How to increase Ad Viewability rate

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Ad viability is a serious topic for both advertisers and publishers across the advertising industry. It is estimated that the average ad view for an average publisher is about 50.2%. This means about 49.8% of the ad placement on web pages or mobile devices are not seen.

Usually, most of these ads are not seen by visitors because of several reasons. Reasons such are the ad placement and ad type, positioning on the webpage or mobile device among other factors hinder or reduce ads to be viewed.

This has serious consequences for publishers as it has a significant impact on their ad revenue. Also, Since Google consider Ad viability as a performance evaluation factor, Publishers need to take it seriously and do everything necessary to increase ad viability.

Considering the importance of this topic, we are going to discuss all you need to know about ad viewability and factors that prevent high rate of viewability and also how you can increase viewability as a publisher.

So let’s beginning

What is Ad Viewability?

This is simply the actual amount or the actual percentage of people that actually view your ads either on a webpage or mobile devices while visiting your pages.

The chances of these Ads to be seen vary based on several factors. For instance, Ads that are displayed on the top of the page (Above the fold) are more likely to be seen than the ads displayed at the bottom of the webpage (below the fold).

When publishers have high viewability rate, they have the advantage of bidding for higher ad rates since their content is considered high-value inventory which increases advertisers ads the chances of been seen by the publisher’s visitors.

How to measure ad viewability?

Understanding and tracking your Ad viewability as an advertiser has a lot of benefits. One of the benefits is that, it helps you make a better decision about your ad campaign.

The fact is that, more than 65% of advertisers loss big time on their ad campaign because their ads are not seen.

So, it makes sense if advertisers can track their ad viewability and this is how.

How to measure ad viewability: Google considers A display ad viewable if the ad is viewed 50% for at least a minimum of 1 second and 2 seconds for video ads. Similarly, video ads that are viewed 50% playing for two seconds are considered viewable.

Google calls viewable impressions “Active Views”. Ad viewability can be measured and verified using an ad viewability audit tool.

How to increase ad view rate?

It is important for both advertisers and publishers to maximise their ad viewability in order to maximise their ad spent budget and ad revenue as advertisers and publishers respectively.

Here are ways a publisher can increase their viewability rate and their ad revenue.

Place the ads in the right position, sizes and layouts

Some of the best viewable ad sizes are 728×90, 300×250, and 300×600. On the other hand, vertical ad positions such as 120×140, 240×400, 160×160, and 120×600 all make the list of most-viewed ad sizes.

Most ad viewable position
Image credit (thinkwithgoogle)

What makes this ad sizes more effective is the positions they are placed on the webpages. The top ad positions are known to be more effective positions especially when placed right above the fold.

The combination of the position and size simply makes viewability increase by 25% to 40%. Another Ad formats such as vertical ads, sticky ads are known to also increase the viewability of ads because of their size. They stick on as the user scrolls down increasing their viewability.

Average viability rate of above and below the fold
Image credit (thinkwithgoogle)

It is also important to know which ad size you will place above the fold and below the fold as you can see the percentages varies. (68% above the fold and 40% below the fold)

Optimise page load speed

One of the things that prevent your ads from been viewed is the page load time (Page speed). It is important to make sure your pages are loading as fast as possible.

This will help reduce the bounce rate on your website and improve your ad viewability score. When your pages take too long to load complete content including your ads which cause your visitors to leave before the ads are displayed.

Here are some few things you can do to improve your page load speed.

#1. Use Google page insight to test your site speed to see the problems and fix them as recommended by Google Speed insight tool. Once you improve your page speed, you will definitely increase your ad view rate.

Google pagespeed insight
Google Pagespeed insight test result

#2. Optimise your passback. This means reducing the number of ads you have on your page. The more ads you have on your page, the slower it will take those to load, the lesser you have, the faster it will take those to load which will mean an increase in viewability. make sure you have your ads at only in strategic positions on your webpages.

#3. Use the lazyload function. Display your content to your visitors only when it’s in their viewpoint. This will help increase viewability by decreasing the number of impressions served out of your visitor’s viewpoint.

Optimise your website for mobile

Mobile has became a big thing since 2015 when mobile search surpasses desktop. Google lay much emphasises on mobile as the number of mobile activity increase day by day.

Making sure your mobile pages display as fast as possible will have a great impact on your viewability and ad revenue. Apart from that, placing the right ads to fit mobile screens will go a long way in increasing ad view rate.

Here is how you can optimise viewability on mobile.

#1. Place 320×50 ad units with 320×100 unit size. This is considered a large banner for mobile devices and perform best when placed above the fold on the mobile device. Optimising ads on different mobile devices prove to have a significant improvement in your ad views.

Sizes that are known to perform best generally are 468×60, 300×600, 970×90, 728×90 and 300×250. While the most viewable ad sizes are the vertical since they stay longer on the page which are, 220×240, 240×400, 160×600 and 120×600.

Viewability rates by ad size
Image credit (thinkwithgoogle)

#2. Place 300×250 ad unit to the mobile website. This is one of the most popular mobile ad sizes and it always has a 100% fillrate since most advertisers and publishers prefer it.

The best place to place 300×250 on mobile devices is below the fold as it has already proven to have high viewability rate.

Industry viewability rates

Viewability rate also varies across industries. This is because of content verticals or content that have the interest of most users. This means that publishers should consider creating content or placing ads that are related to industries with higher viewability rate.

Image credit (thinkwithgoogle)

Here are the top industries with the highest viewability rate (Reference, Online communities, Games, Arts & Entertainment and Jobs & Education). Also, Business & industrial, computers & Electronics, Science, Internet & Telecom, Hobbies & Leisure also made the top list of industries with the highest viewability rate.


Taking the necessary steps to increase ad viewability as a publisher will do a lot of good for your ad revenue. Even though this tactc is not targeted at making more money displaying ads, it will make sure you utilise your ad inventory to the fullest.

Sometimes it might require changing a lot on your website and also testing various ad sizes and ad positions to optimise your viewability potentials. In some case it involves fixing lags or page-level issues that often cause latency, and lastly, optimizing the site by A/B testing or a complete design overhaul.

Lastly, if you are a publisher who have experience high viewability rate, please let us know your best practices so we can let us know in the comment section to help other publishers.

Eugene Agoh

Eugene Agoh

Founder at AdsTargets | Online advertising expert | Search engine optimisation expert | Social media marketing expert.Eugene is a Passionate writer on topics relating to online advertising, branding and generally interested in creating digital marketing content. He is curious about the future of digital advertising.Follow Eugene on LinkedIn @ eugeneagoh

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