eHow grows ad revenue by optimizing viewability metrics
Growing Revenue with ad viewability
Optimizely's Moat Integration
eHow’s banner visibility test
eHow was experiencing low viewability metrics for the banner ads on it's “how-to” content pages. To drive these metrics back in the right direction, the eHow team experimented with a sticky banner ad, which would stay visible on a reader’s screen until they scrolled to a certain depth on each page. They hypothesised that making the banner sticky would keep it in view for a longer period of time, thus improving its visibility. They tracked a variety of metrics, including ad viewability, reader scroll depth, and engagement.
eHow experimented with a sticky banner ad, which would stay visible on a reader's screen until they scrolled to a certain depth on each page.
As the results came in, eHow was met with another challenge. While the sticky banner did improve ad viewability metrics, there were also negative side effects. It seemed that the sticky banner performed well in the eyes of advertisers, but not readers – scroll depth and engagement with related content, and pageviews plummeted.
eHow used this information to iterate, testing a second option. In this iteration, they still opted for the sticky banner, but controlled its display based on time, rather than scroll depth. After a reader had been on the page for a certain amount of time, the sticky banner would disappear. They hypothesized that this option would better meet the needs of both advertisers and readers. The idea being that the ad would disappear more quickly in this case (as soon as it met the appropriate attention requirements), giving readers a undisrupted experience earlier on, while their interest in the article was still piqued.
The results for the iterated variation of the sticky banner were overwhelmingly positive, greatly improving ad viewability metrics without disrupting engagement, scroll depth, or pageviews. These results helped inform changes made across eHow’s content pages. eHow was able to use higher viewability metrics to increase the value of its display inventory to advertisers. The end result? Significant gains in ad revenue for eHow, better viewability for its advertisers, and a high-quality experience for readers.
The combination of Optimizely and Moat allowed us to quickly launch and iterate on ideas, with the ability to have shorter development cycles. It also helped us get a full picture of the website performance and user behavior.
A.R. TabriziOptimization Manager, Demand Media
See the result at www.ehow.com