It has been already four weeks since I started playing with admob, and I have learned a couple of things so far. It seems that a recurrent question on forums about advertisement, on this an other systems, is why the fill rate is “so low”. I have been there also: I started with an average fill rate of 30%. This means that only a third of all the attempts of displaying an advertisement really gets one to show.
Something needed to be done, and because forums didn’t gave much advice, I decided to apply the scientific method. I started by investigating several possibilities, and by measuring the results. This gave me a couple of items for my checklist that I want to share:
- Check your keywords. You give contextual information to the online advertisement service and, at least in admob case, context is given in the form of keywords. You have tools in the administration system to check keywords and see the amount of ads that match each keyword. It is useless to have keywords that don’t produce any result. Review them frequently, because trends can change which keywords become popular.
- Allow as many ad categories as possible. You will find that every category that you disable, has a direct impact in the fill rate. Some categories are specially popular between advertisers and have a bigger impact than others. Play with them and decide your own tradeoff.
Besides these two things, there are other less controllable ways of optimizing advertisement (because there are more variables than fill rate into play), like having an interesting content for your users, placing the advertisement in a place that doesn’t disturb users but catches their attention, and so on. But I still have a lot to learn about all these highly subjective techniques.