Header bidding provides publishers with more control and transparency into the value of their inventory. Many publishers are excited about the boost in yield that header auctions provide, but this advanced tech is not suited for everyone. The implementation process can be complex and each publisher’s setup is a little different than the next.

So, how do you know if header bidding is the right monetization strategy for your website? Here are some factors you should take into account.

Traffic

A common question we hear from publishers is “how much traffic should I have to consider a header bidding setup?”

While there is not a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to traffic, here’s what we tend to see.

The publishers we work with to implement header bidding usually have greater than 250,000 daily pageviews. However, that’s not to say that if you have less than 250,000 pageviews/day header bidding should be completely out of the question.

This is where dev resources come into play.

Development Resources

As previously mentioned, the header bidding implementation process is complex and requires some amount of development work. If you have a dedicated, in-house dev team that can help with the implementation at no additional cost, we say go for it, even if you aren’t at the 250,000 pageview threshold.

On the flip side, if you’d have to outsource development, we’d suggest taking into consideration the cost of outsourcing vs. the increase in margin you’ll see with header bidding.

As a benchmark, you should expect a 50% to 100% margin over your traditional waterfall setup, and from publishers we work with, typically you’d like to make back the cost of outsourcing within a couple of months after implementation.

If you’re currently generating $20/month in ad revenue, you should expect that to jump to between $30 and $40 with header bidding. The cost of outsourcing can vary greatly but will likely be in the range of $1,200-$6,400*. In this case, implementing header bidding probably wouldn’t be worth it.

However, if you’re currently generating $1,000/month in ad revenue, you should expect that to increase to $1,500-$2,000 with header bidding. Depending on the cost of outsourcing, header bidding may be the right solution for you.

At the end of the day, header bidding is a great long term solution for fast-growing publishers, but you should make sure you are generating enough revenue to make the upfront effort worth it. And stay tuned for Sovrn’s Header Complete product that is launching soon, the publisher-first header bidding solution.

*Note this is simply an estimate. These numbers are based off an $80/hour outsourcing cost and implementation time ranging from 15-80 hours. Depending on these two variables, this estimate could vary.

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