Everything You Need to Know About SEO Search Intent

Search intent is fundamental to SEO. It makes it possible to understand the expectations of users when they enter a query in a search engine. Moreover, Google constantly improves its algorithms to better take them into account when presenting results and thus display the best content for the query. The challenge as a content producer is therefore to provide the most complete information possible while meeting the needs of internet users. 

In this article, Semji, the Saas SEO and Content solution, explains how search intent determines the success of your SEO and Content strategy. As a bonus, four tips are revealed to help you get the most out of your content and gain SEO visibility. 

What Is Search Intent? 

Search intent refers to the information a user wants to find when entering a query into a search engine such as Google. 

Depending on the keywords used by internet users, there may be more than one search intent behind a query. 

For example, if a user enters the word “spirulina” in Google, they might be searching for:

  • information on the benefits of spirulina;
  • sites where they can buy spirulina capsules;
  • physical shops selling spirulina;
  • spirulina-based recipes, or something else.

Correctly identifying this search intent is like knowing what information is expected by people and what content Google will preferably display.

Different Types of Search Intent

Search intent can be of several kinds:

  • Informational or Know/Know Simple: The user wants to find one or more pieces of information on a given subject. Examples of know-type results in the SERP: articles, news, definition, Google answer, other questions asked (PAA), videos, images, etc.

Example of a “Know Simple” query with a perfectly identified search intent requiring a short answer.

  • Transactional or Do: The user has a goal or wants to perform an action, such as download, buy, have fun, or interact. Do Device Action queries are intended to make the device do something, like find a route.

Example of a Do Device Action query

  • Navigation or Website: The user wishes to access a website or a specific page. Example of navigation queries: “spirulina whole foods”

  • Local or Visit in Person Intent: The user wants to find information or a service near a place. Example of a local result: map, localized content.

Why Is User Intent Key in SEO?

For several years, Google has been promoting content that meets the search intent identified by its algorithms. 

It is also at the heart of the guidelines for Quality Raters

Updated algorithms now ensure that content that does not meet user intent does not rank or ranks poorly in search results. 

Consequently, by ignoring user intent in your SEO strategy, you risk: 

  • not mobilizing your audience;
  • and negatively impacting your ranking on results pages.

Note: One query can include more than one unexpressed search intent. For example, this is particularly the case with generic keywords such as “spirulina.” 

With this query, there is a search intent to get information and an intent to do something (transactional intent). Actually, when internet users type “spirulina” in a search engine, some of them only want information about the product (“What is it?” “What are the effects?” etc.), while others are looking to buy it.

Here are some tips to leverage the search intent of your keywords and boost your content’s SEO visibility.

Tip 1: Analyze the SERP and Search Intent to Target the Most Important One for Your Keyword

To become number one for your keyword, you must produce THE best content. 

In other words, that which meets the needs of the audience and is considered the most satisfactory answer by Google. 

To produce the expected content, the trick here is to know how to decipher the SERP and the search intent behind it. 

A good analysis will reveal: 

  • the user’s need when they type their query (editorial content to see all the benefits of spirulina, a product sheet to buy spirulina capsules, etc.); 
  • and topics connected with this keyword (“benefits,” “recommendations,” “dangers”, etc.) to produce even more comprehensive content than your competitors.

Let’s start with the example of “spirulina benefits”; enter the keyword and analyze the first page of the SERP. 

The first thing to consider here: Does the query tend to be informational, transactional, navigational, etc.?

To find out, look at the elements that appear first on the results page: articles, PAA, videos, announcements, etc. We can see here that the intent of the “spirulina benefits” query is mainly informational and that it will therefore be more relevant to produce editorial content. 

Another element to check is the PAA (People Also Ask). Use this information to identify the expected topics (e.g., “What are the positive effects of spirulina?” “Why use spirulina therapy?” etc.).

Finally, deepen your analysis by deciphering competing content: plans, structure, topics covered, length, etc. Get inspired, because they are the ones that attract traffic! 

Tip 2: Use Search Intent to Build Your Semantic Cocoons and Tackle an Ultra-Competitive Query 

To rank on a highly competitive query such as “spirulina,” it is essential to treat the topic as exhaustively as possible but also to link the pages together according to a certain logic.

