5 metrics to measure the effectiveness of the ads on your site

If you’re a publisher, you’ll know that analyzing the effectiveness of the ads on your site can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re looking at different measurements and platforms. This blog post covers the key metrics that will help publishers understand how to measure the performance of their on-site advertising. 


Why publishers should track their advertising metrics

Programmatic display advertising makes it relatively simple to generate revenue from your site. But with multiple ad types, placement options and demand partners available, it’s important to keep track of what is working best to bring in maximum revenue. Effective measurement, using the right metrics, can help publishers discover which elements of their ad strategy should be adjusted or changed, as well as helping to get more accurate forecasts of their future earnings.

5 key metrics to watch

There are various different ways of assessing the effectiveness of the ads on your site, each with their own advantages. Here are five metrics publishers should consider when measuring ad performance: 

Click-through rate (CTR)

This measures the percentage of visitors who read a web page and subsequently click on a specific advertisement displayed on that page. Click-through rates assess how effective an ad was in attracting visitors’ attention. 

The CTR is determined by numerous criteria, including the quality of the ads being shown and the type of content on your site. It can be impacted by the ad types and sizes you choose to show, as well as the position of these on the page, so it’s useful to consider when deciding which ad placements to use. However, it doesn’t tell you which ads are actually making you more money.


Ad viewability refers to how visible adverts are to users on a website or mobile app. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB), to consider an ad “viewed”, 50% of the banner or content must be visible on screen for more than one second. 

Ensuring high viewability is crucial for maximizing the value of your inventory, since advertisers are keen to avoid wasting money on ads that will not be seen. Viewability can differ considerably between desktop and mobile, so it’s important to analyze both and adjust ad placements where necessary.

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

CPM is simply the amount an advertiser pays for one thousand impressions of an ad, in other words:

CPM = Cost / impressions served x 1000

As such, it’s of more relevance to advertisers than media owners, but it’s still frequently used by publishers to measure the effectiveness of their ads. However, CPM has significant limitations in this respect. For one thing, CPM doesn’t take into account the “fill rate” of an ad placement (i.e. the percentage of impressions where an ad is actually served) so an ad placement with a lower CPM could still be more lucrative if its fill rate is higher.

Effective Cost Per Mille: (eCPM)

eCPM is very similar to CPM but attempts to solve the “fill rate” problem mentioned above by considering only those impressions where an ad is served. In other words:

eCPM = revenue / ad requests x 1,000

This makes it better for measuring the performance of individual ad placements, but less so when considering the overall effectiveness of your site’s ad setup. This is because adding more ads on a page is likely to increase overall revenue. However, if the extra ad units have a lower eCPM than the first then the overall eCPM for that page is going to be lower than with just the one ad unit.

Session RPM

Session RPM considers revenue per one thousand sessions, in other words:

Session RPM = Total Revenue / Website Sessions x 1000

By sessions, we essentially mean visits to your website – everything a user does on your site until they either leave or are inactive for at least 30 minutes.

This is perhaps the most useful metric for publishers interested in maximizing their site revenue. It considers the overall earnings from each visit a user has to the site, regardless of how many ads are served or how many pages that user visits. As such, it can help you determine the ad setup that will bring you the highest earnings. In fact, it’s more useful than measuring total revenue, since this can also be affected by a change in your traffic levels.

How to keep track of your key stats

Considering several different metrics can help you identify where your advertising setup could potentially be improved to increase your revenue.

Clickio’s advanced publisher platform allows you to run ads from multiple premium demand partners – and track all your key metrics in one dashboard. 

How to keep track of your key website stats

It also integrates with Google Analytics and features real-time Core Web Vitals monitoring, so you can also keep track of user engagement.

You can register for free on the Clickio platform here – or contact us to find out more.

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