Ad Viewability: What You Need to Know as a Marketer

Digital media never stops changing, and the concept of ad viewability is one of the recent changes for marketers (and media companies!) to monitor. Let’s take a couple of minutes to review what you need to know about viewability and how Meister Media address it for clients.

 What is ad viewability?

Ad viewability is a rate that quantifies the percentage of an online ad’s impressions that can be seen by the audience. This metric was developed because some website were generating ad impressions for clients by serving ads on pages without the ad ever actually appearing on the screen. This would be akin to a company buying a print magazine ad but some issues of the magazine not being mailed – a portion of the audience never has a chance to see the ad, but the client is still billed in full.


How is ad viewability figured?

Ad viewability percent equals the number of viewable impressions divided by the total number of measurable ad impressions.

 What is a viewable impression?

A viewable impression occurs when at least half of the ad is visible on the site for at least 1 second.

 What ad viewability numbers are considered “good?”

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is an independent organization that works to set standards for all manner of digital advertising activities, and they have set 70% as the minimal ad viewability that media companies should deliver to advertisers.

 What are Meister Media’s ad viewability figures?

We have been tracking ad viewability this since early 2018, and our viewability is about 65% across all of our websites. This 47% figure is fairly consistent across all of our websites since we started tracking it.

 What is Meister Media doing to maximize viewability of ads on its websites?

Since we started tracking viewability in 2018, we’ve raised our viewability from roughly 45% to 65%. The biggest change we made was to implement a concept called lazy loading, which means an ad doesn’t serve to a web page until the ad space is on the screen. This change resulted in us providing clients with a more accurate number of total ad impressions.

 What limits websites from producing higher viewability rates?

Mobile, website and ad serving changes are happening at such a fast rate that marketers and media companies are all working to tackle this issue. Meister Media is experimenting with different ad serving approaches such as automatically rotating multiple ads through fewer ad positions on the page. Plus, media buyers and sellers generally use different platforms to track ad impressions and viewability, which leads to questions about the best or most accurate data.

Bob West is Meister Media’s Commercial Digital Director. He can be reached at 440-602-9129 or to answer any questions you may have about viewability or other digital marketing issues.