This is called the semantic cocoon strategy.

This method is extremely effective in becoming the leader on a topic. It allows the site to be considered as THE reference by Google and therefore also by internet users. 

 What exactly is it? It involves creating content on the same topic and organizing it as follows.

A semantic cocoon includes:

  • A pillar page: This is a generic and exhaustive page on the targeted topic (e.g., “spirulina”). It can forward you to a transactional page (e.g., “spirulina capsules” product sheet).
  • Child page content (secondary keywords): This is content that deals with a specific subject of the topic (e.g., “spirulina benefits,” “organic spirulina,” “when to take spirulina,” etc.). Cumulative traffic on these very specific keywords will boost your pillar page.

By analyzing the SERP and search intent for a main keyword (= pillar page such as “spirulina”), you can find content ideas and secondary keywords whose traffic will boost the SEO performance of your pillar page.

However, this search can be very time-consuming, especially if you want to create several semantic cocoons. Fortunately, there are tools to help you, such as Semji’s Content Ideas Module.

Using it, you can create a semantic cocoon in a few clicks, for example. You enter your main query and immediately see the secondary keywords to be added to your cocoon.

Example of secondary keywords for informational content: “organic spirulina,” “spirulina dangers,” “spirulina hair,” “spirulina iron,” etc.

Be careful though, because quantity is not sufficient. Your content must also be of high quality. We’ll explain how to do this.

Tip 3: Fulfill Every Search Intent to Gain Ranking against Your Competitors

According to Ahrefs, only 9% of content is visible on Google. 

The main reasons are a lack of optimization, content that does not fully meet the needs of internet users, incomplete information, etc.

So what can we do to optimize content? Of course, you need to define a powerful angle, include the main keyword in the H1 tag, integrate high-quality external links, etc. 

And above all, structure a writing plan that is relevant to the audience, integrating users’ search intent! 

This search intent should be integrated into your Hn tags (titles and subtitles) to let Google’s robots (crawlers) quickly understand that your content is relevant and complete for the targeted keyword.

By producing a content structure that is relevant to your audience and Google, you improve your chances of outdoing your competitors. 

For example, in order for your content on “spirulina benefits” to rank, and if we follow the recommendations provided by Semji, you should cover the following topics in your content: 

Tip 4: Prioritize Creating Videos, Infographics, Etc.

If the SERP favors videos and infographics and you want to rank, it may be useful to create content in a similar format and incorporate it into your post. 

This will enable you to stand out in the SERP video pack.

To identify the relevant keywords on which to create your videos and infographics, do not hesitate to use Semrush or Ahrefs, which tell you the keywords on which the video pack appears.

Things to Remember

In summary, here is what you need to remember about SEO based on search intent.

  • Position yourself 360° on the topics to have a better chance of reaching the top rank.
  • Use multiple entry points (long-tail keywords, images, videos, infographics, etc.).
  • Ensure a presence throughout the user’s customer journey.
  • Build semantic cocoons around comprehensive pillar pages centered on generic keywords and child pages around secondary keywords.
  • Produce high-quality content that is optimized for SEO.
  • Create brand awareness to increase the number of conversions.

To learn more about the Semji solution and create better content quickly, do not hesitate to request a demonstration.

Article written by SEMJI

How Do Dynamic Price Floors Allow Publishers to Increase Revenues by up to 40%?

Dynamic pricing is one of the hottest topics in the programmatic world. In parallel with the launch of Google’s new pricing option, “Optimized Floor Prices,” we unveiled our new product, Opti Yield, whose first flagship innovation is an optimized dynamic floor price technology that is already offering outstanding results. Why should you choose a dynamic price floor solution and how does Opti Digital’s offer stand out in the market?

Adapt the Price Floor to Surrounding Factors

Dynamic Price Floors by Opti Digital is a process for selling ads that involves setting a minimum price for your inventory and then automatically adjusting this price depending on certain factors. Unlike static price floors, this intelligent technology combines several advantages.

Firstly, it takes into account historical demand bid data of demand partners and adjusts price floors automatically, day by day, and hour by hour. By implementing dynamic price floors, publishers make sure that SSPs bid a minimum price in relation to the previous offers. 

