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2013-07-23 09:42

How to optimize website advertising inventory

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How to maximize sales and avoid underdelivery of campaign plans? What methods could improve overall performance on your adspace and increase total revenues – Toms Panders, International Publishers Segment Manager in Gemius, suggests publishers on how to improve their business.

Advertising is the main revenue source for every independent internet media publisher around the world. There are few cases in Europe when websites have managed to establish good subscription models for paid content as an alternative. Usually those are category sites with dedicated content about sports or business and loyal users that are ready to pay for “research” journalism. Nevertheless, advertising seems to stay as main business drive for news media portals. With a strong focus on website audience and proactive sale, gaining a leading portal position becomes possible, which is an essential success factor.

Most popular models of ad sales on the internet are CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPC (cost per click). Problems occur when publishers have to plan both such types of campaigns simultaneously. Solutions depend on the adserver software capabilities, as it allows advertisement delivery and total adspace management. Moreover, traffic on publisher websites often fluctuates day to day. On news portals there is significantly less traffic on weekends and the number of visitors from Monday to Friday differs as well.

This means that the potential of ad sales changes accordingly. Taking into account the fact that some impressions are already occupied by existing campaigns, without proper calculation tools it’s extremely hard to understand what is left for sales.

Use inventory forecasting and campaign prediction tools

In order to maximize sales and avoid underdelivery of campaign plans, publishers should take advantage of inventory forecasting and campaign prediction tools.
Inventory forecasting gives a clear picture of how many impressions remain free for sale on your websites. It is a basic background information when doing sales: to know what placements you can offer and at what volumes they are currently available. When obtaining quotes from advertisers with exact details (geo targeting, frequency capping, etc.) publishers will be able to check if a particular campaign can be delivered. Advanced inventory prediction tools will prevent the hazard of not reaching campaign plans and you won’t have to feel sorry ever again. Adserver system will alert you in advance if something cannot be delivered and there is still plenty of time to adjust the plans.

Improve overall performance on your adspace

Clear website design: publishers should not be afraid to move, resize or delete ad placements based on historical data about their CTRs (click-through rate). Accumulated historical statistics from all previous campaigns provide valuable data to make such decisions. It is essential that placements with too low CTRs for running CPC campaigns are identified and regrouped in order to form larger formats. Placements become more effective when moved up on the page, which improves their in-screen (visibility) ratios. Regrouping placements can lead to increased number of total clicks on site. In the end, revenues from CPC increase, and a greater share of voice from larger placements attracts more branding campaigns.

Increase total revenues

Publishers should optimize the use of adspace based on eCPM (cost per thousand impressions). It is necessary to find where to place particular campaigns in order to increase total revenues and enable automatic eCPM optimization for non-guaranteed campaigns. Based on eCPM statistics for placements, publishers can justify or change the split of inventory dedicated to different campaign types. Learning the “sweet spots” of performance campaigns gives more flexibility to mix CPM with CPC campaigns. This may allow driving down performance campaigns from top premium placements or compete with them on clear eCPM benchmarks. As a result, publishers drive more revenues from same campaigns with less impressions. Hence now there is free inventory publishers can serve additional campaigns to increase sales further more.

It should be part of every publisher’s daily agenda to clear out ineffective campaigns that do not deliver revenues according to a given placement’s benchmark. There are automated tools such as “Best-performing” to help publishers rotate campaign in better performing placements and use the most attractive creatives. However, if a campaign is still not performing and a publisher is short of inventory, it could be necessary to ask the advertiser to improve product offer and its creative.

Similarly to “Best-performing”, publishers can do automatic optimization on eCPM values to run those campaigns that deliver better revenues at higher volumes. However, this can be only done for non-guaranteed campaigns, where no exact plans for publishers to fulfil are specified.

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