KPIs for Marketing

KPIs for Marketing: display ad viewability

In this article, you'll learn about the key performance indicators (KPIs) for marketing, specifically focusing on display ad viewability.

Marketing revolves around key performance indicators (KPIs) that help businesses evaluate their efforts' success in promoting their products or services. One of the critical metrics in marketing is display ad viewability. This article explores display ad viewability, its importance, related KPIs, strategies to improve it, and tools to measure it.

Understanding Display Ad Viewability

Effective marketing campaigns involve capturing the target audience's attention, and display ads are a fantastic way to do this. However, the impact of these ads depends on their viewability, or how much of the ad creative users have seen. When display ads are viewable, they have a higher chance of generating clicks and conversions, leading to a better return on investment (ROI).

What is Display Ad Viewability?

Display ad viewability refers to the proportion of an ad that is visible to a user on their screen. The Media Rating Council (MRC) has defined that for a display ad to be considered viewable, at least 50% of its pixels should be in the viewable space for at least one second. This means that if a user scrolls past an ad before it fulfills these criteria, it won't count as viewable.

Viewability is crucial for marketers to ensure that their ads are being seen by their target audience. It's important to note that viewability is not the same as impressions. An impression is counted every time an ad is loaded on a page, regardless of whether it was actually seen by a user. Viewability, on the other hand, measures whether an ad was actually seen by a user.

Importance of Display Ad Viewability in Marketing

Display ad viewability is essential in measuring the success of an ad campaign. When display ads are viewable, users see the creative elements and the brand message, increasing the chances of generating clicks and producing valuable actions, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. Viewability also ensures that brands' marketing budgets are directed towards ads that work, maximizing the ROI.

However, achieving high viewability rates can be a challenge. In fact, according to a study by Google, only 56.1% of display ad impressions are viewable. This means that almost half of all display ads are not being seen by users, which can result in wasted marketing spend and missed opportunities to engage with potential customers.

Factors Affecting Display Ad Viewability

Several factors affect display ad viewability. One of them is ad placement. Ads that are placed higher on the webpage are more likely to be viewed than those at the bottom. This is because users tend to spend more time on the top half of a webpage than the bottom half. Ad size also plays a role, with larger ads being more visible.

Website loading speed also affects viewability, as users tend to lose interest and exit websites that take longer to load. This means that if an ad is on a slow-loading page, it may not even have a chance to be seen by users. In addition, ad clutter can also affect viewability. If there are too many ads on a page, users may ignore them or even use ad blockers to avoid them altogether.

It's important for marketers to take these factors into consideration when designing their ad campaigns. By optimizing ad placement, size, and website loading speed, they can increase the chances of their ads being viewed by their target audience.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Display Ad Viewability

Measuring display ad viewability is crucial in determining the effectiveness of ad campaigns and optimizing them for better performance. Here are some of the key KPIs for display ad viewability:

Viewable Impressions

Viewable impressions refer to the number of times an ad is viewed by users based on the MRC's viewability criteria. It's a metric that helps businesses understand if their ad placements are working and reaching the desired audience.

Viewable impressions are an important metric because they indicate the number of times an ad was actually seen by a user. This is different from served impressions, which simply refer to the number of times an ad was loaded on a webpage. Viewable impressions give businesses a more accurate understanding of how many people are actually viewing their ads, which can help them make better decisions about where to allocate their advertising budget.

Viewability Rate

Viewability rate measures the percentage of viewable impressions to served impressions. It's a vital metric for evaluating the effectiveness of ad campaigns and optimizing them for better performance.

Viewability rate is an important metric because it helps businesses understand the percentage of their ad impressions that are actually viewable. A high viewability rate indicates that a business's ad placements are effective and that their ads are being seen by the right people. A low viewability rate, on the other hand, can indicate that a business needs to reevaluate their ad placements or make changes to their ad creative to make it more engaging.

Time in View

Time in view measures the duration that users have viewed the ad. This metric is helpful for understanding if users have engaged with the ad and whether the message has had an impact.

Time in view is an important metric because it helps businesses understand how long users are engaging with their ads. A high time in view indicates that users are finding the ad engaging and are spending time interacting with it. This can be a good indicator of ad effectiveness and can help businesses make decisions about whether to continue running the ad or make changes to improve its performance.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics measure user interactions with the ad, such as clicks, page visits, or sign-ups. This metric helps businesses understand if their ads are driving the desired actions and whether they're optimizing their campaigns for better performance.

