Tips to Increase Programmatic CPMs – Part II

Updated on: November 17, 2023
Let's take a look at the second part of the programmatic CPM series.

It’s time for the last part of the “Increasing Your Programmatic CPM” series. In case, you missed our part I, here you go. Before diving into part II, let us convey the theme of the piece.

As you’ve noticed, the first part dealt with how you should take your initial steps to increase programmatic CPMs. For instance, Programmatic Funnel Offerings is the step you should be taking prior to technical optimization.

In other words, it acted as a step-stone. But, here we will explore the optimization techniques and deep insights.

How to Increase Programmatic CPMs – Part II

5. Deploy Header Bidding

Sounds typical, isn’t it? We all know header bidding will increase CPMs by up to 60%. Well, here’s a fact.

On average, 16% of Alexa’s top 30,000 publishers make mistakes in their Ads.txt and the majority of the errors are syntax-based.


What’s noticeable?

Even the top publishers with a dedicated AdOps team are making common syntax errors. One thing is certain. Publishers make mistakes, not only in Ads.txt files but also on header bidding set up.

As an SSP who’s serving publishers across the globe, we know a thing or two about header bidding set up. Hence, when we say deploy header bidding, we mean implement header bidding in the right way. It includes,

  • Choosing the right number of bidder partners,
  • Delivering the ideal user experience,
  • Partnering with the right demand partners, and
  • Experimenting.

Here’s the detailed guide for your reference.

Note: We offer custom header bidding solutions for publishers of all sizes. We know each and every publisher is unique and that’s why we set up the header bidding technology on your ad server and provide 100% transparency.   

6. Use Analytics

You chose the right demand partners and provide a top-notch experience for the users. But the CPMs aren’t increasing much as expected. What went wrong?

Customization. We always emphasize optimizing the programmatic setup for your inventory and that can only be done with the help of analytics. Every ad exchange or ad network is the aggregator of millions of advertisers and publishers. So, when you partner with an exchange, you’re one of the thousands (if not millions).

Here’s what it means: Ad Exchange is simply a way to access more demands and those demands might not be ideal for you.

In this situation, Analytics can reveal a lot of valuable metrics such as bidders’ win rates, avg. bidding price, response rate, and more. In addition, a few providers will allow you to monitor the auction activities in real-time.

This will help you to make data-driven decisions instead of going with instincts. For instance, you can analyze which bidder is bidding rarely and with low CPMs to cut him off leaving space for a different demand partner.

7. Set up Price Floors

On one side, you can’t set your floor prices too high as it may prevent demand partners from bidding on your inventories. On the other side, lower floor prices may attract depreciated CPMs. This makes setting up floor prices complex and tedious.

So, what’s the ideal way for publishers?

Experimenting. As we mentioned earlier, analytics can unveil a lot about the bidders and performances of each bidder. You can also go with the easiest way of pulling the reports from the DFP. Once you know the average bidding price of an ad unit, alter the floor prices and see how it goes.

In general, you might need to compare fill rates and CPMs while experimenting with the floor prices. The goal is to maintain higher fill rates and CPM. Sooner or later, you’ll end up at an optimal floor price.

Most importantly, when we say optimal, it is optimal for now. After a month or so, you might need to find the optimal floors again.

8. AdOps Optimization

i) Ad Placements Understanding the ad placements will help you to optimize user experience and viewability at the same time. As you know, above the fold and below the fold myth has been gone long ago and all it matters now is active engagement. Here’s what you need to consider while working on ad placements:

  1. More Ads doesn’t mean more revenue. So, be wary of the number of ad units on a page and place them after analyzing the user behavior (use heatmaps to know whether the users are active throughout the page or not).
  2. Take a look at the viewability and device types while optimizing ad placements.

In case you need more information and insights on ad placements, here you go.

ii) Targeting This option is often overlooked by many publishers. Although it may not be useful for every campaign you set up in Google Ad Manager, it will be extremely helpful to higher your programmatic CPMs for PMP deals. For instance, if you’re setting up line items for an advertiser and you know that the visitors from the USA are the ones who spend more time and engage with your content more, it’s better to target the US in this campaign.

In addition, you can direct your campaigns on the right track with the help of advanced targeting options such as devices, browser information, and key values. What happens when you do?

Increased ROI for advertisers and increased programmatic CPMs for you.

Let us know in the comments what should we explore next. And by the way, we run a newsletter for publishers, you can subscribe to it here.

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