Busier & Busier
As originally published at the Canadian Developer Connection
Check out Part 1 where we came up with some ideas on increasing your requests and impressions. We also define all the acronyms I’ll be using throughout this blog. Without increasing impressions, increasing your payment rate (eCPM) is not going to make much difference so you really should read part 1 (shameless plug). One of the most important points in Part 1 and definitely worth repeating here is you have to take consideration for all aspects of advertising and you need to know and check your numbers in an on-going manner throughout the life of the app. How can you improve number when you don’t even know what they are?
I’ve been advertising in Windows Platform Apps since 2011. Throughout that time period there have been ups and downs. I’ve found near the end of the year both impressions and eCPM tend to go up. However, they also tended to go back down again after the peaks. The curious thing I’ve found this year is that while rates did go up near the end of the year, they hung on past the new year. For the first time impressions and eCPM are holding the line and I think that’s directly attributable for the wider audience starting to use Apps in Windows Platform devices. You may have noticed recently that Microsoft has been releasing a whole flurry of very high quality low cost Windows Phones along with the continue extraordinary success of the Surface Pro 3. All these things will contribute to more downloads. Without a doubt the Windows Store is becoming busier and busier and this will help in your goal to raise revenue through advertising.
Fill ‘er Up
Ok, so, now you have lots downloads of your app. How do you get your fill rate up? The main reason this part combined fill rate with eCPM is that what you do for one actually helps with the other.
To start with we go back to category. Your fill rate will be much higher with the selection of the correct category. When advertisers post ads to be filled they want those ads showing to customer that might be interested what they are selling. Some categories are more popular too. The tricky part is you’re not just trying to increase requests from your app but the number of requests that get filled. If your app regularly stays open enough to display ads for a good long time, your app is going to get a higher fulfillment rate because your profile is more desirable. Also, by getting the category right it is more likely that users will click on ads that display on their phone. High click through rates also improve the desirability of your app.
The last thing to keep in mind on fulfillment is location. The Microsoft pubCenter fills ads all over the world but not all places in the world are filled equally. It has been my experience that North America has the highest fulfillment rates (usually) but not always. Internationalization of your app is important. I’ve found some European countries like Italy have quite high fulfillment rates and you want to grab all of that you can. But to be really successful you need to publish the app with the correct localization for each local.
Pay Me More
So, now all that remains in your eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions). The number one thing you can do to improve your eCPM is increase the clicks on ads displayed. How do we go about doing that. My good friend and Microsoft MVP, Atley Hunter, has done quite a bit of research in this area and is happy to share either through presentations or if you just contact him directly. Most MVPs in the Windows Platform Development category spent quite a bit of time working this out and are always happy to offer advice and show you what they have found. You can find your local MVP at the Microsoft MVP Website.
Here are some ideas to get you started. First, where do you place your ads? Most people place their ads at the top or bottom. Ads placed at the bottom will tend to get clicked more often as they are in the easily reachable region for tapping. When using the phone with one hand the top of your phone is a little more work to get to. Try experimenting, depending on your app, with placing your ad right in the middle of the screen. With a board game style game, you could put the play board above the ad and the controls below the ad. A more visible ad means more clicks too. More clicks definitely raises the eCPM, sometimes by quite a remarkable amount.
The last thing you can do is encourage your users to support your sponsors. It takes a lot of work to produce an app. Remind the users that to be able to continue to offer apps for free they could support your sponsors by clicking on advertising in your app.
Why Not You?
Don’t be complacent in your search for revenue. Why can’t it be you bringing in a significant amount of revenue from your apps through advertising? You need to be diligent in watching what's happening. You need to keep your apps updated and your users happy. Don't hesitate to reach out for help. Ask an MVP about your App? Bring it out to a code camp and have experts throw their five cents in (sadly 2 cents is no longer easy in Canada).
If you have some ideas you’d like to share, comment on this blog. We all need to help each other. There is plenty to go around and the more you help the more you learn.