How This Blogger Increased his Ad Revenue by 352% Using AdPushup

Despite the growing adoption of subscription models and native advertising, a lot of bloggers and web publishers still depend majorly on banner ads to generate ad revenue. Typically, AdSense is the first place most webmasters go to when they’re first setting up ads. While AdSense is a pretty solid ad network, it is designed to be robust and dependable, not necessarily to make you the most money. The 32% revenue share provides an indication to that.

Publishers with growing traffic quickly realize that they’re giving away a lot of money to AdSense because of the high revenue share. Besides, apart from manually trying to optimize ad placements, AdSense does not allow much scope for optimizing ad revenue.

AdPushup is among the new breed of ad tech companies that work across ad networks and exchanges to optimize ad revenue for the publishers. I was going through their website and came across a case study about CCNA7.com—where AdPushup helped the blogger increase his revenue by 352% in six months! That is truly astounding growth.

How does ad revenue optimization work? And how exactly did CCNA7 grow its revenue with the help of AdPushup? These are the questions I tried to answer while creating this post.

How Ad Revenue Optimization Works

Most publishers create an account with an ad network or ad exchange, set it up on their inventory, and forget about it. While that may work initially, growing ad revenue requires a more experimental and hands-on approach. Here are a few revenue optimization techniques:

  • Ad layout A/B testing: Testing ad layouts helps publishers increase clickthrough rates, ad viewability, and ultimately ad revenue. You start by creating multiple ad layout variants, split traffic among them, and then select winning variants based on performance. A/B testing can be manual or automated—manual testing works but gets tedious to manage as the inventory size grows, while automated testing uses machine learning algorithms to set testing process on auto-pilot.
  • Header bidding: Header bidding allows multiple demand partners (advertisers and exchanges) to simultaneously bid on the publisher’s ad inventory in real-time. This helps increase competition for the inventory and leads to higher bids and more revenue. Header bidding can deliver excellent revenue uplift for publishers, for instance, Telegraph group witnessed a 70% increase in programmatic revenue once they started using header bidding.
  • Innovative ad formats: While standard IAB display ad units still take the biggest slice of global ad spend, they are susceptible to banner blindness, i.e., the tendency of users to mentally tune them out. One way to fight banner blindness is ad layout testing (discussed above). The other way is to use newer ad formats such as sticky ads, docked ads, and in-view ads. These ads do not behave like standard ads and therefore deliver better viewability scores and ad revenue.
  • AdBlock monetization: A quarter of all web users are not using ad blocking software. For publishers, this translates directly to losing 1/4th of their ad revenue. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to recover the ad revenue that publishers are losing due to ad blockers. One of those ways is ad re-insertion, where an ad tech vendor affiliated with Eyeo (the company that makes AdBlock) is authorized to serve ads that meet the Acceptable Ads criteria on publisher websites. This in turn helps them recover ad revenue without harming user experience.
  • Refresh ads: Using this technique, publishers who have high time-on-site and healthy user engagement metrics can serve a new set of ads to users within a single session. Ad refresh usually works with a time trigger set at 30s, 60s, and so on. Ad refresh can help you grow total impressions served, revenue per session, and overall ad revenue. It is important, however, to use a system that takes ad viewability and user activity in account while implementing refresh.
  • Google AdX demand: Google Ad Exchange is a premium ad exchange operated by Google. It has a high entry barrier in terms of pageview requirements (min. 5 million pageviews/month), but publishers who are accepted into the exchange benefit from having access to a much larger advertiser base and better CPMs. In case your website does not meet the traffic requirements, you can access Google AdX by signing up with a third-party vendor authorized to re-sell AdX.

As ad technology is a constantly evolving industry, this list is not exhaustive, but it does list some of the most popular revenue optimization techniques right now—a good place to start.

Analyzing CCNA7’s 352% Ad Revenue Growth

As per the case study shared by AdPushup, Jame Su, the founder of CCNA7, wanted to optimize his ad revenue without disrupting the user experience of his website. CCNA7 had explored other ad tech vendors in the past, before making its switch to AdPushup. The complex and time-consuming setup with other vendors was identified as a problem.

CCNA7 signed up with the following objectives:

  • Optimize ad performance and improve user experience
  • Improve ad yield by increasing user time on site
  • Gain detailed performance insights using reporting data

AdPushup’s setup for CCNA7 hit the ground running in two days. “I have partnered with other ad tech vendors before. They required ad tags, had a complex implementation, and took over two weeks to go live,” Jame Su said. The AdPushup team then created a solution map for CCNA7 and identified three solutions as the best match based on website attributes:

  1. To leverage the high session duration of CCNA7, the ad ops team at AdPushup implemented Active View Refresh Ads to increase the number of ad impressions served per session. AdPushup’s system automatically shows a new set of ads to users within a single session based on time triggers, ad viewability metrics, and user engagement signals.
  2. At the same time, AdPushup team configured header bidding to help increase impression-level ad revenue. Header bidding brings premium demand from top-tier networks and exchanges, thereby driving up bid competition for ad inventory.
  3. Next, the team set up AdRecover, a solution which uses ad re-insertion technology to serve ads that meet the Acceptable Ads criteria—helping recover the revenue standards  CCNA7 was losing due to ad blockers without harming the user experience.

Results: In the last six months, the site’s monthly pageviews have increased by 78% and AdPushup has helped CCNA7 capitalize on that growth. As a publisher and a user, Jame Su also thought the platform was relatively easy-to-use and offered dependable support. “With AdPushup, I have a dedicated account manager to help me with any issues or doubts. The responses are quick and the account manager is friendly,” Jame added.

With the combination of the solutions deployed, CCNA7 achieved a 352% ad revenue uplift in the last six months and a 534% increase in its overall ad revenue since CCNA7 started working with AdPushup. In addition, Jame Su got access to the reporting data he needed to make data-backed decisions. Jame Su added, “I am really happy working with AdPushup. They offer easy ad management and my earnings have improved to meet my expectations.”

Conclusion

Initially, I was a bit skeptical about the revenue growth seen on CCNA7. It’s not easy to more than triple the ad revenue a website is generating. However, when I looked around a bit online, I realized that such growth numbers are not an anomaly.

Just by implementing one revenue optimization technology—header bidding—publishers can grow their revenue anywhere between 50% to 80%. Talking specifically about AdPushup, they work on a competitive revenue share basis, so working with them basically pays itself off, and then some.

If you’re interested in AdPushup, you can request a demo here.

As for my final word, I would say start thinking about how you can use the current generation of revenue optimization techniques that I mentioned in this post on your website. You’ve already done the hard work of setting up the website, creating valuable content, and building an audience—now it’s time to make sure you’re getting the returns that you deserve.

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