Getting Started With Header Bidding & The Best Providers

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Choosing the right header bidding provider is important to the success of your ad monetization strategy. Not only do your earnings rely on your partnerships, but so do the quality and balance of your ads and website. If you’re looking to make good money with ads, you’ll need a premium provider that suits your needs.

Wait, What Is Header Bidding?

Header bidding is a type of ad-monetization service that arose from the inadequacies of many network providers (such as AdSense). It’s meant to tackle transparency and limited-demand issues, as well as improve the control publishers have over their ad units.

Header bidding is an advanced programmatic technique that works to create a fair auction by bringing an array of ad networks together to bid simultaneously in real-time. The increase in competition means greater yield (yay, more money for you!) and improved ad quality (yay, better ads for your viewers!).

What Makes A Provider Better Than Others?

Simply put, there are just too many companies to choose from. Even if you narrow your search down to the popular or big-name platforms… how do you know which is the right platform for your needs? Broadly speaking, the best ad networks for bloggers should have:

Access to a premium network stack: Think in terms of quantity and quality. A large demand pool will bring you greater fill rates and increased earnings through increased competition. A high-quality demand pool will help to supply more relevant ads. 

Dependable and fair revenue: Providers should have a solid payment history. If they’ve missed payments or pay late to their publishers, you can bet the same will happen to you.

Reliable services and support: There are a lot of back-end elements that go into crafting high-performing ad units. Work with providers who can help you manage and optimize all the other critical components such as consent management platforms, ad layout optimization, and revenue-generating solutions.

Who Are The Best Providers?

Table of Contents

  1. MediaVine
  2. AdPushup
  3. Newor Media
  4. Ezoic

MediaVine

Mediavine is undoubtedly one of the most popular SSP header bidding providers amongst larger websites. They offer a large supply of vertical ad networks (networks relevant to specific niches) in the Food, Parenting, Travel, Home, and Lifestyle categories, which is really relevant to most bloggers. When working with them, publishers can benefit from high-quality and relevant ads, as well as increased fill rates.

They specialize in serving quality ads to publishers while being committed to traffic quality and brand safety–so they’re very selective about both the ad networks and websites they choose to work with. They have a steep traffic requirement of  50,000 sessions a month and require original and engaging content alongside clean, verified whitelisted traffic.

Cons:

  • The application process is more involved and strict because of how picky they are.
  • They require a three-month contract and exclusivity (say goodbye to diverse revenue streams)
  • If you don’t fall within their vertical network categories, you will not be accepted
  • Even if you are a large website, they have a very low acceptance rate and still may not work with you

AdPushup

AdPushup 2.0 was recently launched, it comes with a variety of improvements that make it a top contender for the year. They brand themselves as a revenue optimization platform designed to maximize publisher ad revenue by increasing their CPMs and CTRs. They offer publishers optimizing ad layout services, ad-block recovery, and fast ad delivery ( yay, fast page loading speed!). They only accept publishers already generating at least $5,000 in monthly ad revenue, making them a great fit for larger websites!

Cons:

  • They require exclusivity, which significantly restricts your ability to diversify demand.
  • Their requirements make them unavailable for small to medium publishers.
  • Many reviews claim poor communication or miscommunication on the company’s end.

Newor Media

Despite being a smaller company, Newor Media has taken great leaps to stack-up against larger industry names. They pride themselves on the use of optimized ad technology to succeed with revenue maximization while staying true to user experience and site speed, which really helps keep website quality in check. They offer a variety of other services such as a consent management platform (so you don’t have to worry about pesky privacy laws), Adblock revenue recovery, and partnerships to top ad networks that allow them to compete with larger providers.

One of my favorite things about them, which is also not very common for many of these companies, is that they don’t require exclusivity. So if you have a network you’re hesitant about leaving, or even AdSense, they’re willing to work with them if at all possible. They have a traffic requirement of 30,000 unique users per month and won’t work with borderline content (no drugs, guns, etc.). They have a reputable payment history and even guarantee payment, which means you still get paid if there are network clawbacks.

Cons:

  • The 30,000 users per month requirement can be difficult for new publishers to hit
  • They require managing two ad units on your website (which for many is not a high number of ads)

Ezoic

Ezoic is a common starting option for new publishers unable to meet the requirements of larger header bidding providers. They work with AdSense and a few other partners, giving publishers a bit more to work with in terms of demand-not as much as other options on the list.

They pride themselves on their Ad Tester feature which allows publishers to test new ad formats and layouts to increase revenue. In addition they offer solutions for improving website speed and SEO. The traffic requirement is a minimum of 10,000 monthly page views and have a payment threshold of $100. 

Cons:

  • Many reviewers note it takes longer to see results with Ezoic versus other providers.
  • If you opt-out of paying the service fee, they insert a small Ezoic ad to the bottom of your page.
  • Their reporting is not as advanced, detailed, or up-to-date as other providers.
  • Some publishers claim using Ezoic has actually lead to poor page load speed.

Getting Started

The best way to get started with choosing the right header bidding provider is by accessing your website. What kind of traffic are you getting? What kind of niche are you in? Once you can determine what your needs are and what you have to offer, you can take to seeing who would be a good fit. The right provider will help you to maximize revenue through quality partnerships and profit-yielding solutions. Don’t let header bidder jargon scare you away from upgrading! If you’re unsure if it’s the right move for you, just check out what you could be making with this free earnings calculator.

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