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Ad Impression and Click Limiting

Frequency Capping

PRO Frequency capping is a term in advertising that means restricting (capping) the number of times (frequency) a specific visitor to a website is shown a particular advertisement. It is often cited as a way to avoid banner burnout, the point where visitors are being overexposed and response drops. This may be true for direct-response campaigns whose effectiveness is measured in click-throughs, but it might run counter to campaigns whose goal is brand awareness, as measured by non-click activity.

Ad Inserter Pro supports frequency capping to limit the maximum number of impressions/views a visitor can see a specific ad within a period of time. You can also limit clicks – the maximum number of times a visitor can click on a specific ad within a period of time. This feature uses cookies to remember the impression and click count. There are also general ad limits for each block which do not use cookie as the check is done server-side.

Impressions and click limits

Settings to define impression and click limits are located under additional block settings – click on the Misc button under code window

ad inserter buttons

and then click on the Limits tab:

ad inserter limits

There are two sections of setting – General limits and Individual visitor limits. Both can be used at the same time, however, you need to understand how they work in order to use them properly. And each section has two different limits for impressions and clicks – total limits on the left and limits per time period on the right.

In order for impression and click limits to work, impression and click tracking needs to be enabled – globally in general plugin settings and for each block where you need to define impression or click limits.

ad inserter tracking enable

General limits

General limits apply to the block. You can define maximum number of impressions or clicks for every block. This is server-side check. When the limit is reached the code for this block is not inserted (and ad not shown).

ad inserter limits general

Next to the total block limits the current value of impressions and clicks for this block is shown. When you define a general limit you need to take into account current value as the check will be done against the current value. Fo example, if you need to limit ad to 500 impressions and current value for impressions of this block is 489, you need to set Max impressions to 989. Of course, you can also reset statistics for each block:

ad inserter statistics clear

Check impression and click tracking for details. In such case the current value will be 0 and you can simply enter the wanted limit.

Max impression and click limits per time period define limits for the last n days. When time period is set the current value for this time period is displayed. This way you can gradually show some ad in order not to spend all impressions in a very short period.

Time period for these (general) limits is slightly different from similar limits for individual visitors – see below for details.

Block statistics are saved as daily impressions and clicks for each block. Therefore, you can set limits only for whole number of days.

As general limits are checked when the page is generated (server-side), the block (ad) may still be shown when caching is used and visitors load cached pages. For such cases Ad Inserter Pro supports additional client checks on the client side (browser) to precisely limit impressions and clicks even for cached pages. When Dynamic blocks are set to client-site, additional check will be done on the client side in order to stop showing the ad when the general limits are reached.

Individual visitor limits

Individual visitor limits apply to the block and to every individual visitor. You can define maximum number of impressions or clicks per every visitor. This is client-side check – the number of block impressions and clicks is stored in a cookie. When the limit is reached the code for this block is not inserted (and ad not shown). The client-side check is done when the page is loaded. If the limits are reached the code for the block will not be inserted (by client-side Javascript code).

ad inserter limits visitor

Max impression and click limits per time period define limits for the specified time period in days. You can also use decimal values for shorter perods. For example, 0.5 days means 12 hours.

Time period for these (individual) limits is slightly different from similar general limits – see above for details.

Individual visitor limits for impressions and clicks for each block are saved in a cookie (stored in the browser). This way you can show some ad only few times in the defined period in order to avoid banner burnout – the point where visitors are being overexposed.

Since individual visitor limits are stored in a cookie the ad would not be shown anymore when the limits are reached even if the block is configured with a new ad for for a new campaign. To solve this problem Ad Inserter uses some additional mechanisms to prevent hiding ad which has already reached limits sometime in the past:

  • When the block code changes individual limits are reset to the defined values and the block is shown again.
  • For total limits when they are reached the ad will stay closed for 7 days. After that period the ad will be shown again. You can use General limits to additionally limit impressions and clicks.

Depending on other settings you may see waring icon ⚠ indicating that there is a problem with your settings. Hover the cursor over the icon to see the message.

Click fraud protection

Click fraud is a type of fraud that occurs in pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising. Fraud occurs when a person, automated script or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser, clicking on such an ad without having an actual interest in the target of the ad’s link. To prevent such frauds Ad Inserter Pro supports protection in cases where the number of clicks on some ad reaches a predefined limit.

You need to enable click fraud protection in the general plugin settings (tab , tab Tracking) and for every block that you would like to protect.

ad inserter limits click fraud protection

For this you need to check Trigger click fraud protection, define Max clicks and time period in which this block (ad) needs to be clicked in order to trigger protection. Max clicks limit per time period works as described above, only additional protection is triggered when this limit is reached. For time period in days you can also use decimal values for shorter periods. For example 0.042 days means one hour.

When any of the blocks, for which click fraud protection is enabled, reaches Max clicks per time period, all the block that have click fraud protection enabled, will be closed for the visitor for the period defined in the general tracking settings (tab , tab Tracking – default value is 24 hours).

ad inserter tracking settings

Please note that click fraud protection can’t work for AdSense Auto ads as AdSense code automatically places ads on the page once Auto ads are enabled.