Today, we’re excited to share insights from a new study on how mobile speed can impact user engagement and publisher revenue. As people’s expectations for mobile experiences have grown, simply loading on a mobile device is no longer enough. Mobile sites must be fast and relevant.
Unfortunately, based on our analysis of 10,000+ mobile web domains, we found that most mobile sites don’t meet this bar: the average load time for mobile sites is 19 seconds over 3G connections.1 That’s about as long as it takes to sing the entire alphabet song!2
Slow loading sites frustrate users and negatively impact publishers. While there are several factors that impact revenue, our model projects that publishers whose mobile sites load in 5 seconds earn up to 2x more mobile ad revenue than those whose sites load in 19 seconds.3 The study also observed 25% higher ad viewability4 and 70% longer average sessions5 for sites that load in 5 seconds vs 19 seconds.
That’s why we’ve been so focused on mobile-first solutions to help publishers succeed — from our participation in the nearly year old AMP project, to our launch of a scalable native advertising solution, to our investment in products that help publishers increase revenue while minimizing latency.
Never before has mobile speed been more important.
Slow page load times are a big blocker:
- 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load6
- One out of two people expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds7
- 46% of people say that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike the most when browsing the web on mobile devices8
We all know this first hand — if you’re looking for something on your phone, how long will you wait if the page takes more than a few seconds to load?
The three major factors that slow down mobile sites are file size, the number of server requests, and the order in which the different elements of the page are loaded. We found:
- The average size of the content on mobile sites is 1.49 MB, which takes 7 seconds to load over 3G connections9
- Mobile pages make an average of 214 server requests, and nearly half of all server requests are ad-related10
Getting up to speed
There are many tools out there to help diagnose the problem and fix it. We recommend a 3-step process to speed up mobile sites:
- Assess the current performance of the site using tools like PageSpeed Insights, Mobile-Friendly Test, and Web Page Test.
- Monitor performance after making changes and run A/B tests to regularly audit the setup of your site, flagging and removing anything that adds latency.
To learn more about our study and the steps you can take to improve the experience on your mobile site, check out our guide, “The Need for Mobile Speed” [g.co/MobileSpeed]
Posted by Alex Shellhammer & Juliette Neel
1 Webpagetest.org, Sampled 11.8K global mWeb homepage domains loaded using a fast 3G connection timing first view only (no cached resources), February 2016
2 NPR, “Keep Flu At Bay With A Song”, April 2009
3 Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics and DoubleClick AdExchange data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, n=4.5K, Global, June 2015 - May 2016
4 DoubleClick for Publishers, Google Active View ad viewability for 10.7K mWeb homepage domains with >70% measurable ad viewability, Global, February 2016
5 Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, n=3.5K, Global, March 2016
6 Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, n=3.7K, Global, March 2016
7 Akamai Technologies - 2014 Consumer Web Performance Expectations Survey
8 Google Webmaster Central Blog, "#MobileMadness: a campaign to help you go mobile-friendly", April, 2015
9 Webpagetest.org, Sampled 11.8K global mWeb homepage domains loaded using a fast 3G connection timing first view only (no cached resources), February 2016
10 Webpagetest.org, Sampled 11.8K global mWeb homepage domains loaded using a fast 3G connection timing first view only (no cached resources), February 2016
A few weeks back, Paul Muret, Google’s VP of Display, Video and Analytics, made several announcements about enhancements to the DoubleClick platform to support Programmatic Direct deals. Paul also shared that the number of Programmatic Direct deals transacted on DoubleClick Ad Exchange tripled in 20151 alone.
Everyone knows that programmatic is growing and is increasingly becoming the way we transact digital advertising. But what’s the deal with programmatic deals, or as we say, Programmatic Direct?
To answer that question, we dug into the data to analyze the key drivers of Programmatic Direct growth on our platforms. You can explore some of the data for yourself, with our interactive report: The State of Programmatic Direct.
Looking through Ad Exchange data from October 2014 to December 2015, one thing became incredibly clear: In every region, across every platform and publisher category, there are fascinating trends of adoption to be found.
Programmatic Direct has gone mainstream...
Depending on whom you ask, the history of programmatic exchanges can be traced back nearly a decade. However, it was only a few years ago that some of the world’s largest global spenders started making big commitments to programmatic and “programmatic” became ANA’s Marketing Word of the Year.
It hasn’t taken as long for advertisers and publishers to use programmatic technologies to transact the deals they’d traditionally buy and sell directly. In reviewing the data from DoubleClick AdExchange, we found that:
- 90+ marketers on the Ad Age Top 100 Global Marketers list made Programmatic Direct deals in 20152.
