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Header Bidding Types | Maximize Ads Revenue With Setupad

In this article guide, you’ll learn more about what Header Bidding is all about. According to, despite the massive industry built to streamline it, digital advertising is still plagued by inefficiency and fragmentation. And, while more efficient than traditional ad buying, programmatic ad buying still has its own foreseen drawbacks to consider.

Among them are lost revenue — for publishers and low-quality ad inventory for buyers. A few years ago, header bidding emerged as a potential answer to that problem. Today, though, many still find it an industry mystery that needs clearing up. According to an eMarketer survey, only 21% of marketers have a good understanding of what header bidding is.

After all, programmatic selling may just mean automation in theory. But, it still requires plenty of behind-the-scenes work to connect the buyers to the sellers. Born out of this reality are techniques such as header bidding. It’s one of the many ways publishers are trying to eke more revenue out of their ad inventory. But, the idea has been around for a while.

What Is Header Bidding?

Header Bidding (HB) is an advanced method of programmatic ad buying that allows publishers to offer their inventory to multiple ad exchanges before requesting ad servers. Suffice to say, this contrasts with the waterfalling auction method, which can rob advertisers of premium inventory and publishers of maximum revenue.

Generally, Header Bidding is also also known as advance bidding or pre-bidding. Meaning, that it’s an advanced programmatic technique wherein publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to their ad servers (mostly DoubleClick for Publishers). Ideally, it’s for multiple sources to bid on the same inventory.

At the same time, doing so allow publishers to increase their yields and make more money. It’s a much cleaner and better ad technology integration. For one thing, it happens between revenue partners, ad tech companies, and publishers. At times, most ad solutions run a header bidding auction, so we can’t reliably predict the average eCPM.

Buyers set the price for specific impressions, and with the ad solution, the highest bidder wins and generates the highest CPM. Keep in mind, that the price can differ depending on many variables. Such as traffic, user quality, geolocations, ad placement, and your website’s niche. We suggest you run a test to see the results for yourself — it won’t cost you a thing!

Real-Time Bidding And The Waterfall Auction

Simply put, Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is the process of auctioning off ad space in real-time. To maximize their revenue during an RTB auction, publishers offer their ad space to the highest bidders in a cascading fashion. After direct deals are filled, unfilled inventory is offered to bidders one ad exchange at a time.

In the first exchange, if nobody bids over the publisher’s price floor, the inventory is sent to the next network with a lower price floor. And then the next, until someone bids high enough or the publisher calls its ad server, like DoubleClick for Publishers. The system is called a waterfall auction — it works, but inefficiently.

Using header bidding, though, everybody bids at the same time. That can quickly earn publishers more revenue while also giving all advertisers an equal shot at higher quality placements.

Header Bidding Vs Waterfall Auction

To enumerate, a waterfall auction is like offering a bag of apples to four different people, one after another. Whilst, lowering the price whenever someone rejects the apples. Eventually, someone might say yes because of the bargain, but that isn’t how you get the best price for your apples. Furthermore, it implies that you’re selling low-grade apples.

Not forgetting, that these are apples that many people already rejected. The major problem with this method is that someone in a lower stage of the waterfall may be willing to pay more than someone higher. But, if a bid is accepted higher up, they’ll never get the chance. Is this any better than how things work now?

The Header Bidding Programmatic Adoption

Realistically, header bidding adoption is gaining quite a steam nowadays. Perse, more ad tech agencies are looking forward to creating products around it. And, even publishers are looking for more ways to make cash. For publishers, true programmatic efficiency is a bit like alien life: It’s probably out there, but no one’s actually seen it.

Instead, publishers have a waterfall auction structure to manage their programmatic yield by daisy-chaining sources. Publishers offer impressions in one sales channel, and if buyers don’t bite, they push them down to other, less valuable channels until someone makes a bid. The system works alright yes! But, it’s highly fractured and inherently inefficient.

For this reason, most publishers say the system leaves money on the table. You lose a lot of inventory to that process, which has implemented header bidding in its programmatic strategy. The biggest benefit that header bidding offers to publishers is greater yield. Adding just a single header bid source can increase yield by 10 percent, according to Potter.

More so, by combining their inventory into a single server-side supply, publishers can sell inventory on a per-impression basis. Whilst, giving them more transparency into how much their impressions are actually worth. The entire idea of this system is to eliminate the need for pushing inventory back and forth, which is inefficient and wasteful.

Weren’t The SSPs Supposed To Solve All This?

