Why is My Fill Rate Low?

As you might have guessed, this is probably the most popular question we deal with when it comes to selling video inventory. Before diving into the possible answers let's take a look at the Buying side to get a better understanding. 

Online advertising isn't just about making money, it's mainly about promoting brand awareness and converting them into sales. When a publisher sells their inventory (ad spaces and opportunities), Advertisers and Ad Agencies will look for the best slots that will have a better chance of promoting their brands.

In essence, to increase your fill rate you need to make your ad opportunities attractive for Advertisers.

 

What Will Make My Inventory More Attractive to Advertisers?

Advertisers have many considerations when it comes to choosing inventory but the following list outlines of the most predominant ones that any publisher should take into account when selling inventory.

1. Traffic

Promoting brand awareness relies mainly on the scale of exposure. The higher your website traffic is, the higher the chance the brand will be promoted. With that being said, there are two main topics that are on the rise in regard to traffic, and they are Brand Safty and Fraud.

  • Brand Safety - Brand promotion is always intertwined with public perception and reputation. Your websites have a lot of influence on that reputation and therefore Advertisers will usually select sites that will not harm their brands. If your website theme, topic or discussion don't coincide with the advertiser's message, this could be a main reason why you are seeing low fill rates.

  • Fraud - Today, more and more sites are flooded with fraudulent BOT traffic that generate false ad views that are not actually shown to real people. If your site is suspected of high BOT traffic rates, this could also be a main reason why you are seeing low fill rates.

Solution: We recommend you check out your suspected fraud levels andendeavor to lower them. This can be achieved by partnering with many know 3rd party Fraud Reporting vendors such as White OpsIntegrated Ad Science, Distil Networks etc. Regarding Brand Safty, try to offer as many mainstream sites in your media portfolio. If you cannot do any of the above, at least try to compensate using another consideration in the following list.

 

2. Target audience

Brand awareness is also affected by the target audience the product/service is intended for. An advertiser will not try to sport shaving blades on sites that have audience segments that are mostly Female between
the ages of 20-40. In general, it is more than likely that for every audience there is an appropriate product or service advertisement. So describing your site traffic is the best way to communicate your audience genders, ages, and interests.

Solution: We recommend you split your Inventory Sources and Marketplace Connections also according to target audiences. This will make nieche requests more focused with the better chances of finding compatible ads. If you cannot do this, at least try to compensate using another consideration in the list.


3. Geographic location
Advertisers usually try to optimize their campaigns by targeting their ads to specific geographic locations. If most of your site's traffic is coming from a country or region that is not the focus of the advertiser this could be one of the reasons for low fill rates. try to prevent filtering out ad requests by

Solution: Try to prevent filtering out ad requests by Geo location unless it is absolutely necessary, other wise you are not giving inventory a chance to fill by excluding it from raching the Marketplace. If you cannot do this, at least try to compensate using another consideration in the list.

 

4. Player size
Brand awareness is always easier to promote on large size players. If your player sizes are small (320w x 240h pixels), the chances that an advertiser will choose your inventory is lower.

Solution: Increase your large player inventory substantially. Use players that are equal or larger than 500w x 282h pixels. If you cannot do this, at least try to compensate using another consideration in the list.

 

5. Player viewability
A large player is great, but it won't do much if it is not viewable. Players that are embedded below the page fold require the viewer to scroll to discover and view it. A player that is visible right on the page load is much better. viewability is measured

Note: Viewability is measured differently depending on the platform/device you are using to view the player. In genral, a player is considered viewable if 50% of the player's pixels are viewable for 2 consecutive seconds.  

Solution: Avoid embedding players beyond the page fold. If you cannot do this, at least try to compensate using another consideration in the list.

 

6. Price

One of the most common issues with Inventory selling is excessive pricing. Selling your inventory for too high will lead to buyer abandonment if your Inventory doesn't have anything special to offer. Advertisers are willing to pay for Inventory that provides the characteristics described above in the previous considerations. If your Inventory does not do that, your only resort is to lower your pricing.

