Mobile Ads: Myths You Might Not Know – #1 Basic Definition of Mobile Ads

According to Google Ads support: Mobile ads is definition on advertising in website or application for mobile platforms: Cell phone, tablet.

The idea of mobile ads seems to be simple, however do you really understand and master the way to exploit full potential of mobile ads?

Recently, there are various  Mobile Ads network available: AdMob (Google), FAN (Facebook), Unity, Vungle etc…

Each of those ad networks would have its own setting but still follow the same process to display advertising:

Base on this process, we would care about some basic statistic:

  • Request.
  • Matched request
  • Match rate
  • Impression
  • Show rate
  • Click
  • CTR – Click through rate.
  • eCPM – RPM: Revenue per thousand impressions

1. Request, matched request and match rate

First thing to happen in the whole process is ads request. From your app, ad request would be sent to Ad network (Mediation), Request would activate an ads auction. After than ad network would  to find out the highest price from advertisers matched with your request (Based on user’s information, device, location etc…) If ads is appropriate, server will send an ads to device. Once an ads successfully sent to a device, it is counted as a matched request.

Simulation to calculate match rate

Matched request/ request is called match rate (Or fill rate). Match rate point out the ability to provide ads of an ad network. The higher match rate mean the more Ads available showing to your users.

Factor relate to Match rate

Match rate depend on certain factors such as: Ad network, Users (Nation, age etc…), format. Depend on each market (User’s nation), the match rate would be very different. In top tier market such: America, England, Japan, the match rate would be considerable higher than lower tier market: Indian, Brazil, Mexico.

Furthermore, the ad format also has impact on the match rate. Normally, interstitial would have better match rate, then come to banner and rewarded.

In the meantime, each network would have different capability of displaying ads. Also the way to define and calculating the match rate is also different. To be more specific, Admob and Fan has API function request ads from server. Each time the function is called, it would be counted as a request. You would be able to know how many ad requests were made and how many of them was served.

Other ad network such as Unity and Ironsource would provide auto request functions. You do not need to to call function to send request to the server, instead the SDK (Software Development Kit) would automatically handle requesting works. Anytime having demand for an ads, you just need to call API to check if the ads is ready. This Mechanic make it easier for integrating ads. However the number of request is hidden in those network, you would not have any ideas how request was counted and the dashboard of Unity always display the extremely high fill rate 98 – 99%. There is possibility that Unity only counts an request when they almost certain be able to serve that ads.

The last factor affect the match rate is yourself. In case you use manually request ad network (Admob, Fan etc…) then the logic for request also result in the match rate.

Also the price biding (set the floor eCpm) is important things to influence your match rate.

2. Impression and Show rate

After having matched request, the next step is to display it in the right place. Mainly there should not be any error in this step, after successfully load the ads, you would just need to call API to show the ads. However Banner and Native need to process more. Banner would require enough space to display as well as choosing right placement for banner. Native ads is more complex when you need to do layout on yourself and each of its elements. If there is any mistakes with Native, your user might not able to click on it even when the ads was successfully displayed.

Everytime an ads successfully displayed would be counted as an impression. The rate between impression and request is called showrate:

Showrate does not reflect the performance of an Ad Network. However it would point out issues in your app. For example if the showrate of Rewarded ads is far too low, you might find out the reasons such as:

  • The reward not good enough to encourage user watching an ads.
  • Design for you rewarded ads is not good, it is hard for user to find the ads.

3. Click, CTR and eCPM

Most of latest Ad Network calculate revenue based on ads click. Hence CTR – Click through rate is the most important statistic in your app.

CTR provide percentage of ads click in every 100 impression. The higher CTR rate, the more ads click from your users. CTR based on following factors:

  • Ads format: Normally, Interstitial, Rewarded would have high CTR, banner is a little bit lower.
  • Ad Network and the quality of an ads.
  • The way you integrate: You can still control CTR in some ways. Ads placement and frequency of displaying ads is under your control. There would be difference if you place banner on top or bottom. Banner with different refresh rate would result in different CTR.

If the CTR is too low, we would need to review the ads placement and frequency of displaying ads (Or refresh rate of banner). If CTR is unusually high, certainly you will need to review your ads placement if it leads to misclick from users. The reason for avoid misclicking is ad network might consider your ads as click bait or spamming, putting your app at risk of getting banned from recent ad network.

CPC, eCPM – Ads Price

Last but not least CPC and eCPM are most important factors reflecting your revenue. CPC is cost per click – price per ads click. eCpm is the revenue on average 1,000 impression. Here is the formula for calculating:

eCpm is the average price for 1000 impression. Thus, if your data is not large enough (At least 10,000 impression) then your eCPM would not be correct in reflecting the performance in your network.

So how can you maximize your eCPM? you need to focus on eCPM, CTR and CPC we would have some method:

  • Using mediation to make Ad Network compete each other to have the highest possible bidding price.
  • Ad placement optimization as well as reasonable frequency of displaying ads.

In next article, we would share information about different format and mediations. (To be continued)

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