Ad viewability is one of the most crucial aspects affecting your ad revenue.
After all, if users can’t see the ads on your site, advertisers will simply stop buying your ad inventory.
That’s why low ad viewability can spell disaster for your revenue.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything there is to know about ad viewability and explain how you can improve it.
What is Ad Viewability?
Ad viewability is a metric used to determine how visible your ads actually are. According to Google, “an ad is counted as viewable if at least 50% of its area is visible for at least 1 second for display ads, or at least 2 seconds for video ads.”
This means that if an ad is partially or completely outside of a user’s viewport, or if a user scrolls past it too quickly, it will not be counted as viewable.
Why Ad Viewability Is So Important
Simply put, ad viewability is critical because it directly impacts your revenue.
If your site is serving ads that users don’t see, advertisers will flag your site as not profitable and will stop purchasing your ad inventory.
As more advertisers stop buying your ad space, it will lower competition which will significantly impact your revenue.
This issue becomes even more significant due to banner blindness.
What’s a Good Ad Viewability Score?
A good ad viewability score is 70% or higher. That’s what you should be striving for.
50% – 70% is passable, but anything lower than 50% means that your ads need improvement.
How to Measure Ad Viewability
You can measure ad viewability by using the following formula:
Viewability = (total viewable ad impressions / total measured ad impressions) x 100
For example, if you have 500,000 viewable ad impressions and 600,000 total measured ad impression, your viewability score will be 83%.
You can find the viewable ad impressions and total measured ad impressions metrics in your Google Ad Manager.
#1 Mistake with Ad Viewability
As we will see in the next section, there are plenty ways to improve your ad viewability.
However, the #1 thing that you shouldn’t do is blast your site with as many ads as possible.
Logic dictates that more ads equal more revenue. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Maintaining a good ad-to-content ratio is absolutely critical, and not only for ad viewability, but for your overall site performance.
So, whatever you do, don’t pepper your website with as many ads as possible. It will do more harm than good!
How to Improve Ad Viewability
Here are eight tips to improve your ad viewability:
Implement Lazy Loaded Ads
Lazy loaded ads are ads that are served only when they come into a user’s viewport. This not only reduces page load times, but makes sure to only serve the ads when they can actually be seen.
Lazy loading should only be implemented on ads below-the-fold. For above-the-fold ads, you want them appearing as quickly as possible.
Optimize Page Load Speed
Slow-loading pages harm user experience (UX) and cause users to leave a site before the ads have even had a chance to load.
As a publisher, you should aim to minimize page load time by optimizing your header bidding and reducing the size of other website elements.
Place Ads Strategically
One of the most important factors affecting ad viewability is ad placement.
Placing ads in strategic locations where users are more likely to see them can improve viewability.
Some of the best places to position ads include above the fold, near the content, and alongside navigation menus.
Use Best Performing Ad Units
Choosing the right ad units has a significant impact on ad viewability.
For instance, large ad formats like billboards and interstitial ads can be more viewable than smaller ads.
Additionally, responsive ads that adjust to the screen size of the device being used can help improve viewability.
Use Sticky Ads (Anchor Ads)
Sticky ads are ads that remain fixed to the top, bottom, or side of the user’s screen.
Because these ads remain in the user’s viewport, their viewability is very high.
That being said, it is important to use them sparingly. Too many sticky ads can harm your UX.
Be Smart With Your Ad Refresh
Ad refresh ads automatically reload on your page, making them a popular tool for publishers.
However, if ads are refreshing while they are not in the user’s viewport, they will harm your viewability even more than ads without ad refresh.
Know Your Audience
Knowing how your audience interacts with your site is a great way to improve viewability. The more you know about your audience behavior, the more you can personalize the ads to ensure higher viewability.
Partner With a Licensed Monetization Company
If you’re not experienced with the intricacies of website monetization, our recommendation is partnering with a Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP) like Adnimation.
Partnering with a trusted and Google-licensed monetization company will ensure that you maximize your ad viewability and revenue potential.
To learn more about how we can help, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.