Of course, the Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs) were supposed to solve all this. Yes, they were! The problem is that behind every SSP is a business that’s competing with all the other companies offering SSPs — a situation that has fragmented demand sources. One notable side effect of header bidding adoption is that it puts pressure on SERPs like Google.

Especially, on Google’s DoubleClick for Publisher’s ad server, which, through its dynamic allocation feature, lets AdX — but no other exchange — see and bid on every impression. Header bidding seems like a good deal, right? So, what’s the catch? Beyond being a complicated setup to implement, the biggest issue is what it can do to publishers.

Particularly, in matters relating to their page load times. Each SSP tag that a publisher plugs into its page is yet another potential source of added page latency. It’s a significant risk these days. Publishers are already larding their pages with third-party ad tags. Eventually, which have slowed down Web pages and forced alienated readers to install ad blockers.

The only tech issue is all that stuff you’re putting in your header. Whereby, the effectiveness of everything publishers do is predicated on how fast they are. Still, it doesn’t seem ideal, right? Well, it isn’t, but few publishers today are in any position to let inconvenience prevent them from chasing more revenue.

How The Main Header Bidding Types Work

First of all, from a publisher’s perspective, header bidding adoption is a better way than what they’re doing now. It’s not perfect by any stretch. To work, header bidding hinges on a piece of JavaScript in the header of a publisher’s page that allows buyers to bid on advertising. It works like this: First, a user clicks through to a website.

Then thereafter, the publisher’s header tag requests several ad networks. The ad networks place their bids, and then, the winning bid is passed to the publisher’s ad server. Forthwith, the publisher’s ad server connects the user to the advertiser’s server, which shows the winning ad creative. Advertisers can win header bids for any inventory.

More so, as long as their bids are high enough and they don’t interrupt the delivery of direct orders. This method flattens the waterfall and lets publishers know exactly what each advertiser is willing to bid on before the publisher calls its ad server. Ultimately, publishers can maximize revenue and advertisers cement better exposure for their brand.

The Main Header Bidding Types For Setupad Publishers

In regards to Setupad, there are various Header Bidding types for publisher partners. But, the main ones are Wrappers and SaaSs.  For Setupad, it’s important to provide a simple and easy ad tag implementation as well as high-quality ads from premium demand partners. By default, it has predefined blocklists to avoid unwanted and low-quality ads.

Setupad offers a fully managed service — from ad tag creation to predefined blocklists. All earnings are collected by Setupad and paid to the publisher, including Google AdX demand. To set up campaigns from Setupad on other ad servers, define the Setupad campaign as the highest possible priority. Make sure it’s not running iframe or safeframe.

Overall, their header-bidding types connect you to 21 of the most popular SSPs. Including GoogleAdx, Xandr, Magnite, Criteo, Index Exchange, Adform, RTB House, PubMatic, Amazon, OpenX, etc. As well as Sovrn, district m, EMX, SmartRTB+, Between Digital, 33Across, AdaptMX, Conversant, Adagio, Lupon Media and AdYouLike.

Luckily, their header bidding solutions won’t affect your site loading speed. More so, since Setupad has a one-second timeout by default and normally the auction ends within 400ms. That said, here’re their key HB types.

(A). Header Bidding Wrapper

Header Bidding Wrapper is a JavaScript code template used to connect publishers’ ad space with demand partners (Google AdXSSPs, DSPs, and Deals). As a result, all programmatic demand partners can simultaneously bid and compete in the same ad auction, increasing publishers’ ad revenue. The Header Bidding Wrapper is so easy to use.

Fortunately, Setupad has a design of its own header bidding solution for publishers. It’s easy to use and does not require much involvement from IT. It can easily be implemented through the publisher’s ad server or directly into a website’s source code. This tag-based solution runs a hybrid prebid.js auction toolkit.

Prebid is an open-source Header Bidding Wrapper available to everyone and is used by many publishers today. Setupad’s Header Bidding Wrapper is also based on the prebid, thus helping to increase publishers’ ad revenue and connect to premium demand. Prebid.js auto-template is fully compressed and stored on a cloud ad server first.

These toolkits collect bids from the client and server-side connections to display the winner’s programmatic ads. It doesn’t require changes to the website source code and can be easily run through an ad server, like Google Ad Manager. You can read and learn more about Setupad Header Bidding Wrapper in detail.

(C). Header Bidding SaaS Solution

As you’ll come to learn, the Setupad Header Bidding SaaS Solution is a Direct Prebid.js Monetization Service. It’s more of a customized prebid.js software that connects with a publisher’s existing SSP accounts and is optimized with Google. Where prebid auction controller JS implementation is in the site’s header and publishers GAM codes in the body.

