redirects, and optimizing images to improve server response time. This will ultimately lead to increased total impressions.
A responsive ad fits the dimensions of a specific device. So if someone is viewing your ad on a desktop, a responsive ad will display in a larger format to take up the full space. Others could select to look at their ads via a tablet, where a responsive ad would shrink down to fit within the boundaries of that screen.
As a result, a responsive ad format makes your ad inventories more attractive and welcoming to the users who view them, and they also increase the chances that your ads will be viewed correctly on those devices.
Improving ad viewability rates is important for measuring the success of your ad campaigns. The better the ad viewability, the more they will add to your ad revenues. Therefore, whether it is through internal data or through Google’s Active View technology, viewability is something that you should pay more attention to.
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Take the number of total viewable ad impressions, divide it by total measured ad impressions. Then, the output should be multiplied by 100 to get the ad viewability rate or percentage.
Select the right ad sizes
Improve the ad position
Reduce the ad bounce rate
Start working on lazy loading ad units
Use sticky ads and adhesion units