Overcoming the Common Ad Operation Challenges for Publishers

Updated on: January 8, 2024
Outsourcing an AdOps team lets you overcome the challenges of an AdOps and focus more on content publishing. Check out the blog to know when to outsource the AdOps team and the benefits you get from hiring them.

Ad operation is a bundle of complex tasks performed for efficient ad serving. It consists of setting up, managing, and optimizing ads, demands, and technicalities to achieve optimal ad performance and maximum yield.

Digital advertising is seeing dynamic changes. After programmatic entered ad tech, ad operations are demanding complex technical knowledge and 24×7 optimization. It is difficult for the publishers to care for both like before.

So, we are here to give you a solution. This blog takes you through the common challenges publishers face in AdOps and how to overcome them with either an in-house or outsourced team, which one will be right for you, and a bonus tip to select the ideal outsourcing team.

Common Ad Operation Challenges for Publishers

As a publisher, you are more focused on creating high-quality content. Working on AdOps might not be your cup of tea. Because of that, you would have faced common challenges in ad operations like the ones listed here.

Unsold ad inventory

Unsold ad inventory is the first common challenge in AdOps. When you don’t have the right strategy to sell all your inventory, you often suffer low demand for your inventory. The fill rate of the website will deteriorate, and so will the ad revenue. It signifies the time to consider having an ad operation team.

Less revenue despite high user traffic

You need to consider having an AdOps team when you have good traffic to your website but are earning less than your competitors having the same or even less traffic than you. The reason would be the improper handling of ad operations and the inability to connect with top-demand partners. 

Also, you might have forgotten to look into ad-ops and utilizing recent ad-serving technologies while scaling. 

Ad quality issues

Ad quality is another common challenge in ad operations. You must ensure the ad quality by checking compliance with ad standards and regulations. It must obey the policies of concerned publishers, advertisers, and other intermediate platforms like SSP, DSP, DMP, and ad exchanges

Ensuring ad quality is a big work that needs a dedicated ad operations team. Failing to do that will lead to issues like malware, fraud, inappropriate content, irrelevant content, bad UX design, and technical errors, ultimately resulting in poor user experience and ad revenue.

Lack of in-house team

Things go haywire when you don’t have a dedicated ad operations team. When you are starting small, you wouldn’t need to make an AdOps team. But after you grow and start getting traffic of around 1 million or more, earning money only through AdSense doesn’t make sense. You have to reap the maximum of what you sow. You must connect with multiple SSPs and covet all the digital solutions to increase ad inventory demand. You can’t do all that by yourself.

You don’t want a diversion from publishing

If you are a publisher who cares more about delivering quality content and good user experience to the reader, you may not want to divert your attention from it. AdOps will become too much for you. 

Technology backlog

We are seeing enormous changes in the ad tech. New technologies and solutions are coming every year. After scaling yourself to a decent place, coming out of AdSense and utilizing the other advanced ad technologies like smart header bidding, private marketplace, smart ad refresh, etc, is not simple. Also, it is not possible without a good AdOps team. 

Technical glitches

Efficient ad serving is a continuous process consisting of bidding, managing demand partners, tracking efficient ad placement, ensuring ad quality, tracking ad performance, and optimizing the next placement with the previous results to improve ad revenue. If any of this process is stuck due to technical glitches or issues and when there is no team to scan and repair, the ad revenue will be deeply affected. 

Scaling ad management

The publishing industry is seeing dynamic changes. What you needed for last year’s site will not be the same this year. You have to change strategies in ad management and do continuous optimization to achieve maximum yield. You must covet industry trends and innovations such as RTB, header bidding on AMP, ad block recovery, sellers.json, and Ads.txt to stand out and compete. Scaling ad management requires a separate expert team to work on it. 

How Can You Overcome the Problems?

The only ideal solution for you to overcome the challenges is to have an ad operations team. You can either form an in-house AdOps team or get service from the outsourced AdOps team. Which will be right for you? It depends on many factors.

