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Ad viewability

The idea of how obvious advertisements are to visitors on a website or mobile app.

Ad viewability

What is ad viewability?

Ad viewability refers to the degree to which people can see advertisements on a website or mobile application.

According to the criteria established by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to determine what constitutes a viewable impression, an advertisement must have at least 50% of its banner or creative displayed on screen for more than one second to be considered “viewed.”

Why is ad viewability so vital?

Ad viewability is a relatively new notion in digital advertising; nonetheless, it has become a hot topic since research from comScore revealed that 54% of display ads were not being seen, despite advertisers paying for them.

In the early days of Internet advertising, ad networks placed more importance on the number of advertisements delivered than on the number of ads watched. The metrics routinely reported on advertising campaigns focused on the number of advertisements served.

Marketers could determine the relative performance of a campaign by dividing the total number of advertisements provided by the total number of clicks on those ads. 

Because of this, the clickthrough ratio, often known as CTR, became the most critical indicator for digital advertising.

However, as time went on and online advertising matured, advertisers started to question the practice of utilizing ads served as a proxy for ads viewed. This is because ads served are a proxy for ads viewed. 

For instance, if an advertisement appeared below the fold at the bottom of a webpage, a user needed to scroll down further to see it. That advertisement was unviewable, and the ad impression should not be counted. This is because the user did not have the opportunity to see the ad.

In addition, it became abundantly clear that additional factors could contribute to an advertisement not being seen. These other factors included users clicking away from a page before the ad loaded or bots and proxy servers opening pages rather than live human beings.

As a result of these considerations, advertisers are starting to demand that publishers measure the percentage of their truly viewable advertisements and then structure their advertising rates in accordance with that percentage. 

Media firms must guarantee that their customers’ advertisements may be seen to maintain positive relationships with their advertisers.

How to improve the viewability of advertisements

Because there is such a high ROI connected with better viewability, it is in the best interest of publishers to prioritize enhancing the exposure of their advertisements. This is because viewability is correlated with increased viewability.

The first step for publishers is to build their pages so that the advertisements load with the highest possible potential for viewability. 

This can mean designing a page so that the ad unit appears “above the fold,” or it can mean developing a page that is “sticky.” 

Sticky ad units are advertisements that do not move from their original position regardless of where the user scrolls.

Utilizing responsive templates, which automatically adjust their dimensions to fit the screen of the device they are being viewed on, is another method for publishers to make their websites mobile-friendly. 

This has been the norm for the industry and ensures that users will have a positive experience regardless of their device (tablet, phone, or desktop).

Ad viewability can be improved by applying sound design concepts, such as a distinct visual hierarchy, symmetry, attractive proportions, clean design, and white space.

The rate at which an advertisement can be viewed is also essential. 

It is common for websites to take a long time to load when they are packed with advertisements coming from several different ad networks. This can lead to reduced ad viewability when consumers leave the website before the advertisements have had a chance to load. 

Ad viewability can be significantly improved by using methods that expedite the delivery of advertisements.

In addition to operations that center on the distribution of advertisements, publishers can also begin monitoring and confirming the viewability of ads through the use of technologies provided by third parties. They can make these metrics available to advertisers.

Publishers who wish to demonstrate that they are ‘playing fair’ might choose to form partnerships with one of the 15 Media Rating Council (MRC) Accredited Viewable Display Impression and Ad Verification Vendors. These vendors all evaluate viewability across digital campaigns.

Improving the viewability of advertisements through the use of A/B testing

Data on viewability can assist publishers in raising the value of the available display inventory. 

Publishers with this inventory will gain as advertisers, and digital marketing teams look for publishers with more excellent viewability rates to publish their content. 

Sharing data on viewability would also make it simpler for marketers to compare prices offered by various publishers.

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