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May 2, 2023 - By Hawke Media

7 Highly Effective Ways to Improve CPM

Did you know that Google Ad Network CPMs increased by 30 percent in 2022 but they are still lower than typical social media platforms? That statistic includes both YouTube and display ads. Additionally, Tiktok is still a cost-effective marketing channel because it’s the new kid on the block, but CPMs there doubled in 2022.

The average cost for ads increases 18% each year. These are eye-opening statistics that make most marketers want to keep looking for ways to improve CPM costs.

So what can marketers who are trying to combat rising CPM costs do?

Let’s take a look.

What Is CPM?

CPM stands for cost per thousand, sometimes referred to as cost per mille (CPM). The M in CPM is the Roman numeral for 1,000. CPM represents the cost per thousand impressions a marketer pays for every one thousand impressions of a digital ad on any given web page.

For example, if a website charges $3.00 CPM, that means the advertiser would pay $3.00 for every 1,000 impressions of their ad.

What Causes Low Average CPMs?

  • Seasonal slowdowns, such as in January after the holiday season.
  • Privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA.
  • Ad formats and placements.
  • Ad density.
  • Quality of content.
  • Bad traffic and browsers.

Download the Hawke October Benchmarking Report

7 Ways to Improve CPM

CPMs are dependent on supply and demand. Additionally, CPMs are seasonal, experiencing a peak near the end of each month and throughout Q4. Low seasons occur in January and into February, and at the beginning of each month. Therefore, since CPMs are not the same year-round, consider planning according to the different market fluctuations.

Here are seven highly effective ways to improve CPM.

1. Diversify Your Ads

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your ads and diversify your ad networks as well. You can also try different ad formats and combinations on a page. For example, use one as a popunder and the other as a social bar or do a social bar ad and a direct link, etc.

2. Don’t Oversaturate Your Ads

For display ads, don’t have the same ad in too many formats on a single page. Test different formats to see which ads perform the best in various page locations and on different platforms. And for paid social ads, don’t let your audience keep seeing the same ad too frequently. Doing so will only cause ad blindness.

3. Create Viral Content

Writing viral content is a great way to improve CPM. You want to use content that is likely to go viral on social media channels. A good example of a successful TikTok campaign that went viral is the four-finger hand gesture for abuse victims or people in danger.

That campaign quickly went viral because it was something people felt everyone should know; therefore, they were compelled to share. In fact, a 16-year-old girl was rescued after using the four-finger gesture she learned from a TikTok campaign. So emotionally charged content can easily go viral if you know how to write it effectively.

4. Improve the Landing Page

There are several factors on a landing page that could affect your CPM. Check your bounce rates and session times. If your page loads too slowly, visitors will leave before the ads load. Additionally, you don’t want your overall bounce rates to be higher than 70%. An ideal bounce rate would be between 26 to 40 percent.

Another thing to avoid is using misleading clickbait types of button names and headings. Doing so will result in navigation bounces.

5. Check Your SEO

If you want to improve CPM, check your SEO. Paid search and SEO work together and should consist of cohesive messages. If they don’t, it could confuse your visitors, causing them to bounce. You should also write high-quality content that is user-friendly and well optimized, so it shows up in the search engines. Additionally, improving your page loading speed and adding backlinks, relevant keywords, and header tags will also help. Another thing that will improve your SEO is optimizing the images and videos on your page.

6. Test User Experience

It’s a good idea to test your page user experience. Avoid placing your ads near any navigation elements. Ensure no important page information is overlapped by your ads, and don’t use desktop banners on a mobile website version. Most users prefer popunders not popups because they are more intrusive. And lastly, make sure your interstitial ads (full-screen ads that appear when users are browsing through your pages) are easy to close.

7. Check Your Core Web Vitals

Checking your core web vitals is another great way to improve CPM. Core web vitals are ranking factors used by Google for search results.

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A Quick Review and What to Consider Next

You now know what is CPM and why it’s so important. You also know what causes low CPM, what raises CPM, and seven highly effective tactics to improve CPM. If this all seems a bit overwhelming—we get it! Sometimes it helps to go back and read over the information again. You might also consider hiring a paid search company to help you.