More than bid history, this technology also adjusts the price of a publisher’s inventories according to the inventories: pages, placement, ad size, etc. For example, in-read ads are very qualitative and usually have a 70% viewability rate. Our algorithm will adjust the price floor based on this information. The user’s browsing history is also an element that feeds our algorithm: The more cookies there are in a browser, the better the targeting capabilities for the buyer who will pay more for a highly qualified user target.

While these adjustments can also be made manually, using a technology based on machine learning not only saves precious time but also avoids human error in data analysis and a lack of reactivity in case of a sudden change in the above conditions.

Seek Transparency to Challenge Competition

Today, few companies offering this technology are capable of managing such an algorithm and pushing it to SSPs through Prebid and to Google Ad Manager. However, not communicating the price floor to the wrapper client-side represents a real loss of revenue for publishers. That’s why at Opti Digital, we have chosen to offer a holistic technology that communicates price floors in the bid request to all connected marketplaces.

To better understand what this means in terms of profitability, let’s take a look at the following two examples:

Example 1 — With General Price Floors Used in Header Bidding

A static floor price of $1.4 is set in Google Ad Manager. However, when publishers sell an ad unit in Header Bidding, they could receive a bid of $1.3 through Prebid, as the price floor set in Google Ad Manager is not visible to all SSPs connected in Header bidding. The Prebid winning bid is then submitted to Google. In parallel, Google Ad Manager is informed of the $1.4 floor price and can bid accordingly, most likely $1.5. It penalizes the SSPs connected in Prebid until their bidding algorithms find the floor level, and gives the advantage to Google.

Example 2 — With Opti Digitals Dynamic Price Floors Used in Header Bidding

Opti Digital’s dynamic price floor technology sets a price floor according to several conditions. When the price floor is set, the information is directly communicated to the SSPs through Prebid. So if the floor price is set at $1.4, it is very likely that the SSPs will bid $1.5. This winning bid is then submitted to Google Ad Manager, which, if interested, will outbid at $1.6. 

In the second example, publishers will receive an offer at $1.6 instead of $1.5 due to competition of Prebid against Google.

Watch Your Ad Request Net eCMP Increase 

When implementing this technology on a publisher’s site, Opti Digital systematically performs A/B tests on smaller traffic in order to identify the average uplift and propose it to a larger audience (up to 85%) afterward.

In January 2022, we ran an A/B test on a web page of a media publisher in Europe. We tested our dynamic price floor solution on 30% of its traffic to see how it affected its net ad request eCPM. Here are the results we observed on a specific ad placement:

Dynamic Price Floors

In the first graph, you observe an average unsold rate of 0.11% in January, for an ad request eCPM (in the above graph, the clear violet line called “inventaire eCPM”) of $1.76. In the second graph, the unfilled rate is higher (2.98% on average), but the average ad request eCPM is better: $2.05, an increase of nearly 17%.

Dynamic floor price optimization is a general approach that adapts to complex market constraints and makes it possible to seize different opportunities throughout the year. The Opti Yield technology offered by Opti Digital goes even further, as it boosts the level of competition between Prebid, Amazon, and Google Ad Exchange. Through this transparency, Opti Digital is also preparing for the implementation of the future regulation, the “Digital Services Act,” which should come into effect in 2024. One of the main missions of this act is to make platforms more transparent; for example, they will have to explain how their algorithms work for targeting advertising.

To learn more about our solution, feel free to reach out to one of our experts.

Everything You Need to Know about Price Floors in Programmatic Advertising

In just a few years, the digital advertising market has been transformed by changes in advertising practices and the huge influx of complex technical innovations. So publishers now have a problem finding their way around and effectively optimising their advertising gains, while their resources are sometimes lacking. Implementing an effective price floor strategy is one of the many parameters to be taken into account to maximise advertising revenue. But what is a price floor? Why is it important to choose the right pricing strategy? And which is the best one? Everything is explained in our article.

The Principle of Price Floors in Programmatic Advertising

According to Marketing-Definitions (French online encyclopaedia about marketing), a price floor, also known as a floor price, is a “minimum auction price specified by the advertising medium on the SSP through the bid request”. This is the value below which an advert cannot be sold in an ad server. In other words, a price floor prevents advertisers from buying at a price lower than a certain amount, thus guaranteeing minimum revenue per impression for the publisher. 

