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Review of “IAB’s Primer for Publishers on Improving Ad Viewability”

In March 2016, the IAB provided a primer for publishers covering the main variables of how to improve ad viewability. You will find a condensed list of best practices below.

Main Takeaways:
The primer suggests that it is the publisher’s responsibility to stay on the cutting edge of technological advances in viewability measurement. Furthermore, publishers should guide agency/advertisers in new findings on viewability measurement tools and other viewability trends. The IAB primer states, “publishers would benefit from educating advertisers and agencies on measurement, latency and industry trends.”

Publishers know their advertising opportunities best and should be setting the example on their sites for viewability standards, make-good impressions, and which viewability measurement tool they are going to accept for billing on vCPM. Publishers should be taking the lead on viewability issues. The IAB Primer says, “When publishers create the necessary changes, the marketplace does respond and the rewards do follow.”

Publishers are also urged to be transparent with their metrics so that both sides can benefit; this can be accomplished by closely partnering with advertiser/agencies.

IAB’s Best Practices on Viewability for Publishers:

  • Have your own viewability measurement tool for your site
  • Conduct a site-audit and gather baseline metrics for your ad units
  • Be wary of “out-of-focus” tabs/windows, especially with video
  • Benchmark latency and develop a latency improvement plan (latency is how long your ads take to fully load)
  • Lazy Load below-the-fold ads (they should only load when someone gets to that place on the page)
  • Limit creative weights, charge more for heavy assets
  • Serve ads directly rather than through 3rd party if you can
  • Adjust ad-refresh time, experiment with it, it may improve viewability
  • Continuously educate advertisers & agencies on measurement, latency & industry trends – maintain transparency
  • “Certify a limited set of trusted vendors for 3rd party billing,” if advertisers or agencies choose a vendor outside the trusted list, they should be within a 10% variance
  • Monitor the vendor marketplace and MRC guidelines
  • Continuously monitor measurement rates from different vendors – report back to vendor and MRC

eHealthcare Solutions Viewability Statement:
eHS is on the cutting edge of viewability topics and measurement tools in order to provide education to both publishers and agencies/advertisers. At eHS we work persistently with every exclusive publisher in our network to help improve their viewability. We monitor each publisher through our ad tags using accredited MRC vendors in order to provide recommendations for improvement on non-human traffic, in-view percent, and other viewability metrics. We also partner closely with agencies and advertisers to agree on viewability measurement tools and billing procedures. Transparency in our relationships is the key to staying ahead of the viewability curve.