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What is AdSense RPM and Why Does It Matter?

Stored in Advertising and tagged

Google AdSense RPM is a metric that tracks the revenue per thousand impressions from advertising on publisher websites.

It is a metric that publishers use that runs parallel to the CPM or cost per thousand impressions that advertisers use. It’s the same amount of money for both, but the label conveys a different meaning for both. RPM and CPM are the opposite sides of the same coin.

AdSense uses this metric in quite a few reports within a Google AdSense account. The two most important examples are “Page RPM” and “Impression RPM”.

The page RPM tracks the average revenue per thousand impressions for an entire page (or pages), regardless of the number of ad impressions on that page.

The impression RPM tracks the average for just a single ad position. For example, a site has five ad positions on every page. Each position averages $2 for every one thousand impressions. If all five positions average $2 each, that means the pages on the site average a $10 RPM.

Other Uses of RPM Reports

The RPM metric is especially helpful in analyzing site revenue performance in many other ways. They include:

  • Platform revenue including mobile, tablet and desktop
  • Location revenue such as country
  • URL channels such as sports versus weather on a news site
  • Placement methods such as manual versus auto ads
  • Position tactics such as top of page versus right column

Publishers who look at these available AdSense RPM reports can make comparisons including month over month and year over year. They then can decide what to emphasize or de-emphasize on a site to maximize AdSense revenue.

For example, they may want to put more effort into mobile if mobile has a higher RPM than tablets or desktops. They may also want to concentrate more on desktop revenue because it has a greater opportunity for growth.

As another tactic, they may want to move or delete ad positions that have unusually low RPMs.

Time Frame Matters

AdSense reports often default to the most recent seven days. They also have options such as the current month, past month or past 30 days. Time frames such as these are useful in understanding RPM performance, but they aren’t always the best options to use.

Instead, publishers may want to customize longer time periods to get the most accurate results. Longer time periods get rid of unusual variances such as seasonal advertising, including the peaks right before Christmas and valleys right after Christmas for retailers.

Travel, sports and event advertising also have peaks and valleys throughout the year.

So publishers should look at a full year of data to get the best possible averages. Then they can run reports on shorter time periods to compare them to the full year and gain useful insights in how to improve AdSense RPMs.

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