- More than half of the publishers in the US comScore top 50 list from December 2015 offered their inventory through Programmatic Direct deals3.
… On every screen
Programmatic may have been born on the desktop, but Programmatic Direct is taking off on mobile — probably not a surprise if you’re reading this article on your phone. Programmatic Direct impressions served on mobile and tablet grew 4x faster than desktop in the period surveyed4.
… In every region
The growth of Programmatic Direct isn’t limited to any specific country or region. So, where is it well adopted and where is it growing fast?
- Programmatic Direct impressions in Ukraine, Turkey and Spain each more than doubled in just 12 months5.
- Japan was the strongest adopter in APAC but Taiwan and Indonesia saw Programmatic Direct impressions grow more than 20% monthly6.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we dig through the data to share more insights. You can also explore our interactive research report to find additional trends, like how quickly Programmatic Direct impressions on mobile apps grew for game publishers in Japan. To get started, take a look at the infographic below.
Posted by Carlo Acenas
Associate Product Marketing Manager
Sr. Product Marketing Manager 1 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, year end 2014 to year end 2015.
2 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014-Dec 2015. Minimum $1K spend.
3 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014-Dec 2015. Cross-referenced with comScore 50 US list, December 2015.
4 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 - Dec 2015.
5 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 - Dec 2015.
6 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 - Dec 2015.
Delivering a better experience for users has been our top priority since Google was founded, from the products we develop and the ads that we show to how we do business with our partners and clients. This will be on full display at the DoubleClick Leadership Summit, our annual gathering of large advertiser, agency and publisher clients beginning today.
This year, our focus is on how we can work together to create better, faster ad experiences across every screen, starting with mobile.
You can watch my opening keynote here, during which I shared updates about new innovations on the DoubleClick platform and how we’re helping advertisers and publishers adapt to today’s mobile world.
Making ads on the mobile web faster
Our research shows that the average mobile site takes 19 seconds to load. Think about that for a minute. That’s a long time! Not only is this frustrating for users but it’s also a huge missed opportunity for publishers -- we estimate mobile sites that load within 5 seconds can earn up to 2x more revenue than those at the 19 second average.
To help make the mobile web faster for users, Google joined a global community of publishers and other tech companies to launch the open sourced Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (also known as AMP). Early analysis shows that mobile web pages that use AMP HTML load four times faster and use 10 times less data on average than non-AMP mobile web pages.
AMP is already making a difference for a variety of publishers such as the Washington Post, which is seeing first-hand how AMP pages deliver great mobile web experiences that build user loyalty.
But just speeding up the content is not enough - slow-loading ads are also a problem. We’re announcing two new features that will make ad experiences better on the mobile web:
- AMP for Ads - With AMP for Ads, we're bringing everything that's good and fast about AMP to ads. Unfortunately, most advertisers’ campaign creative are not fully optimized for mobile experiences. AMP for Ads allows advertisers to build beautifully-designed ads in AMP HTML so that the entire AMP experience, both the publisher’s content and the advertiser’s creative, load simultaneously at AMP-speed.
- AMP Landing Pages - AMP Landing Pages are fast, custom pages, built by advertisers so that when someone clicks on their AMP ad, they continue to have an AMP experience. AMP Landing Pages are also built with AMP HTML so that advertisers or their agencies use the same process to create these pages as they do with AMP content pages.
Building the next generation of ads with DoubleClick
Over the past year, Google has been working with publishers to help them adopt native ads - ads that match the look, feel and style of their surrounding content on a publisher’s website. Users find this type of ad format useful, particularly on mobile. However, in the advertising industry, the process of building and trafficking native ads is still largely manual.
Today, we are announcing significant updates for native ads across our platforms that will help to accelerate adoption of this user-friendly format with programmatic.
- For the first time, advertisers will be able to buy native ads programmatically in DoubleClick Bid Manager, across all screens. Instead of providing fully-designed creatives, advertisers upload the components of the ad - headline, image, text, and so on - and DoubleClick automatically assembles them to fit the context and format of the site or app where they appear.
- For publishers, we’re now offering a complete native ads solution in DoubleClick. Publishers can now make native ad inventory across web and apps available programmatically or through traditional direct sales.
Creating value with programmatic
Programmatic buying delivers results, so it’s no surprise that brands and agencies are continuing to invest. Today, we’re excited to announce a new global partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment brands, Time Warner Inc.
