What data should be analysed to maximise your advertising gains?

The evolution of the AdTech industry makes it essential to analyse multiple data to understand and optimise your advertising performance. To take full advantage of it, a tool that can collect and centralise your key metrics is essential. However, using multiple tools makes the task of analysing your results more complex. This is why at Opti Digital, our dashboard allows publishers to have a centralised view of their key metrics such as the viewability rate, buyers’ competition level (bid rate), advertising pressure, ad-request eCPM and Page RPM (revenue per 1,000 pages viewed). 

In this article, we will present in detail the 5 KPIs that must be analysed in order to optimise your monetisation.

No.1- Viewability

In programmatics, advertisers pay per impression, not per click. Brands therefore favour spaces with high viewability.

To improve this KPI, the data must be analysed in a granular fashion: by page and by advertisement space, so as to identify spaces where viewability should be improved.

KPI to optimise your monetisation: viewability
Source: Publisher Dashboard using anonymised media

In the example above, we see an increase in the viewability rate as of 18th September, following relocation of an advertising space. On our recommendation, the publisher moved the advertising space that was located in the footer by putting it a little higher, above the last paragraph. Within days, this optimisation resulted in a nearly 30% increase in eCPM. It should be noted that your inventories become eligible for certain campaigns when the average viewabilty rate of your advertising spaces over the past 7 days meets the programmatic buyer’s criteria. This explains the delay between the increase in viewability and eCPM.

In addition to moving ad blocks, the viewability rate can also be improved by configuring lazy loading (late loading of ads) which will call the AdServer only when the Internet user approaches the advertising space. Finally, an excellent way to increase your viewability rate is to add “sticky” ads, at the bottom or top of the screen. 

To learn how to optimise your viewability, read our article.

No.2- Buyer’s Competition Level

With the data available in your centralised tool, you can assess the level of buyers’ competition between Prebid and Google in the final Ad Server auction. 

The stronger the buyers’ competition, the more eCPM increases. In fact, Prebid stimulates Google Ad Exchange auctions. However, it is essential to select only partners that provide added value. To do so, we advise our publishers to perform A/B tests:

  • If you find that a partner is not providing any added value (to your Page RPM), and bids very little, delete it, it is most likely just slowing down your website.
  • If you see that the partner participation rate is too low, connect new SSPs to your auctions.
KPI to optimise your monetisation: competition level
Source: Publisher Dashboard demo

The graphic above shows the header bidding buyers competition level. The blue “not applicable” area refers to auctions where Google AdExchange is the only bidder. At Opti Digital, we ensure that this segment is as small as possible, to obtain a buyers’ competition level sufficient to stimulate eCPM.

Watch our buyers’ competition video

No.3 – Advertising Pressure and UX

A third metric to closely monitor: advertising pressure. This should not be too high, as this could negatively affect the user experience. Conversely, when advertising density is too low, this represents a real loss of earnings for the publisher. 

Therefore, the first thing to do is to measure the number of advertising spaces integrated on each page and the number of displays that actually result from it (based on lazy loading, ad refresh, Internet users’ scrolling, etc.). For example, if you see just one impression per page, make sure that it is due to your strategy and not a technical error to be corrected as quickly as possible. 

Since 2021, Core Web Vitals (CWV) are indicators Google takes into account for natural indexing, as well as mobile ergonomics and secure browsing. Among the CWV, the CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) score is calculated based on all elements of the site that generate content jumping, including ads. Reducing your CLS score for ads is necessary to improve your indexing and therefore possibly increase your number of visits and impressions. To do so, it is beneficial to reserve a set minimum height for each advertising space, based on the sizes included in each ad block, thus ensuring the stability of your pages and reducing content jumping.

No.4 – Ad-Request eCPM

The fill rate indicates the number of ads shown by the ad server per 100 display opportunities. This is one of the most commonly used indicators for assessing inventory quality.

However, there is an even more precise KPI than fill rate or eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions), it is the inventory eCPM. This metric measures the ratio between the revenues generated on total available inventory, including sold and unsold. This data is especially useful when determining the price floor. 

Inventory eCPM = (Revenue  Display / Opportunities) x1000

display opportunities = sold + unsold

For example, you may have a fill rate close to 100%, but a very low eCPM (on impressions sold), or, conversely, a very high eCPM, but a fill rate of just 20%. 

To facilitate decision-making, while prioritising the choice of a quality indicator, Opti Digital advises our publishers to increase their price floors to maximise their inventory eCPM

Our teams are currently working on a price floor optimisation module using artificial intelligence.

No.5 – Page RPM

Page RPM is revenue per one thousand pages viewed. This is the consequence of all the other indicators: advertising pressure, fill rate, buyers’ competition, viewability, etc. It gives you an overview of the performance of your advertising monetisation strategy.