If it is set correctly, the price floor is good for the audience, who may benefit from adverts that are often more qualitative. In effect, lower-quality adverts are usually sold at a cost lower than that set by the price floor.

But finding the ideal price floor is not obvious for the publisher: if it is too high, it can result in an increase in unsold inventories and have a significant impact on total advertising revenue. This is why it is key to choose the right strategy for your media. 

The Various Price Floor Strategies

There are now several price floor techniques that can be set in the Google Ad Manager Ad Server. A price floor can be applied to all inventories on a site or be dependent on well-defined targeting criteria: by advertising location, device, country or format type, for example. Price floors can also be applied in each SSP.

Price Floors
Source: Google Ad Manager Platform of an Opti Digital client

The Static Price Floor

A static, or hard, price floor is an amount set by the publisher as a minimum price for its advertising inventories. This strategy is used to obtain the highest prices on advertising that attract more commitment. This strategy means that certain undesirable advertisers can be avoided, so as to offer visitors qualitative and profitable adverts. 

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks with static price floors: 

  • Setting a price that is too high can represent a loss of earnings in addition to reducing the fill rate. 
  • The price floor needs to be changed regularly and the context (seasonality, day of the week, time, events, etc.) taken into account, otherwise publishers can miss out on opportunities relating to sales and revenue.
  • Therefore, this strategy can lead to a reduction in the number of displays and a lower RPM than in the context of a strategy with target CPM. 

The Target CPM

The target CPM enables the fill rate and profitability to be increased, while maintaining an average minimum price for inventories. The aim of this strategy is to achieve an average eCPM that is usually higher than for static price floors. 

The advantage of the target CPM is that it protects publishers should there be several bids below the set price. The target CPM allows campaigns with a slightly lower CPM to be disseminated, so as to optimise the fill rate. This flexibility is offset by the tool with other sales opportunities at a price higher than the target CPM.

The disadvantage is the lack of transparency: this variable limit is only visible to the Google Ad Exchange marketplace. The other partners connected through header bidding are unaware of the minimum limit before submitting their bids.

Dynamic Price Floors 

Recently, Google has been offering a beta version of a new price floor strategy in its Ad Server: Optimize floor prices. Driven by an intelligent algorithm, the strategy means that publishers can maintain competitive prices for their adverts, while leaving Google to set the minimum price. If the demand for inventories is low, then the price floor will also be low. Conversely, if demand is high, the price floor will be higher. 

Dynamic price floors can be beneficial for publishers as they guarantee a fair value for inventories, based on bidders’ participation in auctions. 

However, there are limits to this strategy: 

  • Dynamic price floors take fluctuation in demand into account, which can result in a price variation for the same inventories, potentially creating some frustration for buyers. 
  • This increases the lack of transparency and strengthens the dominant position of Google Ad Exchange over other SSPs as these price floors are only visible to Google Ad Exchange and Open Bidding, but they are imposed on all marketplaces. SSPs connected via Prebid and Amazon have to continuously adjust their auctions.

Although these three methods enable impairment of inventories to be avoided, today they present major limitations. 

A new strategy will soon be available, thanks to Opti Digital. In fact, our product team, formed from data scientists, engineers and computer programmers, is putting the finishing touches to an intelligent price floor optimisation technology, calculated according to many criteria (history, page, location, time, days of the week, etc.). Offering more transparency to all demand partners, dynamically applied price floors will be communicated to all ad exchanges connected to Google Ad Manager: Prebid, Amazon, Google Ad Exchange and Open Bidding. It is in beta on a portion of our media traffic, and we are already observing an average increase of 40% in their advertising gains… 

Don’t hesitate to click here: Dynamic Price Floor Optimisation or contact us to find out more: contact form

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.

IAB standard TCF not compliant with GDPR

The GDPR came into effect in 2018 and regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union. It imposes obligations on organisations, wherever they are, as long as they target and/or collect data from people residing in the European Union. This initiative aims in particular to respond to users’ demands for greater protection of their privacy and more transparency in the use of their data.

On February 2nd, 2022, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) fined the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Europe 250,000 euros, judging that the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) was contrary to several clauses of the GDPR. 

