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3 ways to improve video viewability and grow revenue

Video content has reached new heights and more screens than ever before, making video ads one of the most engaging and effective ad formats today. But as people gain more control to watch video content anytime and anywhere, there are still a number of design and technical factors that can get in the way of people actually seeing those video ads. For video ads to work, people have to be able to see them—that’s where viewability comes in.

Higher viewability can lead to better viewing experiences for users, better results for advertisers, and increased demand, fill rates, and revenue for publishers. In fact, increasing the viewability of video ads from 50 percent to 90 percent can result in more than an 80 percent revenue uplift for publishers (averaged across desktop and mobile sites) according to internal data.

To help publishers capture these opportunities and improve the viewability of their instream video ads on websites and apps, we’ve identified the 3 P’s of viewability—premium experiences, placement, and player.

1. Premium experiences, everywhere people are watching

A premium video experience can drive more value for your viewers and make your video ad inventory more appealing to advertisers. By making your videos load quickly, easy to find, and offering captivating content across screens, viewers will keep returning to your platform and your viewability rates can increase.

An impactful update you can make is to improve the speed of your website or app. Start by using tools like PageSpeed Insights or App Speed reports to understand your existing speeds. Then, try implementing solutions like lazy loading for article pages (waiting to load a video until someone scrolls down to it on your website or app), which can decrease latency and increase viewability rates.

2. Placement—making it easy for people to find and watch your video content and ads

The placement of your videos can make a big difference in your viewability. To make it as easy as possible for people to find and watch your video content and ads, place videos in an optimal location. You can run tests to identify where users spend time on your website or app and place the video player in those locations. To do this, try moving your video player to a different location on your website or app, and then measure if viewability rates change in your Google Ad Manager viewability reports.

3. Player—implementing larger video players can maximize viewability

Typically, the larger the video player, the more viewable the ad. By increasing your instream video player size to fill the majority of the screen, you can increase the viewability of your video ads. For example, according to the State of Ad Viewability report published in September 2018, a 2560 x 1440 video player has the highest viewability rate at 95 percent. Evaluate your video ad inventory sizes and move away from smaller video ads that don’t deliver the viewability rates desired by you or your advertising partners.

Using Ad Manager to measure your video viewability 

If you’re just getting started with video viewability, make sure you have the Google Ad Manager Interactive Media Ads SDK implemented on your websites and apps to enable Google's MRC-accredited viewability solution, Active View. We also recommend using the Open Measurement SDK for mobile apps, which offers publishers a single SDK that can be used by multiple measurement providers to measure in-app viewability.

Google Ad Manager offers a variety of reports to help you understand and optimize your video ad viewability. You can combine different reporting dimensions, such as creative size and custom criteria such as above-the-fold or below-the-fold placements, to understand potential areas for improvement and ways to implement the 3 P’s of viewability.

Following these best practices can have a big impact on improving the viewability of your video ads, and make the video ad experience better for everyone—users, advertisers, and publishers. For step-by-step recommendations on ways to improve the viewability of your video ads and measure your viewability in Google Ad Manager, download our guide on Video Viewability Best Practices for Publishers.



Get your campaigns ready to reach the always-on deal seeker

Marketers recognize Black Friday and Cyber Monday as major shopping holidays to prepare for. But did you know that only 18 percent of shoppers consolidate their holiday shopping to these days? 

Consumers are on the lookout for deals year-round—about 60 percent say that finding a great deal is what they enjoy most about shopping. So whether you’re gearing up for July 4th in the U.S., Bastille Day in France, or back-to-school shopping around the world, check out new tools coming soon to help you highlight in-store promotions, factor seasonal sales into your bidding strategy, and reach in-market consumers this season and beyond.

Heat up in-store sales with new Local campaign features

Before they’re heading to the store, local shoppers are hunting for deals: searches for “on sale near me” have grown by 250 percent since 2017. 

With Local campaigns, you can dedicate your entire campaign to offline sales and complement other channels like TV or print that also help deliver foot traffic to your business during important promotions. In fact, in recent global studies with 10 advertisers, we found that Local campaigns helped brands drive a median five times greater incremental return-on-ad-spend from their business locations. 

We have new features coming for Local campaigns to make it available to more advertisers and improve how you manage your locations and creatives. In the next few weeks, you’ll be able to set up your Local campaigns to drive calls to your business locations—even if you don’t have store visits measurement. By expanding Local campaigns to optimize for calls, more advertisers will now be able to access it and highlight what makes their stores unique across Google Search, Maps, YouTube and more.

Starting today, you can also create location groups to make it easier to promote a subset of business locations. For instance, if you’re selling special back-to-school product bundles at certain locations, use location groups to tailor your budget and messaging to this offer. Finally, asset reporting has started rolling out to give you better insight into creative performance. See what kinds of messaging and assets work best and use these learnings to improve your current and future creatives. 



Sanborns, a leading department store in Latin America, is one brand using Local campaigns to drive results during key promotions.

