“Ad quality is in my top three concerns as a publisher.” How many times do we hear this? Almost always?
This has always been a topic of interest. But especially in the current situation, it has been accentuated since there is a gap between supply and demand for inventory. Advertiser buying and spending patterns have changed leading to publishers taking some drastic measures to earn a sustainable revenue. It’s a vicious cycle, dropping floor prices or increasing the available inventory opens the door to another larger problem – Bad ads/ Ad Quality. This should be a concern as it can have serious implications on the business model as a whole.
So here is why maintaining top tier ad quality is always a good idea.
User experience and its impact
Users visit your site for the content. Too many distracting ads or redirects, auto-downloads, flashy ads, auto sound, and autoplay ads are going to alienate them. They are going to look for alternatives, you end up losing traffic and the site is left with an increased bounce rate. The bottom line is users do not mind seeing ads provided they are not intrusive and get in the way of what they are doing.
Damaged Brand Identity
Now imagine your website specializes in financial advice and a user visits the website to gather some information. Voila, they are greeted with a flashing pop up asking them to click a link to claim the million dollars or the latest iPhone they just won. This is not going to go down well in building your image as a subject matter expert in financial services. Your brand’s identity will be tarnished associating you with shady vendors. What users expect to see is ads that they can associate with financial services and not click baits.
Lower floor prices can open the doors to malvertisers. Malware links can be present in ad creatives, videos, landing pages or can be injected via ad calls as well. Some of them can act as redirects and take you to a URL that is entirely different from where it was intended to take you. But a more serious threat is to the users’ data and the information that can be collected. At times the information on a website’s entire user base can be compromised. Users are becoming aware of scams and the potential risk of data loss. If a publisher’s website exhibits such behavior, in all probability they are going to lose users.
Increased Ad blocks
When a user visits a website he comes there with specific intent. If there is an imbalance between the ad to content ratio, there are distracting ads or ads which interfere with their user experience, it acts as an impetus to block such ads. For a publisher blocked ads equate to lost revenue. One can understand it much clear from the infographic below.
A publisher begins with the intention of increasing the revenue by increasing the fill rate by reducing the floor prices and increasing the number of ads served. In reality, it exactly serves the opposite purpose. It leads to visitors leaving the site as it loads slow, gives a bad user experience, or entirely blocking the ads. Over a period of time, this translates to a higher bounce rate, reduced traffic, and lowered page ranks. As a result, advertisers and demand sources shy away from running high value and quality campaigns on the website. Final result? Low revenue.
It is important to understand the nuances of ad quality and user experience and how both work hand in hand to incremental revenue Keeping that in mind how would a website provide great user experience, the balance between ad to content ratio, and yet achieve an incremental revenue?