Viewability is a measurement used by advertisers to determine how well their ads are being seen by readers. Advertisers can define viewability in different ways, but an ad is typically considered “viewable” when at least half the ad is seen on the screen by an actual human (not a bot) for at least one second (for display ads) or two seconds (for video ads).
Why is viewability important? Knowing the viewability of different ad types and ad placements is essential to advertisers — they don’t want to pay for ads that aren’t going to get seen.
Ad viewability informs advertiser spending patterns
At the advent of programmatic advertising, it was difficult to prove that ads were actually being seen by readers. An ad located in the footer of a website probably wasn’t getting a lot of views because few people scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. Advertisers were understandably concerned about getting their money’s worth.
As ad technology advanced, advertisers gained the ability to measure viewability and began to use these insights to make decisions about where to spend their ad dollars.
Having this viewability data helped advertisers direct their budgets toward ad locations and sites that reported good viewability. They were willing to pay more for the chance to display their ads where they knew they’d be seen.
Ad viewability data helps us innovate publisher ad layouts
This same increased transparency helped ad management companies like AdThrive develop new ad placements and ad types. As we discovered what drew readers’ attention, we optimized publishers’ site layouts to capitalize on this information.
Highly-viewable ad placements
The recipe card ad is one example. In a blog post that features a recipe, the ingredients list and instructions are often located far down on the page in a section called the recipe card. Despite this low placement, we found readers were spending lots of time there, reading the instructions while preparing the recipe. This made for a perfect ad location, so we introduced “recipe ads” to take advantage of this high-performing location.
Viewability is also to thank for the rise of “sticky ads” that stay on screen with your readers. Instead of having a lot of unused white space in your sidebar area on a longer post, the final sidebar ad can stick to the screen as the user scrolls, greatly increasing its viewability, effectiveness, and publishers’ revenue.
Likewise, a static ad in your footer won’t do you much good, since typically only 1-3% of readers scroll to the bottom of your site — but a sticky footer ad is one of the highest-earning ad units you can run on your site, because it displays at the bottom of the screen, regardless of where the visitor scrolls.
Highly-viewable ad types
Certain types of ads are more viewable because they catch the reader’s eye. Outstream ads play a short, silent video, and Interscroller ads uncover more of the ad image as you scroll past it. These high-impact ad units can display in the existing ad spots on your site, creating an engaging ad experience that earns more than normal display ads.
Video ads and viewability
Advertisers are in need of high-quality videos on which to display their video ads, so incorporating video on your site is one of the best ways to improve your ad revenue. And with our highly-viewable video players, you can improve your viewability at the same time!
At AdThrive, we offer two video players — the Playlist player and the Related player. The “sticky” versions of these video players begin inside your post content and then stick to the screen when the reader scrolls past, making them highly-viewable.
AdThrive’s Smart Loading optimizes your ad layout for strong viewability
In addition to optimizing your site with highly-viewable ad types and locations, we’ve also taken viewability into consideration when deciding how and when your ads load.
We use a highly-effective combination of asynchronous and lazy-loaded ads to comprise our AdThrive-exclusive “Smart Loading” system. We load the highest-performing ads asynchronously (giving priority to your content and letting it load first), and then we lazy-load additional ad slots when they are guaranteed to be highly-viewable.
This system optimizes for site loading time, user experience, and viewability — all of which contribute to you taking home the highest earnings for your content!
Increase your ad viewability for maximum earnings
Advertisers want to see strong viewability metrics, but each advertiser has different goals in regards to viewability. They may look at the average viewability for ad impressions across your entire site, or they may focus on the viewability of individual ad units to decide how much to bid for your ad spaces. Advertisers often have minimum viewability thresholds — so they can feel confident their ads will be seen when buying ad space on a site.
At AdThrive, our ad performance experts optimize your ad layout to maximize viewability for these varying advertiser preferences, so you earn the most from the ads you choose to run on your site.
Looking for an ad management company to help optimize digital advertising on your site? Contact us today to find out more about partnering with AdThrive!