How to Segment Your Ad Revenues by Traffic Source

Many publishers run an affiliate model to drive traffic. This affiliate model incentivizes affiliates via a revenue share of the traffic earned that the affiliate drove. Before you can begin this model, you must have your ad inventory segmented so that each affiliate is tracked properly and gets compensated for the traffic that they drive. Below is a guide to tracking affiliate earnings without holding back on optimization.

Related Read: Google’s Warning to Affiliate Publisher Sites

Step 1: Set up a subdomain system

You first must segment your pages so that your affiliates can send traffic to a unique URL that is attributed to them. This can be done by setting unique subdomains. This is the simplest way of segmenting your site, however, there are several other ways you can do it. The goal is to be able to implement unique tags on each page so that it can identify the relevant affiliate.

Step 2: Set up DFP

We recommend running DFP because it’s free, best for optimization, and has the features necessary for ad inventory segmentation. When you implement DFP, make sure to create an ad unit unique to each ad spot. You do not need to replicate the ad units unique to each affiliate.

Related Read: DFP Cheat Sheet for Beginners: Creating Ad Units

Step 3: Set up custom targeting

You can find the custom targeting section in the inventory section of DFP. You will be able to configure a new key called ‘affiliate’, and then the name of each affiliate. You will then implement the unique custom targeting variable relevant to each affiliate subdomain.

For a deeper dive into implementing custom targeting, see our handy article [here]. {IMPLEMENT URL OF CUSTOM TARGETING BLOG POST}.

Related Read: How to Implement Custom Targeting Within DFP

Step 4: Implement AdSense or Ad Exchange using dynamic allocation

Implementing dynamic allocation is a big part of having an optimized ad inventory. This setup also enables you to easily segment the reporting of your ad inventory.

Related Read: Learn how to implement dynamic allocation for AdSense or Ad Exchange

Step 5: Refer to AdSense/Ad Exchange’s custom report

In the DFP interface:

  1. Click “Reports”.
  2. Click “Network” on the vertical toolbar.
  3. Click “Edit” and choose custom targeting.
  4. Make sure AdSense or Ad Exchange revenue, impressions, and CPMs are enabled in the columns.
  5. Save the report. This report will allow you to see the segmented stats for AdSense or Ad Exchange per affiliate.

Related Read: DFP Cheat Sheet for Beginners: Creating Reports

Step 6: Extrapolate custom report to other ad networks

Take the numbers from the custom targeting report and extrapolate the stats across the third party ad networks. Ad Exchange or AdSense tend to win the bidding impressions for the majority of ad inventories. This assumption that the proportions with AdSense or Ad Exchange are the same for the other ad networks is fairly accurate. We have done internal studies and found this to be true.

This simpler setup does sacrifice a little accuracy but enables so much more flexibility and optimization without having to build any in-house technology, which can be prohibitively expensive.

If you’d like to learn how MonetizeMore can segment your ad inventory, track affiliates, give you the freedom to reach your ad revenue potential, contact us here.
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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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