Mobile Web – Optimising inventory and increasing revenues

Mobile Web In-app inventory is playing the role of prom queen rather well right now.

Mobile Web

In-app inventory is playing the role of prom queen rather well right now. In the digital ad spend popularity contest, the votes are in and she rules the school. But publishers who haven’t taken the leap into app publishing can still drive substantial revenue from their mobile-web properties. The IAB are introducing standard models for delivering digital inventory to the programmatic market that will improve consistency and performance. The increasing popularity of video content and the mobile engagement rates of video means quality mobile web content can still command attention, and attract advertising investment.

That’s not to say that mobile-web doesn’t have its issues for advertisers, and for media companies to address the lag in mobile web revenues they need to first recognise the problems and then resolve them, learning from users’ behaviour with other channels.

The problem for advertisers

  • Mobile does not accept third party cookies meaning advertisers are often buying blind and this makes mobile video content a lot less valuable in the programmatic market. Categorisation has to be based on the URL, which needs to be validated for brand safety as well as content type and all of this relies on additional input and time-consuming processes.
  • Content is sometimes created without a second thought as to mobile responsiveness and user experience. This can make the performance of advertising campaigns abysmal on mobile. If you’re creating digital content, you need to be thinking mobile, not as an added bonus but as the main game. Mobile-first is an ancient concept now; it should be second nature.


In-app content is out performing mobile web content and its growth is projected to skyrocket by 2017/2018, widening the performance gap further.

Projections from IDC and App Annie show what the expected increase looks like in the top geographies comparing desktop, mobile and in- app:

While the above graph shows massive growth in the app world, there is still healthy growth predicted for mobile web, and still much more revenue to be made. So it’s positive signs for the future of mobile both web based and in-app.

Mobile web is useful and effective

Mobile web is still a powerful source for finding information via search.


Users turn to search engines and branded sites to begin their research journey, a journey that often leads to further investigation or a purchase. Mobile web inventory provides brands with a connection to audiences at that important research phase.

How can media companies provide better mobile web optimization and experiences for audiences?

Use and provide data

Registering your site for data collection through third party data companies such as Krux will help give buyers the ability to target more methodically and give them confidence in the quality of your inventory. It’s because mobile web doesn’t accept third party cookies that this type of analysis need to be offered voluntarily by media companies. If you are willing to offer the information yourself, it not only provides advertisers with valuable insights to buy against, it increases your credibility as a premium, brand safe publisher.

Use the data you have to better understand your audiences and what content they engage with most.

Be responsive

It makes sense that to have valuable mobile content, the content needs to cater to mobile display and respond to the way users would engage via their devices.

Google now ranks content based on its capacity to be viewed on multiple devices and sites that are not mobile responsive, will be penalised. Mobile web video that cannot be viewed on tablet or mobile is wasted inventory.

Create non-flash video content

Ensuring video ads support the new VPAID within MRAID standard (see MRAID blog) HTML5 integration, allows advertisers to display creative across mobile web inventory without it breaking. One of the biggest problems with mobile web content is the way it’s built in the first place but the IAB has standardised the way mobile content and mobile advertising should be delivered to ensure quality and performance so these issues can be overcome and revenues increased.


Although an overwhelming majority of content is viewed on smartphone compared with tablet, CTR is much higher on the larger screen device – 55.4% higher in fact.  Ensuring your mobile content is responsive to all devices, not just smartphones is important. Design you web page to so users can easily navigate, play videos and share socially.

Don’t underestimate your mobile web inventory

Mobile web inventory can be improved immensely which will increase its value in the market and help encourage brand budgets to be spread more widely across the mobile ecosystem. Investing in the right content where audiences are entrenched, such as video, is an important factor in realising the maximum revenue from your inventory. It’s about focusing on quality and providing the data needed to deliver effective campaigns without the clutter.

Posted by simonholliday