DoubleClick will work with all of Time Warner’s businesses, networks and brands, such as, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Harry Potter and CNN, among others, as well as Time Warner’s agencies, for programmatic buying, ad serving, and measurement globally.
Time Warner is not alone in growing their investment in programmatic. We’ve seen tremendous momentum on our own platforms. In 2015 alone,
- Programmatic video revenue for TV and media companies increased more than 6x on DoubleClick for Publishers.
- Video spend by advertisers using Programmatic Direct on DoubleClick Bid Manager grew more than 7x.
- The number of Programmatic Direct deals on DoubleClick AdExchange tripled.
Together with our advertiser and publisher partners, we've made huge strides in improving the digital ads experience for users. Digital ads can be lightning fast, engaging and as beautiful as the site and app where they appear.
We've come a long way from ads that just blink text in blocky boxes - and yet we know there is still work to do. Today’s announcements represent our continued commitment to help our clients and partners deliver better and faster ad experiences for users.
|Posted by Paul Muret
Vice President of Display, Video and Analytics, Google
Visit the DoubleClick website at www.doubleclick.com next week for a series of articles with more details on today’s announcements.
Join me on Tuesday, July 19th at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET for a livestream broadcast of my keynote address from the DoubleClick Leadership Summit (DLS). I’ll be sharing updates on the latest innovations on the DoubleClick platform and how we’re helping advertisers and publishers adapt to today’s mobile world.
At Google, one of our enduring principles is to “focus on the user and all else will follow.” This has been an important guidepost throughout our history, and it has never been more relevant than it is today. People are more ‘mobile’ now than ever before. We spend every waking hour connected to our devices. We expect to find what we want, when we want it. But with only a split second to engage and capture attention, user experience matters more than ever.
In my keynote, I’ll share an update on the technologies we’re developing to help advertisers, agencies and publishers create better experiences for people on the go. You can expect to hear more about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Native Ads, as well as new, more immersive experiences like 360 video. I’ll also be unveiling new product features to help our clients and partners more effectively reach, engage, monetize and measure audiences across screens.
I’m looking forward to the livestream on July 19th. Please register to watch here.
|Posted by Paul Muret
Vice President of Analytics, Display, and Video Products, Google
Tune in on July 19th for the DoubleClick Announcements Livestream. Watch live as Paul Muret, Vice President of Display, Video Ads and Analytics at Google, shares new product announcements and DoubleClick's vision for the future.
Register and get the link to the livestream in your inbox before the event.
The event will be streamed live on DoubleClick.com on July 19th, 2016 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET.
Posted by The DoubleClick Marketing Team
Native advertising is an increasingly popular ad monetization strategy for publishers. The New York Times is an early adopter, and recently we caught up with their Managing Director of Ad Innovation, Nicholas Van Amburg, on what they’ve learned from running native ads. Here’s what he shared.
The New York Times’ first issue was printed in 1851 as a penny paper, and now, we share news with over one million digital-only subscribers every day. In our 164-year history, we’ve seen our readers shift from print, to computers, to mobile. Despite all of this change, however, we’ve remained committed to delivering the highest-quality content to our readers—whether it’s news, features, opinions or ads. First and foremost, it makes our readers happy. But, it also serves as an important foundation for a sustainable monetization strategy. Whether readers are interacting with our articles, videos, podcasts, or apps, our ads needs to be just as engaging as our own content.
To create a strong user experience wherever people are reading news, we’ve experimented a lot with our native advertising strategy. Here’s what we’ve learned:
Create effective ad formats that scale
One of our early experimentations with native advertising was a solution we called ‘Flex Frames.’ To offer the best user experience possible, we ensured Flex Frame ads behaved like organic content by matching the look and feel of surrounding contexts, both in terms of editorial content and across different platforms and devices.
While Flex Frames successfully adapted to the look and feel of our content, we faced roadblocks when attempting to scale -- our team was dedicating countless hours to coding and compiling ads for review by advertisers. To overcome this challenge, we partnered with DoubleClick and have realized significant efficiencies since.
Use data to make smart decisions
The ability to leverage our first party audience data proved crucial to our native advertising strategy, allowing us to place the right ad in front of the right person at the right time, both in terms of content and format. For example, we will serve a video ad rather than a photo story if we know a reader is more likely to view video content than view photos in a carousel. These highly-relevant ads produce excellent results with 6X higher CTRs with 4X more viewable impressions.
