How to improve native ad quality and performance

Unlike traditional display ads, native ads appear right in the content stream and mimic the form and function of the content around them. For example, with Yahoo Gemini native ads appear in line with Yahoo’s news, sports, and financial information. Are your native ads as compelling as the day’s top news stories?

Working with our top advertisers, our Account Management and Product teams have been able to increase CTR by 2X and conversions by 5X by improving ad quality. That’s why we’ve compiled three tips to help you ensure your ads are as high-quality and click-worthy as the premium content around them.

Clearly communicate your product or service:

Are you offering high-fashion clothes, but have copy that emphasizes price? If your ad creative has an identity crisis, your creative won’t resonate with the right audience. Additionally, generic ads typically fail to help your brand to stand out. Your ads are your chance to catch people’s attention, so be sure to demonstrate why they should be interested.

Apply these pointers to convey the right message:

  • Describe benefits, not features.
  • Emphasize a unique benefit to stand out in the stream.
  • Accurately describe the product or service being promoted.
  • Engage people by asking a question, solving a problem, or describing a list with your creative.
  • Use the maximum character counts for titles and descriptions to take advantage of the full native canvas.
  • Avoid exclamation points and other hyperbolic characters or punctuation (e.g., !!!, @, <<).

Our “Write Ad Copy that Converts” e-book includes further tips on ad copy. Once you’ve found a successful formula, create multiple campaigns—each with their own targeting—to refine ads for key audiences.

Cater to your target audience:

Are your ads created for a general audience, but targeted to a specific gender or age? Is your campaign geo-targeted but doesn’t call out that city in the copy? In these cases you’re not taking full advantage of native ad performance. Combining Yahoo Gemini’s targeting features with specialized messages are a sure way to catch the eye of your most valuable audience.

And the creative canvas isn’t limited to copy. With the use of large and small images, you can take advantage of a quick way to engage potential customers. According to our “Creative Best Practices: Native Ads” study, users fixate more on an ad image if it includes a person. By using images with people that relate to your target audience, your chances for strong performance skyrocket.

For more tips on ad images, refer to our “Choose Images that Connect” e-book. Not sure what image and ad copy combination will works? Well, it’s time to test.

Test and Refresh:

Testing the same ad copy with two different images is the best way to continually optimize your native performance. If something is performing well, pause the lower performing ad and create a new iteration of the higher performing ad.

In addition users in the stream and in our apps expect content to be refreshed frequently. When the same ads show up again and again, users may stop paying attention. We recommend refreshing native ad copy every week if not more often, depending on volume and performance.

Focusing on these three strategies will help you create high-quality ad creative that meets or exceeds your performance objectives.

Reach out to your Yahoo account team or log in to your Yahoo Gemini account to get started optimizing your native ads.