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8 KPIs Every Publisher Should Track

Lucas Stewart

Publishing is a world of shifting balance. Publishers are expected to balance meeting revenue targets with buyer satisfaction, and viewability with positive user experiences. The following are 8 KPIs for publishers to track in their sell-side dashboards, to ensure they have a hand on the scale to make their inventory ever more desirable.



Total Revenue, Planned Revenue, Revenue at Risk

Publishers need to keep most prominent a view of revenue, planned revenue, and revenue at risk (the difference, in a given period). Planned revenue can be informed by yield management– striking the perfect balance between how much revenue ad inventory can make, and the prices that will get it filled.



Measuring actual against planned revenue over time is essential– and this is expected in shorter and shorter cycles. The frequency required to reach your revenue target in a given period is the pace. To monitor your pace, track the percent of your goal achieved– and, relative to the time period, the percent you should be at to meet it.


Fill Rate

Fill rate is the ratio of number of ad requests your ad source received, divided by the number of ads actually sent. There are many ways to improve fill rates, such as having multiple ad slots on a page, and tracking it is important for identifying pages with missed opportunity.



Impressions, eCPM

eCPM, or ‘effective cost per mille’, is the revenue of a campaign divided by the number of thousands of impressions. eCPM may be highly different for different ad types like banners or videos, and at the same type various ad types have additional associated metrics. Tracking eCPM and its component measure, impressions, will help you understand where your most valuable or expensive advertising inventory resides.

Similarly, publishers are being held accountable for providing deeper insights into viewability and verification of impressions on their sites and apps. Tracking these numbers yourself will grant you leverage, especially in private marketplaces.


Website Engagement

E.g.: Page Load Time

Publishers need to sell critical advertising space. But they also need to ensure a positive user experience on their site or app, and reach that equilibrium of attracting both website visitors and advertisers. Whether on the same or a separate dashboard, it’s important for publishers to track overall site engagement metrics on any web pages with ad inventory. You might find some surprising insights– like high page-load times reducing number of video views, and therefore revenue, on your ads.


The sell-side journey for publishers is complexifying. And nothing cuts through the complexity like a solid analytics strategy, where outliers and trends are viewable at the pace of real-time bidding.


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