Ad quality – and what publishers can do about it
If you’d have to pick a 2021 buzzword for native advertising it would definitely be ad quality. Every stakeholder in the native ad game is struggling with the issue of low-quality content ads. So what can be done about it?
Or, more importantly – who will take care of the quality of ads featured on your website? While publishers are not the primary filters when it comes to bad quality ads – there is still plenty you can do to influence – and of course, improve – ad quality on your sites.
Pick your vendors carefully.
As the manager of your domain, you have the right to choose your vendor(s). How do you pick the best ones for you? Do your research. Check out the premium websites in your vertical, and check which advertisers they work with. Then look around and check which of the content recommendation vendors offer a similar ad stack.
Communicate your needs.
While many times it might feel like publishers are at the mercy of native ad vendors – this could not be less true. Just as much as you need their services – they need your inventory. Make sure your vendor(s) know your expectations when it comes to the served ads.
Choose the ad categories you’d like to feature on your site and communicate your other criteria clearly, including your risk appetite. You can specifically request ads about holiday destinations, fashion, and beauty tips – while letting your vendor know that you want to stay away from advertising on financial products and adult content.
You can be even more sophisticated, and let your native ad vendor know what topics you want to avoid. A left-leaning website would want to steer away from right-wing content rec items – and vice versa. Native ad providers have the ability and the power to filter out the ads that may have a bad effect on your brand.
Better domain, better ads.
The rule is easy; the better your domain content, the higher quality ads you get. A low-traffic website without any editorial vision behind it will not get the premium ads. If, on the other hand, you generate quality content that then attracts a higher volume of relevant, engaged audiences – advertisers will be motivated to pay a higher price for your inventory.
Monetize with multiple vendors.
Using multiple vendors to monetize your website can put you into an even more comfortable position. Switching out your ad vendor due to ad quality (or other) concerns can be a tedious process.
When working with multiple vendors this becomes much easier. The offending vendor can be simply switched off with a click – while the others seamlessly replace it. This also increases the publisher’s negotiating power to get higher quality demand.
Furthermore, this way, the publisher can set the highest quality standards without sacrificing fill rate. In a multi-vendor scenario, if one vendor cannot fit an ad slot – the others will jump in and serve a relevant, high-quality ad. A multi-vendor setup has also proven to increase eCPM by 37.7% on average.
Don’t skimp on your ad quality protection.
Numerous solutions like GeoEdge are available on the market to help publishers with safeguarding the ad quality on their websites. These programs make sure to sample and monitor ad quality throughout the website and raise red flags when bad actors pop up.
While advertisers and vendors should be the first line of defense when it comes to ad quality, publishers of high-traffic websites can take a more active role in ensuring the ad quality on their domain.