Have an in-house team only if you can do the following:

Proper hiring: If you can hire the best AdOps talent in the industry and have a good knowledge of AdOps, go for forming an in-house team. Finding professionals who are experts in the technicalities behind ad operations is hard to do. 

Even if you hire a few and form a team, making them work towards a goal and achieving effective ad delivery is hard. It is also difficult to manage them when you are not technically sound.

Hiring is expensive: Hiring the best talents and forming a team will cost you a lot of money. Also, having an in-house team for seasonal business is completely useless. Hiring freelancers may work here. However, it has its own set of troubles. 

Traffic pattern: If you have a website that welcomes traffic only in the daytime, you can set up an in-house team to handle the ad operations effectively. 

If you have 24×7 traffic to your website and in case any glitches happen at midnight, your team might not be aware of that, and you will be losing revenue. For 24×7 traffic, a 24×7 ad operation support team is essential.

Your demand: As a small-scale or medium-scale publisher, if you have a lot of direct deals for displaying ads, forming an in-house AdOps team will be efficient. If you don’t have direct deals and the demand for your inventory is also less, we suggest outsourcing. They will connect you with the top-demand partners and get the best price for your inventory.

Benefits of Outsourcing AdOps Team

The outsourced AdOps team handles your ad operation from start to end. The AdOps team will take care of only day-to-day operations such as ad serving delays, broken ad creative, incorrect ad sizes, and other technical errors. But suppose you want your outsource team to implement new ad tech technologies like header bidding, ad recovery, smart ad refresh, and reflex ads on your ad campaigns. In that case, you should consider managed AdOps services.

The benefits of outsourcing an AdOps team are listed below.

Ad management

You can manage ad placing and revenue generation in and out by outsourcing an AdOps team. Ad management refers to the process starting from building a strategy to place ads, implementing the actual ads, combating the ad quality issues, preventing the brand authority from fraud ads, tracking the ad performance, reiterating the strategies with the historical data, and implementing the additional solutions to attain increased ad revenue.

Instead of hiring and forming an in-house team, outsourcing gives you the advantage of using experts already in the industry and working with many top publishers like you.

Efficient ad optimization 

The AdOps team does ad optimization. Optimization is not similar to ad management. Ad management enables effective auction, ad retrieving, placing ads, and checking performance. But optimization is trying different combinations of ad placements, ad formats, slots, sizes, and even floor prices to find the best combination that increases the value of your ad inventory and achieves maximum yields.

This optimization varies for each bidding process. The team you outsource will keep working to sell impressions for good value, display better-performing ads, and achieve high ROI. The outsource team also ensures that the ad performance doesn’t harm core web vitals and bog down the page latency. 

They also work according to seasonality trends. They know the time of the year, like when they can make the most and when the market will be low. They adapt your revenue model according to that and survive.

PMP deals

The managed service providers are connected with direct dealing partners, and their resource is now yours. You can perform private marketplace deals. You can sell your premium inventory and impressions at the best value. 

With PMP deals, you can reap the benefit of both programmatic and direct selling. Small publishers who haven’t started private deals will benefit most from this, with the support of private marketplace experts.

Google AdX

Google Ad Exchange is a big platform that connects you with top demands. Even with header bidding, Google AdX wins most of the auctions. It helps you find preferred deals and monetize the impression for the highest bids. 

As a small publisher, it is not easy to access AdX as it only allows premium publishers with millions of page traffic. Even if you find preferred deals out of AdX, the partner whom you are entering into the preferred deal is highly likely to execute deals using Google AdX.

This backlog of small publishers can be overcome using our managed services. We have access to AdX and can help you find premium demands and preferred deals through it. This benefit is for the publishers who don’t have access to AdX.

