Holiday ad viewability: 4 revenue-boosting tips

Sovrn Publisher Advocate // October 14, 2020

CPMs fell when COVID-19 spread and advertisers reduced or pulled ad spend. Q3 brought some recovery, and as we enter the holiday shopping season during a period of already-heightened online traffic, it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing your ad layout to maximize the value of your traffic. Improving your ad viewability is a simple way to do just that.

In order to get back some of that lost revenue, demand partners have been focused on more valuable impressions: engaged readers with long times on page, and ads that they know will be in view and seen by readers.

Highly-viewable ad units

One simple change publishers can make is to focus on adding highly-viewable ad units to their page layouts. These ad units will have the knock-on effect of improving site-wide ad viewability, making your inventory more attractive to demand partners over time.

Sticky ads

Ad “sticky” or “persistent” ads either on the side rail of the page or in the footer (footer ads are more valuable on mobile sites). The ads remain in-view for the entire time that a reader is interacting with your content, making them more valuable to advertisers

Above the Fold

These are ads that are located near the top of the page, above or beside your content. Similar to the sticky ads above, these are much more likely to remain in view as a user interacts with the page, especially if the reader is skimming and clicking through to multiple pages on the site, rather than scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page.

Size and verticality

Large or vertical ads (such as 300×600, 160×600, 970×250 sizes) remain in-frame longer as a reader scrolls, increasing viewability.

Quality over quantity

This seems counterintuitive, but consider reducing the number of ads per page. If demand sources see multiple of the same sized ads from the same page over and over, they will bid less per impression. Not only will having fewer ads on the page make the ones that are there more valuable, but it’s also a better experience that will keep your readers coming back for more. We recommend no more than 4-5 ads per page.

Remember, we’re here to help. If you’re struggling with ad operations or site monetization, consider reaching out to our Sovrn Services team. We can help you boost your revenue with holistic, long-term business strategies and industry-leading technology.

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