This setup allows it to connect all of the publisher’s ad space and optimize direct campaigns with programmatic demand partners (Google AdXSSPs, DSPs, and Deals). All campaigns and programmatic bids compete in the same header bidding auction, increasing publishers’ ad revenue. It’s also a hybrid Header Bidding service solution too.

Obviously, this is because programmatic bids are coming from two ways — the client-side auctions and server-side auctions to be specific. As an example, the ad revenue is directly paid to the publisher, and Setupad earns a fixed tech fee. Publishers can opt-in to use Setupad SSP accounts to extend their current list of demand partners (learn more).

Below Are Other Additional Setupad Products:
  • Video Content and In-Stream Ads: Utilize the power of video content. It’s possible to use generic videos and add the publisher’s existing video content to display on a video recommendation widget. Keep users longer on your website and unlock in-stream advertising potential.
  • AdBlock Monetization: Generate revenue from users who use Ad-Blocks (disable ads) but have consented to receive Acceptable Ads standard creatives. Setupad runs non-intrusive advertising formats in a couple of placements per page and helps regain 10%-20% of otherwise lost revenue.
  • Native Advertising: Engage users by adopting ads to your website layout. They are typically used between several content containers being close together, like news blocks or product listings. Setupad optimizes native ads with standard display demand and drives up the revenue.
  • Content Recommendation: Keep users longer on the website by recommending other content. More so, by enabling additional revenue from sponsored posts within the recommendation widget. Increased time spent and pageviews help to generate more revenue from standard ad placements as well.

To connect Google AdManager and Google Adx accounts have to be customized for the header bidding. It requires a lot of work and time for both Setupad and the publisher, so such a SaaS solution is useful only for large publishers that are ready to commit to a fixed monthly cost. You can get all the benefits more easily using the Setupad wrappers.

The Header Bidding Implementation Stage

For publishers, implementing header bidding can be a complicated and counterintuitive process. The setup is tedious, forcing its adopters to develop countless line items for their ad inventory. Header Bidding tag integrations require a much, much heavier upfront lift in terms of trafficking line items. It’s not just a little more work!

Rather, it’s probably 100X as much work to traffic for most publishers. What’s more, even after setup, header bidding can kill page load speed. Third-party tags that enable header bidding, like any third-party tag, bog the page down. They make it load more slowly. And if visitors are abandoning your page before it loads, they’re not seeing any ads.

And, this earns no revenue. A good strategy means more advertisers, more bids, and more revenue. Usually, all the legwork is transferred from the browser to the ad server faster. This process takes much less publisher setup work. In nutshell, for publishers, header bidding can maximize revenue.

While for advertisers, it allows access to higher-quality placements, but only at higher costs. Let’s say you’re paying top dollar for premium ad space. Well, you can’t afford to waste a single impression. Always remember, that the click-through happens at the ad, but the conversion happens on the post-click landing page.

The Header Bidding Current Solution Trends  

A few new technologies have cropped up to solve slow page loads. The first is header bidding wrappers, used by publishers who work with a variety of header bidding solutions. These code containers ensure that all auctions start at the same and end in a timely manner. It can also mandate that all ads load asynchronously.

As a result, this means that the page’s content can load before the ads do. The second potential solution is server-side header bidding. Traditionally, all header bidding has been client-side, also known as browser-side. Meaning, that it relies on the browser to handle requests from individual networks. Header wrappers can streamline the process to an extent.

But, if there are lots of networks accessing the header wrapper, it’s going to trigger a lot of JavaScript processes. Definitely, that’s going to slow down the load page time performance. Some publishers have attempted to limit excessive processes. More so, by capping the number of bidders per auction — which defeats the purpose of using header bidding.

Server-side header bidding, on the other hand, takes all the heavy requests on the browser and moves them to an external server. It still requires the publishers to embed some code on the back-end of their web pages.  The browser can focus on what it does best — displaying your web page to the viewer, while the auction takes place on a separate server.

The Header Bidding Pros And Cons — For Publishers & Buyers

It’s pretty easy to see why publishers are choosing to move from the waterfall auction to the header bidding adoption. But, it doesn’t matter how much you’re offered for an impression if the user doesn’t stick around to see the ad load. Meaning, that if the web page doesn’t load quickly, the target user won’t stick around for that long.

On one side, for publishers, working with only one SSP means working with their sources of demand. Those sources are incomplete. The more bids you can get from advertisers, the more demand you’ll have. Header bidding allows you, ahead of time, to know what’s being bid, as opposed to creating a pricing floor. With header bidding, there’re more options.