Note: There are cases where your Inventory is already priced at the minimum and still you are seeing low fill rates. This will commonly occur on new sites that have not yet generated enough traffic and positive reputation for advertisers to adopt.

Solution: Lower your pricing to reflect the objective quality level of your Inventory offering.

 

 

Setup Issues Affecting Your Fill Rate

In many cases, low fill rates are a result of bad Inventory Source and Marketplace Connection setups. The following list describes the main setup issues you should review:

Note: For further details, please see Inventory Source & Marketplace Connection Setup Best Practice.



1.Inventory Source Criteria too Strict

If you are using Inventory Source tags, you might have set its criteria too strictly causing it to filter out ad requests. Please review the following issues in your Inventory Source setup:

  1. Media - Make sure you have listed all of your domains under the media tab of the Inventory Source. Not listing any approved media will automatically disregard all ad requests.

  2. Format - Make sure you have a unique Inventory Source entity for each format. One for In-Stram Linear video and another for Outstream video. Make sure that each tag is plugged into the correct corresponding player.

  3. Duration - Select the maximum ad creative duration you are willing to display to your viewers. Setting a low duration will filter out ad requests that allow longer duration ads.

  4. Response type - Setting the response type to VAST 2.0 will prevent all VAST 3.0 requests from being passed. We recommend setting this field to VAST 3.0 to allow both VAST 2.0 and 3.0 requests to be allowed to the Inventory Source. You can then tier the VAST types using multiple Marketplace Connections.
     
  5. VPAID Support - We recommend you allow both VPAID Flash and JS (HTML5) including Failover and Wrapper settings. You can then tier between Desktop, Mobile App and Mobile Web using multiple Marketplace Connections.

2.Marketplace Connections Not Split to Desktop, Mobile App and Mobile Web

When you are using an Inventory Source with very lenient criteria to get hold of as many ad requests as possible, it is crucial to create matching Marketplace Connections for each use case (such as: Desktop, Mobile App and Mobile Web), as there are technical differences between VAST and VPAID support on different platforms and devices. 

Note: For further details, please see Platform/Device VAST & VPAID Support Differences.

The following table describes the main settings you must verify in each Marketplace Connection:

Setting Desktop MPC Mobile App MPC Mobile Web MPC
Media - Domains Must match the domain list in the Inventory Source
Response Type We recommend setting to VAST 3.0 (VAST 2.0 requests are included in 3.0)
VPAID Flash Yes - Select check box No - Deselect check box No - Deselect check box
VPAID JS (HTML5 JavaScript) Yes - Select check box No - Deselect check box Yes - Select check box
Failover Yes - Select check box Not Available Yes - Select check box
Wrapper Yes - Select check box Yes - Select check box Yes - Select check box

 

3. Marketplace Connection Criteria too Strict

Your Marketplace Connection criteria might have been setup too strictly causing it to filter out ad requests that otherwise should be available. Please review the following issues in your Marketplace Connections setup:

  1. Format - Make sure your Marketplace Connection format matches your Inventory Source format. This should be checked for each Marketplace Connection you have.

  2. Duration - Select the maximum ad creative duration you are willing to playback according to the Marketplace Connection. Setting a duration value that is too low will filter out ad requests that allow longer duration ads. We recommend setting this to Up to 30 seconds.

  3. Response type - Setting the response type to VAST 2.0 will prevent all VAST 3.0 requests from being passed. We recommend setting this field to VAST 3.0 to allow both VAST 2.0 and 3.0 requests to be allowed to the Marketplace Connection.

Note: For further details, please see Video SSP Ad Request Eligibility.



4. Marketplace Connection Prices are too High

If you only have one Marketplace Connections per platform group (for Desktop, Mobile App & Mobile Web), you might have set a high price for each Marketplace. To ensure you get a good fill rate, we recommend duplicating each Marketplace Connection and setup a tiered pricing model for each group.

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