Have you ever wondered why ecpm and fillrate never stay stable over the year? Even more, these two very important factors for a publisher’s income can vary quite significantly from month to month!
There are some good reasons for this pattern in your monetization. Seasonality depends on a lot of cultural traditions in different regions and countries.
Also, the fact that your website can be in a vertical market with specific seasons can play a significant role.
Advertisers try to get the most possible efficiency out of their advertising budgets. Advertisers always spend the most when consumers generate the most sales. In North America, it´s the time of holiday season and in Europe also Christmas season is the biggest.
But advertisers also spend more in times when users are above average reachable with their ads. So, in summer when more people enjoy outside activities, spending always becomes lower.
Advertising agency also adjusted their fiscal years to this seasonality of advertising. Often at the end of this fiscal year in June, all leftover budgets must be spent, and you see an increase in advertising budgets.
So, the month of November, December, October, and June are those where overall you typically see higher ecpms and fillrates caused by advertising higher spendings. On the other side July, August, January, February usually are those months with the lower rates.
More generally, the fourth quarter of the year is the best, and the first quarter sees the lowest spending.
To be even more efficient advertisers always tries to evaluate their spending strategies. Therefore, they spend always less at the beginning of a month and raises the spending to the end of the month. Also, the spending is always lower in the first month of a quarter and will rise to the third of a quarter. A speciality is a problem with month with 31 days. Big advertiser plan on 30 days their budget, which often bring a significant drop for each 31st.
You can even see a daily trend where budgets peak on Sundays and will fall from Wednesday to Saturday.
How to thwart seasonal dips?
Of course, you are not completely and utterly at the mercy of the seasonal ad spending development. There are certain things you can and should do to thwart the season dips in your ad revenues.
First of all, your advertising inventory must be as attractive as it can be at all times. This means you should look at the load speed of your pages. Faster pages always correlate with higher fill rates. Another way to work against seasonality is to work flexibly with your floor prices. Lower your minimum cpms in low season, raise them in high seasons.
Fill gaps in lower seasons by including direct deals with advertisers or onboard new partners.
Know where your traffic is coming from. Ad all SSPs needed to cover these GEOs.
Know which formats are performing well on your pages and which do not. Consider switching the low performer for more good ones. Working on your ad stack helps a lot to avoid seasonal dips.