Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monetizing websites - CPM focus

Standard sources of revenue (when volumes get big)
- Sites with small amounts of traffic always start with google adsense. It works at low volumes. CPM vendors require sites to have certain levels of traffic. Will wrote a great article on ProBlogger about CPM marketing where he lists the minimum page views that different vendors require. They range at the high end to (2 million pageviews per month) to the low end where AdsDaq and Ad Dynamix have no minimums.

- Most site owners with large volumes of traffic (again, what is large?) prefer the reliability and predictability of CPM over CPC or CPA. They know what they'll make.

- Definitions for you beginners: CPM - a dollar amount, often $3, per thousand impressions. An impression is a page view. One visitor might have 8 page views. CPC is cost per click (Google adsense, AdBrite), CPA is cost per action, as in affiliate programs.

- Top CPM network vendors: Tribalfusion, Burst media, - I found some good starting materials, an advertising focused website, an article on CPM Vendors, and a freaktitude article. Hotchalk is focused on our market so they are of interest to me

- CPM vendors have to be above the fold

- You can have multiple CPM vendors on the same page so long as they are above the fold. I know where exactly the cut-off is on my computer with my toolbars and my resolution. But, is there a standard definition of how many pixels down is above the fold?

- CPM network vendors do not ask for exclusives so you can mix and match in the same spot. For instance, with one leaderboard, you might set up an adserver such as Open X which alternates between your own ads, tribalfusion, burst media, and google ads (when there is no demand from the others).
- google ads go lower on the page as an additional revenue enhancer
- affiliates are a time drain, highly unreliable, and mostly don't work. With great skill in some niches, you can work an affiliate successfully but it's an uphill battle
- if you have very valuable traffic, google ads are a good way to go
- very valuable niche traffic might best be monetized with affiliates and adsense.

Some details. I was just looking at TribalFusion's Publisher agreement which says:
- they need at least 2K unique visitors per day
- They must be the only 468x60 banner above the fold!
- All banners are 468x60 pixels.
BTW - TribalFusion's Publisher agreement should be updated in terms of ad size since their website says the standard unit sizes are: 468x60, 728x90, 300x250, 336x280, 120x600, 160x600, and Pop-Under

Data Sources
Advertisers like standard sources of date more than your own web stats. Examples:
- Quantcast - Currently the best since they pull data from the ISPs
- Alexa - An old favorite but biased by the percentage of people that install their toolbar
- Compete - New to me but very user-friendly
- Comscore - Subscription-based

Current hot sizes for CPM Vendors:

728 x 90 - leaderboard
160 x 60
300 x 250 - preferred
I had thought the banner (468 x 60) was the standard but it's apparently a has-been.

What's hot in our market in terms of demographics?
- teachers & parents
- what's not in demand: kids
So printable worksheets and our parents forum are hotter than sites for kids for advertising



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Enjoyed reading it. One thing I did want to comment on regarding ADSDAQ is the ability to add backup networks if ADSDAQ is unable to fill the ad space or request. Many publishers find that ADSDAQ produce higher returns because you're able to name your own price compared to Adsense.

Blogger said...

If you're looking for a good contextual advertising network, I suggest that you check out ExoClick.