How to Optimize Video Header Bidding To Increase Ad Revenue?

Updated on: January 30, 2024
Realize high yield with video header bidding! Implement reliable strategies to improve video monetization and, thereby, ad revenue. Alongside, find which strategies suit you. 

Header bidding (HB) has set a benchmark and become the default approach for a publisher to monetize their website. Its adoption rate reflects the same. 

Header bidding Adoption rate

Likewise, video header bidding is a go-to solution for publishers who want to serve video ads. 

Why video ads, you ask? Well, for starters, adtech knows video ad supremacy!

Many large and small publishers see video ads as a growing part of their business and use video header bidding to serve them.

But do you think you can increase ROI by implementing the video header bidding as it is? Definitely no!

After implementation, optimization comes into the scene. You need a bucket of strategies to optimize the header bidding setup, which greatly impacts demand generation, CPM, and total yield. So, let’s get started.

What Is Video Header Bidding?

Video header bidding is a bidding technology that publishers use to sell video ad inventories to advertisers in real-time. 

It is similar to the header bidding that sells display ad units but includes an extra element called a video player because it sells video ad units. 

Like regular header bidding, it connects publishers with multiple demand partners and is equally efficient. 

Why Video Header Bidding?

It is an ideal option and maybe a monopoly option for publishers that comes with the below advantages. 

  • It gives you the liberation to go out of walled gardens and explore more demand opportunities, like getting bids from the unique video demands that give good prices for your inventory.
  • The transparent auction process lets you see who buys your inventory and gives it good value. You have control over every parameter in the setup.
  • It connects you with more demands, so more ad revenue. Video ads tend to get higher CPM and CTR than static ads. 
  • It ensures better fill rates by optimizing demands. 57.7% of publishers agree that video HB increases their fill rate
  • It allows you to leverage data insights, make data-driven decisions, leverage high-level targeting, and utilize different auction techniques, such as server-side header bidding and unified auction.

Ways to Optimize Video Header Bidding

As a publisher, you need to optimize things on two sides: demand-side and user-side

  1. Optimize the auction process with different techniques. You must appeal to demand partners with different ad sizes, placements, and offerings to keep the competition alive.
  2. You must appeal to users with the best UX practices to increase ad viewability and see high-profit margins. 

Keep a check on demand partners.

Video header bidding drives the competition by connecting you with all demand partners simultaneously. You can’t take this as an advantage and overdo the count. 

Connect with the optimal number of demand partners, like below four, and don’t go above seven when running client-side header bidding.  

The ideal count differs for client and server-side HB and depends on the device type (mobile and desktop), website complexity, audience location, and auction infrastructure. Xandr’s sellers’ best practices suggest limiting the supply path to 5 SSPs.

At the same time, keep track of those demand partners, like how they efficiently get you unique demands and increase your revenue. If they are not bringing any improvements, replace them with new ones. This way, you can improve the fill rate and, thereby, ad revenue. 

Optimize floor price

Many publishers think that setting high floor prices gets them a high CPM. However, this is not the truth, and you might suffer a massive decline in the fill rate pretty soon. So simply follow the below techniques to avoid this.

  • Setting the price floor based on your ad performance, previous CPMs, and total yield is optimal. 
  • Try tiered floor price setting, which means setting different floor prices for different ad placements and formats on different web pages.
  • You can also set the floor price depending on the traffic of the particular web page or the device the webpage is accessed from, like desktop or mobile. 
  • Set higher floor prices for the ad placements and sizes with high engagement and viewability, and don’t allow the demands to bid below with hard floor pricing.
  • While testing new ad placement and sizes, set soft floors. So that you can even accept the bids that bid slightly below the floor price set; this is called soft floor pricing.   
  • Dynamic flooring is the most advanced method, which changes the floor price according to market changes and real-time data. 

These tips help you set a correct floor price that is never too much nor too little and get you the best possible CPM value and, thereby, the hike in total ad revenue. 

Monitor the buyer’s interest

Track buyers’ interest in new video ad formats, placement, and sizes to change the website accordingly.

As a publisher, you should not restrict yourself to conventional ad formats or sizes and place ads in the same place. Why? Because the video slot per page is either one or two. On the other hand, the implementation cost of video ads is very high. 

This mismatch demands you to make the most of your one video slot so that your revenue outnumbers the investment. For that, using conventional things won’t work and will not attract distinct demand and higher CPM. 

So, try combinations and tweak them according to emerging trends that will keep your website live, intensify the competition, and increase ad revenue.  

Put your best on technical specifications

Technical specifications form the base for effective ad serving and increase ad viewability and revenue. 

  • So, choose a lightweight video player like Google IMA SDK and VAST.js SDK that reduces the loading time and works well with header bidding implementation for seamless ad serving.
  • Configure the ad units with a video player and specify the format, placement, and duration for easy integration.
  • Use sticky or floating video ad units for non-video content pages. 
  • Video player size also matters; a bigger size gets more attention. Increasing ad unit size increases ad viewability, thereby increasing the CPM rates for the space.
  • Use compatible header bidding wrappers and adapters to connect with chosen demands easily.
  • Test your wrapper setting to see which works best for your demands and users. Experiment with different partners, floor prices, timeout periods, or the maximum number of bidders. 

Minor improvements in video HB implementation with regular experiments and A/B tests impact your bottom line, i.e., viewability and ad revenue to the positive extreme. 

Optimize timeouts

Every advertiser should make a bid within a minimum time range after receiving a bid request, which is called time-out. The bids sent after the time out will become invalid. 

