New Publisher feature: Ad Refresh! How to further monetize user time

Ad refresh

What is Ad Refresh? It is a new ExoClick feature that allows publishers to refresh ad content on various Banner ad zones, including RDAs, on their website, in order to serve not one, but several ads per user, per session. So the more time an end user spends on a page section that has an ad zone, the more ads they will get the chance to view. This is beneficial both for publishers and advertisers: Advertisers have more chances to get their ads seen and clicked on, and publishers get to monetize user time whilst increasing viewable impressions, which will increase the long-term value of their ad zones.

Plus, maximizing the number of viewable impressions with Ad Refresh on your zones will:

  • Make more of your inventory available to advertisers buying your viewable impressions through the ExoClick Network.
  • Make you aware of high and low viewability areas within your site, to help you focus on increasing viewability rates.
  • Reveal how likely an ad is to be clicked on a specific zone, since the ad needs to be viewed in order to be clicked.

As a publisher, ‘ad viewability’ is an important metric to track, because advertisers want to buy viewable impressions, so publishers that offer highly viewable display inventory will have inventory that will be in higher demand. So, in short, by helping you improve your site’s ad viewability rates, Ad Refresh allows you to increase quality impressions that are likely to generate clicks, which will generate more demand, and will positively affect your revenues! Continue reading to find out more:

How does Ad Refresh work and what is it?

This is the logic that Ad Refresh uses, based on viewability, which is an Ad Best Practice recommended by Google, because in order to refresh, an ad zone needs to be directly viewed by an end user in real-time, which promotes high viewability rates. That means that, when an end user decides to spend some time on a page reading or watching your content, only the ad zone that is on the visible part of their device’s screen will refresh.

So, for instance, let’s imagine a webpage that has a Header Banner, and also a Footer Banner. If an end user is watching some video content on the website that is displaying close to the Header Banner ad zone. The Header Banner is visible to the end user while they are watching the video, so the Header ad zone will refresh after the ad refresh time setting is passed, displaying various ads to the end user. The Footer ad zone won’t refresh, until the end user navigates to the section of the webpage that displays the Footer Banner, then, as with the Header Banner, the Footer ad zone will begin refreshing and showing different ads to the end user after the ad refresh time setting is passed.

As a publisher you can choose the refresh frequency for ad zones, there are 4 time settings:

#1 30 secs: The ads will refresh every 30 seconds

#2 60 secs: The ads will refresh every 60 seconds

#3 90 secs: The ads will refresh every 90 seconds

#4 120 secs: The ads will refresh every 120 seconds

Depending on how frequently you want your ads to refresh, you can choose a longer or a shorter refreshing interval. There is a limit of 10 rotations per user session, which means that you are not at risk of damaging your eCPMs because of a too constant ad rotation.

Also, this rotation limit has been set to be fully compliant with the IAB Standards. The IAB’s rule for ad refreshing is that publishers should choose to refresh ads at a reasonable rate, to avoid serving low-quality impressions. So by setting the 10 refreshes limit, we help you not only to provide a better user experience, but to always keep compliant with Industry Standards.

In the image below, you can see how the banner placement refreshes after 30 seconds:

Monetize user time with ad refresh

How to enable Ad Refresh on my ad zones

You can enable Ad Refresh on new and active ad zones to monetize user time within your Admin Panel. See the example below:

ExoClick ad refresh

All you need to do is go to one of your zone’s settings. You then select the ‘Ad Refresh Rate’ menu bar, and then select your preferred time setting. Note that the Ad Refresh Rate is set by default to ‘No Refresh’, which means that your ads will not rotate and the same one will show throughout the entire user session. Because all of the ads will fall under the category that you have picked in the Category setting, they will all be ads that are relevant to your audience’s interests.

Important: When setting up your timings, our account managers recommend that you should test out a refresh rate of 30 to 60 seconds to give the opportunity for several ads to be displayed to and viewed by the end user.

Currently, Ad Refresh is available for Banner zones including Responsive Display Ads (RDAs). RDAs are great because they are built for performance, reach and scale. With RDAs, advertisers can quickly and easily optimize their ad campaigns using multiple assets at the same time, which will display in different formats and sizes across multiple sites. So by enabling Responsive Display Ads on your site contributes to your zones becoming more competitive, creating a higher demand and bringing higher bids, leading to higher CPM and creating a positive impact on your site’s revenues.

