The industry is moving more and more towards viewability as a critical measure of performance. Ads are considered viewable when at least 50% of the ad’s pixels are in view of the user; one second for display, two seconds for video. What can publishers do to maximize their viewability? In this post, we’ll share with you some of MonetizeMore’s favorite methods for improving viewability on a site.
Improve viewability for display ads
In this section, we’ll share some tips to improve viewability with a focus on display ads in general. We will also go over viewability tips regarding video ads, further down in the piece.
Prevent ad fraud
Even though fraudsters often have high viewability, ad fraud has tremendous adverse effects on the ad tech industry. When fraudulent or invalid traffic views your ads, it can cause you a whole lot of problems. You can risk losing your ad accounts; you probably won't get paid the ad revenue you earned because of clawbacks, and advertisers may lose trust in your site.
The effects relate to viewability as well, since traffic from bots or uninterested users will view your ads. Ad fraud is an industry-wide problem that won't be solved overnight. Still, you can take steps to protect your business and improve viewability rates using solutions like Traffic Cop. In return, only real users view your ads, viewability rates increase, clawbacks and invalid traffic bans cease, and you protect your business.
Ad layouts, ad sizes & ad units
Some ad layouts tend to produce better results than others. Placing an ad at the top of your page versus in the footer, where users probably need to scroll down to reach, will have a significant impact on viewability. Horizontal ads often result in high viewability rates when placed above the fold. Vertical ads placed along the sidebar can also produce great viewability rates. Test the following ad sizes for vertical placements: 120×240, 240×400, 160×600, and 120×600.
Sticky ads are ads that stay in a fixed position as the user scrolls down the page. Having a sticky ad in your sidebar will ensure that the ad is always in view, increase viewability and maximize your chances for optimal ad revenue.
Additional insights that require more technical knowledge
Please note that all the tips mentioned above will have a tremendous impact on your viewability rates. However, if you have the capacity and knowledge to make more technical decisions, also try the following:
-Avoid aggressive ad refreshes: In some cases, this will shorten the time available for ads to be viewed and could result in low viewability rates.
-Avoid too many layers in the passback chain: This could result in slow ad rendering.
Improve viewability for video ads
Many of the tips mentioned above are also applicable to publishers who focus on monetizing their traffic with video ads. Here are some additional insights specifically targeted to video ads:
Do not set up more than 1 ad unit per page where it’s allowed
We recommend choosing a dedicated placement for a video ad unit. If you allow video across all your inventory in a page, you risk slowing down the site and hurting user experience. Once you have decided which ad unit can accept video format, set up your rules to ensure that only display ads can serve on the rest of the ad units.
Test your video ads before going live
Video ads often require more testing than display ads. The last thing you want is to implement a video ad unit on your site, run traffic through it, and discover that it wasn’t displaying correctly. You will undoubtedly decrease viewability and lose out on ad revenue.
Either use a trusted video ad unit like Primis Video Discovery or check out our guide on testing a new ad using Google Ad Manager.
Make sure out-stream ads fit within your layout
Depending on the type of out-stream video ad you serve, you need to make sure that it fits within your page layout so that the whole video is viewable to your users. For example, if it serves on the right-hand corner, its size should be the same as your sidebar.
Focus on user experience and page behavior
This tip ties in with those previously mentioned. It would be best if you observed your users’ behavior after you’ve deployed the ad. Make sure that the video ad does not distract users or hurt the user experience of your website. As a best practice, keep video ads muted by default, unless the user clicks to un-mute it.
Once you’ve implemented your video ads and followed the tips mentioned above, you should experience an increase in viewability and higher-paying CPMs.