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What Is Ad Yield and Why It Is Important

When you finish and post advertisements, you want to know which ads perform the best — and which marketing materials give you the best bang for your buck. That’s why you need to understand ad yield: a measure of just how much money each advertisement makes for your bottom line.

Today, let's take a closer look at ad yield, how it works, and why it's important for your marketing campaign and overarching strategy.

What Is Ad Yield in Digital Advertising?

Ad yield is how much money you make from the monetization of your ad units. 

For example, if you put out a new batch of advertisements and you receive $500 in profit shortly after, you can bet that those advertisements had at least some effect on that profit.

Think of ad yield as an indicator of how successful or effective your advertising materials are in terms of ad impressions and interactions. If your ad yield is higher, it means that your advertisements directly resulted in more profit. The opposite is true if your ad yield is lower.

By understanding and calculating ad yield, you can create better, more profitable advertisements and put your marketing dollars to work where they are most useful.

Can You Predict Ad Yield?

There’s no surefire way to predict or guess an exact ad yield. 

Unless a customer specifically tells you that a specific advertisement they saw caused them to spend a certain amount of money at your site, you can’t know for sure whether your advertisements were to thank for a sudden boost in income.

Again, take an example where you spend money on a patch of programmatic ads or display ads. In the next week, you make $500 in profit. 

It’s tough to know for sure whether those advertisements were the factor that led to the ad revenue or if it was another factor, like your brand reputation or word-of-mouth.

That said, advertisers and marketers can calculate rough estimates of ad yield using average cost per thousand (CPM) rates or ad fill rates. These metrics can help you determine how much money you made based on how much you paid to an ad network, which can help you refine your pricing strategy.

By looking at the difference between the two numbers, you can roughly determine how much money you made after paying for ads, which should be strongly correlated with true ad yield. Even if you pay some of the highest prices in the business for programmatic advertising or another form of advertising, a high ad yield indicates that your spending was worth it.

Why Is Ad Yield Important in the Advertising Ecosystem?

Ad yield is important because it tells you how effective for profitable your advertisements are.

Every brand has to spend money on advertisements in order to make a profit. However, every brand wants to spend as little money as possible to make a ton of revenue.

Your marketing team probably has several different concepts or advertisement types that they can put into the field or use. Some of those advertisements may be more expensive than others because of ad placement, ad server, advertisement type, or other factors.

By determining which ads produce the most revenue for your brand, you can double down on those cost-effective advertisements and maximize your marketing budget. In the long term, determining ad yield will help you create more effective and profitable marketing campaigns across the board.

For instance, if you determine that your online ads aren't the most effective, but your billboard ad yield is typically high, you can transfer more of your marketing money into out-of-home (OOH) advertisements instead of focusing on digital ads like you were previously. 

That’s a big deal; just see our partner spotlight with Wrapify to learn more.

What Is Ad Yield Management and Optimization?

Ad yield management and optimization is the art and science of looking at your ad yield and trying to derive conclusions from that data.

You might look at the ad yield of a bunch of different advertisements or marketing campaigns, compare the numbers, and decide to focus on the ads that had the highest relative yield or estimated profits. 

Ad yield management and optimization is an ongoing process and should form a cornerstone of your ad ops and data analysis efforts.

How Do You Optimize Ad Yield? Ad Yield Optimization Explained

The more you can optimize ad yield, the more money you’ll make for each advertisement you push out. Luckily, there are many ways to optimize ad yield in the next batch of programmatic or display advertisements you plan to publish.

Improve Ad Quality

First and foremost, try to improve ad quality, specifically each ad's Quality Score. The Quality Score is the quality marker given to an advertisement by Google. 

The higher the Quality Score, the less you'll have to pay for advertisements on Google AdWords, and the more those ads will be prioritized over similar advertisements in Google’s ad inventory.

You can improve ad quality by making them smarter, better written, or more relevant to searchers’ intent.

Target Your Ads

Next, you can optimize ad yield by targeting your ads more directly. Generally, you’ll make more money by focusing on a small group of people likely to make a purchase from your brand than by advertising to the general public.

Specialize or target your ads in different formats to emotionally resonate with your target audience members, and those ads will be much more likely to result in a direct purchase or subscription than more generalized ads.

Rate Ads Wisely

You’ll also want to rate or set a floor price for your ads wisely and effectively. The more money you pay for an advertisement, the more money that ad has to make to result in a positive ad yield.

To that end, try not to rate your ads too expensively. Instead, post and rate competitive ads at prices that retain the possibility for profit.

Boost Ad Viewability

To optimize ad yield, try to maximize or boost your ad viewability through the private marketplace, DSPs, or elsewhere. The more viewable an ad is, the easier it is for someone to see it and take a desirable action as a result. So don’t overstuff your website with ads, which can result in a poor user experience.

Instead, space your ad slots so they don't overlap with each other and try to minimize the number of pop-up ads you use. You should also focus on the ads with the best historical ad yield as much as possible.

Make Use of Header Bidding

Also known as pre-bid, header bidding is an aspect of programmatic advertising that can help you increase ad yield. If your focus is primarily programmatic direct advertising, header bidding can help you reach your target audience and make the most of your budget. 

In header bidding, multiple ads are offered placement through an ad exchange, and the placement goes to the highest bidder. Whatever ad format you’re looking to display, focusing on real-time bidding (RTB) on direct deals can help you attract more potential customers.

Consider Native Advertisements

Native ads are advertisements that blend in with the content on a publisher’s website. These ads may increase ad yield by increasing your exposure to a publisher’s customers, so consider making room for the allocation of some of your ad budget towards them.

Optimize Ads for Mobile

Lastly, don’t forget to optimize your advertisements for mobile users. Mobile users represent more than half of all Internet traffic, so you need to advertise directly to them by ensuring your advertisements are viewable and responsive on small mobile screens, not just desktop screens.

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Ad yield tells you how much money an individual ad makes in the context of a broader campaign or marketing strategy. By taking a holistic approach to measuring ad yield, you can double down on the best-performing ads and spend each marketing dollar more effectively than ever before.

It’s similar to how AdQuick can improve your bottom line, too. With AdQuick, you can measure the performance of each billboard ad and measure billboard ad yields, enabling you to fine-tune your marketing strategy over time. Try AdQuick today to see how it works.


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