Header bidding is arguably the best setup you could have on your site to maximize eCPM rates. But it isn’t easy to implement header bidding and optimize the setup regularly. Because one, you need to establish partnerships with SSPs and get Google AdX and two, you have to understand the performance of bidders, page load time, user behavior, viewability, and more.
That’s why the majority of the publishers, especially mid-sized media groups, get help from header bidding providers in the market. Whether you’re outsourcing your ad operations or not, analyzing the header bidding setup is essential.
After all, as a publisher, you need to know what worked and what didn’t to make informed decisions. So, in this piece, we’ll list the best header bidding chrome extensions that can help you understand the setup and performance of the bidder partners.
Let’s get started.
Header Bidding Chrome Extensions
Before getting into the list, we want to clear one thing – This isn’t a list of all the header bidding extensions in the Chrome Store. To put it another way, if we’ve found an extension that does everything you need as intended, we would’ve titled the post as “A Chrome Extension You Need to Optimize Header Bidding”. Well, as you’ve guessed, we have to use a couple of extensions together to understand the setup and analyze the performance.
So, what we need to optimize the header bidding performance?
In general, we’re looking for the following metrics/insights:
– Latency of the bidder partners
– Winner and winning bid price
– Bidders participated in the auction and bid prices
– Ad Viewability
– Ad Slot Specifications
– Actionable Suggestions
– Basic Debugging Help
This data is more than enough to kickstart your optimization. Without any further ado, let’s dive into the extensions.
1. Headerbid Expert
Headerbid Expert is arguably the most popular extension for header bidding publishers and there’s a good chance for you to have it installed on your browser already. For those who aren’t familiar with it, let us guide you.
Unlike other extensions, Headerbid Expert has been developed and updated by Prebid.org. It comes with limited yet insightful information to assist you in optimization.
– When you install the plugin and click on it, you’ll be able to see the bidders who participated in the header auctions happened on the page.
– Time it took for bidder partners to respond.
– Suggestions to improve revenue and decrease impression loss.
You’ll get more or less the same timeout/ad request suggestions. In other words, it will help you identify the partners who aren’t responding fast or not at all within the timeout. The only action you can take with the insight is timeout adjustment’.
BidFilter takes the next step when you compare it to Headerbid Expert. It not only lists all the bidder partners in your wrapper but also displays their bids for the individual ad slots on the page.
Note that the extension identifies all the bidders you’re connected to, not just the ones who are actively bidding.
One of the interesting features of BidFilter is its ability to list the bidders who didn’t bid intentionally or because of the timeout (“Empty Bids”). This way, you can funnel down the partners who are just listening to auctions.
Another insight you can derive from the “Empty Bids” section is the overall demand for the ad sizes and demand for ad sizes per bidder.
In other words, you can see if a demand partner X is bidding for specific ad sizes (say 970×90) or not and activate/deactivate the bidder accordingly. Also, you can assess the demand for an ad size on your page based on the number of partners returning with bids.
3. Google Publisher Console
Unlike the others mentioned before, Google publisher console isn’t a plugin. If you are a Google Ad Manager (Google DFP) user, then you can utilize the Google Publisher Console.
You can access the console by creating a bookmark or amending the URL with a custom pre-defined string. To see the page information, open the page you want to inspect, once the page is loaded, click on the bookmark you created. After clicking the bookmark, a panel will appear at the bottom of the page. This panel will give you the information about the ad units on the page. For every ad unit, you can see various important information like the name of the ad unit, the ad sizes it delivers, the time take to fetch the creative, time taken to render it, how many ads were fetched (when ads refresh then the count can be more than one), etc. If there are any issues with the ad unit then it will also be displayed.
We have a detailed guide on Google Publisher Console for your reference. With Google console, you can analyze page load speed, ad loading speed, and demand partner performance (on an ad unit basis). While it won’t give you direct suggestions, it’s a go-to source to debug ad tagging errors and quickly glance at the numbers.
MyAdPrice is a relatively new extension developed by researchers at Duke University, Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and ETH Zürich.
Here’s what you can get from MyAdPrice:
– Bidders who’ve participated in the auctions on the page – segmented based on the ad slots.
– CPM (bid price).
– Winning bidder.
– The total time it took to finish the auctions on the page (in seconds).
– How long it took for bidders to respond with bids.
On top of these, a user can also see how much revenue your website has generated from his/her visit. For instance, if I am a user visiting your site, I can see how much you’ve earned while I was reading the content on your site (“Website Revenues”) and average CPM bidders are willing to pay for me vs average CPM they are paying for other users (“Average Bid Prices”).
You can be a user and visit your site to see all the numbers and optimize timeout, analyze the bid rate and win rate of bidders on all your ad slots.
5. Automatad Blaze
Automatad Blaze is our chrome extension developed to provide what other extensions are missing – Viewability and ad refreshing details. As you know, ad viewability has become one of the important factors deciding the CPMs and almost all the publishers have been refreshing ads to maximize user revenue per session.
If you want to know the viewability of ads and how the ads are getting refreshed, then Automatad Blaze is your best bet. The extension doesn’t list any other information, it just focuses on
– User activity (whether the user is active on the page or not – indicated by a green/grey dot under “User Active”).
– Ad viewability of the ad slots on the page (in %).
– Exposure time (how long the ad has been viewed by an active user).
– Ads under view.
– Total session time vs active time (Active time only counts when the user is active on the page).
– How many times a particular ad slot has been refreshed and total ad reloads.
Note: As it is an extension used to demonstrate how our AXT technology refreshes ads based on user activity and ad viewability, your ad will be replaced with a placeholder (a banner from us) to indicate that the ad has been refreshed. If you click the extension again, you’ll be shown the actual ad.
By now, you probably concluded that you need to install a few plugins for analyzing and optimize the header bidding setup and you are right. No one extension in the chrome web store can do all the job for you. There are still more plugins (from Moat, OpenX, etc.) that does more or less the same.
Have you tried the extensions and how it worked for you? Let us know in the comments.