Marketing Glossary

Ad Viewability

The concept of how apparent advertisements are to visitors on a website or mobile application.

What is Ad Viewability?

Ad viewability is the theory of how apparent advertisements are to users on a website or mobile app. To be considered “viewed,” an advertisement must display at least 50% of the content or banner on screen for more than one second, as specified by the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) guideline for what constitutes a viewable impression.


What is the Significance of Ad Viewability?

Although ad viewability is a comparatively recent idea in online advertising, it became a topic of discussion when a comScore analysis revealed that 54 percent of display advertisements are not viewed despite marketers paying for them. Ad networks mostly prioritized the quantity of ads produced, instead of the quantity of ads watched in the initial phases of online advertising.

As a result, the majority of ad campaign KPIs were determined by the number of ads displayed. Marketers would divide the quantity of ads displayed by the number of clicks to determine the relative performance of a campaign. The clickthrough ratio, or CTR, became the definitive online advertising metric as a result of this.

However, as online advertising evolved, marketers began questioning the concept of utilizing ads as a proxy for ads seen. So, they reasoned, ads appearing below the fold but not being seen by users who never scrolled down to see them were not countable as impressions since such ads were non-viewable.

It was also discovered that there were a number of reasons why an ad can be missed, including people abandoning a page before it had even loaded, or proxy servers and bots opening the page instead of real people. These reasons have led marketers to demand that publishers measure the percentage of their ads that are truly viewable and shape their advertising pricing accordingly.

Note: It is critical for media firms to ensure that their customers’ advertisements are viewable in order to keep their advertisers pleased.


Tips to Increase Ad Viewability

Because better viewability has such a high return on investment, it is in the greatest advantage of publishers to prioritize boosting the exposure of their ads. Publishers can start by structuring their pages so that the advertisements play with the highest possible viewability. This could imply placing the ad unit ‘above the fold’ or making it a ‘sticky’ ad unit.

Sticky ad units are a sort of advertising that stays in the same place while the user scrolls. Additionally, publishers can make their sites mobile-friendly by utilizing responsive themes that automatically adapt to fit the device being used to view them. This ensures a consistent user experience across all devices (desktop, tablet, or phone) and has evolved into an industry standard.

Additionally, good design concepts such as a clear visual hierarchy, symmetry, pleasant proportions, white space, and clean design boost ad viewability. Another critical factor in determining ad viewability is speed. Sites that are densely packed with advertisements from various ad networks generally take a long time to load, resulting in decreased ad viewability when viewers click away before the ads load.

Accelerating ad delivery can significantly increase ad viewability. Along with ad distribution activities, publishers can begin analyzing and certifying ad viewability via third-party software and making such analytics available to advertisers. MRC Accredited Viewable Display Impression and/or Ad Verification Vendors can be partnered with by publishers that wish to show that they are ‘playing fair’ in their digital campaigns.