The 10 Advertising Metrics Every Publisher Should Track

With how quickly trends and technology change our digital landscape, digital marketing campaigns can be relatively challenging. Therefore, a marketing strategy needs to be adaptable to succeed. For example, if advertisers only relied on marketing metrics that evaluated the result of a campaign (like an attribution report), they’d likely have little return on investment (ROI). Instead, if they assessed the campaign as it progressed, they could change and optimize for a higher ROI.  

Digital advertising campaigns are the same. Without careful evaluation of their advertising metrics, marketers know they’d likely see small returns on ad spend (ROAS). As a publisher looking for a chunk of the ad spend change, these metrics are just as critical and relevant for you. While working with an advertising partner like Newor Media means you don’t have to worry about doing all of the work yourself, it’s important nonetheless to know what goes into the ad process.

What Are Advertising Metrics?

Advertising metrics give insight into the progress of an ad campaign—both the successes and failures. They’re a tangible way to measure all aspects of an advertiser’s marketing efforts and how a campaign tracks towards selected key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Since there are many intended goals for marketers to aim for, KPIs vary from campaign to campaign. For example, a company may be interested in brand awareness and test ads across different channels like social media (Linkedin ads, Facebook ads, etc.), Google ads, and display ads. If they found they had the most success with display ads, they could choose to alter the budget and funnel more spending money into display ads. 

As a blogger putting ads in front of an audience, you feed into a campaign’s performance. The number of people you drive to a brand’s landing page directly impacts the success of a post-click landing page campaign. The number of users you help sign up for more information contributes to the success of a lead generation campaign, and so on.

Why Should You Track Advertising Metrics?

Tracking advertising metrics is essential to both success and growth. Advertisers track metrics to see what parts of a campaign are doing well and what might need tweaking or adjusting. Aside from campaign progress and benchmark check-ins, they can see if a return on investment (ROI) was made. This helps with future ideas, execution, and general budgeting decisions. 

Having deep, data-backed insight into strategies can help them expand and execute efficiently. As a result, they can create high-performing campaigns and make the most of the customer lifetime value by constantly improving.

Tracking advertising metrics for publishers

So why does this matter to you, the blogger? 

As the middleman between advertisers and their target audience, you’re instrumental in campaign performance. If you can offer high-performing ads, then you’ll have access to premium rates, exclusive direct deals, and more. But first, you’ll need to understand and follow your metrics to get started. Publishers should track metrics to:

  • Understand performance: Rather than having a bird’s eye view of how your earnings are going, you can assess each unit individually. In doing so, you can find what ads are making you money and what ads are taking up extra space. 
  • Adapt ad strategy: Ads are not one-size-fits-all. In addition to different ad types and placements, there are various earning models, types of advertisers, and even ad management platforms. By keeping track of advertising metrics, bloggers can identify parts of their ad strategy that need adapting or changing.
  • Optimize ad performance: Metrics can help you work towards ad optimization. Publishers can take advantage of testing everything from ad positions and sizes to layouts and ad types. As a result, you can create high-performing ads that continually yield high earnings.
  • Improve webpages: Some metrics speak more to a website’s quality than ad performance. If these prove poor, your website earnings, traffic, and core web vitals are severely at risk. Instead, publishers can work to optimize and improve. For example, if people don’t spend a lot of time on a page, you may want to improve your content marketing (to keep them hooked!). Or break up long-form content with bullet points, video, and images. 
  • Contribute to a greater goal: As we’ve mentioned, you’re instrumental to the success of ad campaigns. By recording essential metrics and sharing this with network partners, you can help to shape their marketing efforts. Additionally, showcasing the effectiveness of ads benefits all bloggers. Rather than taking their budgets to social media platforms and email marketing campaigns, they’ll increase their ad spend. This means more earning potential for you! 

Most Important Advertising Metrics to Track

Website Traffic

[ Metric type: website data ] 

Website traffic is a vital metric publishers need to pay attention to. It measures the number of people who visit your blog. In addition to highlighting the total amount of visitors, publishers can also get a deeper insight into their traffic. You can see traffic demographic, traffic by channel, and more. All this insight can help you improve traffic, monitor the quality of your website, and focus/maximize your efforts.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to increase traffic. After a quick assessment, the data shows a significantly low amount of traffic comes from search engines. From this, you can rationalize you have a low search engine results page (SERP) ranking and move forward with working on search engine optimization (SEO) to improve it. As a result, your website gets a better ranking, more organic traffic, and more ad earning potential. 

Total Page Views

[ Metric type: website data ] 

Page views mark anytime a user visits a page on your website. It takes into account page refreshes and when a visitor scrolls through multiple pages (which counts as multiple views). Bloggers can usually obtain this information from their hosting site or Google Analytics. 

It differs from website traffic because it allows you to look at individual page performance. As a result, you can gauge what pages are popular and optimize your ad layout accordingly. In addition, some networks have monthly page view requirements to join, so it’s also essential to ensure your metrics continue to meet the minimum.

