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Online Publishers Need to Use These 2 Techniques to Boost Revenue Over the Holidays

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The holidays bring flavored lattés, big consumer discounts and a revenue windfall to online publishers.

Olu Eletu |

Welcome to the holidays in 2015. According to data from the Goodway Group, the holidays already naturally bring a 25 to 30 percent boost in CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) with retail advertiser demand for ad space driving up clearing prices. Instead of a 25 to 30 percent boost this holiday season, I'd like to suggest you can achieve 100 to 150 percent increases in your revenue with just two simple changes to your site design and business model.

Related: 4 Simple Strategies to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

1. Ride the viewability wave and increase revenue by 500 percent.

The biggest advertisers are demanding their ads be seen -- and this is not a fad. As a publisher, you must ride the viewability wave. By being an early mover, you are likely to see significant increases in revenue from programmatic advertisers, both in real-time bidding (RTB) and private marketplace (PMP) deals.

  • Create floating ads: Floating ads are ones that don't move when a user scrolls up or down. They float on top of the page while the user scrolls behind. You can place a floating ad in the rails or at the bottom center, or you can redesign your site to eliminate scrolling. If you've considered moving to infinite scroll, these floating units are a must.
  • Time the length of your ad slots effectively: Research has shown that ads are most effective when in view for five to eight seconds, so every few seconds, refresh that ad slot and show another ad. If a user is on your page for 40 seconds, this is an easy opportunity to increase your revenue per page 500 percent. All of the advertisers will be pleased with their share of that ad slot, and you'll get significantly more revenue.

Related: The 4 Elements of a Winning Ecommerce Ad Strategy

2. Optimize for programmatic.

If you've avoided or not dived into programmatic -- the automation of buying and selling digital ads such that the transaction can take place with less friction, otherwise known as programmatic -- head-first, it's time. You can often earn higher CPMs selling programmatically than you can via direct sales. Here's how to take advantage of these yields:

  • Integrate your inventory: It's time to move past designating certain ad slots for direct sales and others for programmatic sales. You can re-categorize your inventory with available tools so any ad slot can be sold directly or programmatically, a decision made in real time. In other words, if the programmatic bid for a single impression is higher than a direct-sold price, any ad slot can reap that higher yield to improve your total revenue.
  • Integrate multiple exchanges: An exchange is digital marketplace that allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell ad space, often through real-time auctions. As a publisher, you should be working with at least two exchanges to increase your profitability.
  • Avoid short-term temptations: Can a video ad unit that auto plays and overlays your entire site can net you a $30 CPM? It can. It can also net you lost users that will stop coming back to view your content. Ad units that promise high yields but are clearly user-unfriendly should be avoided for long-term success.

While parts of this discussion can get technical and laden with acronyms, this is what it takes to succeed and maximize your yield as a publisher selling online banner or video ads in today's environment while reaping the most rewards.

Related: Take a Step Closer to Web Mastery With These 7 Free Resources

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