This post was most recently updated on October 27th, 2020
Very often ad layout is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of how to improve Ad Viewability. Although your website’s ad layout and ad unit location choices are important revenue factors, it’s not limited to just the above-the-fold (ATF) vs. below-the-fold (BTF) reasoning, especially when focusing on ad viewability.
In most cases, ATF ad impressions are more valuable than BTF ad impressions. Although there are website layouts that make BTF ads receive more time in the spotlight. This helps sites with engagement increase their ad revenue as these site layouts help BTF ads perform better than ATF ads.
An example of this could be the following: If your website has a big header image that takes up most of your ATF space, users tend to immediately scroll down to view the content where your BTF ads are. This layout structure may cause your ATF ads not to show on the screen for more than one second.
Take note that for an ad impression to be considered viewable by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and MRC (Media Rating Council), it must appear on at least 50% of the screen for more than one second.
Now that you understand that the world of ad viewability is not always black and white I’d like to show you a few alternative strategies. In fact, there are many different Ad Viewability strategies beyond improving the ad layout that you can consider for boosting your ad revenue.
Advertisers use viewability to help identify fraudulent sites and practices. Ad Stacking and auto-refreshed ads are samples of impression fraud. While they can boost impression volume that increases overall ad revenue, they are also very risky. If your site gets flagged, you could be cut out of the buy completely and experience a claw-back in payment. Avoid these types of dangerous activities wherever possible.
Publishers should build and manage their site with user experience in mind. The user may not enjoy your website’s experience and try to quit within mere seconds of landing on your page when your site is cluttered with ads. When you focus on publishing high-quality content that your visitors need and enjoy consuming, it increases site engagement, and you’re able to hold a user’s attention over much longer periods of time.
Statistics differ across niches and verticals, however, overall good content produced the highest viewability rates. To maximize this opportunity try placing ads next to, or within, the actual content of the page and avoid locations such as the bottom of the page.
Here’s a short video with 4 simple tips on how to improve your website user experience:
Make sure that your webpage load is quick and that you use a reliable host that can handle spikes in traffic. Page loading speed is an essential part of user’s experience within any website. User attention spans are growing shorter, and you need to ensure that your ads fully render before your visitors decide to move away from your site to avoid losing viewable ad impressions.
Speeding up ad delivery can also significantly improve your ad viewability. Here are some techniques that you can implement:
Horizontal ads have been observed to have high viewability when placed right above the fold (the area below the first immediately visible screen, but not at the top of the page)
Vertical ads, on the other hand, have the best viewability rates. When visitors spend time reading your site content from the top to the bottom of the screen, the ads placed vertically along in either the sidebar or within the content will most likely count as viewable. We recommend that you test the following vertical ad units: 120×240, 240×400, 160×600, and 120×600.
More often publishers are interested in implementing a fixed placement, or position, where the ads stay within a particular area of the page even when scrolling. This technique or implementation is called Sticky Ads. By having ads that stick with the user as they scroll, you’re almost guaranteed for them to count as viewable. I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of viewability tips! Be sure to implement and test each one for the best results.
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Here’s the course that 300+ pubs used to scale their ad revenue.