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What is Ad Viewability?

Ad viewability is a term used to describe whether or not an online advertisement is actually seen by users. This metric has become increasingly important for advertisers and chief marketing officers (CMOs) in recent years, as they seek to ensure that their ad dollars are being spent effectively and reaching their intended audience.

Ad viewability measurement: The criteria for being counted as “viewable”

When a webpage loads, ads are often loaded as well, but they may not be visible on the screen if the user doesn’t scroll down far enough to see them. Ad viewability measures the percentage of ad impressions that are actually viewable to the user.

The criteria for what constitutes a “viewable” ad may vary depending on the specific measurement technology or platform being used, but generally, it involves factors such as:

  • The percentage of the ad that is visible on the screen
  • The amount of time the ad is displayed
  • Whether the ad is displayed in a viewable location on the page.

For example, if an ad is displayed on a webpage but only a small portion of it is visible above the fold and the user quickly scrolls past it without spending enough time to fully view it, that ad may not be counted as viewable.

What are the benefits of measuring ad viewability?

There are several benefits for advertisers and CMOs to measure ad viewability, including:

  1. Ensuring ad effectiveness: By measuring ad viewability, advertisers can ensure that their ads are actually being seen by users, which is critical to achieving their campaign goals. If ads are not viewable, then the advertiser is essentially wasting their advertising budget, as users are not able to engage with the ads.
  2. Optimizing ad performance: Measuring ad viewability can provide valuable insights into how users are engaging with ads, allowing advertisers to optimize their campaigns and improve ad performance. For example, if certain ads are consistently not viewable, advertisers can adjust their ad placement or creative to improve viewability and increase engagement.
  3. Improving ROI: Measuring ad viewability can help advertisers to identify the most effective placements and formats for their ads, which can ultimately lead to higher engagement rates and better ROI.
  4. Building trust: For publishers, measuring ad viewability can help to build trust with advertisers by demonstrating that they are committed to ensuring that their ads are viewable and effective.
  5. Meeting industry standards: Ad viewability is an industry standard metric that is widely used by advertisers, publishers, and ad tech vendors. By measuring ad viewability, companies can ensure that they are meeting industry standards and benchmarks, which can help them to stay competitive and win more business.

How to increase Ad viewability

In recent years, ad viewability has become a hot topic in the advertising industry. Many advertisers are pushing for higher viewability standards and greater transparency from publishers and ad platforms. This is because there have been cases where ads have been displayed in places where they were not actually viewable, such as at the bottom of a webpage where users are unlikely to scroll.

Digital Ad Viewability Standard:

The rise of demand for transparency in ad services reflects a growing recognition that transparency is critical to building a healthy and sustainable advertising ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders. Advertising industry organizations like the Media Rating Council (MRC) have established viewability standards that define what constitutes a “viewable” impression. These standards typically require that at least 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view for at least one second. Some advertisers may require higher standards, such as 100% viewability for a longer duration of time.

Technologies and techniques to improve viewability:

Publishers can use techniques like lazy loading to ensure that ads are only loaded when they are likely to be viewable. Advertisers can also use tools like viewability tracking software to monitor their ad campaigns and ensure that they are reaching their intended audience.

In conclusion, ad viewability is a critical metric for advertisers and CMOs. By ensuring that their ads are viewable to users, they can ensure that their ad dollars are being spent effectively and that they are reaching the right audience. As the industry continues to evolve and standards for ad viewability become more stringent, it will become increasingly important for advertisers to stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices in order to remain competitive in the digital marketplace.

Sources referenced:

Marketing Chart | Viewability ads: Super Bowl 2023 Data.