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All posts by Alison

Why the 300×600 is a must for your site

Why Gourmet Ads encourages Publishers to accept the 300×600

Most Publishers have designed their site to suit the advertising unit the 300×250, known around the world as MREC, Medium Rectangle or Big Box. Out of our three standard IAB units the 300×250 is, generally speaking, the best performing for advertisers, which is why we recommend that Publishers implement a 300×250 above-the-fold and one below-the-fold.

Recently, our advertisers have demanded an additional IAB size, the 300×600. The 300×600 is just over double the size of the 300×250 and, from a design and implementation perspective, go hand in hand with the 300×250. Advertisers love the 300×600, not only does it perform better than other units, there is effectively more real estate on the 300×600 to get the branding message across.

Implementing a 300×600 and 300×250 ad tag

We like to provide Gourmet Ads Publishers the best of both worlds which provides additional revenue opportunities. Which means, that providing your site can run the 300×250 ad unit, it should be able to run the 300×600 concurrently using a single ad tag. Our ad server will make a choice on the fly, as the page loads if it should serve a 300×600 or a 300×250 ad. By default we will try and fill the 300×600 as it pays approx. 20% higher CPM to Publishers than the 300×250.

Become a Gourmet Ads Publisher and be sure to accept the 300×600 in your Publisher Console.

Above-the-fold placements

Brand advertisers can target prime page placements

For advertisers requiring their advertising to appear above-the-fold, Gourmet Ads provides an above-the-fold targeting option that ensures creative will only display when a user’s browser window loads.

Gourmet Ads’ above-the-fold targeting is an ad-server based solution, and as the page loads, takes into consideration different web browsers, monitor sizes, and screen resolutions. Then, within micro seconds, the ad server only displays your ads above-the-fold after taking the user’s page display into consideration. Over time we’ve found that our dynamic above-the-fold targeting is far more effective than manually selecting ad units on the page.

Above-the-fold targeting is an ideal targeting option for brand advertisers looking to maximize their advertising budgets, while ensuring their ads are always top of the page and being seen by their target audience. In addition if you’re running a retargeting campaign, then above-the-fold targeting will  help improve the campaign’s performance.

Over time we’ve found that advertisers utilizing above-the-fold targeting can experience engagement and click through rates (CTR) at up to 30% higher than if there was no targeting applied to campaign.

Start of month vs. end of month

CPM, fill rate and revenue drop at start of month

We’re often asked by Publishers, typically around the 5th, 6th or 7th day of the month (or start of the quarter) why they have seen a slight drop in CPM, Fill Rate or overall Revenue. This doesn’t always happen month to month, but it’s more profound at the beginning of the quarter, namely the first weeks of January, April, July and October. January usually sees drop off because holiday and Christmas budgets have expired; and October marks the end of summer advertising and back-to-school campaigns.

This happens because most advertisers run monthly or quarterly budgets, which run for an entire month or an entire quarter. Rarely do advertisers run on annual plans, instead they usually plan and buy short flight dates. Depending on the advertiser and their brands they usually stop advertising for a few days to determine which Publishers worked and which ones Publishers didn’t. They will change creative, sometimes change the targeting and can even change the overall brand advertising to achieve desired results.

Having multiple agencies and entities involved causes campaigns to start late each month.

There are a number of parties involved in getting an advertising campaign live for a single advertiser. Most advertisers they have a branding agency, creative agency, media planning agency, and their own ad server, as well as their own internal marketing or communications departments. Having all these players involved in activating a campaign can cause the campaign to launch after the first of the month, most times around the 5th, 6th or 7th of the month.

Let’s consider a campaign which is supposed to go live on the first of the month (and be evenly spaced over a 30 day period). The ad launches a week late so the ad server will overcompensate towards the end of the month in order to deliver the campaign in full. Now, multiply this by hundreds of campaigns running in our network and you’ll see why CPM, fill rate or overall revenue is higher at the end of the month or quarter compared to the beginning of the month or quarter.


What are House Ads?

House Ads are advertisements that are run by the website promoting something on the site.

House Ads are commonly used in periods where there is not 100% fill. They a great way to promote a key feature on the site or key content while using unsold advertising inventory, as a way of promoting the website’s own interests. Some ideas for house ads include:

  • Recipe homepage
  • Video page
  • Food blog page
  • Sign up for Twitter or Facebook pages
  • Links to Youtube page
  • Subscribe to your email newsletter
  • Advertising page
  • Partnerships

We’d suggest developing a house ad for each ad unit on your site. Ideally 160×600, 300×250, 728×90 and 300×600.

Gourmet Ads manages house ads for Publishers through our ad server. If you’d like to add your own house ads on your site, send them via our Contact Us page.

What is comScore?

Gourmet Ads is currently included in comScore, and as a Publisher in our network you’ve probably received a request from our Publisher Team to sign a Traffic Assignment Letter (TAL) which is located here. We thought it was important to explain this further, along with why it’s essential for increasing revenue on your site.