While the TCF is used by the majority of players in the advertising chain, could this European sanction questions the way consent is collected for targeted advertising?

1 – What is the TCF?

The Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) is a consent standard developed by the IAB Europe (the organisation that brings together the main players in online advertising) to help the various players in the advertising chain to comply with the requirements of the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.

When an Internet user visits a website, a Consent Management Platform (CMP) banner appears, allowing them to consent or not to the collection and sharing of their data. It is at the moment of this choice that the TCF comes into play, recording the preferences collected in the form of a file called “TC String”.

The IAB France defines the “TC String” as: “a chain of digital signals allowing the memorization and propagation of users’ choices concerning the use of their personal data for purposes related to advertising, content and audience measurement”. 

This file is shared with all the players involved in the OpenRTB (Real Time Bidding) system, a method of selling and buying advertising inventory in real time based on auctions. RTB is one of the main tools of programmatic advertising.

2 – What does DPA blame the IAB for ?

The Belgian CNIL considers IAB Europe to be responsible for the processing of “TC Strings”, and accuses it in particular of :

  • The absence of a legal basis for the use of the data collected through this file;
  • A lack of transparency, with information that is too generic, not allowing Internet users to understand what the collection of their data involves;
  • A lack of rigor regarding the means put in place to ensure data protection: absence of a register of processing activities, absence of a data protection officer (DPO), etc.

3- What future for advertising? And what consequences for publishers?

The DPA gives the IAB Europe two months to submit an action plan to bring its advertising standard into compliance within the next six months. It also orders the permanent removal of all TC Strings and other personal data already processed under TCF from all IT systems, files and databases.

In a press release, published on February 2nd, 2022, the IAB Europe states that it takes note of the Belgian Authority’s decision, but that it has not observed any prohibition of their TCF standard. While the organisation says it is willing to work with the DPA to ensure that TCF is maintained and used in the market, it rejects its role as “data manager”. On February 11th, 2022, IAB Europe announced that it would appeal the DPA’s decision before the Belgian courts.

As a reminder, there are currently 3 contexts for media advertising monetisation: with consent, without consent or in the absence of choice, in which case the website publisher can rely on its legitimate interest to display ads without cookies. At Opti Digital, we offer cross-consent monetisation, which respects users’ choice, and allows publishers to monetise their website with and without user consent to targeted advertising.

For our CEO and co-founder Magali Quentel-Reme: “It’s still too early to tell, but if publishers were to reintroduce the CMP during TCF compliance, we might see a drop in the consent rate because the internet user, out of weariness, might decide to object to everything.”

As the announcement is still recent, the consequences for the sector are still difficult to foresee. At Opti Digital, we will therefore be following this subject closely over the coming weeks, in close contact with our CMP partners (read Sirdata’s article following the DPA announcement). We shall keep you informed of the situation by updating our article on a regular basis.

The IAB Europe will host a live chat on Wednesday February 16th to answer questions raised by the DPA decision. Further information on the next steps will be provided at this event. In the meantime, an FAQ is available on the organisation’s website.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact one of our publishers managers.

Our AdTech predictions for 2022

2021 was a particularly eventful year for the AdTech industry. Publishers and players in online advertising had to adapt to the start of a cookieless world, in particular with the new CNIL guidelines that came into effect. The year was also marked by a major event for their natural referencing: Core Web Vitals, 3 Web performance indicators set up by Google aimed at promoting sites that offer a good user experience.

Publishers had to redouble their efforts to continue to offer their audiences content that meets their expectations while ensuring sustainable advertising revenues. 

What will it be like in 2022? Can we foresee the major trends that will mark the year? Magali Quentel-Reme, our CEO and co-founder, will reveal her 2022 AdTech market predictions at Programmatic Spain.

What impact has COVID had on programmatic advertising in 2021 and how is it recovering?

It is difficult to take stock of 2021 because 2020 was a very irregular year which makes it hard to make any valid comparisons. During the first half of 2021, we saw the effects of the pandemic on investments. We observed a very strong temporary effect. Advertising investment were concentrated into 3 key moments: March 2021 and June 2021, when the restrictions were lighter, and November-December as usual.