Page RPM = (Number of displays x eCPM of each display / Number of pages viewed) x 1000

The optimisation of all the KPIs mentioned in this article will therefore improve your page RPM, in other words, it will increase your advertising profitability.

Understanding, analysing, optimising: the Opti Digital Publisher Dashboard allows publishers to maximise their advertising revenue in an iterative way with a “Test and Learn” approach, through the use of data. To learn more about this tool, we invite you to watch our series of explanatory videos.

For a demonstration or personalised advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Advertising viewability: your best ally in boosting your eCPMs

“What can’t be measured can’t be improved” – This saying is very relevant in the digital advertising industry where data is the core element. Knowing your metrics means knowing your value. To improve your advertising profitability, a lot of data comes into play, including viewability. In this article, we help you to better understand this KPI and give you 3 ways to improve it. 

What is ad viewability?

It is a key metric in programmatic advertising, as it measures the viewability of ads displayed on a site to its users. In other words, it is the number of times an ad is displayed on the user’s screen and seen

According to the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), a display is considered viewable if it meets a certain number of criteria: 

  • 50% of a small to medium-sized ad must be seen for at least 1 second by the user. 
  • 30% of a large ad (over 242,000 pixels) must be seen in the browser window.
  • 50% of an instream video must be seen continuously for at least 2 seconds. 

This data is available in the Active View reports provided by the Google Ad Manager Ad Server. Other solutions validated by the Media Rate Council (MRC) exist to measure this viewability rate, such as Integral Ad Sciences.

How is it measured and why is it essential to improve your advertising performance?

Advertising viewability is measured as follows:  

For buyers, a good viewability rate allows them to verify the effectiveness of the inventories, and it is an essential purchasing criterion. Indeed, this metric allows advertisers to first evaluate the quality of inventories available on publishers’ sites: the more an ad is seen, the better the click-through rate and the conversion rate. Once they have analysed the viewability of a site, they can adjust the value of their advertising offers. Major brands require viewability rates above 70%. To increase your chances of winning them over, make sure you highlight your viewability rate on your media kit and in your Google Ad Manager profile, under Sales > Deals Settings.

The higher your viewability, the better your fill rate and your eCPM. The correlation between viewability and ad revenue is easily observable. Here is a demonstration in our dashboard on an anonymised publisher:

After moving an ad block on 17 September 2021, its viewability rate increased from 62% to almost 70%, and its eCPM increased by 30% within 5 days of implementing this optimisation. This short delay is due to the fact that when buyers select a certain viewability criterion, the data taken into account to filter eligible inventories is the average viewability rate of the last 7 days.

Viewability is therefore part of our plan of attack to optimise media revenues, along with layout, competition, consents, fill rate, and UX. At Opti Digital, the publishers we work with achieve an average of 70% cross-device viewability rate after deploying our 360º solution on their sites, which represents an increase of more than 20 points compared to their initial average viewability.

3 good practices to optimise your viewability rate

It is essential to measure the viewability of each location on each page in order to make precise and effective adjustments to your site’s layout and loading time.

The reporting tool we provide to publishers makes this granular analysis possible. Please take a look at our quick tutorial on ad viewability to understand how we measure this data.

To boost your viewability rate, here are 3 good practices to adopt: 

  1. Optimise ad placement: place ads above the fold, in the heart of the content and at the bottom of the page. Viewability rates are generally high at these locations. Avoid non-sticky top-of-screen positions, as the user quickly moves down the page. To identify high-potential positions on your site and display ads there automatically, we have developed a dynamic ad insertion technology.
  1. Adjust your ad loading strategy: direct or lazy loading? Adjust the display of your ads according to your content and your users’ navigation. If loading is slow, adjust the lazy loading setting to be faster on photo slideshows and slower on longer consuming editorial content. In our experience, we recommend applying lazy loading to all your ad inventory to improve your SEO and profitability. With the right settings, the increase in eCPM and fill rate will compensate for the loss of views.
  1. Implement automatic refresh on viewability conditions: Implemented in a granular and controlled manner, dynamic advertising refresh is an excellent way to optimise user experience, viewability and revenue. At Opti Digital, we control in detail the triggering of refreshes: Once the time limit has passed, a refresh is only activated if the ad space is visible on the user’s active screen. Subsequent displays are generally more viewable than the first. In addition, refreshes multiply the number of impressions and will increase your revenues.

To go further in the optimisation of viewability, we carry out A/B testing and measure precisely what is the best possible configuration per page and per advertising slot.

As you can see, advertising viewability is a KPI that should not be forgotten in order to boost your revenues. As a metric that is closely monitored by advertisers, it is essential to optimise it to ensure that you attract the best campaigns and use your advertising potential to the full. Looking for a solution to optimise it? Call on our expertise