Engagement metrics are important because they help businesses understand how users are interacting with their ads. By tracking metrics like clicks, page visits, and sign-ups, businesses can gain insight into how effective their ads are at driving desired actions. This information can be used to optimize ad campaigns for better performance and to make more informed decisions about where to allocate advertising budget in the future.

Strategies to Improve Display Ad Viewability

Display ads are an essential part of digital marketing, but their effectiveness relies on their viewability. Viewability refers to the percentage of an ad that's visible on a user's screen for a specific period. According to a recent study, the average display ad viewability rate is around 50%. This means that half of all ads served are not seen by users, resulting in wasted ad spend and missed opportunities.

Businesses can employ several strategies to improve display ad viewability, such as:

Optimize Ad Placement and Size

Choosing the right placement and size for display ads can increase their visibility and viewability. Ads placed above the fold, for example, are more viewable than those that are below. Additionally, larger ads tend to be more noticeable and provide more space for creativity and messaging. However, it's essential to strike a balance between ad size and user experience. Overly intrusive ads can harm the user experience, leading to ad blindness and lower viewability rates.

Utilize High-Quality Creative Content

Creative quality plays a crucial role in ad performance. High-quality creative content that resonates with the target audience increases viewability and engagement rates. It's essential to focus on creative design, relevant messaging, and stand-out visuals. For example, using eye-catching graphics, bold colors, and clear calls-to-action can help ads stand out and encourage users to engage with them.

Implement Responsive Ad Design

Responsive ad design adjusts the ad's size and placement to fit the user's screen, improving the ad's viewability. Responsive ads provide a better user experience, as they're easily accessible and interact well with different devices. This is particularly important in today's mobile-first world, where users consume content on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Monitor and Adjust Campaigns Regularly

Continuous monitoring and adjustment of campaigns helps businesses optimize their display ad viewability. By identifying what's working and what's not, businesses can adjust their strategies to reach their ad campaign's full potential. For example, if a particular ad placement isn't performing well, businesses can adjust the placement or size to improve viewability. Similarly, if a particular creative isn't resonating with the target audience, businesses can tweak the messaging or design to improve engagement rates.

In conclusion, improving display ad viewability requires a combination of strategic planning, creative expertise, and continuous optimization. By implementing the strategies outlined above, businesses can increase their ad viewability rates, reach more users, and drive better results from their digital marketing efforts.

Measuring Display Ad Viewability

Display ad viewability is a crucial metric for businesses to measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. Viewability refers to the percentage of ad impressions that are actually seen by users. In today's digital landscape, where users are bombarded with numerous ads, it is essential to ensure that your ads are being seen by your target audience.

Tools are available to help businesses measure their display ad viewability. Here are some of the tools and platforms available:

Tools and Platforms for Measuring Viewability

Google DoubleClick Campaign Manager is a popular platform that provides viewability reporting and measurement. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help businesses optimize their ad campaigns for better performance. Moat is another platform that provides viewability measurement and reporting. It offers real-time analytics and insights into ad viewability, helping businesses make data-driven decisions. Integral Ad Science is yet another platform that provides viewability measurement and reporting. It offers a range of solutions to help businesses improve their ad viewability and performance.

Understanding Viewability Reports

Viewability reports provide insights into ad viewability metrics, such as viewable impressions, viewability rate, time in view, and engagement. Viewable impressions refer to the number of ad impressions that meet the viewability criteria, such as being in view for a minimum duration. Viewability rate refers to the percentage of ad impressions that are viewable. Time in view refers to the amount of time that the ad was in view. Engagement refers to the level of interaction that users had with the ad, such as clicks or conversions. Understanding these metrics helps businesses evaluate the success of their campaigns and adjust for better performance.

Setting Benchmarks and Goals for Viewability

Setting benchmarks and goals for viewability helps businesses track progress and adjust their strategies to achieve their targets. By setting goals, businesses can create clear expectations and work towards achieving better performance. Benchmarks can be set based on industry standards or internal data. For example, a business may aim to achieve a viewability rate of 70%, which is higher than the industry average of 50%. By setting a benchmark, businesses can evaluate their performance and make necessary adjustments to improve their viewability rate.

In conclusion, measuring display ad viewability is essential for businesses to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. With the help of tools and platforms, businesses can gain deep insights into ad viewability and optimize their campaigns for better performance. Understanding viewability reports and setting benchmarks and goals can help businesses track progress and achieve better results.


Display ad viewability is crucial in evaluating the success of ad campaigns and optimizing them for better performance. By measuring viewability metrics such as viewable impressions, viewability rate, time in view, and engagement, businesses can understand the effectiveness of their ads and adjust their strategies accordingly.