Boost Digital Advertising ROI by Optimizing Ad Viewability
Purchasing digital ads is one thing, but ensuring your audience actually views those ads is quite another. According to one recent study, the digital advertising industry loses $10 billion each year to unseen or improperly viewed ads. Those numbers echo a 2014 Google report, which indicated that 56% of impressions across all of the company’s ad display platforms are never viewed by users.
Why such discouraging numbers? For one thing, the nuances of different browsers, devices, and user viewing habits mean few digital advertisers will ever achieve 100% viewability. But many issues that contribute to inadequate viewability are well within your control. By applying some basic changes to your digital advertising approach, your organization can optimize ad viewability and enjoy better ROI from your ad spend.
Optimize ads for mobile
Have you ever started reading an article on your phone only to have the screen freeze or turn slightly dark for no apparent reason? If you didn’t leave the article in frustration – and you probably did, right? – you might have scrolled back to the top of the page and noticed that a modal ad had appeared, usurping an otherwise enjoyable reading experience.
Unsurprisingly, failing to deliver responsive ads or otherwise serving ads that are unviewable on mobile devices detracts from your ads’ viewability. If you’re not optimizing ads for mobile, you’re probably missing out on a large percentage of valuable traffic – not to mention spending money on ads your audience can’t even see!
Position ads above the fold
Most digital marketing agencies are familiar with the concept of placing some content “above the fold,” as in above the area where the visible part of a page ends and users have to scroll. Conventional wisdom has always been that placing ads above the fold makes them more visible, but mounting evidence suggests that the spot you place ads within the above-the-fold area matters just as much.
According to DoubleClick’s Viewability Best Practices, ads published immediately above the fold enjoy better performance than those published higher on the page. That doesn’t necessarily mean your ads will perform better in this position, but it’s definitely worth running an A/B test to find out for sure.
Besides placing ads in the most visible positions and optimizing them for mobile, consider investing in vertical ads as opposed to square or horizontal formats. A recent study from Moat Analytics reports that vertical ads enjoyed 62% viewability versus 50% for horizontal ads. These numbers correlate with Google’s latest viewability research, which also found that vertical ads offer greater overall viewability.
The reason? A vertical ad stays on the page longer as users scroll, so they’re more likely to keep the ad in view for a longer period of time.
All of these tactics can improve ad viewability, but it pays to test different kinds of ads, different ad sizes, and different ad positions to determine what works best for your brand. As a leading digital marketing agency, KEO Marketing strives to optimize our display advertising and retargeting advertising for the highest possible viewability across all devices.
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