4 steps to optimize your ad inventory
Understanding the best-performing ads on your site is the best way to increase digital advertising revenue. But finding the right monetization mix of inventory on your website can be a struggle. The advertising mixture on your site can determine everything from how long you spend on yield and optimization to how much revenue your site generates. Every website is unique and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to best optimize your ad performance.
However, it’s important to understand to not to treat all of your inventory and content in the same way.
Here are four steps to help you make the most informed decisions about your ad tags.
Step 1: Determine the most valuable ad units on your page
There are a few different ways to interpret the “most valuable” ad units. These can be the ads that have the highest revenue generated, the highest CPM, or even the highest fill rates.
To find this information, pull a report of all individual ad units for the last month. Then, determine which units deliver the highest number of impressions, have the highest eCPM or CTR, or look at any other metric that is important to the success of your site.
You should also check out traffic analytics to determine the most viewed pages on your site and make a note of the pages with the longest session durations as these can be monetized for incremental revenue with reload products.
Step 2: Divide your site into sections and review the overall format of your website
It is now important to understand how your site’s layout can be affecting the performance of your ads. Look at the metrics that you used to determine the “value” of each ad, and what site pages they’re on. For example, if you notice that your homepage ads are performing better than other ads on your site, you can try using the same type of ad on other pages.
Consider the following questions:
- Are there obvious divisions of your site and its layout?
- Do certain pages of your site deal with separate topics or perform different functions?
- Do ads on specific pages perform better than others? If so, what pages are they?
- Is your site focused on one primary topic with only a few pages and therefore doesn’t require any divisioning?
- Do you have dozens of content pages across a variety of topic areas that appeal to different types of users?
Whatever your answers may be, think through how you want to package your site to potential advertisers without negatively affecting your site’s audience.
Step 3: Decide on your advertising mix
Different sites use different combinations of direct deals, programmatic, and remnant ads (such as AdX or AdSense) to fill their pages.
Are you using programmatic partners to fill all ads on your page? Or are you selling most of your inventory to direct buyers and using a remnant solution to backfill? The answers to these questions might affect your advertising mix.
If you have some highly valuable or visible sections of your site, it makes more sense to sell those in a direct or preferred deal to get the highest CPMs. For example, if you have a direct deal with an advertiser, you should put that specific ad in a highly visible location to maximize its performance. Conversely, if your site has fewer pages or sections, setting up header bidding with an AdSense backfill could be all you need.
Step 4: Map your website
Using the insights you’ve gained while answering questions from steps 1-3, it’s time to take a look at what your options are. Having the knowledge of the most valuable ad slots on your page can determine how your page is sold.
Create a map or flow chart that reflects the organization of your site’s content while also noting where your most valuable ads are. Make sure to define all spaces on your site where ads can serve. Use this map to create new, more specific ad slots on your page, or to categorize and organize the ad units you already have in a way that makes more sense.
Disclosure: What’s New in Publishing is wholly owned by Sovrn Holdings, Inc.