Optimize your Display Ad Budget

February 18, 2015 Emma Cullen

Display Advertising budget optimization will help your whole team work smoothly

Photo credit:Cogs“ by SomeDriftwood is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Thanks to advancements in technology it is now possible to measure online marketing campaigns and optimize them. Whilst it is common for advertisers and marketers to optimize their campaigns, often little thought is given to budget optimization. Your advertising budget is one thing that you should be definitely working to optimize. The display advertising budget is a good example of where it is possible to do this through reducing wasted budget.

Why Optimise Your Display Ad Budget? 

Optimize your display advertising budget and you’ll get more bang for your buck

Photo credit:Money“ by Moyan Brenn is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Whilst it is predicted that digital advertising spend will increase by 15.5% in 2015, there is a need to make sure that this budget is optimized to make sure that you are spending your money in the best way possible. US marketers spend around 2.5% of total company revenue on digital marketing activities, and an increased ability to measure the success of campaigns, marketers and advertisers will naturally expect to want more for their money and to reduce visible waste in order to hit KPIs. The easiest way, to optimize your advertising budget is to reduce the amount of money wasted in your display advertising campaigns.
Changes in technology have caused advertisers to waste their display advertising budget, perhaps unknowingly, and optimization includes actively dealing with these issues. For example, in 2014 display advertisers were outraged when it came to light that around 56% of display advertising impressions were not actually viewed – display ad budget down the drain.
Further, in a survey conducted in 2014, 59% of media agencies expressed that bot traffic is negatively affecting their campaigns by stealing their ad budget through click fraud and impressions that were not viewed by a human.
Display advertising budget can also optimized in other ways by ensuring that you are spending your money in smarter ways, and not spending money needlessly.  

How to Optimize

There are a number of ways that you can optimize your budget through waste reduction. Below are a series of suggestions that can be implemented after you have reviewed how you’re currently spending your display advertising budget.


Display advertisement viewability has received a lot of media attention, and the release of an important report from Google. By increasing viewability you can instantly reduce waste. Do this by making sure that you use a reputable and transparent advertising networks where you can be sure that your creatives are going to be displayed. Further, think about the types of ad you are using and their position on the webpage, as the size and position of your display ad can have an effect on its viewability.
Google recommends that display advertisers aim for a 70% viewability rate (although many advertising organisations have rejected this and want 100% viewability).

Battle the Bots

Optimize your advertising budget by actively fighting click fraud

Photo credit:Mr Robot has some RAM“ by CJ Isherwood is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Bots aren’t going to turn into valuable customers, so it is vital for advertisers to take direction against them. Around 30% of all internet traffic comes from malicious bots, and click fraud costs advertisers $11.6 billion (USD) in advertising budgets ever year. A recent study found that 11% of display ad impressions were being served to robots. Today there are numerous solutions on the market to stop this. However, a better long-term solution is to make changes that will actually improve your traffic quality. By changes, the better traffic quality you will see and this will only benefit your business.

Expensive Solutions

Display advertising has been around for quite a long, and despite the fact that there have been a lot of development in the area, particularly in the way that campaigns are published. When there is a better way to produce display advertisements that is time and cost effective, any solution other than this, is surely waste.
Finding the most optimal way of producing campaigns will reduce waste created. You can do this through finding smart HTML5 ad production platforms, and reviewing the way that your team is currently working and what impact this has on your display advertising budget. If your expensive designers are spending hours copying and pasting just to create different banner sizes and languages, its probably time to change the way you’re working.
Design and Strategy  
If your banner design and strategy is poor, then you might as well be wasting your budget. Build a proper strategy and following banner design best practises and make sure that your display advertising campaigns are as strong as they can possibly be before making them live.


Unless you’re in an industry where everyone is in your target audience, then target your display advertising campaigns towards your idea customers, otherwise you would be wasting your money.

Testing, Measuring and Optimizing

Strategically reduce advertising budget waste by constantly reviewing, checking and optimizing your display advertising campaigns. The obvious test here is A/B testing for display advertising. But you can incorporate dozens of different ways of testing into your campaigns. Here you should think of long-term gain. Whilst recording and analysing data might seem like some extra work in the short run, you will be able to more success in your future campaigns and thus optimize your display advertising budget through only spending money on campaigns that work.

Final Thoughts

Don’t just accept that you might be wasting a huge portion of your advertising budget. Even compared to 5 or 6 years ago, today there are a lot more possibilities to see where you are wasting your advertising budget, and many more possibilities to optimize your budget. Approach waste creation logically, make a plan, set goals and take action, and see your waste reduce.
Have you optimized your display advertising budget? What benefits did you see from doing this? Let us know in the comments or continue the conversation on Twitter with @Bannerflow!
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