As a publisher, you understand how important it is to measure the performance of your website(s). This allows you to see if your users are loving your site, or if there are opportunities for you to optimize. Lots of data points are available to a publisher, like CPM, eCPM, overall revenue, page RPM, and fill rate. We know that it can be challenging to determine which metric matters most—at Sortable, we recommend our publishers focus on session RPM to realize where you can improve your site(s).
What is session RPM?
Session RPM, also known as RPM V (revenue per mille visits) or RPM U (revenue per mille users), is the amount of revenue per thousand users. In the context of display ad revenue, it is the amount of revenue earned by a website via display ads for every one thousand users. As a website user consumes more content on a website and more ads are seen, the overall value of the individual session for that user to the publisher increases. This also can be parlayed into how happy users are with a website, as it stands to reason that the more interested a person is in a website, the longer they will stay on it and the more pages they will visit. Session RPM can range anywhere from $1.00 to well over $100.00 per thousand sessions. It is also a valuable metric to use to measure the impact of changes when AB testing layouts, ad unit formats, or user behaviours, mainly because session RPM can provide very immediate feedback to see whether a change is impacting things positively or negatively. Traffic levels might normally be higher on different days of a week, or across different weeks, so while overall revenue might be up, if session RPM decreased, this might indicate that something happened to reduce the end-user experience.
How is it calculated?
Why is session RPM more important than page RPM?
Our team often gets the question, “Which metric matters most, page RPM or session RPM?” We occasionally observe publishers try to increase page RPM by overloading their page with ads. As a short-sighted solution, this method works to improve your page RPM. At Sortable, we prefer to use session RPM as our starting point—we see session RPM as the gold standard for optimizing yield *and* user experience. When you only focus on page RPM, you risk leaving a negative impact on your readers by overloading a page with ads. If those readers get overwhelmed with ads on your page, they could exit their session prematurely and may not return.
How can you improve your session RPM?
The few occasions we see session RPM decrease are when CPM decreases, there are fewer pages per session, or a lower value user visits the site (for example, a non-English speaking user visits an English-only website). Our team works with publishers to continuously optimize session RPM and address issues where we see session RPM decrease. Here are a few ways you can improve session RPM:
Optimize layouts (or advertiser demand stacks etc.) to improve viewability and advertiser competition which translates to higher CPMs.
Test various ad refresh strategies (including managed refresh) to increase impression volume. Monetize paid traffic sources or marketing content (unpaid or paid channels). Sortable Analytics allows publishers to analyze these efforts through UTM reporting.
Test internal content recommendation strategies to improve user pages per session.
Break out session RPM by device type to identify specific layouts that should be optimized.
Sortable’s Customer Success team constantly works with our publishers to optimize site performance and address issues like these when session RPM decreases. If you want to your increase ad earnings while maintaining a positive user experience, pay attention to optimizing session RPM.
To take a closer look at how your site’s performing, take a peek at your Sortable Analytics or get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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