In the last two years, the programmatic ecosystem has been advancing at the same level as technology. More and more publishers converted to Header Bidding and buying by deal IDs was on the rise in Europe with initiatives like WeMass that offer curated inventories from media leaders on a programmatic basis only.

What is the biggest opportunity you see for programmatic in 2022?

In addition to the strong growth of connected TV, which we take for granted, I believe that the audio format is going to be on the rise due to digital users who consume more and more podcasts.

The pre-roll video format is also a winning bet for publishers who can produce video content. In Header Bidding, we see a rising fill rate and advertisers are looking for good completion rates, and are willing to pay for it. Publishers will have to find the balance: ensure a good UX and mobile video ad space with good completion rates.

What is the biggest challenge facing the programmatic industry in the coming year?

Despite the noise about solutions to replace third-party cookies, this remains a real challenge because we still don’t see a miracle solution in the near future.

Unique IDs are an interesting proposition, but only for publishers capable of gathering logged data from their visitors. Most of the publishers we collaborate with have little data logged and the reach is too small to guarantee a profitability similar to cookies.

Knowledge about FloC (since this interview, Google announced the replacement of FloC by Topics, a much more simple targeting method) is still weak in Europe and this lack of understanding may harm the advertising revenue of media groups, Sales Houses and independent publishers in their fragility due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Which channels do you think will have the greatest growth? And the least? 

Outstream and instream video, Digital audio, TV and DOOH are going to see a lot of growth.

Conversely, Google is progressively giving less exposure to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) pages in the SERPs.

And more than channels, I also believe that the performance of those who offer low-quality inventory to brands with no added value will progressively worsen.

What do you expect to happen most in the industry in 2022?

I hope that transparency and quality will win for all links in the programmatic chain so that users like advertisers and publishers benefit from a better UX and deliver results.

When do you think the sector will have viable alternative solutions to Third Party Cookies?

I think it could take some time to see a valid and widely accepted solution and that 2022 could be an experimental year.

One of the shorter-term solutions will be to use first-party data to increase campaign targeting capabilities and optimize publisher revenue.

Need additional information about our solutions and/or our job offers? Contact us!

The best advertising formats in 2022

When it comes to online ad formats, the possibilities are numerous and the choices often difficult. The size of your ads and their placement have a direct impact on the profitability of your inventory.  Indeed, a judicious use of trends can allow you to increase your viewability rates and page RPM, while preserving the user experience. In this article, we present our latest analysis on the best ad formats in 2022 and the trends in ad placement and ad sizes.

The most popular sizes on desktop and mobile

Just like last year, the 300×250 format is the most popular size on the desktop, accounting for 40% of total ad impressions. Next, are the Leaderboard (728×90) and the Large Rectangle (336×280). These three formats are part of the standard formats defined by the IAB, an organisation that aims to promote optimal advertising practices that respect the user experience.

Read : The best ad formats in 2021

In 2021, users spent a record 3.8 trillion hours on mobile!  According to a study by App Annie, a company specialising in mobile data analysis, mobile ad spending exceeded $295 billion in 2021 worldwide, and represented 70% of digital investment. Here’s a closer look at the trends you need to adopt to maximise your mobile revenues:

  • The 300×250 pixel format: also known as the medium rectangle ad, accounts for 40% of total ad impressions and therefore takes the top spot on the podium for mobile ads. Compatible on desktop and mobile, we advise you to use it in the heart of your content. Its size allows advertisers to deliver impactful ads (image + text), without disrupting the user experience. Our automatic ad insertion solution enables publishers to distribute these ads harmoniously on the page thanks to an algorithm.
  • 320×50 pixels: this format is very popular with advertisers, despite its small size. To optimise its visibility, we advise you to use it at the bottom of the page, in sticky, and to combine it with our ad refresh solution.
  • Interstitial ads: Offering unbeatable CTRs and high eCPMs, interstitial ads are a great option for publishers looking to boost their revenues. However, we advise publishers to use them with care, especially by adjusting the capping. The use of this format is also subject to certain rules defined by the Coalition for Better Ads.

Video

According to a study carried out by the SRI and UDECAM, the use of the video format (instream and outstream) increased by 57% between H1 2020 and H1 2021, representing 45% of the total display and making this format an element not to be omitted from one’s monetisation strategy.

