5 Things Publishers Should Consider Before Using Header Bidding in 2021

Header bidding is a trending, advanced method of programmatic ad buying that allows publishers the ability to offer their website’s ad inventory to multiple demand partners in one auction, receiving bids from multiple advertisers and maximizing the amount of ad revenue publishers should receive by choosing the best possible bid. It’s called header bidding because there is a JavaScript code embedded into the “header” of the publisher’s website and an auction occurs with demand partners getting the publisher the highest bid for their ad inventory. But there are certain qualifications publishers should meet in order to benefit from Header Bidding. 

Here are our top 5 considerations for header bidding.

  1. Traffic
    In order to get approved directly by demand sources you often need to have a certain amount of traffic. The amount of traffic depends on each of the demand sources, but with at least 1 million pageviews per month direct relationships are a good option. For those with less traffic, a managed service that allows you to use their demand is most likely the best way to go.
    Additionally, there may be other factors to consider before working with demand sources such as your audience geo’s, bounce rate, content and users.
  2. Viewability. Ad viewability is the measure of if an ad had the chance to be seen by a user. If your website isn’t following best practices for ad placement your header bidding management partner can help you improve viewability before implementing. Header bidding results will be improved by strong click through rates and highly viewable inventory. .

    In addition to a better user experience, better viewability will improve your CPMs and fill rate or both. Avoid putting ads in places where they might be confused with menu or navigation bars. Avoid placing multiple ads in the same area of the page. Ask yourself, is my content easy to find?
    Is it easy to distinguish between my content and my ads? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you should be ready to move forward with header bidding.

    If your website has a poor user experience, header bidding performance will likely be dampened. It’s best to spend the time to make sure your pages are loading at optimum speed. Experts say loading time is a major factor in page abandonment, with 47% of consumers expecting pages to load in 2 seconds or less. Page abandonment will result in less ad impressions being delivered and loss of ad revenue. This delay in page speed will also reduce your Google Search Engine ranking and inhibit organic traffic. With a managed wrapper service, you can ensure the Prebid.js script gets loaded instantly to give you positive results.
  3. Optimization. Header bidding requires optimizing along the way to achieve the best results. Publisher’s can’t set-it-and-forget-it because the environment is always changing. With optimization, you can ensure your site audience is matched to the appropriate demand and the optimal configuration is presented to each visitor. Given the 10s of thousands of combinations the total number of available optimization is way beyond what a human team can manage. Hyper automation techniques and machine learning will allow you take advantage of opportunities beyond manual optimization.
  4. Hands On vs Hands Off Approach. Header bidding solutions tend to offer a managed wrapper for those who need more hands-on management. This allows them to redirect their focus on their actual site. Then there could be enterprise accounts that prefer a hands off approach since they tend to have dedicated internal resources to manage ad performance. Publishers can implement their own header bidding wrapper in-house using the Prebid.js open source, but they require developers that understand the technology and how all of the elements work together. Additionally, in order to measure performance, you’re going to need analytics. This industry is fast paced with updates being released often and without using automated features that come with industry expert platforms, you’re missing out on revenue opportunities. To better understand the nuances of hands on versus managed wrapper, check out our product comparison for more information.
  5. Ad Revenue. If a publisher’s primary goal is increasing ad revenue using the right mix of demand partners, then an AI-powered header bidding tool is critical. Artificial intelligence gives header bidding the boost it needs to optimize all the different moving parts of their ad strategy and website infrastructure.

    In summary, publishers who meet certain criteria, see a tremendous uplift in revenue when they use the right header bidding solution. There are different options available depending on your situation, so it is important to prioritize your business needs before partnering with a header bidding solution provider. 

Schedule a demo with the PubWise Team to see how their clients have increased their ad revenue by up to 65%.

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