10 Ways to Increase Your Page RPM

Reading time: 6 minutes

What’s the main goal of every business? Profit. 

Every ad strategy, every business goal, every meeting, and every page on your website has one key big picture behind it: to generate income. 

To optimize profit, certain industry-specific metrics need to be put in place and applied regularly to gauge how well your business’ efforts are doing. Among these metrics, we find page RPM[15] — revenue per thousand impressions — at the top of the list. 

So, what is page RPM? What factors play a role in increasing it? Are there guidelines/formats to follow for maximum results?

Keep reading because we’ll be answering all of these questions and giving you 10 proven ways to increase your page RPM by 40%.

What is Page RPM?

Revenue per thousand impressions — or RPM — is a Key Performance[6] Indicator (KPI) that quantifies your earnings per thousand visitors that view your page. 

KPIs are important because they give you quantifiable insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what should be improved upon to reach your current business goals. 

To calculate RPM, divide your estimated profits by the total number of page views. Then, multiply the result by 1000. To illustrate, if your page has made you $30 from 1200 views, your RPM would be:  (30/1200) * 1000 = $25.

What are the factors that affect page RPM?

When it comes to RPM, two direct factors can make or break it: CTR[1] and CPC[7].

  • CTR: Click-Through Rate measures the number of clicks (i.e. visits) your page had per X amount of impressions (i.e. views in the search results). This metric helps you figure out how well your ads and keywords are doing. 

According to a study on AdWords industry metrics conducted by WordStream, 1.91% is the average CTR for search ads (ads appearing in search results) and 0.35% for display ads[8] (ads displayed inside websites).

Here’s how you calculate CTR: (clicks ÷ impressions) * 100.

  • CPC: Cost Per Click, otherwise known as PPC (Pay Per Click), is the fee an advertiser[9] pays a publisher[16] for each ad click. Across all industries, $2.32 is the average CPC for search ads and $0.58 for display ads.

Both CPC and CTR fluctuate according to your industry; the average CTR for Technology is not the same for Real Estate. In other words, your niche is another factor in the equation.

Other factors include content quality, seasonality (Christmas ads do better at the start of Autumn to the end of December), trends, and audience demographics.

How to increase your page RPM?

Increasing your page RPM is essential to the longevity and profitability of your pages. Impressive RPMs can also lure advertisers to acquire your services as a publisher. 

To do so, we’ve compiled a checklist of standards to increase your page RPM.

Use the Right Formats

If you’re still reading, chances are your current ads aren’t performing. Google AdSense[10], Google Ad Manager[2] and an Ad Ops[11] management solution can provide a variety of ad formats. 

It helps to see what your competitors are doing and what type of formats they’re using. However, it’s more important to experiment at first to find the right balance between video ads[17] and display ads. 

Enable the Right Ad Sizes

According to a 2017 guideline published by The Interactive Advertising Bureau[3], the top-performing ad sizes with high CPRs are rectangular and wide ads (e.g., leaderboards, mobile banners, etc.). 

In addition, looking at what kind of ad sizes your competitors are running should give you an insight into what sizes to implement.

Optimize User Experience

This one should be your top priority. Nothing turns off a consumer quicker than bad UX. By bad we mean:

  • Slow websites
  • Old-school-look  and cumbersome design 
  • Too many ads
  • Painful-to-read content

While Above-The-Fold (ATF) ads usually generate a better RPM, well-crafted content can boost the performance of Below-The-Fold (BTF) ads.

If you pile all your ads at the top of the page, it will look cumbersome and spammy. That’s why we recommend that you use fewer ads that are spread out across the page. 

Attract the Right Audience

Using any ad publishing platform, you have the choice to target any demographic you want. We’ll say this bluntly: targeting[18] everyone is a bad idea. Not only is it expensive, but your CTR will suffer. Why are you targeting teenagers and young adults when your ad is about selling Superhero-themed backpacks?

Upgrade to Google Ad Manager

Google Ad Manager allows you to monitor and manage your ad inventories. It’s also where you can set up and run Ad campaigns. It’s a hub where all things advertisement-related can be automated.

Okay, now why should you use it? Because you can request the help of Ad Networks to help you fill all your ad slots. 

Implement Header Bidding

Header Bidding — also known as pre-bidding — is a more profitable solution than Waterfall Bidding. The latter is a technology where publishers sell remaining impressions they couldn’t sell to the highest bidders in a sequential manner, which decreases their CPM[4].

Pre-bidding is a real-time auction where you guarantee that your impressions are always sold to the highest bidders.

Try Advanced Ad Refresh

A few years ago, Ad Refresh[12] used to be heavily criticized by the industry. Yet, the industry has come to accept it as a strategy to boost profits. Unfortunately, Google AdSense has restricted this practice. 

This is when you start thinking about partnering with multiple ad networks

However, here are a few things to look out for when Ad Refreshing:

  • Refresh only viewable ads. BTF ads run the risk of being unnoticed.
  • Analyze engagement signals so you can optimally choose the cue upon which your ads will refresh.

Increase Organic Traffic

The difference between paid and organic traffic[13] is that organic users are more likely to engage longer with your website. After all, they came looking for you. 

Increasing your organic traffic requires strategic planning and time. Your content should be SEO[5]-optimized, and your list of referrals should be high-quality. 

Find out your top acquisition channels and double down on them. 

Improve Content Suggestions

When we talk about improving content suggestions, we mean improving both your bounce rate[14] and content quality.

When your audience reads a content page in its entirety, it’s important to spike the reader’s curiosity by providing content suggestions that fall under the same category as the page’s content. 

Improve Content Quality

Quick question: Why do people like reading publications like the Onion and Cracked? Because they found a sweet spot between entertainment and information, which contributed to their engaging content. 

We’re not saying you should copy what these two websites are doing, but it’s crucial that you up your content quality.

Here’s a starter blueprint on how to do so:

  • Keep your brand’s voice in mind, but be flexible about it so it can appeal to your audience. 
  • Use data. Include numbers and statistics from trustworthy sites, preferably research papers, surveys, and industry leaders.
  • Apply the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. No need for jargon, unless needed.
  • Do your research, plenty of it. Doing research should take you longer than writing your content.
  • Proofread and edit. Grammar mistakes and typos make you look professional. If you didn’t bother to double- or triple-check your work, why would people trust your business?

Your Next Step

We hooked you up with the best strategies to increase your page RPM. You can implement one of them, or all of them at the same time (although, it might require some time to get everything sorted out).

We recommend that you trust the process and be patient with it, especially when you’re experimenting with a combination of strategies.

Terms
1. Click-Through-Rate [CTR] ( CTR ) CTR relates to how many times users clicked on an ad divided by the number of times that ad was displayed to users.
2. Google Ad Exchange ( Google Ad Manager ) Ad Exchange is often referred to as the premium version of AdSense, and also a Google-owned ad network of sorts. To join Ad Exchange, publishers need to meet specific requirements such as 500 000 minimum monthly traffic, be invited or join through a Google certified partner. Recently Google has rebranded this product, and it is now called Google Ad Manager.
3. Interactive Advertising Bureau. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.
4. Cost Per Mille/Thousand [CPM] ( CPM ) Cost per mille, or thousand (mille = thousand in Latin). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising. See also CPC and CPA.
5. Search Engine Optimization [SEO] ( SEO ) SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the process is optimizing a website to rank higher in a search engine. SEO is merely one of the many methods publishers use to send traffic to their sites.

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