How To Increase CPM For Your Blog

By 2021, the online advertising market is expected to rise to a whopping 389 billion dollar industry, and as a publisher, you have a direct line of access to it. Despite the competition, optimizing revenue without forgoing user experience is an achievable ad monetization strategy. So before getting spammy with your ad units, let’s dive into the best ways you can increase CPM.

When looking to maximize revenue, CPM is an important metric to understand. CPM is the cost an advertiser needs to pay for every 1,000 impressions their ads receive. It’s an easy way to assess ad inventory performance and is a strong indicator of how valuable content is.

There are many factors that can affect CPM. By identifying problem areas and implementing solutions, a publisher can increase CPM.

Improve Ad Viewability

When a user loads your webpage, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually see its ads. In fact, 54% of ads are not viewed by users. This measurement of whether a user sees an ad is an important metric to advertisers known as viewability. High viewability rates can inform potential buyers that you have high-value inventory or ad units to offer and subsequently improve CPM.  Alternatively, low viewability rates can hurt inventory value and lead to low bids. A few simple tricks to improve ad viewability are: 

Test ad positions, sizes, and layouts  

Optimizing ad placement is essential for any publisher to see an increase in viewability. There are many recommended placements for ads depending on the channel, which is a great place to start. However, it’s best to test your audience for greater insight. A/B Testing different layout variants can give data-backed insight as to what works best for your users. Finding a layout that increases engagement and even click-through rates will increase CPM. 

Fix page loading speed

Slow loading pages not only hurt user experience but can also result in unregistered ad impressions. For publishers, regularly measuring page loading speed is an excellent way to gauge how any new ad placements or content are impacting the site. Identifying and quickly solving any issues can help to reduce the loss of views.

Lazy loading, a practice that reduces page weight, can also improve page loading speed. When implemented, it delays ad content from loading until it’s at the user’s viewpoint. A publisher can decrease the number of impressions served out of view by deploying lazy loading. This is only one of many techniques a publisher can use to balance website load speed with ad monetization.

Optimize for mobile

As of 2019, 40.1% of all web browsing occurred on mobile devices, and that number is expected to increase over time. Failing to make sure your ad units are mobile-friendly will negatively impact their viewability, and subsequently, your revenue. Optimize for mobile channels by tweaking ad sizes and placements. Understanding what unit sizes and placements to implement will help avoid missed views and accidental ad clicks. When crafting a mobile strategy, be sure to design ad placements that maximize user experience in mobile.

Explore Ad Formats 

Choosing the right ad format for a website is about balancing user experience and revenue. Understanding what type of content type (text, image, video) users prefer can help publishers think through a user’s perspective. The right ad format will increase CPM without driving visitors away:

  • Banner Ads are image-based ads that typically don’t disrupt user experience or clash with website content. They pair well with websites highly textual in nature.
  • Native Ads work well for publishers who want to register high impressions while minimizing disruption for users. Native ads blend and look similar to their surrounding content.  
  • Rich Media Ads are interactive media, such as streaming, video, and audio. They reduce banner blindness but can interrupt user experience. 
  • Sticky Ads are ads anchored to the page that remain with the user as they navigate a site. They register high impressions when implemented correctly. 

Diversify Demand

With more advertisers come more possible revenue streams and more yield. In ad bidding, increasing the number of competitors will result in a higher CPM. Under Adsense, publishers only see competition from the ad network Google uses. Publishers should look for a header bidding network (more on this later) to tap into dozens of large-scale ad networks. Header bidding providers work with many agencies and networks to deliver maximized demand in the back end. 

Publishers can also diversify with affiliate links. For publishers struggling to increase bid interest or inventory, affiliate links can help partnerships with advertisers. By adding relevant links, publishers can also capitalize on affiliate revenue in addition to CPM revenue.   

Adhere To Privacy Laws

As the concern for online privacy grows, so does the importance of adhering to privacy laws. Since privacy laws directly target data used by advertisers, publishers have a responsibility to follow protocols. Investing in a good consent management platform will help prevent violations from occurring. Most header bidding providers should offer you a fully up-to-date Consent Management Platform for adhering to these and others.

Data privacy and protection laws directly affect the ad industry, which means they directly affect how you get paid. It’s essential to understand what laws are in place to know how this might affect your CPMs. For example, GDPR requires consent from EU users and a consent status for ad tech vendors via a privacy string. Advertisers may look to avoid risk and not bid on publishers who don’t supply a privacy string, resulting in a lower inventory value.

Under COPPA, serving personalized ads to children is prohibited. Any publisher with a target audience of children will have a lower CPM. Publishers using Google Ad Manager are excluded altogether from price priority line items targeting child-targeted ad requests. 

Implement Header Bidding

For publishers, header bidding is an effective way to increase CPM, in some cases by as much as 50%. The advanced programmatic technique brings multiple demand sources together to bid simultaneously in real-time. The increase in competition results in more money for publishers and often increases the floor prices of inventory.  

With so much success in header bidding relying on optimized ad units and demand sources, finding the right partner is key. This allows you to take advantage of a provider’s access to top-tier networks. Having access to more advertisers, both in terms of number and variety, will result in a greater fill rate and revenue.

Increasing CPMs is the right approach for any publishers building or improving their ad monetization strategy. Success is dependent on leveraging the correct data with the right resources. 

Get Started

Newor Media is a premium header bidding provider with an impressive ad stack that gives most publishers a 50-200% boost in earnings when switching from AdSense. If access to a large demand supply wasn’t reason enough, publishers who switch also benefit from optimized ad units. We can be active in all of the solutions and practices mentioned above. Our ad experts do all the heavy lifting, working with publishers to improve CPM, placement, speed, and demand. 

Matthew Whille

Senior Account Manager, Publisher Development: Newor Media

Matt is an expert in the AdTech in MarTech space, with over 10 years of experience. He currently works with our publishers to increase their earnings and has demonstrated success in client success and account management. He's skilled in programmatic, with expertise in sales planning, campaign activation, research, reporting, strategy implementation and SEO. Follow Matt for more useful programmatic content!