Monetization Viewability

Why ad viewability matters

Sovrn Publisher Advocate // February 27, 2020

Better viewability = More money for you

Ads that aren’t viewable are less valuable to demand partners. This makes sense: advertisers don’t want to pay for impressions that aren’t seen by a person, and they track supply-side viewability scores for that reason. Poor viewability scores can lead to reduced CPMs, while high viewability scores improve CPMs. This makes sense as well: more valuable inventory—inventory that’s seen by real humans—commands higher prices.

Additionally, high ad viewability matters because it gives you the opportunity to participate in better campaigns and direct deals, and makes you more attractive to selective demand partners who only buy highly-viewable inventory. Plus, many advertisers judge the success of their campaigns by using Click-Through-Rates (CTRs), and a non-viewable ad can’t be clicked. If your site consistently produces low CTRs, demand partners will reduce or eliminate their bids on your inventory. 

In short, higher viewability can lead to higher revenue for a number of reasons.

What affects ad viewability?

Ad placement, ad density, and reader behavior can all affect ad viewability. For example, leaderboard ad units are traditionally very valuable because they’re the first unit loaded on a page, meaning they have a better chance of seeing an impression. However, they often see less engagement, because they’re also the first unit to disappear when a user scrolls. That’s the same reason our Signal overlay ad units tend to have both the highest value and viewability scores: they don’t disappear as a user moves through your content.

That’s why good site design is so critical to ad performance—with the caveat that there’s no such thing as a universally good site design. When you review your ad setup, it’s important to understand which of your ad units has the highest viewability score, and incorporate that information into the development of an effective ad strategy. 

The long view 

In sum, viewability affects your site—and your revenue—in three major ways. First, highly-viewable ad units create short-term value. Then, as your domain-level viewability scores increase over time, the value of your inventory increases as well. Finally, DSPs have premium buckets of spend for domains with viewability scores of 80%+. The only way to improve your viewability scores is to serve more in-view impressions. For example, Signal users typically see 10% higher viewability scores as part of their overall 15-25% monthly revenue increase.

If you’re ready to start improving your viewability scores and your monthly revenue, schedule a Signal demo with one of our Growth experts.

Want to learn more?

Share this article