Ad optimization advice for new publishers

Ad optimization advice for new publishers

Cconstant change in the digital advertising world is inevitable. As a publisher, it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with the latest news and ad optimization techniques.

At the same time, you have to juggle between managing your ad inventory and creating high-quality content to keep your audience engaged.

When starting with display ad monetization, understanding where, when, and how to begin implementing ad optimization techniques can be quite challenging.

Taking the first step

Whether you have a small or a large website, Google AdSense has always been a popular choice for publishers. It’s easy to get approved (and banned for that matter, so make sure you adhere to their program policies).

With AdSense, you can set up Auto Ads which uses machine learning to only show ads optimally to users, or if you want complete control over your inventory, you can create ad units and decide where to position your ads.

Once you’ve mastered AdSense, the next level would be Google Ad Exchange and Google DoubleClick for Publishers.

DoubleClick For Publishers (DFP) is an ad server where you can run multiple ad networks altogether. Ad Exchange, on the other hand, is similar to AdSense, an ad network which serves premium big brand advertisements.

It has a bigger pool of advertisers and can provide better CPMs. It is a premium version of AdSense — an AdSense 2.0 if you will.

It is, however, difficult to get into Ad Exchange as they usually invite big publishers only. You don’t have to fret if you’re a small publisher.

Network partner managers exist that can help small publishers get into Ad Exchange, which includes MonetizeMore.

As soon as you have access to AdSense and Ad Exchange, you should consider running both via Dynamic Allocation in DFP.  When your site traffic starts to expand (supposing at least 2 million page views), you can implement additional 100% fill, 3rd party ad networks outside of Google.

Now that you have a solid DFP stack, it’s time to bring in the big guns — Header bidding. Header bidding has become a household name during the past couple of years for many publishers.

Contrary to the traditional waterfall setup, it provides more transparency, eliminates passbacks and increases competition as it opens up your inventory to more demand partners.

Just like any other ad tech set-up, header bidding isn’t without its challenges. Some have reported page latency, and the actual implementation can be tricky for a standalone publisher.

Find out more about MonetizeMore’s simple header bidding set up with PubGuru header bidding.

Best practices publishers should keep in mind

Step 1: Make sure to get acquainted with various DFP basic processes such as creating orders, ad units, and line items. DFP also has a comprehensive reporting interface and is highly customizable, allowing you to dig deeper into your advertising statistics.

There are also already some things that you can do in DFP that could help site performance (i.e., implementing AdX Programmatic Native and adjusting True CPMs of existing ad networks).  DFP is a powerful tool and maximizing whatever is possible can help your ad optimization.

You can check our Learn2MonetizeMore videos for DFP familiarization.

Step 2: Besides DFP mastery, you should also know the terms and acronyms commonly used. You will hear a lot of advertising terms getting thrown around as soon as you deal with different companies.

It’s essential to understand them as it will not only make communicating and negotiating a lot easier, you will also use them when you measure and keep track of your numbers.

Step 3: When bringing in new ad network partners, don’t get swayed away immediately by an ad rep’s offer. Make sure you research reviews of performance and credentials of the ad network you sign up with.

Always try to negotiate better revenue shares. Check out this list of top ad networks for 2018.

Step 4: Be wary of high discrepancies and unfilled impressions -monitor them regularly. If these are not fixed, then the publisher is missing out on the revenues. Discrepancies between 8-10% are still accepted.

The formula for calculating discrepancy is (your impression count – their impression count)/your impression count.

For unfilled impressions, these can be checked in DFP. Just go to reports > yield report and under yield type, select unfilled impressions.

An incorrect implementation sometimes causes these, or when no house line items are set up. Here’s a step by step instructions on how to check and fix unfilled impressions.

Step 5: Experiment and measure! The AdOps experience will not be complete without testing and experimenting with new strategies. Depending on what you wanted to test, it is usually ideal to start small.

Not only does it simplify analyzing the results, but it also minimizes the risk in case the test doesn’t go well. If it is successful, you can then start expanding the volume targeted by the test and make sure to analyze how it will affect your CPM, RPM, session RPM, and overall performance.

Conclusion

Digital advertising is a vast land. There is a lot of information and processes to take in. For a hassle-free ad optimization, you can leave everything in the hands of the experts at MonetizeMore.

Sign up for a Starter account at MonetizeMore today!

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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