Upper hand in technology

Outsourcing a managed service provider gives your team an upper hand in technology. Ad tech is evolving rapidly. If you are behind even a year, there are many things to catch, such as active exposure time, ad reflex, and header bidding wrapper. You can realize the maximum revenue with AdOps experts who know how to utilize timely trends and techs. 

Demand management

The AdOps team manages your demand, handles contractual matters, negotiates with demand partners on your behalf to get the best value, and follows up on the agreement to see if they are fulfilled. Even some AdOps team connects you with more demand partners than what you already have.  

Yield optimization

Yield optimization is the process of optimizing ad operations to achieve the maximum yield. Automatad does yield management by finding the right balance between the fill rate and ad placement. They optimize page layout, latency, and ad placement and implement new technologies to increase the fill rate. They display an optimal number of ads without harming user experience.

They also increase the chances of getting a high yield by connecting you to top-demand partners.

Best tracking and reporting

The AdOps team tracks ad performance and reports the ad operations data to you in a clear dashboard. You can have control over which ads will display on the page, which ad types give you the highest revenue, which partners are connected with you, who are under the direct deals, what the price of your premium inventory, average fill rate, average revenue, places to improve and everything.

AdOps tracks and optimizes the ad performance. They also do the best reporting of your ad operations. 

Bonus Tips to Select Trusted AdOps Team

If you decide to outsource the AdOps team and don’t know how this works, there is a high chance that you will select the wrong partner. So, check out these bonus tips to end with a trusted one.

  • Expertise: Like how you are an expert in publishing, find the right people who are experts in AdOps. Find every information about the partner on the internet to validate their expertise. Read reviews about them or ask other publishers to ensure their industry knowledge.
  • Revenue model: Check the revenue model of the partners you select. If you choose the revenue share model, the ideal share will be from 15 to 20%. Apply that to the fixed pricing model and negotiate for the correct value. You must ensure that outsourcing increases your revenue more than an in-house team. Compare the cost you spend on outsourcing and hiring an in-house team. In every way, outsourcing a particular partner has to be beneficial.
  • Products and services: Check out the partners’ products and services. They might offer many, but few of them are sufficient for you. For instance, they might offer a new ad server, but you are doing good with the Google Ad Manager. So check that and ask them to implement it according to your needs. It will decrease the hiring cost also. 
  • Ideal support team: Today, most services we access work remotely. So, leave the idea of finding a not-so-good partner in the nearby location. Find one that has the best support team and services in remote conditions. They have to be available 24/7.
  • Contractual details: After finding the final one or while discussing with two or more providers, check the contractual agreements in and out, from the revenue share percentage to lock-in periods (if they have one). It saves you from the aftereffects. Signing in with a provider with fewer or no lock-in periods is better. That way, you can cut ties with the worst outsourced team that shows its true colors after signing.
  • Network of the AdOps team: Find the SSP partners of the wrapper providers. Your providers will connect you to the SSPs they are in contact with. If their SSPs are new to you, it will add value to your inventory, and you should consider working with them. If not, and they connect you with SSPs you already know, at least check how much revenue share they can get from the same SSPs. 

Check out how Automatad connects publishers with the top SSPs and implements new ad technologies to maximize ad revenue with the same number of ads you are already placing.

So, What Should You Choose?

It’s simple. Analyze your needs and strengths and choose what you need.

Go for having an in-house team if you have a good content team and resources to form a strong in-house team. Things will work better in this case as you have a specialized team to manage and optimize your ad delivery. They know about your ad tech system in and out. Personalized solutions will increase the fill rate and ad revenue.

Otherwise, if you are busy working in content publishing and lack the resources to form an in-house team, it is better to outsource a managed AdOps team. They will relieve you from the big technical tasks. It is cost-efficient. It lets you focus on the publishing journey to create quality content, build an audience, and increase traffic. 

You spend energy on where it matters and improve core values. They will handle the ads and ad revenue you welcomed through your hard-earned content. Two professionals will unite to make things happen efficiently and effectively.

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