As marketers move more of their budgets to programmatic channels, publishers are put in an interesting position. Along with this shift in spend, marketers have demanded that the bar be raised for quality advertising that’s both viewable and free of fraud. As publishers balance their direct and programmatic sales options, they will be held accountable for greater quality inventory.
In this environment, publishers need to increase their programmatic offerings and boost their brand worth to gain marketer and agency trust. Here are four steps to help meet buyer demands and in turn increase revenue potential:
1. Add Site Appeal
Programmatic advertising gives publishers various options to monetize and scale inventory. More and more partners can help you increase revenue through standard iab, high impact and video units. Make sure to vet partners to see how all of these options can help round out your revenue goals and not conflict with each other.
One of the first ways to increase your brand value is to address site viewability. This often means a site redesign, but publishers have few options to tackle this issue in the short term. Start with an overall site review and look at ways that you can improve viewability. Can any of these issues be addressed in the short term? Does it make sense for you to work with a viewability partner to assess your site? Viewability is a major selling feature for marketers when determining your site’s worth, so weigh your options to see what will bring the most value to your site.
2. The Company You Keep
It’s so important to constantly review your vendor partners to make sure they share the same view on combating fraud and viewability measurement. Raising the quality level on your inventory does not start and stop with your own quality standards. When you work with quality vendors, it adds value to your site since most likely, your inventory will be judged by the company you keep.
Whether you work directly with marketers, monetize excess inventory, or utilize programmatic platforms, make sure your quality targets remain the same across all partners. The latter point can be problematic, especially since many platforms lack transparency into how your inventory is purchased. One way that you can have more control on your inventory is to create your own private marketplaces on a supply side platform, and only invite quality buyers to participate.
3. Protect Your House
Make sure you take all of the necessary steps to protect your site from unwanted bot traffic. Start with securing your site with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This will not only help protect your site, but also protect your site’s visitors. Next, continuously monitor for bot traffic.
As you monitor site analytics, keep an eye out for spikes in traffic, inbound leads, and any other uncharacteristic lifts. Weak redirects are another area where bots commonly target vulnernability. Make sure you build secure redirects to circumvent malicious bot traffic. Open redirects may be at risk for phishing and spam scans.
4. Beware of Traffic Driving Tactics
Having stretch goals is necessary for most businesses to grow and succeed. Just be cautious that when creating unrealistic audience acquisition targets, you don’t undo all of your hard work with protecting your site. Bottom line: don’t use sketchy third-party traffic providers. Much like diets promising you an extreme amount of weight loss in little time, if someone promises you an unrealistic lift, it probably is not good for you or your site.
Instead of wasting time on these tactics, focus on building a solid content strategy plan and tools that can help drive incremental traffic to your impressive content. Having insights into what engages your content, drives people away from your site, and inspires people to share with their community is incredibly valuable. A solid content strategy takes time and effort but gives you invaluable information, which will increase visitors and revenue.
While this year promises to be a challenging one for publishers, following these tips can help you build a foundation that scales both programmatic offerings and quality at the same time. Maintaining high quality standards for yourself and your partners will pay off in the future as it becomes the industry norm.
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