Bounce Rate

[ Metric type: website data ]

Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors who traveled onto your site but left before having any interaction. Unlike page views that measure quantity, bounce rate reflects traffic quality. A high bounce rate can indicate that the wrong traffic finds you or your website has significant issues–slow loading speed, spammy ads, poor quality content, etc. Additionally, high bounce rates make your ads undesirable to networks. Luckily, you’re reading this very informative post and will start (or continue) to track this essential metric. 

  • Bounce rate = (total visitors on a webpage w. no interactions / total visitors on the webpage) x 100 

Total Impressions

[ Metric type: website data ] 

Advertisers get a sense of brand awareness by how many ad impressions occur across the various marketing channels. Impressions are when an ad is viewed or displayed by users. For publishers under the CPM model, the number of impressions per ad directly impacts your earnings. Additionally, seeing how impressions vary ad to ad can help with optimizing ad layout and placement. For example, if specific arrangements have better viewability, you can shift other pages towards a similar format to maximize earnings. 

Cost Per Click (CPC)

[ Metric type: revenue model ] 

With most bloggers starting their ad experience with Google’s AdSense, cost per click (sometimes called PPC-pay per click) is a widely known and key advertising metric. Under this payment model, bloggers receive pay every time a user clicks on an ad. CPC is the amount they’re paid each time this happens. So earnings increase as the number of clicks do.

Advertisers use this to measure how much each ad click costs. Since clicks generally produce a good ROI, quality advertisers leverage competitive ad rates. 

  • CPC = (total amount spent / total measured clicks)

Cost Per Mille (CPM) 

[ Metric type: revenue-model ]

Besides CPC, cost-per-mille or cost-per-thousand (CPM) is one of the most widely used payout models. It’s the price an advertiser must pay you per 1,000 impressions of a particular ad. Viewability is the most important factor to remember when it comes to CPM. Advertisers want their ads seen and graciously pay the publishers who can make it happen. 

On the advertiser side, CPM is an easy way to assess ad inventory performance and is a strong indicator of how valuable a blogger’s ad space is. For publishers, being in the know with CPM rates is the best way to leverage a good ad space for premium rates—both in real-time bidding and direct deals! 

  • CPM = (total cost / total measured impressions) x 1000 

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

[ Metric type: revenue model ] 

Cost per lead (CPL) tracks lead generation efforts. CPL is another ad pricing model for publishers that pays for each new customer or referral they can funnel to advertisers. Unlike other models, users only need to express interest through some actionable goal (a survey, submitting an email, etc.) versus engaging or seeing an ad. 

CPL measures the cost-effectiveness of a campaign meant to drum up interest across marketing channels. If you’re experiencing low CPL rates, consider switching models or reworking your content to highlight the brand or service better. 

  • CPL = ( total amount spent / total attributed leads)

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

[  Metric type: revenue-model ]

Cost per acquisition (CPA), also referred to as cost per action, is another ad pricing model bloggers can use. Advertisers will pay for conversions resulting from an ad. It’s an essential key performance indicator that gauges how much advertisers pay to acquire a sale. For publishers working within this ad pricing model, staying on top of this metric is critical for earning. For example, if you have a generally low CPA rate despite testing and optimizing, you may need to consider a different pay model.

  •  CPA = (total cost / total conversions)

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

[ Metric type: performance indicator ] 

Click-through rate (CTR) is another important metric that publishers should keep tabs on. It’s the ratio of ad clicks to impressions (ad views). Essentially, it’s the percentage of viewers who click through to a brand’s landing page after seeing an ad. 

Advertisers use CTR to gauge how relevant and engaging users find their ads. If a network can boast high CTRs, then they’re worth considering integrating into your stack. Operating under a cost-per-click model with a network that delivers highly clickable ads is a profitable move. 

  • CTR = ( total measured clicks / total measured impressions ) x100 

Conversion Rate

[ Metric type: performance indicator ] 

A conversion is when a user completes the intended goal or activity advertisers set. It gauges how frequently conversions occur from the number of times it could happen. It’s an excellent metric for advertisers because it assesses the effectiveness of an ad (content, images, etc.) to drive action.  

From a blogger’s perspective, conversion rate is just as relevant. You optimize your ad strategy to improve conversion rates—even if you don’t know it. To sum up a loaded definition, an ad’s ability to be viewed and lead to a conversion is what high-performing ads do. You can find this data in Google analytics.

  •  Conversion rate = (total attributed conversions / total # of clicks/visits) x100

What Gets Measured Gets Better

To sum it up, ignoring what’s going on with your ad units and website is risky business—or at the least, a very average ad strategy. But, on the other hand, having a pulse on your ad metrics will help you continuously improve and optimize. How else will you hit revenue maximization? 

If you’re unsure how to start measuring, tracking, or changing any of these advertising metrics, connect with one of our dedicated account reps today. At Newor Media, we’re committed to balancing revenue maximization with website quality control. We’d be happy to walk you through it. 

Bridget George

Senior Account Manager, Publisher Development: Newor Media

Bridget is a dynamic business development and account manager. She has been in the ad tech industry for over 7 years and is known for her ability to drive innovative solutions and foster strategic growth. Passionate about her work, she excels in managing key accounts and ensuring client satisfaction.