“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Confused about why we are quoting this here. This famous motivational quote from Mark Twain inspires the followers to do the difficult task first. And if there is more than one, it’s better to complete the most difficult one first. Once attained, it allows you the luxury to perform the rest of your work more productively.
Now, let us explain why we used it here. Take RPM, CPM, or CTR; it’s all been a nightmare for publishers. Whether they go up suddenly, remain stagnant for a while, or plummet down to the ground, it influences your revenue. At the end of the day, you’ll be chasing down the reasons to find out the cause of the anomaly. Especially mid-market publishers find it almost impossible to increase page RPM consistently.
So, we have decided to help you dissect the biggest frog first. Let’s learn what page RPM is and how to maintain it at its best value to achieve revenue heights.
Table of Content
- What Is Page RPM?
- How Is Page RPM Calculated?
- What Factors Can Affect Page RPM?
- How to Increase Your Page RPM?
- Is Page RPM Enough?
What Is Page RPM?
Page RPM stands for Revenue Per Mille (Mille is Latin for thousand) and is a metric used by publishers to measure the revenue generated by their website or mobile app per thousand views or impressions. It is an estimated revenue you can generate by serving a thousand page views to the readers. The idea behind the metric is that every visitor has a value attached to it. Apart from page RPM, there are two other important RPMs to consider:
- Session RPM: This metric measures the revenue generated per thousand sessions. Session RPM is calculated by dividing total revenue by the number of sessions and multiplying by 1000.
- Impression RPM: This is the revenue generated per thousand ad impressions. It is calculated by dividing total revenue by the number of ad impressions and multiplying by 1000.
By tracking these different types of RPM, publishers can understand which pages or ad formats are generating the most revenue and make data-driven decisions to optimize their ad strategy and increase revenue.
*Fun Fact – Page RPM is a default metric used by Google AdSense, and it uses both page RPM and eCPM (effective cost per mille) interchangeably.
Page RPM in Google AdSense
Publishers can find their page RPM in Google AdSense by navigating to the ‘Reports’ tab. The website page RPM is displayed here as part of the overview. Since page RPM is so easily accessible to publishers using AdSense, it allows even small or mid-market publishers to get a like-for-like comparison of their page performance.
However, the page RPM reflected in AdSense can vary significantly from a website’s actual page RPM. This happens mainly because Google AdSense only records a pageview when the AdSense code is executed on the user’s browser. As a result, pages where the AdSense code is not executed, are excluded from the page RPM report of Google AdSense. The code hasn’t been executed either because it does not exist, it is blocked by an ad blocker, or there is another conflict.
How Is Page RPM Calculated?
Page RPM is calculated by dividing the estimated earnings by the number of page views received, then multiplying it by 1000. Let’s understand this step by step with an example:
- Let’s say a publisher has a website that generates estimated earnings (ad revenue) of $2000 and has 2,50,000 page views.
- To calculate RPM, you need to divide the estimated earnings ($2000) by the number of page views (2,50,000) and then multiply by 1000.
- So, the RPM for this website would be: ($2000 / 2,50,000) * 1000 = $8
In this case, the website earned $8 for every thousand page views.
It is important to note that the estimated earnings should be the revenue generated from advertising before deducting any costs, such as ad server fees, payment processing fees, or other operating expenses*. These expenses are usually deducted from the revenue to calculate the net earnings- the actual amount of money earned by the publisher.
Also, remember that RPM is used to evaluate the overall performance of a website and not the specific performance of a single ad unit.
*These deductions are conditional and are not applicable to publishers using AdSense.
What Factors Can Influence Page RPM?
Two metrics – CTR and CPC- can directly influence your page RPM:
- CTR: CTR stands for ‘Click Through Rate.’ Typically, advertisers measure CTR to know the number of clicks they can get from the ad for X impressions. So, if a website earned five clicks for 100 impressions, then the CTR is 5%. The higher the CTR, the higher the page RPM.
When a publisher has a high CTR on their ad placements, it indicates that they are providing a valuable and effective location for ads, which allows them to command a higher price per click from advertisers in the ad placement bidding process.
- CPC: CPC stands for ‘Cost Per Click’. It is the amount an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on their ad. It varies based on the ad’s content, context, and publisher niche.
As a publisher, you should keep CTR and CPC as high as possible. How to do so?
- Find the right ad placements and optimize them. Why? Ensuring you are placing the ads in the right place increases your viewability, CTR, and CPC.
