In 2012, a report conducted by IAB found that only 9% of internet advertising revenue was a result of mobile. Since then, mobile ad spend (including advertising on mobile phones, tablets, and mobile internet-connect devices) continues to grow year over year, making desktop secondary by comparison. In 2019, US mobile ad spend saw an increase of 23%, reaching $87.20 billion. According to eMarketer, an average US adult spent approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes per day on their smartphone in 2019 and that number continues to increase. If we break it down, $7 out of every $10 is mobile ad revenue — mobile devices now make up 69.6% of internet advertising revenue share, especially with the advent of COVID-19 pushing more of us inside and online from home.
Suffice it to say — mobile has come a long way! With this shift from desktop to mobile, it’s crucial for publishers to change their strategies to accommodate. In this article, we discuss three strategies for optimizing mobile performance in your ad monetization strategy and metrics you can use to monitor that performance.
Three ways to optimize mobile
- Review your ad layouts
It’s important to evaluate your mobile ad layout especially with the limited amount of screen space you have available. Mobile ads should be placed where they’re most likely to be viewed and at the same time, take user experience (UX) into consideration. A great way to do this is by reviewing where a user will stop scrolling — perhaps to read an intriguing bit of content, or look more closely at a graphic — and then place ads where they’ll be on screen but still out of the way.
- Diversify your ad sizes
As previously mentioned, mobile provides very limited screen space and so you may not have as many viewable ad units as you would on desktop. Because of this, it’s important to have those units be able to support multi-size ads. A multi-size ad is an ad unit that can handle — you guessed it — multiple ad sizes, making it available for accepting a more diverse ad inventory. You want to make your highly viewable ad units available to as many possible advertisers to increase competition and increase the likelihood that an ad will be served in the slot.
- Monitor mobile ad performance
When making changes on mobile, you should continuously monitor ad performance to verify that the changes you’re making are working. We’ll be discussing metrics to watch later on in this post. At Sortable, our team recommends pulling different reports or creating a mobile dashboard to see how your ads are performing.
Let’s dig into some metrics to watch.
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Metrics to monitor mobile ad performance
When it comes to our publishers, we recommend looking at metrics like Revenue by Device Type, Viewability by Ad Unit, Top 100 URL, Session RPM, Page RPM, and Pageviews per Session to monitor mobile performance. Our webinar on Sortable Analytics can help you learn more about our reporting and analytics if you’re interested. Let’s go through why each metric is useful.
Revenue by Device Type
This is a great place to start looking at your mobile device numbers. When prioritizing ad optimizations, it’s important to see how much of your revenue is actually coming from each device. If you’re receiving a majority of your revenue from mobile, it should be a high priority to optimize and monitor your mobile ads. If desktop has most of your traffic, mobile optimization would be less of a priority to you.
Viewability by ad unit
For your ad layouts, reviewing viewability by ad unit with a filter for Device Type equals Smartphone is valuable to see how each ad unit is performing and which ones you should focus on.
Top 100 URL
Looking at the top 100 URL report tells you how your most valuable pages are performing. That information helps you evaluate the qualities of a valuable page and how to replicate it.
This metric is helpful in telling you how well you’re monetizing your pages. It also provides insight on how densely the ads are packed on your pages and which pages are monetizing the best.
This metric helps you see how well you’re monetizing users. Compared to page RPM, which is focused on single pageviews, session RPM increases as your users click through more pages on your site. If, for example, a layout change improves UX such that your page RPM goes down, but session RPM goes up, you’re going to make more money.
Pageviews per session
When making changes to your ad layouts, it’s a good idea to monitor which pages are being clicked on and what other pages they lead users to. This helps to determine which pages are performing and how can you replicate or change them.
Well, that’s all for optimizing mobile – short and sweet! Our team is monitoring industry trends, and we expect to see mobile continue to grow even with coronavirus. Prior to the pandemic, eMarketer expected US mobile ad spend to grow 20.7% to $105.34 billion in 2020 — so it’ll be interesting to see how these numbers actually stack up. For more information on how the coronavirus has impacted publishers check out our updates:
- June COVID-19 – COMING SOON
- May COVID-19 Update – Current Trends
- COVID-19 Update – April CPMs, trends and more
- How to minimize the COVID-19 impact on publisher revenue
Are you a Sortable client and interested in implementing one (or more) of these options? Just send a note to our Publisher Success team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help. Not currently a Sortable client, but have questions about how we could help during these trying times? Reach out to us at email@example.com.