Even though the header bidder sent the bid request simultaneously, the timeout happens for a few demand partners due to some issues like:

  • An advertiser in Mexico with a weak network infrastructure will have a longer response time for Mexican traffic. So, he will have a harder time sending bids within a time-out like others.
  • An ad unit connected with too many demands slows your page and prevents demands from bidding sooner.
  • Bad CMP configurations and network quality generate time-outs
  • Bad configuration in one demand might prevent other demand to bid sooner.

You can overcome this by setting the optimal timeout in the wrapper. 

  • Find the origin of the problem, such as location, device, network, infrastructure, ad unit, specific webpage, bidders, etc.
  • Install a proper timeout measurement system to find the origin, implement new measures, observe the impact, and change the setup to reach an optimal timeout.

By optimizing timeout, there is no delay in receiving bids and a reduced chance of losing high CPM bids, which will eventually boost your ad revenue. 

Bid response filtering

Bid response filtering filters the bid you receive and allows only the bid that matches all Google criteria and the restrictions you (the publisher) set, like what kind of ad creative you want and what you don’t want to show.

The processes in bid response filtering:

  • Google filter first checks whether the ad creative of the respective bids obeys Google policies. 
  • After that, it checks whether the click-through-URL of the creative is malformed and the length is greater than 11. 
  • It also checks the landing page quality with click-through-URL to ensure the website elevates good UX.
  • After crossing the Google filter, the link of the bid will be filtered with the publisher’s content category and product categories. 
  • These categories are lists of content and products the publisher doesn’t want to show on their website. 
  • Finally, the bid will cross the auction filter, which checks whether the buyer has bid above the floor price set or not. 

By filtering bids in such a way, you can prevent showing ads that are irrelevant and hurt brand safety; therefore, you improve UX and views and increase ad revenue. 

Utilize server-side video header bidding 

Implement a server-side video header bidding solution so the longer auction time won’t lead to longer page loading time and poor UX.

It will be even better to implement a hybrid video header bidding, a combination of both client-side and server-side header bidding. You can realize the advantages of both.

Implementing hybrid video HB with proper optimization setup gives better results. Hybrid video HB in display ads can generate double revenue and 30-50% lifts in eCPMs. Imagine how much it will have an impact on video ads.

Collect potential data

Data is the base of programmatic advertising. The one potential key allows the video header bidding to connect you with suitable demands. 

Since video header bidding is a technology that flows the data between you and demands, the more you collect granular user data, the more premium demand you get. 

  • The HB’s wrapper-adapter configuration will connect you with the one high-CPM advertiser needing that data. 
  • You will get matched with potential advertisers for every auction, and you can see your ad revenue soaring effortlessly. 

Big tech giants are reigning the adtech with their first-party data, and advertisers depend greatly on them. So, work on first-party data collection to reduce that dependency and turn the revenue flow towards you. 

Utilize header bidding Chrome extensions

After implementing everything, you can’t just idle. You need to assess the performance of the header bidder and need the correct data to do so. Fetch that data with the header bidding Chrome extensions to find what is wrong, correct it with the right approach, and reiterate to reach the optimal point.

A few of the top extensions you can use are: 

Headerbid Expert: A Prebid expert’s product has robust optimization capabilities and various features to troubleshoot your header bidding setup.

BidFilter: It offers valuable insights on bidders that can greatly impact your bottom line.

Google Publisher Console: A handy tool for Google Ad Manager users for deep analysis of ad delivery and troubleshooting. 

MyAdPrice: The most valuable tool to analyze bidders in and out and get insights 

Professor Prebid: A powerful extension for real-time monitoring of your header bidding setup to increase ad revenue. 

These reliable extensions help you aggregate valuable data and insights to work on and increase your ad revenue. 

Related read: Top 5 Header Bidding Chrome Extensions.

Connect with the best monetization partner.

Overall, you need to optimize hundreds of parameters in video header bidding to increase your ad revenue. It will take ages to learn all about this one by one, mistake after mistake; meanwhile, the adtech industry will change so much, and you might see your competitors run ahead of you. 

You must keep track of all of that to make the best use of your investment and generate high ad revenue. So, what you can do is leave the video ad monetization part to dedicated professionals. Contact us to get connected with the best monetization partner who can do the optimization instead of you at a faster pace and deliver better results.

Reasons why you should choose a monetization partner:

  • The partner will connect you with more unique and high-yield demands
  •  They offer you a full ad management solution handled by an experienced adops team
  • For video HB implementation, some might come with reliable video players, and they might help you with content too. 
  • Aside from video header bidding, they implement advanced solutions like ad refresh, Ads.txt, dynamic floor pricing, etc, to increase ad revenue.
  • They will provide transparent service and support.
  • Unique dashboards that report in and out about auctions to let you analyze and get insights.
  • Quick troubleshooting for unexpected problems.
  • They let you focus on what matters most (publishing) and take up the technical burden to achieve high ad revenue and yield. 

Hence, hiring monetization partners is ideal for any publisher scale, whether it be small, medium, or enterprise publishers. 

Consistent Optimization, Better Results

Rapid advances and new adtech emergence demand publishers to do consistent optimization for better results. 

The optimization strategies listed so far help you improve things on the user and demand sides as they resonate well with increased viewability and ad revenue.  

You can use these unique strategies in your video HB implementation and see what they bring you forth and how they impact your bottom line. Ultimately, you own your decisions. So, choose strategies that suit your site and readers and do consistent optimization that gives uncompromising results. 

News and Tips for Publishers

Get the inside scoop on publishing and programmatic with our 5-minute newsletter.