- Make sure the ads are highly relevant and resonate well with the readers. If you’re using an ad network, check their targeting criteria, and optimize it. If you are serving ads programmatically, the targeting will be taken care of automatically.
- And, of course, keep on publishing quality content and updating your best-performing content pieces.
Now let’s explore some more strategies you can implement to have a high page RPM.
How to Increase Your Page RPM?
Well, though we have curated some of the best strategies to help you improve your page RPM, always remember good things take time to show results. So, it’s recommendable to run an A/B test and wait for at least a week after implementation to evaluate the results and make decisions.
Use the Right Ad Formats
AdSense doesn’t just offer display ads. They offer a variety of ad formats, including video ads, expandable ads, and text ads. Different ad formats can lead to different levels of user engagement and revenue. For example, video ads tend to generate more revenue per thousand views than display ads, as they are more engaging and can lead to higher click-through rates. Similarly, interactive ad formats, such as expandable or rich media ads, can generate more revenue per thousand views than static display ads. They are more engaging and can lead to higher click-through rates.
On the other hand, some ad formats can be less intrusive and less likely to impact the user experience negatively. For example, native ads, designed to blend in with the surrounding content, can be less intrusive and less likely to impact user experience negatively. However, they may also generate less revenue per thousand views, as they are less likely to be seen and clicked on by users.
Additionally, different ad formats may have different compatibility on different devices, which can affect the revenue. For example, some ad formats, like expandable ads or rich media ads, may not be fully supported on some mobile devices, which can decrease the revenue from mobile traffic.
Publishers can experiment with different ad formats to find the right balance between user experience and revenue. You must experiment with the formats and settle on the right ones. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn more if you replace display ads with video ads, but when you try a combination of the formats, you may find the sweet spot.
Use the Right Ad Sizes
Not all ad units will earn you the best eCPM.
Larger ad sizes, such as leaderboards (728×90) or skyscrapers, tend to generate more revenue per thousand views than smaller ad sizes, such as buttons or rectangles. Google recommends that publishers use wider ad units to experience higher CPMs and better page RPM. However, it’s important to consider the user experience when using larger ad sizes. If the ads are too large or intrusive, they can negatively impact user experience and lead to lower page views and revenue.
On the other hand, smaller ad sizes can be less obtrusive and less likely to impact the user experience negatively. However, they may also generate less revenue per thousand views, as they are less likely to be seen and clicked on by users.
Publishers can experiment with different ad sizes to find the right balance between user experience and revenue. They can use A/B testing to compare different ad sizes’ performance and identify which ones generate the most revenue while maintaining a good user experience. You will also need to take care of ad viewability.
Try Ad Refresh
Instead of increasing the number of ad units, you can implement the ad refresh. But you can’t refresh AdSense ads as Google restricts it. And that’s the whole point. You can partner with multiple ad networks, run header bidding, and implement ad refresh without issues. Whenever AdSense fails to deliver an ad, you can let other ad networks bid and win the ad impression. Those ads can, indeed, be refreshed. Else, you can sign up for Google Ad Exchange and refresh the ads from it.
At Automatad, we offer ‘Active Exposure Time (AXT)‘, an intelligent ad refresh technology that refreshes ads based on user engagement and ad viewability. You can increase the revenue while keeping the UX intact. This also helps you to increase the health of your page and strengthens your relationship with the demand partners. How? Because our AXT refreshes only those ad slots that are within the viewable range of the user and only when the user is active on the page. Discover more here.
Attract the Right Visitors
Attracting relevant visitors is far more important than other factors. The idea is to focus on the right audience rather than getting many irrelevant hits. The added advantage of attracting only the right audience is that your RPM will stay at its best value.
To put it simply, RPM will vary based on your traffic quality. For instance, repeated/returning visitors can get you better RPM as Google can identify the user better the second time. Similarly, paid traffic tends to have higher bounce rates and lower time on site. This means page RPM isn’t going to be high as expected.
Increase Organic Traffic
Organic visitors stay longer and scroll throughout your page if you have the right content. Besides, Google has more data about visitors if they land on your site via Google search. This, in turn, will allow advertisers (bidding through Google Ads) to understand the visitors and bid effectively to win the impression.
That being said, you need to analyze your referral sources’ engaged time and then find the top 3 traffic acquisition sources to focus on. For instance, if Twitter is sending you engaged users, then see if you can double down on it.
