Take Page RPM or CPM or CTR, it’s all been a nightmare for publishers. Whether they go up suddenly, remain stagnant for a while, or plummet down to the ground, it influences your revenue. At the end of the day, you’ll be chasing down the reasons to find out the cause of the anomaly. Especially, mid-market publishers find it almost impossible to consistently increase page RPM.
It’s a fact. We dealt with hundreds of publishers facing the same issues and helped them to achieve their revenue heights. In this article, we’ll show you how to increase your Page RPM and maintain it at its best value.
RPM stands for “Revenue per Mille” (Mille means thousand in Latin). So, page RPM is an estimated revenue you can generate by serving a thousand page views to the readers. It is calculated by dividing your estimated earnings by the number of page views you received, then multiplying by 1000.
Page RPM = (Estimated earnings / Number of page views) * 1000
For instance, if you’ve earned an estimated $10 from 500 page views, then your page RPM would be equal to ($10 / 500) * 1000, or $20. In other words, if you can deliver 1000 page views, you’ll be earning around 20 USD.
Note: Google uses the term interchangeably with eCPM. Both RPM or eCPM are essentially the same. Here’s a primer on RPM Vs CPM.
Sounds easy, right? However, it’s not as easy as it sounds to get an RPM of $20 and to consistently increase it over time. On the contrary, you can’t successfully run your website with the same revenue. Increasing costs means you have to increase revenue as well. Here’s the good news. You can increase your Page RPM significantly without choking your readers with ads.
Factors affecting your page RPM
Before diving into the strategies to improve page RPM, you should understand the factors affecting the estimated metric.
Two factors primarily impact your page RPM.
- CTR – CTR stands for ‘Click Through Rate’. Typically, advertisers measure CTR to know the number of clicks they can get from the ad for X impressions. So, if your website earned 5 clicks for 100 impressions, then your CTR is 5%. Higher the CTR, the higher the page RPM.
- CPC – CPC stands for Cost Per Click. It says how much an advertiser is willing to pay you for a click. It varies based on the content of the ad, context, and the niche.
As a publisher, you should ensure that you’re keeping both CTR and CPC as high as possible. How to do so?
– Probably one of the boring yet underestimated tips you’ve heard – Publish quality content. Quality content is the one that attracts and retains a targeted niche.
– Find the right ad placements. Why? Ensuring you are placing the ads in the right placement increases your viewability, CTR, and CPC.
– Make sure the ads are highly relevant and resonate well with the readers. In case you’re using an ad network, check their targeting criteria, and optimize it. If you are serving ads programmatically, the targeting will be taken care of automatically.
How to increase your page RPM?
So, increasing the CPC and CTR will definitely improve your page RPM. But, that’s not all you could do. There are other ways you can utilize to take your RPM to the next level.
1. Use the Right Formats
Adsense doesn’t just offer display ads. They offer a variety of ad formats including video ads, expandable ads, and text ads. You need to experiment with the formats and then settle on the right ones. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn more if you replace display ads with video ads, but when you try a combination of the formats, you may find the sweet spot.
So, what are your current ad formats, and what’s the least performing format you could replace with a new one?
2. Enable the Right Ad Sizes
Not all the ad units will earn you the best eCPM. In fact, Google recommends the publishers to use wider ad units to experience higher CPMs and better page RPM. For instance, ad units such as the medium rectangle (300×250), large rectangle (336×280), and leaderboard (728×90) are proven to yield greater results for publishers (because of the higher demand).
Think of it this way. When you have an ad unit that has higher competition, then you’ll get better page RPM. Secondly, larger ad sizes tend to have higher CTR and it can increase your page RPM further.
In addition, you should also consider viewability. The more the viewability, the better the ad rates will be. According to a study by Google, here are top viewable ad units:
3. Optimize User Experience
If you follow our blog, we’ve shown you several times how enhancing the user experience resulted in higher revenues. The goal should be providing a clean and acceptable ad-content and it takes some experiments to find the right number of ads. However, start with a few and try to stay that way. Because we know increasing the numbers won’t increase the page RPM substantially.
One of the simple ways to ensure better UX is to limit the number of ads on the page and ensure they are dispersed across the page. If the users are scrolling the page to read the complete content, then you can have ad units BTF, rather having too many ad units ATF.
