The past few years have thrown us all into a loop – impacting ad revenue and yield. Here’s the thing – we look at seasonality for our yearly projections. No one could have predicted the pandemic or how it would have such an impact on the entire world even after it ended, much less the ad tech ecosystem.
With the start of a new year, it’s a pivotal time to get your ad revenue in order. Here are a few optimizations that you can implement to maximize yield from now until the end of the year.
Ads.txt, developed by the IAB Tech Lab, increases transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem by providing a flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory. Ads.txt requires participating publishers to post their list of authorized sellers to their domain, allowing buyers to create a filter to match their ads.txt list against the data provided in the OpenRTB bid request.
It’s essential to keep your ads.txt file up to date so that all eligible buyers can bid on your inventory. The Freestar Revenue team is continuously working on adding more demand connections for you to take advantage of. For a more hands-off approach, use Freestar’s cost-free hosted ads.txt solution, which automatically updates your ads.txt file as we add new demand sources.
You can use many techniques to maximize yield and ad revenue. A commonly used technique is ad refresh. At Freestar, we use a managed refresh feature that auto-enables viewable ad refresh for all ad placements without requiring any code changes from you, the publisher. Our team can activate this for you without requiring any additional time or resources on your part.
Managed refresh is a great technique publishers can use to gain additional viewable impressions, as it’s been seen with increasing impression volume, viewability, and revenue. The guidelines state that the ideal refresh rate is 30 seconds. This is a guideline and may be worth exploring other refresh rates on specific in-view ad units (sticky footer for example). For best ad refresh results, a publisher’s property should have more demand partners/sources competing in their ad stack to have positive participation rates and increased fill.
With new privacy industry standards in effect, it’s important that your sites remain compliant with GDPR and CCPA regulations by using a consent management platform (CMP). Consent management is a process that allows websites to meet the necessary regulatory requirements regarding consent collection. With a CMP in place, websites have the capability to inform visitors about the types of data they’ll collect and ask for their consent for specific data processing purposes. When you employ a CMP, it can help protect you from breaching any regulations relating to consumer privacy.
Freestar is partnered with Quantcast to provide our publishers with a cost-free hosted CMP solution compliant with current and upcoming privacy regulations and industry standards. Freestar’s hosted integration of Quantcast’s CMP includes options for publishers to implement a “Do Not Sell My Information” link for CCPA and a module covering GDPR.
Follow Your Users
Take a look at how your users interact with your website. It’s important to determine where users spend most of their time on the page by device type and make sure there is at least one ad in view.
Use Dynamic Flooring
Dynamic flooring helps to drive up ad revenue generated by each ad request. At Freestar, our flooring technology utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to calculate the best performing floor price by website, ad-unit, geo, device type, day and hour for each impression delivered to maximize the ad request eCPM. We developed our dynamic flooring technology to help publishers more intelligently set floors in a first-price, header bidding world.
Add High-Impact Ads Units
Another great way to maximize yield is by using various ad formats. Consider adding the following:
- Interstitials – The interstitial is a type of ad that will show up after a user clicks on any link on the website. For example, if a user comes to your site and clicks on a link to go to another section, the interstitial ad will show up and provide a close button for the user to close the ad. Freestar has seen very high CPMs from this unit which in turn will produce higher revenue for publishers. The ad unit is also able to run a variety of sizes based on the user’s device. This is an advantage to advertisers as they are willing to pay more for larger format ads.
- Video – Tap into video monetization even if you don’t have content by running a video ad placement like outstream or a video adhesion product. It’s been known that video ads tend to perform better than static ads, whether you’re judging by engagement or clicks. You may have experienced it when scrolling through a web page or social feed, and a video catches your eye. Freestar knows this, and our publishers are always looking for ways to optimize and maximize their revenue while simultaneously improving the user experience for their readers.
For best video performance, consider a sticky or floating video. It’s important to have the video in placement that will have a long duration as the video player needs to be in view.
Not many publishers are familiar with Superflex but this ad unit takes multiple bids from smaller ad sizes and auctions them against larger-sized ads. This is available for both leaderboard and rectangle ad placements and provides lift when the larger sizes are able to be beaten out by multiple ads from smaller sizes. This unit allows us to serve smaller creatives out of a single placement if it generates more revenue than one large creative.
Dynamic ad units allows multiple ads to load as a user scrolls and the ads aren’t being called until the user gets close. It’s a great ad unit to have because it takes into account page layout and article length to customize it for your website layout. For example, if you have a long web page, you can set it so an ad appears after 3 paragraphs so you can maximize the number of ads per page.
Implement Ad Block Recovery
Freestar partners with several ad block recovery solutions that allow publishers to recover revenue from previously unmonetized users that have enabled ad blockers. When users visit your site with an ad blocker enabled, the ad block technology will be triggered to scan for said ad blockers, once identified they’ll serve an acceptable creative through the ad blocker. The creatives served are only high-end and IAB approved.
We offer several unique high impact units on AMP as well (ex. video, flying carpet). There’s an AMP myth that advertising revenue is much lower on AMP but that is far from the truth. Freestar offers the perfect mix to optimize AMP set up:
- Code Configuration – The configuration on the AMP-AD code on the page that is customizable for every publisher and offers various optimizations.
- More Demand Available – Each AMP-AD on the page has the option to add extra technology into the stack and this uses something called the rtc-config. Using the rtc-config you can add technologies like DMP’s and Server-Side bidding.
- Price Floors Available – The correct floor pricing set-up in Google Ad Manager can yield great results. I personally prefer using dynamic floor pricing technology, as doing this process manually can be very complex and time-consuming.
Optimize for Viewability
The higher your viewability, the higher revenue. These are a some of the factors that can help improve viewability:
- Ad Placement – It important to have ads that aren’t too high, near the content, and so forth. There’s different ad layout strategies you can implement to see what works best for your website. On mobile devices, consider moving the first in-view ad unit to below the fold (sticky/adhesion units being the exception). This will increase viewability and increase the likelihood that an ad load before a user has scrolled past the slot on the page. Mobile users browse differently than desktop.
- Lazy Loading – Lazy loading is a feature that serves ads that are above-the-fold and immediately visible to users. Ads that are below-the-fold will not render until they come into the user’s viewport. With lazy loading, ads that are not likely to be seen are not loaded, resulting in fewer unviewed impressions being served which improves your viewability. Advertisers dislike paying for impressions that users do not see, so the higher your viewability, the more valuable your inventory is.
- Sticky Units – Sticky units like sticky footer, adhesion, pushdown and sidewalls, are great for viewability because they remain 100% visible to users for the entire time they’re on the page, which translates to incredibly high viewability. Combine sticky units with ad refresh and that means more revenue in your pockets!
- Anchor Ads – One placement we highly recommend is desktop and/or mobile anchors. Anchor ads, as the name suggests, remain at the bottom of the user’s browser window, wherever they go on the page. As anchor units allow ads to be on the user’s page for the entire duration of their site visit, your viewability values increase when enabled. Anchor units capitalize on the full user session duration.
Anchor units are a streamlined way to create additional, highly valuable inventory. They offer the benefit of being always viewable (an incentive to advertisers), and the ability to blend into most website themes and designs. If it’s distracting to a user, they can simply choose to “x” out of the ad session.
Well, there you have it — just a few ways to maximize your yield in 2023! We know you want to earn as much revenue as possible, and these are just some ways you can do that.
If you’re an existing Freestar publisher, send a note to our Publisher Success team at [email protected], and we’d be happy to optimize you for 2023. Not currently a Freestar client but have questions about how we could help you maximize yield, get started today!