Launch and iterate
Metrics are important, and you have to know what to measure in order to decide whether ads are working for you and your users. It’s important to identify KPIs at the start of a project, and measure them regularly. These KPIs may differ based on the company, but for us, after running a variety of focus groups through our Consumer Insights Group, we found user engagement to be one of our most important KPIs. We want to know the ad experience is a positive one for our users—that our ads aren’t just tolerated, but that people actually opt to spend time with them. We’re constantly testing ads to understand what’s working and what’s not.
Educate sales and advertisers to see the value of native ads
We’ve been working with native ads for over a year now, but for many people, these ads are still relatively new. Even a year in, the hardest thing about my job continues to be educating sales teams about native formats. And the same goes for advertisers—it’s our job at The New York Times to demystify component-based ads and explain why they're better for the whole ecosystem. With more education, sales teams can better sell native ads, and advertisers will start opting for more native formats.
The next generation of native ads
Taking what we’ve learned so far, I believe the next big leap for native ads is to deliver more meaningful, contextually-relevant experiences across an ever-broader spectrum of media formats and devices. This is important because The New York Times isn’t just a paper or a website anymore. It's a website. It's an app. It's a host of touchpoints and experiences where the user sits at the core. We're headed for a world that lives on an incredibly fractured series of screens and touch points -- and our challenge is to make sure that we are meeting and exceeding users’ expectations across all them.
We recently released Native Ads on DoubleClick across all screens — on the web and in apps — to all our partners. Watch the video below to learn more about The New York Times’ strategy and approach to native advertising or continue to DoubleClick.com to read the case study.
|Posted by Nicholas Van Amburg
Managing Director of Ad Innovation, The New York Times
Today we’re announcing that First Look is available to all DoubleClick for Publishers clients globally and that we’ve begun testing exchange bidding in Dynamic Allocation.
Our goal is to help publishers thrive and create sustainable businesses with advertising. With the transition to mobile, publishers only have a split second to deliver the most relevant and highest paying ads to maximize their overall yield. Research shows that an extra 1 second of load time on mobile can result in 58% higher bounce rates.1 That’s why we’ve been working on two new features that use the power of real-time bidding and the efficiency of server-side connections to generate greater revenue for publishers without compromising user experience.
Higher revenue with no client side code or added waiting
A few months ago, we announced the Beta of DoubleClick for Publishers First Look. Since then, we’ve had over 200 partners test the feature and the results have been great. Publishers like Gannett, Grupo Zeta, Gumtree, Sankei Digital, Scripps, Time Inc., and Zoopla have seen their programmatic revenue increase by double-digit percentages. Today, we’re happy to open this feature to all our DoubleClick partners.
“We want to monetize all of our inventory and all of our audiences to the greatest extent that we can. Since implementing First Look, we’ve seen a 15 percent lift in eCPMs of our programmatic channel.”
-Tim Wolfe, VP of Ad Operations, Gannett
Testing server-side connections for more accurate pricing
While First Look makes it easy for publishers to capture new revenue from high-paying buyers, we are also testing a new technology to help publishers manage yield between multiple exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs).
Exchange bidding in Dynamic Allocation will allow publishers to invite trusted third-party exchanges and SSPs to submit real-time prices using industry-standard RTB calls. These prices will be considered along with bids from the DoubleClick Ad Exchange and the publisher’s reservation campaigns to pick the highest-paying ad. Exchange bidding also empowers publishers with unified and accurate reporting on the revenue they are earning from each exchange/SSP. And just like First Look, exchange bidding works with no additional client-side code.
We are working on this new technology with exchanges like Index Exchange and Rubicon Project, along with a select group of publishers including About.com, Hearst, Meredith Corporation, and Zillow. Before we scale exchange bidding to more partners, we will evaluate the results from our pilot testing and consult with participating buyers, sellers, and exchanges/SSPs to ensure that this solution helps the programmatic marketplace continue to grow and thrive.
With First Look and exchange bidding in Dynamic Allocation, we are continuing to help publishers get the highest yield for every impression without sacrificing user experience.
|Posted by Jonathan Bellack
Director, Product Management
1.Soata Case study: Mobile pages that are 1 second faster experience up to 27% increase in conversion rate”
When we launched Publisher University two years ago, our goal was to create a destination to help you get the most from DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange so you could spend more time focusing on what you do best: creating great content.
Over the past two years we’ve listened to your feedback to ensure Publisher University has the right information you need, when you need it, so you can feel confident in your decisions. The new Publisher University offers training courses, videos, and updates to do just that. In addition, the new Publisher University helps you:
- Feel confident in your decisions, with beginner through advanced content.
