Maximize Yield in Q4 2020

Trish Manrique Ad Monetization

This pandemic threw us all in for a loop – impacting ad revenue and yield. When we were planning our 2020 projections, we didn’t see COVID-19 on the horizon or how it would have such an impact on the entire world. Here’s what we’ve observed over the past year:

  • As a result of COVID-19, some publishers saw larger than expected decreases in the first quarter, especially if their content was driven by events, travel, sports, or other industries hit hard by social distancing measures. It wasn’t just their CPMs that were affected, it was their overall traffic.
  • COVID-19 had a significant impact on CPM values in April, but the markets are slowly rebounding, with CPM numbers near the end of Q2 coming as close to 2019 values as they have since the pandemic began. 
  • The third quarter was promising with the gap closing for pre-COVID CPM values, fill-rates almost returned to normal, and for most industries, we approached an even keel with year-over-year comparisons to 2019. Some verticals were more impacted by COVID than others and their rebound may continue to be a little slower.

With 2020 coming to a close, Q4 is one of the last chances for you to get the ad revenue to where you want it to be and potentially make up for the losses in the past year. Here are a few of Sortable’s offerings you can implement to maximize yield from now until the end of the year.

Have you Updated Your Ads.txt?

Ads.txt, developed by the IAB Tech Lab, increases transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem by providing a flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory. Ads.txt requires participating publishers to post their list of authorized sellers to their domain, allowing buyers to create a filter to match their ads.txt list against the data provided in the OpenRTB bid request. 

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It’s important to have your ads.txt file up to date so that all eligible buyers can bid on your inventory. Not to mention, the Sortable Demand team is continuously working to add more demand connections for you to take advantage of. For a more hands-off approach, use Sortable’s cost-free hosted ads.txt solution which automatically updates your ads.txt file as we add new demand sources. 

Rethink Your On-page Optimizations

There are many techniques that you can use to maximize yield and ad revenue. A commonly used technique is ad refresh. At Sortable, we use a managed refresh feature which auto-enables viewable ad refresh for all ad placements without requiring any code changes from you, the publisher. Our team can activate this for you without requiring any additional time or resources on your part.

Managed refresh is a great technique that publishers can use to gain additional viewable impressions as it’s been seen with increasing impression volume, viewability, and revenue. For best ad refresh results, a publisher’s property should have more demand partners/sources competing in their ad stack to have positive participation rates and increased fill.

Our team is continuously strategizing with our publishers to ensure they are getting the most out of their ads and increasing yield, and one placement we highly recommend is a desktop and/or mobile anchors. Anchor ads, as the name suggests, remain at the bottom of the user’s browser window, wherever they go on the page. As anchor units allow ads to be on the user’s page for the entire duration of their site visit, your viewability values increase when they are enabled. 

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Anchor units are a streamlined way to create additional, highly valuable inventory. They offer the benefit of being always viewable (an incentive to advertisers), and the ability to blend into most website themes and designs. If it’s distracting to a user, they can simply choose to “x” out of the ad session. 

Staying Compliant with Industry Standards

With new privacy industry standards in effect, it’s important that your sites remain compliant with GDPR and CCPA regulations by using a consent management platform (CMP). Consent management is a process that allows websites to meet the necessary regulatory requirements regarding consent collection. With a CMP in place, websites have the capability to inform visitors about the types of data they’ll collect and ask for their consent for specific data processing purposes. When you employ a CMP,  it can help protect you from breaching any regulations relating to consumer privacy. 

Sortable is partnered with Quantcast to provide our publishers with a cost-free hosted CMP solution compliant with current and upcoming privacy regulations and industry standards. Sortable’s hosted integration of Quantcast’s CMP includes options for publishers to implement a “Do Not Sell My Information” link for CCPA, along with a module covering GDPR. 

Take Advantage of Video

Another great way to maximize yield is by using another ad format. It’s been known that video ads tend to perform better than static ads whether you’re judging by engagement or clicks. You may have experienced it yourself when scrolling through a web page or social feed and a video catches your eye. Sortable knows this and we know that our publishers are always looking for ways to optimize and maximize their revenue, while simultaneously improving user experience for their readers. Our answer to this is Sortable’s video suite which consists of Sponsored Video and Outstream Video. 

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Sponsored Video allows you to have access to instream demand but with an outstream experience for your users. Without needing to create your own video content, you can still demand top CPM dollars, and the videos are adding additional competition in your existing ad slots. The video content that’s being provided is curated — meaning our team is reviewing and selecting the videos for your site(s) to make sure that it is relevant to your page and brand-safe. To ensure that it’s performing, our analytics platform had a special report for Sponsored Video to go along with your other reports.

Another part of our video suite that we recommend is Outstream Video. Not everyone is capable, or even willing, to produce their own video content for their website, and therefore lack the ability to access instream demand that offers them top advertising revenue. This is where Outstream Video comes in. Outstream Video allows brands to place their own video advertisements in display ad slots. 

Well, there you have it — just a few ways to maximize your yield in Q4! We know you want to earn as much revenue as possible and these are just some of the ways you can do just that. If you’re an existing Sortable publisher, send a note to our Publisher Success team at and we’d be happy to get you optimized for Q4. Not currently a Sortable client, but have questions about how we could help you maximize yield? Reach out to us at