We’re excited to work with Google's new technology to help us grow our business. For Father's Day in Mexico and for a major sale we ran at the end of May, we used Local campaigns to make our in-store offers more prominent. It's amazing how we can get exposure with customers at the right time, and this helped us drive a 10x increase in store visits during these promotions year-over-year. 

- Grupo Sanborns’ marketing team

Put your in-store promotions front and center in local inventory ads

We’re also making it easier for retailers to highlight in-store promotions for specific products through Shopping ads. Today, retailers have connected over 2 billion offers to physical store locations globally using local inventory ads. Now, you can add a promotion to your local inventory ads. Call out in-store offers like “20% off” or “buy one get one free” for inventory you have in stock and drive more nearby deal-hunters to your physical locations.

We’re rolling this out in the U.S. and Australia, with more countries coming soon. If you’re a retailer interested in participating, request to join the whitelist here

Improve Smart Bidding performance by factoring in seasonal sales

Smart Bidding automatically optimizes your bids for every auction to help improve your return on investment. And while it factors in seasonality as a signal, we know there are key moments for your business—like during a big sale—when you can anticipate changes in conversion rates well in advance. For these occasions, we’ve introduced seasonality adjustments. 

Let’s say you’re running a promotion for grills as people get ready for their summer cookouts. Based on past promotions, you predict seeing a 50 percent increase in conversion rates during your sale. Use seasonality adjustments to let Smart Bidding know to expect and prepare for this conversion rate increase, and help our systems ramp up performance more quickly. 

Reach shoppers in the market for your products

In-market audiences for Search help advertisers drive more conversions by reaching qualified shoppers who are actively considering products or services to buy. These are aggregated and anonymized groups of consumers who’ve recently demonstrated an intent to purchase. This gives you a great opportunity to help your business stand out with compelling offers or deals when people are making their final decisions about what to buy.

We’ve recently rolled out more in-market segments across popular categories like beauty, sports, education and real estate. This includes over thirty new categories for retail, just in time for your seasonal sales.

No matter what season you’re ramping up for around the globe, we hope these new products set you up for success!



Extend the reach of your site personalization in Google Optimize

Personalization features in Google Optimize help businesses customize sites so their customers can find exactly what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it. For example, marketers can display a special promotion on their site for all visitors, or provide product recommendations based on customers’ previous purchase behavior.


Multi-page experiences in Optimize help you more easily deliver what your customers are looking for. Now, when you create a personalization or experiment, you’ll see an option to add additional pages so that you can extend its reach throughout your entire site—from the initial landing page to the final checkout page. Let’s take a look at two examples:


Coordinated customization across your entire site


Picture this: You’re planning for a sale next month and will be offering a 20 percent off discount code to all visitors. You want to see if displaying this code across your entire site will increase site conversions. Because each type of page on your site has a unique layout, you need to find a different spot to display your promotion on each page. 


Now with Optimize, you can test this idea by creating a single experiment and adding multiple pages to it using the “+ Add page” button.


From there, you’ll have the option to edit those pages so that you can display the promotion wherever it looks best in each case—whether that’s at the top of your site on the homepage or next to the pricing on your product page. 


When you are happy with the results of the multi-page experiment, you can turn it into a multi-page personalization with just one click.


The right experience to the right audience


If you’re using Optimize 360, you have the added ability to focus your experiment or personalization to your Google Analytics audiences.  


Using the same sale example, let’s say you want to offer a 35 percent off discount to your most loyal customers. You can create a multi-page personalization in the same way as described above. You can place the 35 percent discount banner and copy in all the pages that your loyal customers visit. When this personalization is launched, your loyal customers will always see this discount as they move from the home page, through your site, to the checkout page.


Want to learn how you can use this feature? Visit this article on our Help Center.

Multi-page experiences are already available to all Optimize and Optimize 360 accounts.  You’ll be able to ensure your customers see the right message at the right time—even as they explore multiple pages on your site. And by creating a more valuable online experience, they’ll keep visiting you again and again. 


Introducing BigQuery parameters in Data Studio

If you’re one of the many Data Studio users writing custom queries for BigQuery, you can now run parameterized queries. This provides better customization and interaction options to your users while making your reports faster.


When connecting to BigQuery from Data Studio you can use special date parameters or define your own named parameters as part of a custom query. Parameters in custom queries introduce two key benefits: queries can be dynamically updated from the report - no need to create new data sources; this works even if the report user does not have edit access to the data source. You can optimize query cost and gain dashboard performance improvements since less data is passed from BigQuery to Data Studio for parameterized queries.

Creating parameterized custom queries


Let's say you're interested in analyzing word usage by corpus for a selected set of Shakepeare's works. The following BigQuery Public Dataset, bigquery-public-data.samples.shakespeare,is available to carry out this analysis:

To allow report editors to choose which corpus to analyze from Shakespeare’s works you can use the Custom Query interface of the BigQuery connector in Data Studio to define corpus as a parameter as part of a filter. You can define the type of UI element for the parameter (e.g., text input, single select, checkbox, etc.) and provide default values.


