June 14, 2017 | Business | by Alexian Chiavegato

Are You Using the Wrong Metrics? That’s a Costly Mistake

Once you have the best content on the best platforms, measuring their performance is vital to successful monetization. If your publication isn’t using the right metrics, you could be losing out on revenue and missing out on providing the best possible user experience for your readers. Some numbers are most useful when used in the context of the big picture, while others work well as stand-alone metrics. It’s vital to know the difference as publishers grow their publications and seek out new advertisers for their sites.

First, it’s important for publishers to know what they are looking for when choosing the metrics they’re going to put stock in. There are two key questions publishers must ask themselves. The first is, “Does this help us deliver a vision that guides impactful strategy?” Choosing the right analytics is just as much about preparation as it is review. The right statistics can provide a basis for how you design and operate your website going forward.

The second question is “Does this provide an accurate representation of our performance?” Some numbers, like eCPM, can be taken out of context and used to skew the actual results of the site’s advertising performance. Using a variety of metrics working together provides a more accurate picture to judge the performance of the site and make a plan for going forward. Let’s take a look at some of the metrics, and how publishers can take advantage of each one.

ARPU

ARPU, or average revenue per user, is what Marfeel relies on the most. The strength of this KPI lies in the way it accounts for fluctuations in traffic, giving publications a better sense of the site’s performance. ARPU puts the focus back on revenue, allowing the publisher to concentrate on monetization efforts. When publishers neglect this crucial metric, they’re almost certainly sacrificing revenue needlessly. While other metrics may give you more information on engagement, nothing affects your bottom line like ARPU, and that’s why it should be at the forefront of any plan.

Visits, Average Session Time, and Pageviews Per Session

These metrics can provide valuable information about the reader’s behavior, both in how they ended up on the site and what they do while they are there. Visits provide a good baseline for what kind of reach a publication has, and how it is evolving over time. Average session time and pageviews per session give the site an idea of how readers are acting once they get there. If either of these numbers is low, a publication might need to rethink how it pushes users to visit other pages once they’re at the site. This could mean revamping the navigation options on the pages, or placing similar stories on the page.

Ad Requests and Fill Rate

Knowing how the ads on your site are being used is crucial to measuring the site’s performance. The number of ad requests relates to the reader’s actions on the page. On a publisher’s mobile site, this action might be the result of a scroll or swipe as the reader engages with and explores more content. Fill rate tells the publisher how those spaces are being filled. It essentially measures how a publisher’s ad inventory is able to meet demand.

eCPM and CPC

These metrics provide the publisher with information on the value of each ad unit. eCPM, or estimated cost per thousand impressions, calculates the average value of each impression to provide a value for each ad unit. CPC, or cost per click, is the amount a publisher receives every time a user clicks on an impression and quantifies the value of their ad spaces. While these numbers can be valuable when placed in context, they can also be misleading when looked at alone.

The most important thing to remember when choosing which KPIs to place more importance in is that the more the site uses, the better picture the site will have when it comes to planning its next steps. Platforms like Marfeel Connect provide publishers with the ability to look at a variety of measurements that assess both engagement and monetization, giving them a better view of their properties and which ad networks are doing the most for their bottom line. Using ARPU, especially in conjunction with other metrics, provides a great start for any publication working to boost its revenue today.