4. Attract the Right Visitors
Attracting relevant visitors is far more important than other factors. Besides, how you are supposed to scale up without increasing your visitors. The idea is to focus on the right audience rather than getting a ton of irrelevant hits. The added advantage of attracting only the right audience is your RPM will stay at its best value.
To put it simply, RPM will vary based on your traffic quality. For instance, repeated/returning visitors can get you better RPM as Google can identify the user better the second time onwards. Similarly, paid traffic tend to have higher bounce rates and lower time on site. This means page RPM isn’t going to be high as expected.
5. Upgrade to Google Ad Manager
If you think, you’ve done all the things you could possibly do and have good traffic (at least over 200,000 page views), then we advise you to sign up for Google DFP (now rebranded as ‘Google Ad Manager’). Why you ask?
Google Ad Manager is an ad server that allows you to set up direct campaigns along with the ad networks (say Google AdSense). If your sales team has any direct deals, you can deliver the direct ads first and then fill up the rest of the unfilled ad slots with the help of an ad network.
Even if you don’t have any direct deals, you can partner with multiple ad networks to fill up the ad impressions using GAM. Let’s say if Google AdSense can’t find the right ad, the request is passed down to another ad network, thus, ensuring a 100% fill rate. Here’s a complete guide to help you get started.
6. Implement Header Bidding
As we just said, Google Ad Manager would be able to help you get to a 100% fill rate. But, it’s still inefficient in many ways. First, it passes down the request from one ad network to another to fill the ad slot. This is known as the waterfall technique. The method reduces the eCPM and increases the page load time. Hence, header bidding was developed. Header bidding allows you to call multiple demand partners (ad exchanges/ad networks) simultaneously, thus, ensuring intensified competition and higher eCPM.
However, in order to get better results from header bidding, you need to cross at least a million page views per month. We know you’re curious about header bidding, so here’s everything you need to know.
Pro tip: If you have more than a million page views, give us a shout. We can set up the header bidding on your site in no time.
7. Try Ad Refresh
You heard us, right. Instead of increasing the number of ad units, you can implement the ad refresh. But you can’t refresh Adsense ads (Google restricts publishers from refreshing Adsense ads). And, that’s the whole point. You can partner with multiple ad networks and then, implement ad refresh without any issues. Whenever Adsense fails to deliver an ad, you can let other ad networks to bid and win the ad impression. Those ads can, indeed, be refreshed. Else, you can sign up for Google Ad Exchange and refresh the ads from it.
At Automatad, we offer ‘Active Exposure Time (AXT)‘, an intelligent ad refresh technology that refreshes ads based on user engagement and ad viewability. You can increase the revenue while keeping the UX intact.
8. Increase Organic Traffic
Organic visitors tend to stay longer and scroll throughout your page if you have the right content in place. Besides, Google has more data about the visitor if he/she lands on your site via Google search. This, in turn, will allow advertisers (bidding through Google Ads) to understand the visitors and bid effectively to win the impression.
That being said, you need to analyze the engaged time of your referral sources and then find out the top 3 traffic acquisition sources to focus on. For instance, if Twitter is sending you engaged users, then see if you can double down on it.
Sidenote: Paid traffic from networks like Taboola tend to have higher bounce rates unless you set the targeting right. So, consider investing your time on organic acquisition channels than paid ads.
9. Improve Content Suggestions
Most of the publishers we have worked with tend to overlook the impact of the content recommendation on their ad revenue. Your users will be willing to read more when you let them know that you have what they are looking for. For instance, let’s say a user lands up on a page via Google search and then, reads your content completely. As a next step, you can recommend your users highly relevant content that will make them click and then, view yet another relevant piece of content.
The more the page views, the better the RPM.
Your Next Step
We’ve listed only the best techniques that are proven to improve your Page RPM. Whether you use AdSense or any other ad network, you can implement all of them today to experience the higher eCPM. And, it does take time to see results. So, the best way is to experiment, measure, and then decide the right ones for you. As always, consider the user experience and page load time in mind while adjusting your strategy. If you are looking for a monetization partner to help you with the implementation, then let us know.