The End of Page Views: Why Publishers Need to Focus on Viewability

08/03/2016 05:09 pm ET | Updated Aug 03, 2016

For publishers, keeping users happy with relatable advertisements is no easy task. Think of all the ways in which ads consume user screens from across desktop computer and mobile phones - this triggers an often frustrating digital experience. While this already places publishers in what is quite an overwhelming situation, pleasing advertisers is also part of their job description.

This constant challenge is further exacerbated by the presence of powerful ad-blockers and other barriers that prevent them from generating revenues from ads. After all, advertisers aren't interested in paying for ads that are not even viewed. Enter the importance of viewability - the KPI that ensures advertisers' ads are being viewed by the user traffic they paid for.

To understand the power of viewability in measuring ad engagement performance, what we really need to know is that the actual rate of viewability matters. For instance, a user reaching the end of a web page is not enough to satisfy advertisers and keep revenue streams alive and kicking. A similar low viewability rate applies to some traditional web banners that fail to engage traffic to the point of failing to attract the attention of users.

According to Julia Greenberg "...the page view itself has been corrupted. It's easy to fake... Advertisers get that counting each click on an endless slideshow as a page view doesn't equal a multiple of genuine interest over the initial click that brought a reader to the page. It's low-quality "engagement"--the Internet equivalent of flipping through channels."

Therefore, for publishers interested (as is expected) in keeping both advertisers and users satisfied, they will need to adopt new strategies in order to improve viewability, or the actual user exposure of such ads, as well as user engagement, by pleasing users in a more natural and targeted ad approach.

One key to this approach is to think about strategic ad placement and its impact on monetization potential. Essentially, publishers should ask themselves the following questions: What is the secret sauce for positioning ads on a webpage or mobile site? How will this approach impact the actual time spent engaged with the ad? What else should guide publishers in these decisions? What tools exist for publishers to utilize that naturally position ads in front of users?

All these questions can be answered by discussing a unique solution: in-image advertising technology. Since in-image solutions display ads within the most central and engaging parts of sites, they often improve ad viewability rates, increase user engagement, and please publishers and advertisers alike.

According to Imonomy, an in-image advertising solution, the power of this type of advertisement lies in its ability to achieve high viewability rates because ads are placed on the most engaging website images and this means that users are much more likely to see in-image ads primarily because their eyes are naturally drawn to the underlying images first.

Ad impressions are only part of the equation, however. What truly matters is the impact these ads have and whether they can lead to actual conversions. This will be critical to keeping advertisers happy and maintaining revenue streams.

Image source

Adopters of in-image solutions - such as Imonomy and PopMarker -, typically publishers, must still take into consideration a number of factors in order to fully attract users' attention and optimize conversion potential. These should include the following:

1. Consider the importance of ad formatting: by including in-image ads as part of a publisher's monetization strategy and ad campaigns, publishers can generate better ad results. After all, "Articles with images get 94% more total views."

2. Emphasize the need for a well-designed site and/or mobile page. While the images themselves may be incredibly engaging, if your site can't attract users to stay focused for a significant amount of time, images will only take you so far.

3. Test out different approaches to in-image placing, whether choosing to make a statement by embedding in-image ads at the beginning of an article or to cleverly place them throughout key sections of articles, ideally according to content relevance.

In sum, in-image advertising solution is an effective ad viewability solution and creates a built-in ad experience for users, while showcasing relevant and targeted content to viewers. For publishers, in-image ad tools can be adopted in order to engage users, please advertisers, and generate consistent revenue.