How to Ensure You’re Using Quality Inventory

by | Feb 7, 2020

Knowing the quality of your digital advertising inventory is paramount to the success of your campaign. Why? High-quality inventory will drive a much higher return on ad spend and ensure you reach your intended audience.

Use this short list of questions to determine if you are buying quality digital advertising inventory:


1. Do you receive granular audience targeting details?

Are your ads being shown to real humans? Are those humans exhibiting the types of behavior of your target audience?

The targeting details you receive should move beyond baseline parameters such as age, gender and demographic targeting. Look to apply behavioral and psychographic targeting to get the right message in front of the right people.


2. Does your media partner regularly share top-site lists?

A top-site list is simply a list of websites where your advertisements are appearing. A thorough site list will provide the website url, the number of associated impressions and the clicks from the site to the landing page.

Reviewing site lists at regular intervals throughout a campaign gives you peace of mind that your ads are on contextually-relevant websites (e.g., sites upon which your audience is already spending its time) and that those sites aren’t simultaneously damaging to your brand.


3. Is there human capital dedicated to closely monitoring, reviewing and scrubbing site lists?

Your media partner should make regular enhancements to its universal blacklist, and that blacklist should be applied to every ad campaign.

Digital ad inventory is constantly evolving and it requires close monitoring and human capital to ensure your ads are in a brand-safe environment. Your media partner should also be willing to build out and share campaign-specific blacklists and whitelists, which should be ever-evolving throughout the campaign.


4. Is your media partner using best-in-class ad-verification technology to weed out fraudulent or unsafe inventory?

Without a reputable ad verification vendor, advertisers risk wasting money serving impressions on fraudulent sites and it’s possible their ads won’t display properly in the users’ browser.

To protect your ad dollars and ensure brand safety, be sure your media partner is using a reputable ad-verification vendor. Ad verification technology makes sure ads are served by real publishers, shown to real people and are reaching the right target audiences.

We trust adverification technology vendors such as DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science (IAS), and MOAT.


5. Do your core metrics tell a story of quality inventory?

Keeping your eye on viewability and completion-rate metrics is a way to determine the general quality of your ad placements.

Low rates are great until you find out that your ad is displaying at the bottom of pages where nobody can see it. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, 100% viewability for desktop display most certainly indicates you are serving ads on fraudulent websites (or you are just being annoying).

We don’t recommend viewing these metrics in a silo, but they should be taken into consideration to know that your inventory quality is top-notch.

For more insight on viewability, read our guide: 3 Viewability Benchmarks & Why It’s Important.



Does high-quality inventory cost more? Absolutely, but quality ultimately plays into real and measurable performance.

For example, without knowing the quality of your inventory, your campaign might see a high click-through-rate, but that metric is meaningless if the clicks are coming from fraudulent inventory.

If you can attribute performance to measurable improvements in your business, then the investment is paying off and higher costs are justified.

Looking for a transparent media partner? Let’s talk!

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