Ad Stack optimization.
The most important part of any header bidding solution.
As the ad tech space is getting increasingly complex and competitive. More and more publishers are looking into the many new solutions on the market designed to help them automate, processes and maximize revenues.
This is typically when publishers without a substantial knowledge of the ad technologies start to learn about ad stack, its various components and how they all function together. We have covered the basics of ad stack in one of our previous posts. But actual ad stacks used by publishers today can be very different from each other. As they should be built in a custom manner, taking your individual needs into account.
The effectiveness of the same ad stack can vary a lot depending on a publisher. So it is crucially important to organize and optimize it in the best possible way. Today we are going to provide you with a few recommendations on your ad stack optimization strategies.
Diversify your ad demand partners
To start, building a well-diversified pool of demand partners is certainly advisable if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your ad inventory. Different ad networks and exchanges typically have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as traffic preferences.
Some ad demand partners tend to specialize in certain types of ad impressions. For example, there are networks with focus and higher demand for brand advertising, server-side header bidding, mobile or video ads.
So your goal as a publisher is to select demand partners among DSPs, ad networks and ad exchanges that would balance each other’s demand and offer highest yields for all ad impressions you are able to serve.
Increase your fill rate.
Fill rate is the ratio between the number of impressions you offer and the number of ads you end up serving. Therefore, 100% fill rate is the ideal to strive for. In reality it is hardly reachable, even though some big publishers like to claim they do have 100% fill rates.
But it is a good strategy to aim for the maximum fill rate possible. The increase in fill rate can be achieved by optimizing a number of parameters. In particular, you should make sure all your demand partners have low response time without unexpected network timeouts. Secondly, page load speed of your website(s) should be optimized as well, along with other efforts to minimize bounce rates and improve ad viewability.
Boost your bid density.
Bid density is the number of demand partners you have bidding on your ad inventory. Understandably, your goal should be to maximize this metric as well, achieving highest possible demand. So adding new demand partners, especially if they are selected right to complement each other, would increase your bid density. However, it’s more a question of balance rather than quantity. Adding too many ad networks could easily do more harm than good.
How many ad partners to work with?
There is no specific recommended number of demand partners to have. The most important factor to take into account here is the size of your audience. For small publishers with less than 30,000 monthly pageviews it is advisable to have one or two partners. Larger publishers with over 1 million monthly page views can typically have from three up to ten or more well-diversified demand partners.
Diversify types of impressions you offer
As we said earlier, many ad networks and other demand partners tend to prioritise certain types of impressions over the others. So if your web properties rely on just one or two ad formats, it may limit your ability to achieve higher fill rate and increase ad revenues. Adding new types of impressions to your inventory could be a good way to boost the fill rate. While at the same time avoiding a situation when all your demand partners are competing for the same ad inventory.
Prioritize demand partners with highest CPM
The CPM you get from different demand partners is another key metric, which tends to be in a bit of a conflict with fill rate. Usually, the higher CPM an ad network offers the lower would be the fill rate. This is another issue that requires some dedicated work in order to find the right balance. It is recommended to prioritize partners with higher CPMs first. Then optimize them further to balance high CPM with solid fill rate.
Combine high-CPM and max-fill-rate demand partners
Another proven strategy, for smaller publishers especially, is to combine two demand partners as the foundation of your ad stack strategy. One of them should be the high-CPM partner, offering the best rate for your ad inventory. The second one, on the other hand, would be the one with high fill rate capabilities and lower CPM. When you have these two partners to balance the CPM/fill rate ratio, you can add more partners to this structure to further optimize each of these metrics.
Set up Ad-Refresh technology
Ad refresh is the process of reloading your website’s ad units. This technology serves new ads on the same spot without the need for a user to refresh the page itself. Ad refresh can be a powerful way to increase your revenue by serving more ad impressions to users during a single session. A new ad can be loaded within a specified period of time, typically every 30 to 90 seconds. You can also tie the ad refresh to specific triggers such as user action or other events.
Ad stack optimization is a lot about balancing parameters and choosing the tools that would empower your ad inventory sales. Achieving the best result would require time and effort. But essentially the process of optimizing your ad stack should never end as there will always be room for improvement, as well as new tech solutions and tools to utilize.
Not sure where to start when it comes to ad stack optimization or just don’t have enough time to dive deep into the process? Allow professionals with proven expertise in the digital ads market to take care of this.
This is us! pubGENIUS’ ad ops specialists are well-versed in the best practices and trends of the industry. We know how to utilize innovative technologies and ad formats to optimize ad stacks for individual publishers, achieving perfect CPM/fill rate balance. We will make sure that your websites are using the most relevant tools and your ad inventory is set up and operating with maximum capacity at all times.
Get in touch with pubGENIUS Team to get free consultation 🙂