The most important metrics that drive ad revenue are total impressions and viewability. To start, Google defines a viewable ad as one that follows the Media Rating Council guidelines. Those guidelines are as follows.
A display ad is counted as viewable when at least 50% of its area is visible on the screen for at least 1 second.
- Note: For large display ads of 242,500 pixels or more, the ad is counted as viewable when at least 30% of it’s area is visible for at least 1 second.
A strong threshold for sitewide viewability is >50%, with the upper limit and what is closest to a realistic “perfect score” being somewhere in the 75% range. You will always have some failed views from loading errors or ad errors. In pursuance of these numbers, there are a number of best practices you can follow.
Sticky placements are a great tool for viewability as they promise nearly perfect view percentage as long as the ad code loads properly. This is because they are, as the name implies, stuck to the screen and will scroll with the user. NitroPay has several customized placement types that leverage this format, linked below.
Keep non sticky banner ads above the fold, when possible #
The more of your placements that are above the fold (the portion of the screen that is visible on page load), the higher chance they have of being seen when they initially load in. Typically, the higher up on a page a placement is the better it’s performance tends to be. It’s also strongly suggested to place most ads near the desirable content on the page. If your design requires the use of placements lower on the page and you do not wish to leverage any sticky placements, it is nearly mandatory to lazy load placements that are below the fold.
The option for this on the placement code is renderVisibleOnly. Set to true it will place a buffer zone on that placement, defaulting at 200px and customizable through the visibleMargin option, that will begin to load when the buffer zone is reached by scroll. This helps those below the fold ads maintain a higher viewable percent and more importantly, stops them from tanking your sitewide viewability.
Do not refresh ads when they are not viewable
This is accomplished by leaving the refreshVisibleOnly tag to its default state of ‘true’.
The same general guidelines hold for video placements. The normal functionality is an inline player that converts to a sticky floating player when the inline is off screen. These settings can be customized, so please contact us if you’d like to change the functionality.
Once you have a plan for keeping your viewability at a good threshold, the next thing to keep an eye on is your impression count. You don’t want to over-crowd the page, as a user this is intrusive and can hurt retention rates. For sites with ample free space, 4-5 placements is a good maximum to start with to keep a good user experience and ensure that you have quality ad content being displayed and plenty of inventory to fill.
Use A Variety of Ads
A very important concept to keep in mind to fully leverage the power of our header bidding stack is diversification. You want to fill slots with as many different ad types as you can. For instance, the sticky-stack placement linked above is great at pushing many extra impressions as it loads new placements while the user loads. It accepts a range of sizes, 300x250, 160x600 and 300x600.
If you have a sticky stack covering these sizes, you probably don’t need to place another 300x250 close to it on the page. Instead make sure you have your leaderboards taken care of - those sizes being 728x90, 970x90 and 970x250 (where possible). You can cover these with regular banners, the anchor placement above or another of our custom placements called the Article, which is made to handle long form written content (https://nitroads.com/article/index.html). As long as you cover a myriad of these placement sizes, you can be sure to get the best bid possible and maximize your revenue.
Once your placements are ready, there are a few other configuration options to look at. Most importantly is the refresh time. Our default is 90 seconds but it can be set to as low as 30. The lower the refresh time, the more potential impressions that you can serve. Finding a setting you're happy with is a balance of how many impressions you’d like and user experience, as rapidly refreshing ads can be difficult to look at. A good place to start is around 45 - 60 seconds.
For help with the configuration options mentioned above, see this (https://docs.nitropay.com/en/articles/3623585-placement-configuration-options) or contact us.