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banner_ad_viewabilityAd viewability is a buzzword of sorts. But it’s a buzzword that is grounded in logic. Because any conversation about ad viewability is really a discussion about how a campaign has performed.

Online ad viewability is attracting a lot of attention from advertising who are becoming obsessed with who is seeing ads. Viewability-based metrics are being forensically studied, but in doing so, aren’t we missing the whole point about advertising? Namely, that advertising isn’t an exercise in vanity. Brands shouldn’t be chasing views, but instead focusing on putting the right ads in front of the right people at the right time.

Advertisers are often reluctant to pay for low-viewability inventory, while the topic of the day always seems to be wasted ad spend. Ad viewability is an important subject matter, but only in the right context. To that end, here are 3 things about online ad viewability that need to be addressed.

1. Ad viewability is impossible to measure 100% accurately.

For starters, that’s partly down to how hard it is to compare viewability metrics across different data providers. But the real issue is with predicting who will scroll down to view an ad. We can predict to a good degree of accuracy, but there’s nevertheless an element of guesswork. And with guesswork, there lies risk. So long as business decisions are made with that in mind, all is good.

2. Ad Viewability is a tool that should be used in conjunction with other tactics.

That is to say, ad viewability isn’t something that will transform or support a business on its own. Instead, use it as part of your arsenal of technological and strategic intelligenceAs evidence of this, consider how ad viewability as a metric makes no sense on platforms that allow ads to be changed on a whim depending on their performance.

3. Ad Viewability stats can be misleading.

Whoever is analyzing ad viewability data within your organization needs to be clued up, because viewability numbers can be misleading. For instance, some adverts are incredible clever and creative, and engaging. But what if the click-through rate is poor? That could be down to different factors, like poor copy or badly-positioned CTA buttons.

Again, ad viewability measurements must be examined closely alongside all the issues in hand.

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Topics: Ad Viewability, Banner Ads, Partner Spotlight, Wasting Ad Budget

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.