It’s also unlike moving to successive stages of the waterfall auction when it’s not met. More advertisers, more bids, and more options are likely to drive bids up. That, ultimately, means more revenue for publishers. On the other side, for buyers, The biggest issue is with page load time. Ultimately, this comes down to creating a great user experience.

Header bidding means access to higher-quality placements — even premiums — reserved for direct deals. A major drawback of header bidding, however, is its setup. But, it’s getting easier as the technology matures. Otherwise, it’s still a tedious upfront task to get started, requiring line items to be built into the header of countless pages.

Maximize Your Ad Revenue With Setupad In Simple Steps

Begin creating a conversion-worthy post-click landing page with the most robust post-click automation solution. You can sign up for Setupad or use Instapage Enterprise Demo to start! To increase the maximum access to the publisher’s ad inventory, we suggest trusting Setupad with the maximum ad placement dimensions.

On one hand, this allows content advertisers to use their custom-made ad sizes. While, on the other hand, content publishers can benefit from the additional ad revenues to monetize their website traffic. And, just like Google AdSense, Setupad is a monetization platform that’s best known for its header bidding technology.

Get Started: Earn With Setupad Referral Program For Publishers

The only difference between the Setupad service and Google AdSense is that they use header bidding technology to connect publishers with more than 15 buyers, including Google. Adding multiple premium buyers creates more competition. Particularly, for the same ad impression — it pushes Google and other buyers to increase their prices.

In the end, through their unique ad formats, the publisher receives more revenue. It takes two to four weeks to see optimal results, though we strongly suggest you run a four-week test so we can add the majority of the SSPs. But, there are a few requirements for becoming a fully approved Setupad publisher that you should know.

For the Setupad platform approval:
  • The website must be compliant with the Setupad quality policy
  • It must have significant traffic (100K+ visitors per month)
  • The publisher must agree to paste their ads.txt onto their website
  • They must use all Setupad demand sources, including Google
  • Luckily, they also have a contract that covers both their security and yours

That said, in order to monetize your website with Setupad, all you’ll need is to just sign up here to get started! Simply, the next thing is to provide them with your website domain and contact details. And then, they’ll get back to you about the next steps and monetization opportunities.

How the integration process looks like:
  • Receive login details to access Setupad’s UI via email
  • Download the ads.txt from the UI and paste it into your website’s root folder
  • Complete the Google Publisher Form you receive in your email
  • They’ll contact you to agree on the ad placements and sizes you’d like to run on your website
  • Receive the ad codes by email and implement them through your ad server, or directly through your website

You’ll receive the contract when both sides have agreed on a test period. Definitely, their monetization solution is quite risk-free. Setupad doesn’t require a volume commitment before showing a revenue growth potential. One thing is for sure, they earn money by taking a revenue share commission. Not to mention, they pay their publishers in euros (EUR).

You’ll see your first payment 60 days after the first month has finished. For example, you’ll receive your May revenue at the end of July. Then again, June revenue at the end of August and so on. If the minimum threshold of €100 is not reached, earnings will be added to the next month until they exceed €100. And are paid via bank, PayPal, Payoneer, or Wise.

Final Words:

Overall, if you are looking for a way to maximize your Header Bidding ad revenue, then Setupad is a very great start. They’ve got a suite of ad unit formats and programmatic monetization solutions that they’ve even developed a full in-house team for — to help content publishers increase their ad revenue performance.

As a client, run a test period to see the results for yourself first. This is the most effective way to see how much Setupad solutions can increase your ad revenue. Keep in mind, that each website is different. And, each ad revenue depends on overall monthly visitors, geo locations of web traffic, how many pages per visit a user scrolls through, visit duration, etc.

Setupad guarantees a 30% increase over Google Adsense and Google Adx when implemented according to recommendations. The majority of Setupad clients exceed the minimum of 30% increase in ad revenue — some even see increases up to 300%. To estimate your results, we suggest you run a test first to be in the safest monetization zone.

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That’s it! A few things to learn about Header Bidding and how you can utilize Setupad to earn more money from Ads on your website. However, make sure that you also learn how to correctly compare Setupad results in detail. So, do you think that Setupad is a great monetization platform worth investing your time and resources in?

Well, you can share your overall experiences with us or any other related questions in our comments section. Finally, if you’ll need more help, you can always Consult Us and let us know how we can sort you out. Likewise, don’t forget to share this review guide with other web readers like you. Or even donate to support our work and to motivate our team.

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