Analyzing a Publisher’s Performance Metrics

How an Ad is Served in Real Time IAB

In online advertising reporting and analysis is a big part of determining weather a campaign is successful or not in both the short and long term. I have used many reporting systems during my career in the online ad space and my favorite by far is Appnexus. It is always has been reliable and really lets you get granular both on the publisher and advertiser campaign side. I am going to highlight a few key reporting metrics I use on a regular basis to optimize on the publisher side.

Publisher Performance

Run a Last 7 Day Report

Before i get granular with a particular publisher or website I like to run a last 7 day report for the publisher to get a feel for the trends and direction in which key metrics are performing. I sort it by day and look for fluctuation in Impressions, revenue and CPM generally. These benchmark statistics give me an idea of how the pub has been performing. I then look for a day that seems to be an anomaly in which I can dig in deeper.

Run a Buyer Report

If I see that a publisher is not performing and has been recieving an average low CPM, I look into what ad exchanges (buyers and advertisers) are purchasing the inventory on the publisher website. Certain buyers may not be performing because maybe they are taking a large volume of impressions, not performing with their campaigns, or have an overall low CPM which is not backing out. If the buyer is taking up too much volume and not performing you can ban them from buying inventory, or certain placements on the site to hopefully stabilize the revenue generated.

Analyze Individual Placements 

Most of the time it is unclear as to why a publisher is not performing. Sometimes it comes down to a particular ad unit that is housed in the placement section of your publisher account. By running reports for individual placements you can see what kind of traffic it is receiving, what buyers and countries are performing and also if ad requests are being matched and that you are not serving PSA’s or unfavorable ads that nobody wants to click on. From here you can tweak the Ad quality, create new placements targeting better users or simply shut down placements that are not performing.

Overall, these are three general strategies for optimizing a publishers that can be refined and tweaked over time. Each situation is unique and requires tender care but in the end the more time you spend optimizing a publisher, the happier they will be and more revenue will be generated for both parties.

See Which Countries are Performing

Make sure the tag that your publisher is using has enough advertiser demand from impressions in all countries buying in. Sometimes, a publisher will unknowingly send over low tier country impressions from their ad server and the marketplace does not have the demand connected to monetize them. Generally, the highest CPM geos are US, UK, CA, AU with English speaking western European countries also in high demand. Overall, you want to make sure you are maximizing revenue on each geo.