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Media and Communications

What Is Viewability & Why It Matters For Digital Advertising – Pt.1

What Is Viewability & Why It Matters For Digital Advertising – Pt.1

You might have heard about viewability or
ad viewability if you’re a digital advertiser. But what exactly is viewability? How does it work and why does it matter for
digital advertising? According to Google, 56% of digital ads served
are never seen by users. That is a serious problem. With more than half of served ads not getting
viewed by users, this causes advertisers to waste millions of dollars in ad spend each
year. And towards a publisher, this decreases the
value of their ad inventory. As more and more advertising budget are being
shifted from traditional to digital advertising, the industry has quickly realized the importance
of being able to measure how frequently an online ad is seen by people, not just how
often it is served. Thus, the IAB, ANA, and 4As joined forces
in 2011 in an attempt to fix digital measurement. This brought about viewability. Viewability is a metric in digital advertising
that tracks ad impressions that are ‘actually’ seen by real humans. In simple words, if you have an advertisement
that shows at the bottom of a website and a visitor does not scroll far enough to see
it, a viewed impression will not be recorded. Here are few scenarios causing ads to not
be viewable. The ad is below the fold of a web page. Users today are using different devices such
as desktops, tablets & mobile phones to view web pages. These devices all have different screen sizes. In some cases, because of a screen size a
user is on, an ad will load below the fold. This causes the ad to not be viewable because
the user does not actually see it. When a user is using an ad blocker. Ad blockers are usually browser plugins or
applications that serve to hide ads or completely disable them from loading. The problem is some ad blockers only scans
a web page after it has completely loaded with the ad. It scans for patterns or HTML code that contains
the text ‘ad’ before hiding or removing them. In this scenario, an ad would be recorded
as a served ad. But in fact, the ad is not visible on the
screen and the user never sees it. A user is in another tab or program while
the ad plays When an ad is shown to a user on a web page,
they can click on another tab or browse into another program. This is a typical scenario that usually happens
on a desktop, causing the ad to not be viewable. So why is viewability important? As mentioned, advertisers are wasting ad budgets
on ads that aren’t actually viewed by users. With viewability tracking, you can measure
whether your ad is visible on screen and if a user sees it. According to the IAB, digital measurement
is the single greatest obstacle to the growth of most advertising & marketing agencies. Many advertisers are still judging the effectiveness
of their advertising campaigns by looking at metrics like click-through rates (CTR)
and cost per thousand (CPM). Results can be inaccurate if you only rely
on this two metrics to measure ad effectiveness. This is why the viewability metric is important
for digital advertisers. It allows you to track if your ads are seen
by real users and help you filter out ad networks with very low viewability. It also gives you insights when deciding where
to place ads so they are more likely to be viewed and engaged by real users. And as an advertiser, you can also potentially
reduce your advertising cost by working with ad platforms that charge based on viewable

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