Viewability is one of the hottest discussion topics among advertisers, publishers, and sales technology organizations. The emerging and immediate threat of revenue decrease and advertiser defections to high quality ad inventory have set off an industry domino effect in regards to viewability enhancement projects and initiatives within many global brands. While there are key areas to increasing viewability metrics that can be technically difficult and costly to execute, highlighted below are 3 key steps that should be considered to begin turning your viewability metrics around quickly.
1) Understand the current definition of a ‘viewable impression’.
According to the latest convention published by IAB, a viewable ad impression is defined as an ad that is fifty percent in view for more than one second. This definition could change over time, but until it does, understand what it will take to make a user keep that ad in the browser viewing area before scrolling away. For each site and brand, this will be unique, so you need to know your audience and what they want from your website in order to make these decisions.
2) Content is King.
If you do not have information on your page that will attract user eyes and attention, you have NO chance at improving your viewability. It’s important that content around your ad unit is fresh, and that ads appear in relevant locations on your page in conjunction with actual content and/or data. This might mean you need to change your ad placement locations on the webpage working with your sales and advertising teams, and it could also mean it’s time to start looking at newer ad unit sizes widely adopted today.
3) Know your technical options to make educated decisions.
Don’t start changing things until you’ve taken a solid inventory on how things work today, and don’t be quick to start redesigning which could be costly in terms of SEO and development resources. A few simple solutions that could greatly improve viewability without changing design and layout could be 100% technical. Many brands have decided to increase their site’s viewabilty score by using “lazy loading” of ad units, which programmatically sequences ad rendering and placement until after the user scrolls his browser window to within proximity of the ad unit by a few hundred pixels or so. This will limit ad calls in your ad server by not calling for the ad unless its actually viewed.
Viewability measurement is merely a stepping-stone for the digital ad industry, likely to change in years to come. While it’s a hot topic today it is definitely not the only factor to consider for advertisers. Focus on the overall quality of the content and exposure they will receive, and you’ll have some happy clients.
Here are a few great reads on the ad viewability topic below…