Breaking into the Ad World: Why is Viewability Important?

December 2022

Have you ever wondered “Why is viewability important?”. Well, ad viewability plays a major role in a marketing campaign’s overall success. From static banner ads to dynamic video ad solutions, there are many ways to make the overall ad experience more viewable to your consumers. When you publish new ads to your platform, it is helpful to measure just how many of those new ads get in front of your viewers’ eyes. This is the foundation for measuring your ad’s viewability across the board, which may result in an effort to increase the visibility options of each ad type. 

Below, we bring our expertise in advertising and engagement to explain why viewability is key to success on the front, how to improve viewability for individual ads, and how to improve ad viewability for your website as a whole. 

Ad Viewability Explained

With handfuls of served ads getting published on your platform on a consistent basis, it can be easy to lose track of top performers versus underplayed ads. Measuring overall ad viewability can help you more deeply understand what about your ads is attracting new viewers to your site, and what is keeping loyal customers coming back for more. 

The Media Rating Council and the Interactive Advertising Bureau define an ad as “viewable” if 50% of a display ad is visible for at least one second, or if 50% of a video ad is visible for at least 2 seconds. Apparently, only 46% of ads out there are currently considered to be viewable by the average consumer. 

It’s time to make these numbers soar even higher by utilizing an inventory of high-viewability ads. Let’s find out why viewability plays such a significant role in helping your publishing platform achieve its goals of growth or profitability.

Why is Viewability Important? Why Optimize Viewability?

Publishers looking to learn how to improve viewability overall might also wonder why is viewability important to begin with. Why is bidding so high – and strong – for viewable ads? Are you paying for ads and impressions that can’t even be seen by your visitors? Why is the relationship between viewable ads and publishers so unique?

Let’s answer these questions one at a time:

1. Why is bidding so high – and strong – for viewable ads? 

With the cat out of the bag, it’s no secret that optimizing for viewability can result in a huge increase in any company’s bottom line. Because of this, a more direct effort has been made to research, forecast, target, and acquire ads with the highest rates of viewability. A few years ago, Google created a display network that was 100% visible, which is now apparent on Google’s current GDN. Google also stopped asking advertisers to pay for ads that are not 100% viewable.

2. Are you paying for impressions that can’t even be seen by your visitors?

It’s vital that you implement a full ad management system with the ability to track any number of ad metrics. Some of your ads may be showing up in positions that can’t be seen by your viewers without you even knowing it. You don’t want to pay for impressions that aren’t getting in front of the eyes of current and future consumers. If this is happening, it is a good idea to track how many times this occurred so you can reconfigure your ad placements moving forward.

3. Why is the relationship between viewable ads and publishers so unique?

It has taken the publishing community a bit longer than other industries to board the viewability train. Initially, publishers were worried that only getting paid for viewable ads, rather than for overall impressions, would result in decreased ROI (Return on Investment) and a loss in precious advertising income. 

But many small and large publishers alike made the wise decision to sell viewable ads as premium content, earning higher bids and making up for any other revenue that might have been lost. We hope you have a better understanding of questions surrounding “Why is viewability important?”

Tips for Optimizing Viewability on Your Publishing Site

Your ad’s viewability score will determine its popularity and its potential for earning you more consistent revenue. If you’re currently in a position to reevaluate and rearrange your viewable ads and engaging content to rake in more traffic, take a look at these quick tips.

1. Choose Top-Performing Ad Sizes

There are a myriad of ad sizes to choose from when determining ad placements on your publishing site. However, certain sizes and styles of ads have been shown to have much higher viewability scores than others.

For example, one eMarketer report determined that the ad sizes with the best viewability for mobile are: 

  • 320×50
  • 234×60
  • 240×400
  • 120×240

And the ad sizes with the best viewability for desktop and PC are: 

  • 300×250
  • 728×90
  • 300×600
  • 970×250

The size 160×600 is universally known to improve visibility on both mobile and desktop sites, giving you plenty of wiggle room to play around with. You can easily improve ad viewability for your website by adjusting some of the major ad sizes in your campaign.

2. Invest in Lazy Loading

While it may not sound like a productive tactic, lazy loading can actually help you reduce bandwidth and help pages load a lot faster – and more efficiently – so your viewers have time to see all of your ads. 

Lazy loading typically describes the ability to load certain page elements before the viewer sees them, reducing latency on their end and saving lots of bandwidth on yours. This same tactic can also be applied to full ad units. Publishers have started lazy loading ads to improve viewability across the board. This can also automatically exclude ads with low or no viewability score.

3. Implement Better-Performing Ad Placements

Just as with ad sizes, ad placements have a huge impact on viewability rates. While traditional ads may have preferred ad placements near the top, new studies show that the most effective ads are placed just above the fold. Google’s recent research revealed that ATF (above the fold) video ads have a 73% visibility score, while BTF (below the fold) ads land just under 45%. 

This data is always subject to change. It’s important to stay apprised of the most popular ad placements of the time. BTF ads are still effective, and still have some viewability to boast. In the future, these statistics may be flipped.

Improve Viewability Rates Even More with Interactive Ad Units

Understanding how to improve ad viewability for you website starts with learning how to improve viewability for all of your ad types which  can bring you success in many ways, from increased traffic on your site to growing revenue from viewable ad payouts. Not to mention, ads with the highest viewability scores, along with the most popular sizes and placements, can be sold for premium bidding prices. 

Interactive ads that utilize video and audio as well as engage audiences in games, polls, and trivia can boost viewability rates astronomically high. To learn more about increasing viewability on your website with interactive ad units, get in touch with Insticator’s Publisher Development team and we can help you create a custom ad package for your publishing site. We offer full ad management capabilities, supply-side advertising, content engagement features, and much more. Contact us today to start optimizing your platform for endless growth!

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