January 10, 2017
Successful online advertising strategies rely on high viewability rates. The more an ad is seen, the greater the chances are the user will make a purchase. This used to be an easy feat for advertisers and marketers. But today, they battle savvy internet users, ad blockers, and faulty ad analytics. Improving ad viewability is still the key to successful online advertising, and investing time into improving these rates has a positive impact on publisher revenue.
I sat down with Amit Halawa-Alon, the co-founder of Tel Aviv-based Imonomy, an intelligent in-image platform, to get his thoughts on the hot topic of viewability.
“As I see it, viewability is, and will be in the future, a key factor. We are seeing more and more demand for viewable inventory. Under-the-fold inventory is becoming less relevant. The industry will continue to demand viewable locations and will eventually only pay for that. Therefore, publishers will have to make sure that their inventory is as close as possible to 100% viewable,” said Halawa-Alon.
As a publisher, your biggest goal is to make sure users see and click on your ads. If ads aren’t fully optimized to be seen by the maximum number of users for a length of time, you're throwing revenue in the trash. According to IAB, investing time into increasing viewability rates correlates in a better user experience and increases the value of your ads.
In the past, publishers focused on the number of clicks and engagement rates to establish if the ad was a valuable piece in their strategy. High engagement rates mean nothing if the ad doesn’t generate revenue.
Research shows that viewability is a necessary ad tracking metric and directly impacts revenue generated.
- Only 50% of display ads on websites are considered viewable.
- $21.8 billion was lost in ad revenue in 2015 due to ad blocking and is predicted to reach $35 billion by 2020.
- A 15% increase in viewability results in a 10% increase in ad revenue.
- IAB states reaching a 70% viewability rate results in a successful ad campaign.
Hurdles to Overcome
To increase ad viewability rates, publishers need to fully understand the hurdles they face and how to overcome them. Here are six hurdles that publishers’ face in creating a highly viewable ad that produces revenue:
A number of successful websites, like Forbes, are gating their content until ad blockers are turned off. In exchange, they offer users an ad-light version of their website. This is a controversial solution because it keeps users from seeing your valuable content and it makes their experience less than desirable.
Faulty Ad Analytics
Facebook, a leader in display advertising, has recently been in the news for their faulty advertising metrics. To be honest, publishers and marketers have been using the wrong data for years to determine the success of an online ad. To date, they have focused on click-through rates and page views. Neither of these metrics correlates to money in the bank.
Viewability of an ad means a user sees it in its entirety, spends time reading it, and then clicks because they want to. These types of clicks are better for a business statistics report than all the accidental ad clicks that occur because the user didn’t know there was an ad.
Optimizing for Today’s Users.
Today’s users are completely different from Internet users a decade ago. They want simplicity when they visit a website. Overlay ads and autoplay videos are frowned upon and quickly send them on to the next website. Consider using in-image advertising to boost your ad viewability.
Articles that include graphics get better traction than those that don’t. Publishers can place ads in existing graphics to increase viewability and revenue.
Lack of Speed.
Our information-driven world has zero patience for slow loading times. Use a responsive layout to speed up loading times.
Review the speed of your current website using Google’s pagespeed tool. It generates suggestions to speed up load times based on an analysis of your page. The faster your page loads, the faster your ads load with it.
A number of businesses are guilty of outdate layouts. Review your site’s existing design and ad placements in the eyes of your customers.
Are there ads that standout? Are there ads that are easily overlooked? Work with your design team to create a better layout that focuses on dynamic optimization that increases ad revenue results.
More individuals are using mobile devices to browse the internet and non-responsive ads aren’t always viewable. They typically get cut off keeping your ad from being seen. Or they cover the entire screen and frustrate users.
Using a responsive ad design assures a better user experience and increases your viewability rates, which in turn increase revenue.
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