Transparency has become a buzzword in the digital advertising space over the past few years. Publishers want to make sure that they are getting the right information when it comes to monetization metrics and what’s being shown around the valuable ad real estate they’re being paid for. Most of the publishers we work with have found that, without this information, it’s hard for them to decide the direction of their campaigns going forward—and even harder to place value on the advertising technology they’re using. That’s why more and more publications are using software that provides a view of every piece of content they post.
When it comes to lack of transparency, there are two main issues that publishers should be paying attention to: placement and ad blocking. YouTube was the latest site to come under fire when premium advertisers noticed their ads were placed next to videos posted by terrorists. Obviously this isn’t supposed to happen, and YouTube and Google had to deal with the fallout for months. If the advertising service the publication is using is placing the ads next to content that doesn’t reflect the values of the content, it can be bad for the publication’s brand. If readers are using ad blockers, the publication needs to know about it. Creating better ads is always going to lead to less ad blocker usage, and publications need to know what is working and what isn’t.
So what should publications do to make sure they’re getting the right information and creating the best user experience for their readers while fighting off ad blockers? The first key is picking the right metric, and for monetization, none can do better than ARPU, or average revenue per user. We use this metric for all of our publisher partners. The strength of ARPU is that it accounts for fluctuations in traffic and delivers a real representation of performance. A step away from vanity and misleading metrics like CPM (cost per thousand impressions), focusing on ARPU ensures that all efforts are targeted on maximizing the revenue for the visits each publisher receives. Other metrics can add context, but none provides the insight into how well the publication is doing in terms of monetization.
Once they have the right metrics, publishers need software that is going to let them sift through the numbers and see what is working and what is not. Marfeel offers a free dashboard that provides these metrics, called Connect. It allows publishers to see revenue KPIs across multiple publications. Being able to understand what’s going on across all of their revenue streams is vital for publishers. Measuring ad performance can be a slow and tedious process, but picking the right tools can save a publisher time and maximize their ad revenue.
Making sure publishers know exactly how their ad inventories are performing results in higher revenues. It’s really that simple. Publishers who aren’t using all the tools available to them today aren’t just overlooking the clearest possible picture of ad performance—in fact, they’re needlessly leaving money on the table.