Tags: Optimisation tips

Updated: December 16, 2022

Header bidding is a technique where the publisher offers the same ad impression, to multiple ad exchanges, simultaneously. Once the highest bid is selected, it is sent on the ad server and the chosen creative is displayed. The idea is that by letting multiple demand sources bid on the same inventory at the same time, publishers increase their yield and make more money.

More than 70% of publishers use header bidding to boost eCPMs, increase fill rates, and maximize revenues. 

Header bidding is a good revenue driver for publishers, but its reporting and optimization can be confusing and time-consuming. By going through this checklist, discover the important metrics to follow to make sure everything works as it should to get the best performance and revenue.

5 key metrics to follow up in Header Bidding setup:
  • eCPM - eCPM means effective cost-per-mille and for the publishers, signifies the revenue generated for every 1000 ad impressions sold. eCPM is a standard advertising metric that is used widely in reporting and also applies to header bidding auctions. Simply, the higher the eCPM price, the more valuable your inventory is. eCPM is affected by many factors such as quality, safety and, of course, demand.
  • Fill rate - Fill rate is the number of ad requests answered divided by the number of ad requests sent. It gives you the percentage of ad displays that have been sold. If the fill rate remains low, it means that there is no demand for your ad inventory. This can be due to many reasons, such as too high floor price, technical issues or your inventory does not meet the buyer's requirements, for example, for viewability, brand safety or quality.
  • Revenue per auction - This metric gives you the value of return through the particular SSP. The choice of selecting demand partners is important. Adding too many bidders to your wrapper will send your average latency and timeouts soaring, on the other hand, having too few may lead to low bid competition for your inventory. Make sure to balance yield with user experience. By following revenue per auction, you can see which ones perform well, notice possible issues and needs for optimisation.
  • Bid & Win rate - Bid rate signifies how often a bidder makes a bid in response to an ad request. A low bid rate might indicate a configuration problem with your setup or bidder performance issues. You can use bid rates to spot underperforming demand partners. The overall bid rate directly impacts the competition inside your wrapper and the overall fill rate. Win rate shows how a particular bidder competes with others in the header bidding auction. If their win rate is low, they’re probably not worth the added weight to your page.
  • Bid latency - Bid latency allows to view bidders based on how fast or slow they are on average. Bidders with high average bid latency can create bottlenecks for your setup. By following the bid latency you can see which one of your demand partners is slowing down bidding and who brings the worst time-out.

If you are using multiple SSPs, tracking these metrics is challenging because they all have their own interfaces. With HB Analytics, you can easily track all of these metrics ​​and much more in one place.


HB Analytics makes follow-up and optimization easy

HB Analytics drives value for publishers and sales houses by monitoring Header Bidding setups, making sure it runs efficiently and tracking new ways of optimization.

  • Track in real-time how Header bidding setups perform
  • SSP, vendor and placement level performance insights to enable easy optimization and monitoring for technical errors.
  • The Alarms will instantly give you information if your setup is facing issues 

With HB Analytics you can follow all Prebid metrics: Gross Revenue, Pageviews, Adunit Requests, Impressions (Rendered), Winning Bids, Bid requests, Cancelled Bids, Avg. Response ms, Avg. Rendered ms, Timed out bids, No bid responses, Bid responses, Failed renderings, Browser, OS, Platform, eCPM, AdUnit eCPM, Pageview eCPM, Timed out Bids%


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Suvi Leino
By: Suvi Leino

Responsible for marketing and communications at Relevant Digital.