Improve User Experience
Rule of thumb – good user experience results in good revenue. The goal should be to provide clean and acceptable ad content; it takes some experiments to find the right number of ads. However, start with a few and try to stay that way. Because we know increasing the numbers won’t increase the page RPM substantially.
One of the simple ways to ensure better UX is to limit the number of ads on the page and ensure they are dispersed across the page. If the users are scrolling the page to read the complete content, then you can have ad units below the fold rather than having too many ad units above the fold.
Never Ignore Your Content
Content is the foundation of your site. When your content is better than your peers, it ranks higher on SERP, brings more traffic, and increases page retention, which ultimately translates to higher page RPM. Create content specifically for your target audience.
Create multimedia content with images, audio, slides, videos, etc., for higher engagement. Conduct extensive research for your articles so that they deliver more value than your competitors. Develop a design system for your website and build a brand around your content.
Improve Content Suggestions
Most of the publishers we have worked with tend to overlook the impact of the content recommendation on their ad revenue. Your users will be willing to read more when you let them know that you have what they are looking for.
For instance, a user lands on a page via Google search and then reads your content completely. As a next step, recommend to your users highly relevant content that will make them click and then view yet another relevant piece of content.
The more page views, the better the RPM.
Upgrade to Google Ad Manager
For publishers with over 200,000 page views, upgrading to Google Ad Manager can be the next step to further increase their Page RPM. Google Ad Manager allows publishers to set up direct and indirect campaigns with other ad networks (including AdSense). For example: If one ad network (say AdSense) cannot fulfill an ad request, the ad request is passed down to another ad network, ensuring a second chance to serve an ad for that ad slot, generating more revenue per page.
This opens new doors for publishers to establish a sales team to drive more direct ads and ensure fewer unfilled ad inventories by filling them through indirect campaigns.
Diversify Demand by Implementing Header Bidding
Header bidding is a technique that allows publishers to sell ad inventory to multiple demand sources simultaneously before the ad request is sent to the ad server. This allows for a more efficient and transparent auction process, as all demand sources compete for the ad inventory simultaneously rather than in sequential order.
By implementing header bidding, publishers can access more demand sources, leading to higher competition for ad inventory and, therefore, higher revenue. Additionally, header bidding can help to increase revenue by allowing publishers to sell ad inventory to the highest bidder, regardless of the demand source.
Moreover, header bidding also gives more control to the publishers to set the floor price, which can help publishers to optimize the revenue by setting the minimum price for the ad inventory. Reach out to us if you want to implement header bidding on your website in no time.
Is Page RPM Enough?
No. Although page RPM can effectively analyze the revenue generated per page, you shouldn’t rely solely on it (or any one metric, for that matter). Despite its usefulness, page RPM can often be misleading and give false projections of ad revenue performance. For example: by simply blocking the traffic on pages that are performing poorly, page RPM figures can be increased, but in reality, ad revenue is going down as the publisher is making less money.
Therefore, page RPM can be a valuable metric for publishers in various ways, but in isolation, it fails to give the complete picture of the ad revenue pie. Instead, publishers should calculate and compare different revenue metrics to understand their website ad monetization performance.
1. What Is a Good Page RPM for a Website?
There is no industry-wide benchmark for a good Page RPM. Since Page RPM depends on page views, factors like publisher niche, quality of traffic, audience demographic, and seasonality come into play. Publishers can compare their Page RPM with their competitors with similar audience demographics to develop a Page RPM benchmark for their website.
2. What’s the Difference Between Page RPM and Impression RPM?
While Page RPM shows the total revenue per thousand pageviews, Impression RPM measures the revenue generated per thousand impressions.
Impression can help publishers measure how much they are being paid for every impression served. Therefore, it can help when different demand partners must be tested to determine who gives better inventory returns. However, publishers shouldn’t rely on Impressions RPM alone since it cannot give a full picture of their revenue performance.
3. What’s the Difference Between Page RPM and Session RPM?
Page RPM is a metric that measures the revenue generated per thousand pages viewed. At the same time, Session RPM is a metric that measures the revenue generated per thousand sessions regardless of the number of pages viewed.
4. What’s the Difference Between CPM and RPM?
RPM is a metric that helps publishers calculate the revenue generated by them. Whereas CPM is a metric that helps advertisers measure the cost they have to pay the publishers for the impressions served on their website.
Although both CPM and RPM are commonly used in the industry, they both serve different purposes.