Why use Ad Refresh? Top Benefits for publishers and advertisers

Benefits for publishers

#1 Increased impressions and revenues per ad zone: Because multiple ads are going to be shown per singular end user session, you increase the number of impressions on your ad zones, which generates more clicks, leading to higher revenues. Also, because we are talking about quality impressions from active end users, the zone will become more desirable for advertisers, with more advertisers willing to bid higher for your ad zones.

#2 You are optimizing end user time on the page: This feature allows you to monetize user time. A regular ad zone that is not using Ad Refresh will only show one ad per user session, from an advertiser’s winning bid. Instead, you are making every second count by showing up to 10 ads per session, which means you are optimizing the opportunities for the ad zone to generate advertiser bids.

#3 A better user experience: Ad Refresh is a great way to offer your end users fresh ad content on your site that matches with your audience’s interests. This will keep them more engaged and interested, which means they will enjoy your content and the ad experience on your site, making them more likely to be regular return visitors.

#4 No ad fatigue: Coming across the same ad campaigns over and over might end up becoming annoying to some end users. So if one campaign has already been shown to an end user, Ad Refresh will simply pick a different one to show, so that they don’t see repeat campaigns, avoiding ad fatigue.

#5 You are compliant with Industry Standards! ExoClick’s Ad Refresh feature has been specially designed to ensure full compliance with Google and the IAB Standards. Helping you provide the best experience on your site for your end users, optimized results for your advertisers, and the peace of mind that you are inline with all industry standards.

Benefits of Ad Refresh for advertisers

#1 More ad inventory available: Because multiple ads are going to be shown per user session, advertisers have more opportunities to bid for a specific ad zone, which means that their offers become more likely to be seen by their target audiences.

#2 More opportunities to appear in high visibility zones! This is great news when it comes to high visibility zones, like NVPs, Desktop and Mobile Headers, and similar. These zones tend to be in high demand, which means that it is more difficult to access them. Ad Refresh gives advertisers more chances to place the winning bid on high visibility zones!

#3 Ads will be shown to fresh audiences: Because an end user won’t be shown the same campaign twice, advertisers can be sure that their offers are being shown to fresh audiences, bringing more opportunities for campaign reach, with the possibility of the ad campaign getting interest from more end users and increased clicks.

#4 Quality Impressions: Impressions coming from ad refresh have higher viewability ratios, in other words, they are quality impressions with a high probability of generating a click.

Publishers! Here are some tips and best practices to monetize user time

Test out different timings, and don’t over refresh! ExoClick’s Ad Refresh has specific timing limits to avoid refreshing too often, so that you always remain compliant with Industry Standards. However, you still need to be mindful of setting a refresh rate that works for your site’s audience and your specific vertical. Different products require different timings in order to generate clicks. It is advisable to start with a more conservative timing, and then test out different variations in order to find the right balance.

Use Ad Refresh on popular sections of your site: You are using this new feature to monetize user time, so the more time an end user spends engaging with your content, the more ads you can serve, and the more likely these ads are to be engaged with – and then clicked! As we can see, the minimum refresh time is 30 seconds, so make sure to enable Ad Refresh on zones that are within sections of your webpage that have engaging content that keeps end users entertained for a longer period of time. This could be next to videos, image galleries, big news stories, etc. For Members Area sites these zones could be next to the most popular dating profiles, etc.

Make the most of high visibility zones: Equally, it is a good idea to enable this feature on sections of your site that have high visibility, for instance using Header ads, Display Banners in between text sections on a blog containing tips or other entertaining editorial content, by a visible CTA, etc.

Still, test out all zones! Different things work for different sites, so still test out Ad Refresh in lower visibility zones across your site. Because the ad zone won’t refresh unless it is being viewed, you cannot damage your viewability rate by doing so!

Make sure to enable RDAs on your site! Have you enabled Responsive Display Ads on your website? If you are using Ad Refresh for an RDA Banner zone, you will also be able to serve both Native and Banner ads, which makes more ad inventory available for your advertisers, again generating even more demand on your ad zones. Learn how to quickly and easily enable RDA ads with Async and iFrame here!

Understand high and low viewability zones: Ad Refresh makes you aware of high and low viewability areas within your site. Make sure that you use this to your advantage to learn what zones on your site will bring you more benefits, and which ones you could potentially swap around and test out new ones. Experiment by adding new zones and adding Ad Refresh to them across your site to test out how well they will perform, based on viewability.

Are you thinking of using the new Ad Refresh feature, or have any questions on how to monetize user time? Get in touch with your account manager or a Customer Success manager here!

Anna Quiroga