Recently we implemented our Header Bidding solution on Instream video for one of our clients and saw an improvement in fill rate.

Native advertising

“Native” formats, not to be confused with sponsored content generally located at the end of articles, refer to ads using native style sheets and displayed in the same places as display ads.

Native ads allow the integration of ads that respect the user’s navigation. They are designed to match with the graphic design of the site (colours, fonts).

According to a study published by IAB France in 2020, native advertising :

  • Has a higher interaction rate than display formats
  • Increases purchase intent after a click, compared to a display ad 
  • Represents 22% of Display spend

When publishers make the effort to integrate native ads from the various programmatic marketplaces and personalise their display, the share of revenue from native advertising increases significantly. We can see this phenomenon in the inventories optimised by Opti Digital, where this native format is present in all locations.

To find out how Opti Digital works with native advertising to boost its publishers’ revenues, contact us!

The year in review and objectives for 2022

Monétisation éditeurs 2022

Over the past twelve months, the Opti Digital team has worked hard to help publishers optimize their monetization. Let’s look back on the highlights of 2021 and what’s in store for next year.

2021 represents…

The enrichment of our 360° solution

Our advertising technology for publishers gained in agility and performance! Our team used our proprietary tag manager on a daily basis. This tool now integrates many features such as the management of advertising space, sizes, partners participating in auctions, intelligent refresh, lazy loading, space reservation to optimize the CLS score or even the automatic layout to find the arrangement that maximizes publishers’ advertising revenue.

We also adapted our offer to the legal framework, by offering cross-consent monetization solutions such as Google Limited Ads or the Opti Digital Ad Server known as ODAS, our consent-free solution developed in-house.

Great meetings with publishers, media groups and management

monetisation publishers 2022

Despite the difficult health context and its constraints, Opti Digital had the joy of meeting you during several European events. The opportunity to discuss your challenges and your needs in order to continue to provide you with adapted solutions.

In April, we hosted our first webinar on cross-content monetization to respond to the concerns of the French media on the collection of GDPR consents, and how Google takes it into account. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s still relevant. Check out the replay (in French)😉

In October, we organized our first Publishers’ Breakfast in France! It is with pleasure that we made an appointment with the publishers of media and classifieds sites in Lyon to discuss with them, around a few croissants, the current SEO and advertising issues that affect you and the innovations developed by OptiDigital. We are planning to organize other Publishers’ Breakfasts in Europe, please let us know if you would be interested in participating!

Our very first event took place in December, in Barcelona, Spain, in collaboration with The Cookie Afterwork, a network of programmatic advertising and data professionals. During this evening, our CEO and Co-founder Magali Quentel-Reme spoke about the role of UX and data analysis in advertising monetization.

Our CEO also had the pleasant surprise of being named in the category of AdTech Personality of the Year in Spain, by the independent media outlet, Programmatic Spain, a great reward for her work in the Spanish market.

A reinforced team of experts

In the space of a year, our team has doubled in size. From Céret, to Lyon, via Barcelona, Madrid and Wroclaw, the Opti Digital team now consists of 18 experts and is, more than ever, ready to face 2022 alongside publishers.

This year, in particular, we welcomed:

  • new Publisher Managers, in order to extend our skills outside of France, notably in
    Spain and Poland;
  • new talent for our technical team, based in Poland, to develop our solutions and give
    life to the innovations of tomorrow;
  • a Data Scientist, to make our solutions even more efficient through artificial
    intelligence.

Our objectives for 2022:

If the year 2021 was marked by many highlights, 2022 promises to be just as prolific with many projects, mainly:

  • Automate the exploitation of our data in a more advanced way, thanks to AI
  • Leverage first-party publisher data and unique IDs
  • Optimize the UX of our header bidding monetization solution for in-stream videos
  • Organize new online meetings and events in Europe.
  • Strengthen our European partnerships, in particular via IAB Spain and IAB Polska, Programmatic Spain, Ratecard in France…

2021 in pictures

Need additional information about our solutions and/or our job offers? Contact us!

