Viewability has been hailed as the next great ad performance metric. It allows advertisers to determine if their ad was actually seen, and therefore confirm the performance of their display ad campaigns.
Above the fold (ATF) inventory has always been in high demand and at a premium. Advertisers want to ensure that their brand creatives are highly visible, located front and center when a visitor lands on a page. It’s assumed that these high visibility slots will also pay high CPMs (Cost Per Thousand), and publishers are often eager to stuff their pages with above the fold inventory in an effort to capture those high CPMs. But are all above the fold slots created equal? Are ATF slots the only way to ensure high CPMs? And are the ads even being seen?
As a publisher, you probably think a lot about optimizing and improving both your advertising operations and the revenue that you generate from ads. It might keep you up at night, pouring over CPM data and trying to do side-by-side comparisons of different advertising options.
In order to properly manage ads on your site, you have to collect a ton of data, and calculate CPM, eCPM, RPM. CPC, CTR… it’s a never-ending list. Often we have to dig deeper and calculate the lift, the cost of loss impressions etc.
Back in January, I posted the findings from an experiment we ran to measure what happens when you increase the number of header bidders, and how that impacts CPM. We found that there is a strong correlation between increasing bidders and increased average CPM performance; we saw a 58% increase in CPMs when running 6 bidders versus none.
Ads suck! There’s no nice way of saying it. Working with ad networks sucks for publishers and seeing ads can suck for site visitors.
Monetizing a website is hard work for publishers. They can simply sign up for AdSense and implement the code and call it a day, but that’s not how they maximize revenue. When publishers jump headfirst into the world of ad operations they have to deal with ad fraud, bad creatives, complicated data and the endless onslaught of partners and navigating a the complex advertising industry.
As publishers, we must monetize, and those of us who aren’t in a monopoly position à la Google or Facebook are at the mercy of a fragmented and messy, but necessary, adtech ecosystem. It’s how thousands of us make money and it certainly has its problems and frustrations.
A common complaint from publishers is that they don’t get enough creative control over the programmatic ads that appear on their sites. Customizing AdSense settings, however, is one area where publishers can exercise some control over how ads look. Since AdSense allows publishers to customize the color settings for text ads (see guide at the end of this article), we decided to run an experiment across our network of sites to see how different color themes impacted ad performance.
Ad visibility is still a key concern for many brands and publishers. But banner ads have a bad rep: being inexpensive to produce (and often sell) publishers load up pages, and years of bad advertising has created wide-spread banner blindness among consumers. One study by Infolinks found that upwards of 86% of advertising on a given webpage is ignored. This is problematic for all parties. For brands, not only is it difficult to measure the effectiveness of advertising when it isn't internalized by the end user (how do you ask whether an ad resonated if the person doesn't remember seeing the ad?), but it also means their ad dollars are seemingly being wasted online, with campaigns struggling to result in sales or conversions. For publishers, this devalues the real estate on a webpage: less effective media commands less in revenue.
Today is DF-Day folks that is Death of Flash day. Today Google Chrome turned off their support for Flash ads. Google’s decision to move away from the ad format will have the widest-reaching impact as Chrome accounts for roughly 45% of browsers currently in use.