What is Comscore?

comScore is a NASDAQ listed company which provides web business with digital market intelligence on sites and audiences. comScore is the preferred measurement service for many online companies and  provides networks like Gourmet Ads independently-audited statistics of our entire audience.

Digital advertising agencies
comScore provides media buyers and media planners software to better understand audiences, quickly and easily. Nearly every advertising agency around the globe uses some sort media planning software from comScore. So, being listed with us provides visibility through to agency staff for your site or blog. Because most sites have low traffic they don’t automatically appear in comScore, so this is a great opportunity to be listed.

Audience numbers
Having third-party audited audience numbers from comScore is a bit like having Google Analytics on every site in our network. This allows media buyers to understand the reach of the Gourmet Ads’ network. This is extremely important for brand advertisers who are interested in reaching as many people as possible for their campaigns.

Understanding the audience data
One of the greatest advantages of using comScore is that media buyers can dig deeper into audience data, (ie: how many children in a household, how grocery buyers go to the supermarket, etc.). This, once again allows the media buyer to analyze our network in consideration of running a campaign for an advertiser.


Vast 2.0 video ads for Publishers


VAST 2.0 video players for Publishers

Gourmet Ads Publishers looking to run pre roll video advertising before their food and recipe video content, are often challenged at the countless options of video players available.

We provide Publishers a VAST 2.0 compliant ad tag, as such our tag can be integrated into any compatible VAST 2.0 video player on the market. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. We believe that getting started should be as easy as possible which is why we have tested a variety of VAST 2.0 video players. To run on all devices we recommend using a player which enables Flash and HTML5.

What video players solutions do we recommend?

There are two options available. Our first is investing in your own player and hosting environment, the second is hosting with Gourmet Ads in our turnkey video environment. Here are both options explained below:

Own player & own hosting option
Ideal for larger sites with hundreds of videos, our preferred video player option is to use the JW Player with their OVA Plugin. We like their video player it for a number of reasons:

  • Well documented – making it easy to get started
  • Customize the look and feel of the player with different skins
  • Easily configurable for a custom CDN or Amazon S3 for streaming
  • Works with Flash & HTML 5
  • Allows for linear and non-linear advertising
  • Does require some technical know-how
  • Vast 2.0 and VPAID compliant

JW Video Player Information – Click here for Information
OVA Plugin – Click here for Information

For Gourmet Ads Publishers looking at this option, we can provide a discount off the pricing of the JW Player and OVA Plugin. Contact Us for a discount code.

Turnkey video environment with Gourmet Ads
Ideal for Publishers with less than 100 videos and those not looking at investing in a full video player option with CDN. Gourmet Ads has a dedicated turnkey video hosting environment which is cost-effective for small Publishers and food blogs. You basically upload your video to our video server, copy and paste the player code into your blog and you’re ready to go. We automatically serve in the pre-roll videos for you managing everything.

  • FLASH and HTML 5
  • Simply upload, cut and paste, play
  • Ideal for non-technical people

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in our turnkey video players solution, contact us for detailed information.

Say “No” to stacked ads

Stacked ads are ineffective and lower your eCPM

Prior to on-boarding a new Publisher with Gourmet Ads, our Publisher Team and ad-serving partner’s fraud teams check each site for what we call “stacked ads”.

What are stacked ads?

They are either:

  • Literally copying the same ad tag multiple times on the page (which is considered fraudulent)
  • Creating a high number of ad units with different tags on a page to fill up space and rack up impressions

Over the years we’ve seen Publishers stack ads in the most unusual ways, most of which we regard as fraudulent or ineffective.

Gourmet Ads recommends that you have a maximum of 3 display ads per page.

New technology identifies stacked ads on publisher websites

While this kind of Publisher behavior in the past might have been a way to earn more revenue, it’s now a guaranteed way to ensure you don’t earn more revenue. Both Gourmet Ads and our advertisers have technology that identifies individual pages that include more than 3 ads. The same technology also allows us to choose the maximum number of ads per page in real time when trafficking campaigns.

So, advertisers looking for brand separation or high performance will ask us to traffic the campaign only on pages where the maximum number of ads displayed doesn’t exceed 2 ads.  We are seeing more of these trends from advertisers recently, hence our push to ensure that all publishers have a maximum of 3 ads per page. Anything more and we fear you’ll be losing revenue.

Have questions about how to place your tags effectively? Read more.


Gourmet Ads is the best alternative

Gourmet Ads is an alternative for food Publishers of de-funked Adbrite.

With the closing of ad network, Adbrite, Gourmet Ads would like to extend an invitation to any food, cooking or recipe-centric website previously running Adbrite to join Gourmet Ads.

Publishers will still have to pass our Eligibility Criteria, but our Publisher Team will help track publisher applications to keep your monthly revenue goals on target.

We’re always looking for Publishers with great food, cooking or recipe content to join. Ad units such as 300x600s, 300x250s, 728×90 and 160x600s are the standard sizes.

Learn more about becoming a Gourmet Ads Publisher. We hope to welcome you soon!

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