7 Winning Tips to Make Your Ad Inventory Attractive to Ad Exchange Buyers

7 Winning Tips to Make Your Ad Inventory Attractive to Ad Exchange Buyers

Gone are the days when publishers only rely on Google Analytics to target specific audiences to make their ad inventory attractive to advertisers. It has been a continuous improvement throughout the years – from ad tech solutions, audience measurements, and smart metrics to clearly boost ROI for both advertisers and publishers.

On the sell side, the goal is always revenue generation. A great majority are still stuck between myths and facts on how to manage their site’s inventory effectively.

Our goal is to simply help publishers make the most of their traffic by looking at possible ways to improve the current set up they have or perhaps look at other new metrics that can jumpstart their success in site monetization. Part of this goal is to make their ad inventory attractive to buyers – particularly Ad Exchange buyers. It is where the big players roll!

Today, we want to share our 7 Winning Tips to Make your Ad Inventory Attractive to Ad Exchange Buyers. Go through the questions below to help you make your ad inventory more profitable:

1. Are your ads seen?

Revenue has never hit a new high and has somewhat plateaued. Does this sound familiar? Of course, it does! At some point, all publishers have had this dilemma and would sometimes point the blame too – maybe it’s the traffic quality or the content is not too engaging, or maybe the site needs a new look and feel.  Before you even go to drastic changes, take a look at one very important metric. This is most often neglected but plays a very important part in ad optimization:

Active View

Active View metrics
Active View is a metric that helps publisher measure how a specific placement is likely to be seen by users. Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines viewability as  “50% (30% for large ads) of the ad’s pixels are visible in the browser window for a continuous 1 second (for in-stream video ads, a continuous 2 seconds)”.  Thus, the % of viewability is a direct measure of how much of the ad was actually viewed by your site visitors out of the total number of ads being served. If one of your ad units is performing at less than 60%, then it is time that you review and consider a possible change of placement or size switch. Whichever works.

Moving a 300×250 Sidebar bottom ad below the comments box can help improve numbers as an example. You can also try switching a Tablet 160×600 to a 300×250. These are just a few things you can experiment on.

2. Did you know that the wider and larger the ads, the better the rates?

Larger ads usually cost more as they are likely to be seen and clicked on. Advertisers pay good money with the ultimate goal of being seen by their target audience. In 2012, a comparative case study was done to measure how likely users interact with standard banners versus the wider, larger interactive ad units, called the rising stars and the results showed that users are more likely to interact with the Rising Stars.

Rising stars vs standard ads

Credit/s: IAB: http://www.iab.com

Below is a list of Rising Stars ad sizes to choose from.

ad unit sizes

Credit/s: IAB: http://www.iab.com/guidelines/display-rising-stars-ad-units/

3. Are you Google-compliant?

It’s always good to maintain a good standing account with not just Google but with all other third-party ad network partners, you have. If your health card says multiple and successive issues of violations here and there, that will mostly like impact a volume of advertisers who’d be interested to buy a volume of traffic in your site.

There’s basically just 3 golden rules to keep it simple:

  • Follow the guidelines to the most minute detail.
  • Keep yourself updated with the latest changes and updates.
  • Watch out for Google notifications in both your AdSense and AdX account and resolve them ASAP.

4. Too cheap or too pricey?

The best thing about running Google AdX is publishers have full control of their inventory. But with great power comes great responsibility!

Setting too high floors do not guarantee high returns, it would simply mean you are limiting the buyers that can bid on your inventory which can hurt your site’s performance and revenue. Thus, we strongly suggest to first understand your traffic source, and most importantly study your ad units’ performance. Drill down to get the minimum and maximum CPMs. Analyze your reports and find out as many info as you can about your inventory’s performance.

Just bear in mind that the goal is to set up realistic floors where your branded buyers pay exactly what your traffic is worth. Second is to open up your inventory for non branded ones so you don’t leave money on the table.

You can cluster together ad units per geo, per performance CPMs, or per placements.

5. How to Flex?

This strategy can improve a current ad placement performance and push CPM rates higher as you are allowing your inventory to accommodate multiple different sizes and creatives. This way you are increasing the demand for your ad slot.

There are 2 ways you can do this:

  • Via Ad Inventory Flex Sizing

If you are using an ad server, DFP for example, you can customize the ad slot inventory size to accommodate multiple sizes. In the screenshot below, a sidebar 300×600 ad slot can serve multiple different sizes whichever can pay the highest for the impressions within DFP.

Here’s how:

  • Create a DFP Ad Unit – e.g. Sidebar_Mid_Flex
  • Define the sizes you want to compete within the unit – 300×600, 160×600, 300×250
  • Set up your DFP order and line items using the said sizes

What DFP will do is it will encourage competition among these 3 line items targeting the same ad unit.

Flex ads

  • Via AdX Flex % adjustments

The second option in doing Flex sizes allows you to simplify your DFP setup encouraging an internal auction competition for the ad slot.

If you are using Google AdX, this is something you can easily do.

  • In your Google AdX account, go to Rules and choose “Flexible sizes” in the left-hand section options
  • Create a Display Rule and name it according to how you want it
  • Target the ad tag you used to deliver in the said ad slot – e.g. Sidebar_Mid_Flex_300x600. You can skip adding sizes or geographical locations if you simply just want to enable flexible sizes in the slot.
  • Activate “Allow smaller creatives”

allow smaller creatives

  • Set the dials to an acceptable percentage of how small creatives can be allowed into your inventory. Please note that if a 300×250 is delivered in a 300×600 slot, white space will envelop the other area. So, choose the default to start and feel free to adjust later.

flex ad sizes percentage

Related: How Flex Sizes Can Help Improve Site’s Revenue Yield

6.  Do you offer value to your users?

The mobile revolution has started and the majority of internet users’ attention span has dropped tremendously over the years. From what used to be 5 minutes time on page to now 1:30 minutes. We have seen sites loaded with one too many photos with 1 or 2 sentence descriptions and that’s basically it. Or sites with tons of ads with very little content.

If you want to get high paying advertisers who are seriously interested to buy your traffic, then it’s time you pay close attention to “user experience” and “value”.

Start looking at the things that advertisers are interested of:

  • Site’s Global Rank

We have to admit it, sometimes it’s a popularity contest. But you don’t get popular because of anything. You get popular because you offer what users want.

  • Google Page Rank

Google ranks sites from 10 to 0 with a major emphasis on quality backlinking. So, get to work on your SEO and link building strategies.

  • Inventory Volume

Most advertisers wanted volume and if you do not have this then they’d consider you at the little bottom of the list but hey, this should only get better if you improve content.

  • Time on Page

How engaged are your users? How long do they stay on the pages before they the hit that X button because they have better reading options out there?

  • Bounce Rate

It’s a very helpful metric that can help you measure the quality of your traffic. Bounce rate is usually measured by getting the percentage of website visitors who lands on a page, then leaves. The other way to measure this is when the visitor stays on the site for 5 seconds or less and then exits,

Look at the numbers, they don’t lie.

Read more about Ad Exchange here: https://www.monetizemore.com/ad-exchange/

7.  Are you in or out?

In Google AdX, there is an option where a publisher can opt into new technologies. By default, publishers are opted out until they approve the new ones manually. It would be helpful to check this every now and then to update your AdX settings.

Google ad exchange rulesThere you have it, folks! Bookmark this article and keep optimizing your website and ad inventory to attract big-time, potential Ad Exchange buyers. If you need expert advice and actual implementation of these tips, sign up as our Premium Publisher to get started.


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Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like AdSense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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