- Track course progress over time so you never miss a step.
- Access course content and trainings from any device.
- Learn in the language most comfortable to you; choose from 11 languages.
Visit the new Publisher University today to begin getting the most from DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchange, and be on the lookout for new training content to be continually added in the future.
Posted by Katelyn Zaleski
Technical Trainer, DoubleClick
Note: Publisher University is designed for publishes using DoubleClick Ad Exchange or DoubleClick for Publishers. If you’re currently using the Small Business edition of DoubleClick for Publishers, please visit the help center.
Over the last few years, the adoption of programmatic has significantly grown across the industry. Demand Media is an early adopter and recently, we caught up with their Senior Director of Media Sales and Operations, Angela Kinsella, on the lessons they’ve learned since increasing their investment in programmatic. Here’s what she shared.
Programmatic has evolved significantly over the past few years. It’s no longer just a real-time bidding (RTB) system for remnant inventory, nor is it restricted to standard IAB units. Today, programmatic is a sophisticated technology that can be used to sell virtually all your media through direct deals—including branded executions, custom content, re-skins and more.
The true value of programmatic lies in two key areas. The first is access to rich, granular data on buyer needs and campaign performance, which leads to better sales optimization. The second is gains in operational efficiency for the entire advertising ecosystem—from the creative agency down to the publisher.
By 2012, Demand Media had seen consistent positive results with the open exchange and we felt ready to deepen our programmatic investment. However, we knew we couldn’t (or shouldn’t) make massive changes to our business overnight. Before we increased our stake in programmatic, we wanted to use our learnings to date to optimize our technological, operational and sales infrastructure. For anyone that’s making this transition now, this is what we’ve learned.
Identify technology partners that meet your needs—today and in the future
In terms of technology, we carefully evaluated our partners to find those best serving our current needs and those who might be best equipped to work with us in the future.
Accordingly, we carried out an exhaustive request for information (RFI) with a number of supply-side providers (SSPs). We considered a variety of factors during the process, including each partner’s ability to execute programmatic direct deals, including private marketplaces. We wanted to make sure we chose a partner with access to first-rate advertiser networks, who was committed to keeping up with industry changes.
Empower sales teams with programmatic knowledge
There’s a belief out there that programmatic can replace people. We knew that wasn’t true for us. But we also knew that the way our sales teams worked needed to change.
While sales teams are still responsible with building stronger relationships with advertisers, the “sellers of the future” need to be able to speak a new language, one that’s far more metrics-driven than that of the past. Our teams built competency in programmatic concepts and key performance indicators (KPIs) like audience targeting, backend conversions, and more, to ensure informed and productive conversations with buyers.
Enable advertisers in their programmatic transition
Our sales teams also needed to educate buyers who were slow to shift budgets to programmatic. We had two ways of doing this: programmatic direct and hybrid deals.
With programmatic direct, we’re able to give buyers the comfort of knowing what they're buying while setting our own deal terms. Ultimately, this strategy has proved to be a great way for both parties to maintain control of pricing and inventory quality. Programmatic direct has also enabled us to structure additional elements into the deal such as data sharing and “first look,” which has driven up CPMs.
Another strategy we’ve used is to offer buyers hybrid deals with both direct and programmatic components. With hybrid deals, we can negotiate a direct sponsorship and then layer on audience and contextual targeting. When buyers see their results, they’re often more open to increasing their programmatic investment.
Communication is key during transitional times
It’s easy to get excited about the potential of programmatic, but it is important to keep in mind that increasing your programmatic investment often results in some level of uncertainty in the short term. Change can be uncomfortable, but can also result in positive results for your business. During transitional times, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open both internally and with buyers to ensure your programmatic strategies evolve and succeed.
|Posted by Angela Kinsella
Senior Director, Media Sales and Operations, Demand Media
Our latest infographic puts a spotlight on viewability by sharing a dozen technical best practices for improving viewability based on insights from Active View, Google's MRC-accredited viewable impression measurement technology.
On this blog, we're breaking down the best practices into small, approachable chunks. Already, we've focused on two tips for enabling viewability measurement, three speedy ways to improve viewability, and four ways to improve ad layouts for better viewability.In this post you'll learn three content and ad loading methods that can optimize your viewability rates.
Here is today's recommendation:
We hope these recommendations are improving your site or apps ad viewability.
|Posted by Anish Kattukaran
Product Marketing Manager, Brand Measurement, Google