While many publishers concentrate on CPM rates, the more important statistic for measuring the overall performance of advertising on your site is session RPM. Here we explain what publishers can do to increase session RPM and boost their revenue from display advertising.

Summary 

What is Session RPM?

As explained in this earlier blog post, RPM stands for “revenue per mille” (mille meaning thousand in Latin) so session RPM is the income generated for every 1,000 sessions on your website. These sessions are roughly equivalent to visits – a session is everything a user does on your site until they either leave or are inactive for at least 30 minutes.

Session RPM is one of the best ways to measure the overall effectiveness of your advertising setup, since unlike eCPM it considers the total revenue generated from a user visiting your site.

So what can you do to boost your session RPM? Here are six ideas to consider.

1. Increase Ad Viewability

You can put as many ads on the page as you like, but if they have low viewability (i.e. only a small portion appears on screen or they don’t stay in view long enough) they’re unlikely to be clicked and advertisers are not going to pay much for the impressions. 

So try to ensure you have ad units that can be seen “above the fold”. In other words, the user shouldn’t have to scroll down in order to see them. You might also want to consider implementing sticky ad units, which remain visible while the user scrolls down the page.

You can find more guidance on improving ad viewability in this previous blog post

2. Connect to more demand partners

If you’re just relying on one ad platform such as Google AdSense, you could be missing out on higher bids from advertisers. Implementing header bidding allows you to offer your ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously, so you increase competition, which can help to boost your advertising revenues. 

Working with a Google Certified Publishing Partner such as Clickio enables you to connect to multiple premium demand partners via header bidding, as well as server-to-server bidding and open bidding via Google Ad Manager.

3. Consider using smart ad refresh

Ad refresh will automatically reload ads within the same ad position after a certain period of time, or after a specific trigger, such as the user scrolling down the page. This means you can get more impressions, and potentially more revenue, from the same ad inventory. 

However, it’s important to check that the ad networks you work with will allow this, and to set it up in the right way to avoid decreasing viewability. After all, if your ad refreshes once the user has already scrolled past it, the ad is unlikely to be seen. Smart ad refresh takes a variety of factors into account to determine when an ad should (or shouldn’t) be reloaded in order to maximize impressions while also maintaining high viewability.

4. Speed up your site

No matter how great your content, if your site doesn’t load quickly enough then visitors won’t even bother to stick around and read any of it. In fact, according to Google, 53% of website visitors will leave a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load. What’s more, a slow site where ads or images load belatedly can cause sudden shifts in layout. This not only annoys users but can also lead to invalid clicks and penalties from Google which will reduce your revenue.

You can check your site speed and identify potential issues using the Page Speed Insights tool. In particular, pay attention to your Core Web Vitals, Google’s main measures of user experience which impact search rankings. If any of these are showing as not compliant then it’s worth setting up real-user monitoring to help pinpoint where any problems lie and check your compliance over time.

A few other tips to increase your site speed include:

  • Avoiding long Javascript tasks, which can cause some of the most common website performance problems
  • Employing lazy loading, so that ads and other heavy elements such as large images only show when they are needed, as the user scrolls down the page
  • Using a global content delivery network (CDN). That way, cached data for your site will be delivered closer to where your visitors are based, meaning pages will load more quickly.

5. Enhance site navigation

One key way to increase your session RPM is to encourage your visitors to spend longer on your site, viewing more of your content. While that’s partly down to the quality of your content, it’s also true that if your readers can’t find what they want then they’re more likely to leave.

So think carefully about the layout of your site, how you categorize your content and what happens when a user reaches the end of an article. Features such as infinite scroll (where new articles continue to load as the user moves down the screen) and instant swipe (where users can skip to the next article with a quick swipe across a mobile screen) can help to increase time-on-site considerably. Meanwhile, showing other related articles at the bottom of a particular piece of content can also work well to increase session RPM. 

6. Join Clickio

As we’ve seen, there are various factors that can impact session RPM, and getting the optimal mix for your site can involve a lot of testing and technical improvements. If you’d rather focus on your content then working with a Google Certified Publishing Partner such as Clickio could be the answer.

Clickio’s AI-powered platform makes it easy to connect to multiple premium demand partners in one place. It constantly tests a variety of ad layouts, placements and settings to find the most profitable combination, and a dedicated account manager will work with you to get the best ad setup for your site.

Clickio publishers can also access site performance tools such as Prism, our cloud-based mobile template, which makes it easy to increase site speed and add app-like navigational features. In fact, publishers using Clickio Prism see an average 45% longer time-on-site and 59% increase in session RPM.

Click here to register with Clickio now, or contact us for more information.