Active View: Viewability - The Future of Display
Advertising on the Google Display Network is always a great way to increase brand awareness. The GDN contains more than 2 million websites, meaning we are able to reach a great number of users with diverse interests.
As advertisers, we are always in constant discussions about the inventory and how display ads are viewed. Are impressions counted when display ads are served? Or does the display ad need to be viewed in order for it to count as an impression?
According to Google, impressions are counted when display ads are served regardless of whether they have been seen or not. This metric is not desirable for some brands as the number of people that saw the ad is more important than how many times it was served. For this reason, the Click Through Rate (CTR) metric is also inaccurate.
CTR is a percentage worked out by the clicks an ad receives, divided by the amount of impressions served. However, one needs to ask the question: when measuring an ad’s performance by CTR, would you not want to know that the ad was actually viewed?
“Active View: Viewable Impressions” is exactly the metric marketers were longing for. It is Google’s viewable impression measurement technology and only counts impressions when a display ad is viewable, meaning 50% of an ad’s pixels are in the view of a browser for a minimum of one second.
As “viewability” becomes more of a buzzword in campaign management, it becomes clear how important Active View really is. It measures in real time, on an impression-by-impression basis, whether or not an ad was viewable to a user. It’s effortless, free, and integrated into the Adwords platform. Active View metrics are fully transparent and are based on the direct measurement of each impression without sampling or extrapolating.
Below are some interesting facts regarding viewability:
- A display ad is considered viewable when 50% of an ad’s pixels are in the view on the screen for a minimum of one second (at least 2 seconds for video ads).
- The most viewable position is right above the fold, not at the top of the page.
- The most viewable ad sizes are vertical units. This is not surprising since they remain on the screen for longer.
- The average viewability rate above the fold is 68%, with 32% below the fold.
To conclude, the impressions metric can be utilised to demonstrate total reach but the real game changer is Active View technology. As digital marketing becomes more data-driven and the discussion around viewability heats up, The GDN’s Active View metric enables advertisers to accomplish 2 things. Firstly it helps us get clients away from the mindset that CTR is everything – CTR is a great way to judge response but it doesn’t determine the success or failure of a campaign. Secondly, it is a great option for clients that want to know the quality of their impressions.
At Mark1 we aspire to show clients more applicable information and it’s great that this is now an option for them. The best part of all is that a display CTR of 1% may be considered as the benchmark for the future, something that was considered rare before Active View was introduced.
by Hoosain Dalvie, Search Marketing Campaign Manager.