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Relevant Digital Oy

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Tags: Programmatic, Publisher, Ad Serving

Updated: December 30, 2022

Investing in the viewability of ad placements is always topical. What makes it especially important is that advertising buyers are more aware and demanding than ever. 

The visibility of the placements, or viewability, is measured by in-screen values. According to the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), as is the generally used industry definition, in-screen value refers to the proportion of display screens displayed on the screen by at least 50% for a second, in video advertising for two seconds. For large ad formats, there is an exception to the definition that at least 30% or more of a large-sized ad must be displayed for at least one second.


More advertisers by investing in quality

We have noticed that improving the viewability of ad placements significantly increases the number of advertisers interested in the site and enables a higher achievable cost level (eCPM). We started working to improve the viewability of one publisher's ad placements February 2022, when the viewability was at 57%. In February, there were 6,480 advertisers on the site. In April, the viewability had risen to 73.7%, and there were 10,203 advertisers on the site.

If previously 60% viewability was considered a good level, now the goal should be set closer to 80%. Paying attention to the visibility of placements can significantly affect your earnings. 

Bad in-screen values tell the publisher that at least these things need more attention:



The weight of the advertising creatives, the amount of resources to be downloaded, the initial load and post-loading (i.e. the essential elements first appear as a light initial load and the remaining elements in the post-loading), the number of tracking pixels and the creative implementation of the material affect how quickly the material is loaded onto the screen. An excessively weighty ad can decrease in-screen values. Try to find out the appropriate weight limits for the material and make sure that the delivered materials stay within the limits.


Number and quality of  ad placements

The amount of ad placements affect the load time of the page and consecutively the user experience. More ads is not always the best solution - a smaller number and better placement are often better for everyone. For the publisher, this may mean that the entire inventory decreases, but the remaining inventory is of higher quality and thus more valuable and more desirable.


Page load time

Often sites with advertising have comparatively longer loading times. It is recommended to make sure the site is loaded as quickly as possible. Performance optimization affects both user experience and usability. Async technology allows different elements of the site to load independently of each other, resulting in improved user experience and loading times. Also, make sure your site has no unnecessary third-party tags slowing it down. There are a number of free tools for analyzing and optimizing web page load time.


In the waterfall model, the length of the chain increases the ad loading time

The publisher can affect the way in which the server calls are chained in the context of programmatic purchases. Many publishers have enabled their inventory to be purchased through a variety of media agencies and advertisers' systems. All systems are linked in the publisher's advertising management system, where the site-generated ad display is usually offered first for direct sales campaigns. After that, the unused ad impression will be offered to one of the systems of programmatic purchase, and if this does not use the impression, it will be offered to the next system, etc. This model is called a waterfall. The length of this chain is very important for the loading times of the ads and thus their visibility.


Header bidding

Various header bidding technologies provide an alternative to a waterfall model. With header bidding, it is possible to send calls simultaneously to different systems. This way there is no need to wait for one system to respond to move on to the next one, but all systems provide their answers at the same time, and the advertising management system chooses the best one, taking into account the direct sales ads. This can potentially speed up ad loading, but publishers can also better manage their inventory and revenue.



While there are many recommendations on how to improve your ad's visibility, one of the key elements is the content of your site. Readers love unique and high-quality content. The high quality of the content affects whether or not the ad is being shown because the visitor is more likely to invest their time in high-quality content.


Low in-screen values affect advertisers' interest in media. Follow the in-screen values of your ad placements and try to take action to improve them. If you are concerned about the visibility of your own placements, please feel free to contact us and find out if your concern is justified.

Test, learn, and let your data lead to better results.

Suvi Leino
By: Suvi Leino

Responsible for marketing and communications at Relevant Digital.


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