Google recently hosted a webinar unveiling several best practices publishers should be following to increase the performance of their ads. For Marfeel partners on the Enterprise business model, these best practices are what Marfeel's sophisticated ad setup has been delivering for a long time.
The following presents some of the advertising best practices for mobile that Marfeel helped define and other industry leaders have been advocating.
An ad is viewable when a minimum of 50% of the creative's pixels are in-view for at least 1 consecutive second.
Viewability has a direct correlation with the value of a publisher's ad inventory - the more viewable a publisher's ads are, the more valuable their ad inventory becomes because their ad spaces are more attractive to advertisers as they know their creatives will be seen. Viewability also provides the mobile advertising industry with a standard, comparable metric that both advertisers and publishers can use to quantify ad performance.
Viewability is a key driving force in Marfeel's ad setup. As a focal point, it ensures that ad units and placements can always be seen, boosting the value of a publisher's inventory. More importantly, the metric also proves that fewer, but higher-quality ads can generate more revenue while providing a better UX.
Ad placements in section pages
Google recently announced a change in policy that allows publishers to insert 300x250 ad units above the fold to maximize viewability. However, this practice is not recommended by Marfeel as it can negatively impact UX. Loading ads before the fold are normally slower to load and also introduce layout flickers when the ad is loaded.
What is widely encouraged and has continually been implemented by Marfeel is inserting the first ad unit at the crease of the fold. This contributes to a healthy viewability while valuing the reader and promoting an optimal UX.
Ad placements in article details
Best practices dictate that a range of 300x250 inline ad units (or a variation of similar ad sizes) be placed at the peaks before the fold. This specific placement contributes to increased viewability, CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions), and RPM (Revenue per Thousand Impressions), ensuring that users can see and engage with ads.
For partners on the Enterprise business model, Marfeel has steadfastly implemented the first ad unit at the crease of the fold, presenting the reader with a rich image, the article title, a portion of the article body, and then the premium ad space peaking above the fold.
It's also prudent to leave spaces between ads and content to avoid accidental clicks, but keep the ads close to the content itself.
For example, inserting 320x50 or 320x100 banners at the top of a mobile site is not ideal because the first thing a user does when landing on an article is scroll down.
For more information regarding Marfeel's lazy loading approach see the Lazy Loading article.
The faster a mobile page loads, the more metrics like CTR (Click-through Rate) and viewability increase. Google even reported that a 1-second improvement in pagespeed leads to 1-2% increase in viewability.
Marfeel prides itself on its industry-leading load times. Countless case studies have proven how a dramatic improvement in speed leads to increased revenue - like this specific case where a 200% upgrade in page speed translated to a 175% boost in revenue per visit.
For more information on how mobile speed is crucial to revenue, see the Mobile Speed's Impact on Revenue article.
Passbacks between multiple SSPs and ad exchanges to auction and sell inventory creates latency which decreases ad viewability and of course, performance.
For partners on the Enterprise business model, Marfeel does not make extensive use of passbacks with an intricate waterfall RTB (Real-time Bidding) system. This ensures that latency is minimized and optimal speed and performance is prioritized.
To define best practices and continually improve its ad setup, Marfeel comprehensively tests new strategies, placements, and techniques with thorough A/B tests before any kind of universal change is introduced.
The results of every experiment and test are then meticulously analyzed by Marfeel's Monetization team to determine if changes are harmoniously beneficial for both the publisher and their audience, always staying loyal to Marfeel's bottom line: Maximizing engagement and revenue while optimizing UX.