In the following example, the corpus parameter has been defined as a single-select dropdown with Hamlet as the default value along with other works as options such as Othello, King Lear, etc.

A BigQuery custom query with a custom corpus parameter

What’s really cool is that once you’ve defined the configuration, report editors will then be able to choose a specific corpus to analyze by using the dropdown from the parameters section of the report property panel:

E.g. The corpus parameter options in the

Data Studio property panel.

Using date parameters


Prior to date parameters, custom queries for date sharded or partitioned tables could not be limited to a date range based on a report’s date control. Instead, your custom query would have to fetch all rows for all dates, leaving Data Studio to do the job of filtering for the date range selected by the report user. The result is slower and less efficient reports.


With date parameters, you can use the reserved start and end date parameters as part of a custom query. When report users select a date range for analysis the dates selected will automatically be included as part of your custom query, resulting in a much more efficient query and fetching only the rows needed for the requested date range.


The following example custom query uses the @DS_START_DATE and @DS_END_DATE parameters as part of a filter on the creation date column of a table. The records produced by the query will be limited to the date range selected by the report user, reducing the number of records returned and resulting in a faster query:


A BigQuery custom query using start and end date parameters

The standard Data Studio date settings and controls will determine the date values for your custom query. A report editor can set a default date or add a date control to a report and the start and end dates for your query will change based on the report date control.


In both cases, named and date parameters offer a more efficient way to retrieve data from a single BigQuery data source while giving your report users flexible options to analyze different data.


Try it out!

To learn more about how parameters work review data source parameters and connecting to BigQuery


As you have a chance to experiment with parameters, send us feedback or give us a shout out at @googleanalytics.



EdTech companies you should know about

Editor’s Note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners.  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

At ISTE 2019, we’re highlighting a wide range of apps and integrations that make learning more accessible for students of diverse strengths, abilities and needs. We work closely with developers to ensure these accessibility-focused tools and integrations work with our own products, and evolve based on the needs of students and educators who share their feedback with us. Here’s how G Suite and Chromebooks power apps that make learning more inclusive:

  • Capti Voice reads aloud documents, books and webpages to students, translates words and passages in more than 100 languages. Students and educators who have a G Suite for Education account can access the app from Google Drive on any web platform. This is especially helpful for students with vision loss, dyslexia, ADHD or motor challenges.

  • Crick Software: One of the first augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps—designed to support students with impairments in spoken or written language—created for Chromebook users, Crick Software supports writers at various levels of experience and ability with word grids that help build sentences. This tool also reads passages back so students can check their work with ease. 

  • Scanning Pens: The ReaderPen reads aloud as a student scans the pen over written text, aiding students who need extra support with reading. Students scan the text directly into a Google Doc, upload the audio recordings to a Chromebook or Android device so that they can easily reference the information later.

  • Bulb: Students and educators can create, curate, and share work in a digital portfolio directly from Google Classroom, and access their Bulb portfolio work in Google Drive. Students can share work created in Bulb directly back to Google Classroom, and lessons can be evaluated in Bulb and graded in Google Classroom. 

  • Slooh: Slooh's innovative space lab is a global network of virtual robotic telescopes controlled by students (of all ages) and teachers in curriculum-driven, self-guided space exploration. Through Slooh’s integration with Google for Education, teachers can make assignments and track student progress.

Expanding personalized learning with the Chromebook App Hub

We’re also working with educational apps focused on cultivating personalized learning environments, improving organization, and optimizing assessments. Here are some partners offering expanded functionality in G Suite, Google Classroom, and Chromebooks, all featured in the brand new Chromebook App Hub.

  • Seesaw has new creative tools optimized for students using Chromebooks. Students can select files from Google Drive, annotate, and curate them into their Seesaw portfolios to share with teachers, parents/guardians, and classmates on Chromebooks. Teachers  can import rosters from Google Classroom to Seesaw in just a few clicks—making sharing and demonstrating student learning seamless. Check out Seesaw on the Chromebook App Hub.

  • Backpack for Google Drive by Amplified Labs: Students curate, reflect upon, and showcase digital learning materials against a district-defined skills framework. Backpack manages all of the sharing and organization in Google Drive and connects with Google Classroom rosters and assignments. Check out Backpack for Google Drive on the Chromebook App Hub.

  • Kahoot! makes it easy to create, share and play fun learning games or quizzes in minutes. Their single sign-on feature allows Google users to effortlessly log into their Kahoot! account, and their Google Classroom integration enables educators to share Kahoot! homework challenges with their students in one click. Check out Kahoot! on the Chromebook App Hub.

The Google for Education Technology Partner Program gives developers access to technical, marketing and branding support, and Google initiatives, such as Cloud credits for startups, developer scholarships, and launchpad spaces. Have a product that integrates with Google for Education? Explore the available program track options. If you’re looking for awesome apps that integrate with Google tools, check out the Chromebook App Hub, andjoin the App Hub community.


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