Media publishers and advertising agencies: 7 good practices to end the year on a high note

Between Black Friday and the fast approaching Christmas period, media publishers and advertising agencies have every interest in putting in place, as of now, a successful monetisation strategy to attract the best advertising campaigns. We have identified 7 good practices to put in place to define this winning strategy:

1. Prioritise the layout of advertising inventories

With the advent of Core Web Vitals, it is essential to optimise the user experience in order to obtain a good CLS score and optimal positioning in the SERPs. To ensure good UX, we recommend reserving a minimum height for ad slots.

You should also work on the arrangement of your inventories so that they are as quantitative and qualitative as possible. Here are the different parameters to take into account: the number of ads per page and per device, their positioning, their loading time … At Opti Digital, we offer an effective solution to optimise the site layout: automatic insertion of ads at the heart of the content, combined with Lazy Loading and smart ad refresh.

These optimisations are beneficial for audience acquisition and make it possible to attract more advertisers, inclined to invest in inventories that have a good volume and a good visibility rate.

2. Adjust floor prices to increasing demand

The last quarter is very popular with advertisers. It may therefore be wise to increase the floor prices in order to stimulate competition in Header Bidding between SSPs and Google AdExchange. This makes it possible to boost eCPMs in this period of high demand where unsold rates are lower, and to increase the net eCPM inventory (the turnover achieved for a thousand display opportunities available).

At Opti Digital, we adjust floor prices according to several parameters including changes in demand, for example. We will soon be able to intelligently automate this process as our Data Science expert is currently developing a machine learning solution capable of setting the best floor prices for each print. #StayTuned 🙂

3. Try new formats

We advise you to take advantage of the period to test formats with high added value for your monetisation, that is to say, with high eCPM and viewability rates. This is the case sticky footer, interstitial ad on mobile and desktop, or a 300×600 format on mobile.

Example of a sticky bottom ad slot on journaldugeek.com

However, make sure the use of interstitial ads is done so as not to disrupt the user experience. You must integrate it by respecting the criteria of Google. Properly placed and used in a reasoned manner, interstitial ads can provide additional income.

4. Take advantage of the buzz of e-commerce with a consentless inventory

To maximise your advertising profitability, we recommend that you integrate the demand of e-commerce and entertainment partners. Amazon is particularly a major player at this end of the year period and can generate significant revenue peaks.

Also, consider monetising your audience that has refused targeting cookies. We recommend that you distribute your direct campaigns via alternative and consentless solutions such as Google Limited Ads and Opti Digital Ad Server aka ODAS, an innovative technology allowing precise contextual targeting, without depositing any cookies. You will thus monetise all of your traffic, with or without consent.

Learn more about our cross-consent monetisation strategy

5. Update your ads.txt file

Ads.txt (Authorised Digital Sellers) is an initiative of the IAB Tech Lab to “enable you to sell your digital advertising inventory only through sellers that you have identified as authorised.”

Whenever a demand partner (bidder or SSP) is added to the auction, authorise them to market your inventory by adding them to the Ads.txt file.

The ads.txt is crawled regularly by the robots of the SSPs. If a partner is missing, they will not be able to participate in the programmatic auctions. It is therefore essential to update this file each time partners are added or deleted.

At Opti Digital, we regularly check the ads.txt files of our publishers. In particular, we use the free Adstxt.guru tool to review this file and notify publishers of necessary updates.

6. Configure all your partners in the CMP

The request partners must not only be entered in the ads.txt file, as mentioned previously, but also in the CMP (Consent Management Platform).

If the partner list is not up to date, it may prevent you from receiving open and private auctions.

7. Update your presentation in Google Ad Manager


Screenshot of a Deal Settings form

Taking care of your presentation in Google Ad Manager can help you attract the attention of buyers and receive Deal ID requests. To highlight your profile, remember to fill in:

  • A description of your audience on Desktop and Mobile.

Who are they? (Gender, age group, breakdown by type of device) What are they looking for in your media? (vertical)

How much time is your content consuming?

  • What formats do you offer? (IAB Display, skin, parallax, rich media …)
  • Your performance (The number of impressions received, your visibility rates and click-through rates.)

This is an opportunity to showcase your inventory and show all your audience potential to attract buyers.

And you, what is your monetisation strategy for the end of this year? We can help you set it up, ask us for advice 😉