Best Mobile Ad Optimization Strategies

Mobile is profoundly changing the advertising landscape as it overtakes desktop as the internet’s preferred platform.  A recent article from eMarketer.com backed this claim when it forecasted a 75%  global spend increase for mobile advertising in 2014. Other estimates project as high as a whopping $41.9 billion increase by 2017.

Related Read: How Twitter’s MoPub Could Revolutionize Mobile Ads

With these trends in mind, it’s more important than ever that publishers learn the nuances of mobile ad optimization. There is no definitive standard for mobile ad optimization, as all ad optimization is dynamic and fluid. However, what we will provide here are some best practices to help you create the best out of your revenue streams and still get the best user experience.

Related Read: Mobile and Video Inventories Now Supported in DFP

1) Target Mobile Ad Networks

Our first tip is to target ‘mobile’ ad networks that specialize and focus on mobile ads. These networks often offer good CPM flat rates.  We suggest you do some research to find the best ones to suit your mobile inventory.  While Google Ad exchange and Adsense tags do better than any ad network for desktop, they are not as effective for mobile ads.

Because not all mobile ad networks fill at 100%, we suggest running several networks head-to-head so that they can both compete against one another and fill 100% of your inventory. Having several ad networks running your mobile ads can bring you close to full fill as possible.

Related Read: Check out our Best Adsense Alternatives per Vertical

2) Know your acronyms and numbers

It’s important to understand what numbers you’ll be looking into and what kind of performance you are expecting from mobile ad networks. The following is a list of some of the most important metrics to research when determining which ad networks to work with:

  • CTR: Click-through rate – is calculated by taking the number of ad clicks, and dividing it by the number of impressions (the number of times an ad is displayed). For example, if a campaign received 40 clicks for 20,000 impressions, the CTR would be 40/20,000 = 0.002 or 0.20%. It is important for you to see a good CTR.  A good CTR, combined with a strong CPC will equate into a good eCPM to start with. For instance, 1% CTR combined with $.05 CPC is $.50 eCPM, which is quite a good target.
  • CPM: Cost per mille – cost per 1,000 impressions. CPM deals exclusively with the number of times an ad is displayed, regardless of whether a click or other behavior takes place.
  • CPI: Cost per impression -The cost per impression (CPI) is the cost the advertiser pays the publisher each time an ad is displayed.
  • PPC: Pay per click – In a PPC campaign, advertisers pay the publisher a commission each time a user clicks on the advertiser’s ad.
  • CPC: Cost per click – is the actual amount that the advertiser pays the publisher each time a user clicks an ad in a PPC campaign. The CPC an advertiser pays is often determined through a bidding process or by a formula defined by the publisher.

Related Read: Huh? Google AdSense Revenue Goes Up as CPC Goes Down

3) Set geographies and frequency caps

Some ad networks only serve ads to specific geographic regions. It’s best to talk to your ad rep and have them determine the best performing geographies. Set your frequency caps for those ad networks that you still want to be tested before sending them all your traffic.

Related Read: How to Track Demographic Data on Google Analytics for Better Ad Targeting

4) Additional notes on banner ads:

Here are some additional tips we suggest:

  • Repeat the same ad units in order to maximize the time your ads are on screen, thus users will be more inclined to click the ad.
  • Have your ads refresh every two minutes or longer. Again, the longer the user sees them, the more chance your ads will be clicked.
  • Most importantly create a great user experience.  As important as it is to have a good CTR, you don’t want users to accidentally click ads. Don’t try to deceptively place ads on your site to gain unintended ad clicks.  This hurts the user experience and will damage both your credibility and site traffic in the long run.

Related Read: Banner Layout Cheat Sheet: Top Banner Placements that Work!

Three pertinent factors to consider: Your ad networks’ set up, the numbers and revenue and of course, the best user experience you can provide.
Want to improve your mobile ad optimization strategy to increase revenues? Get a FREE consultation from MonetizeMore – the leading ad monetization expert.


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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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