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Author: Alise Zaiceva 6 minute read
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Revenue Uplift From Smart Ad Refresh | Case Study

How did Setupad uplift the client’s ad revenue thanks to the smart ad refresh algorithm?

About Board Games Online

Board Games Online is a multiplayer online board game portal with over 18 multiplayer games. The publisher had an idea to create a fun website with exclusively multiplayer board games that users would enjoy both from the web and on smartphones. 

The best part of Board Games Online is the social features of the website–players get to chat, send gifts, and even greet each other through video. Such functionality has helped many like-minded users form friendships outside the game environment.  

One of the games, Rento, an online monopoly, became so popular with users that it even made its own website.

The Challenge: Increase ad revenue, improve ad viewability, and provide the client with better support 

How did the publisher’s website look before Setupad?

Previously the publisher was using Google AdSense. However, one of the things that Google AdSense lacks is ad refresh. Setupad team saw that our smart ad refresh would help this client scale his ad revenue, which is when our Account Executive prospected the client.

The website already had a great setup with one sidebar banner, another 300×300 banner on a 7-second timeout screen before the game starts, and one banner at the bottom of the game info page. 

The main suggestion to improve ad viewability and increase ad format variety was to add one more ad unit–an anchor ad at the bottom. 

For a better user experience, we also configured the anchor ad to have a transparent background, so that it would cover as little content as possible.


The Solution: Implement smart ad refresh to increase ad revenue and add high-performing ad formats to improve ad viewability

Due to the nature of the website, Setupad saw that it was possible to achieve very high overall ad viewability for the publisher without sacrificing the user experience. Game websites often have high ad viewability because they attract a large and engaged audience, which is attractive to advertisers. 

Additionally, the format of many games – particularly casual games that can be played for long periods of time – lends itself well to displaying ads. For example, ads can be displayed during loading screens or between levels. Thus, it was a good idea to use the ad that loads on the pre-game screen before the game starts. 

The ad format that yielded the best results for the publisher was the anchor ad at the bottom. It sticks to the bottom of the page and remains in view for the whole visit duration. As a result, the ad achieves ad viewability above 90%

In addition, we implemented our smart ad refresh algorithm, which only refreshes the viewable ads. The smart ad refresh rate for the anchor ad is 468.19%. This means that the publisher generates more refreshed impressions than initial (first-loaded) impressions, which translates into extra revenue and is very beneficial for websites with such high time on page. 


Founder of Board Games Online, Deyan says: “The new sticky footer ad we placed made a huge difference in our profit. It was great because it wasn’t intrusive to the users, it updated its content regularly, and people could interact with ads even while playing our games (without disturbing the gameplay).”

Another issue the client had with the previous monetization solution was the lack of swift and reliable customer support. 

“If there is a problem, you cannot just rely on human communication and understanding. Instead, you rely on automated AI that makes all the decisions affecting your entire business. That in my eyes is simply wrong, and this is what made me leave AdSense.” – Deyan, Founder of Board Games Online.

Every client at Setupad gets assigned an Account Manager that will help with the tag insertion, choosing the right ad sizes and placements, general monetization advice, and any issues that might arise during the partnership.

Deyan, Founder of Board Games Online, continues: “Having a trusted ad partner like Setupad is the best business strategy, in my opinion. We are still serving Google ads, and if anything goes wrong, we have a person to contact and talk to. We gained around 50% more revenue and higher CPM when we switched to Setupad, which is awesome. There is a team of talented people who optimize the ads for us and make sure that we get the most of our web traffic.”

Setupad’s smart ad refresh monitors ad viewability, while a tailored algorithm prevents decreasing the CPM price when the ad is refreshed. With the Setupad solution, ads only change when the next ad impression benefits the publisher. 

According to Setupad’s internal data, the ad refresh revenue for our client currently accounts for more than 65% of the total ad revenue. These results illustrate just how important it is to have the knowledge and expertise to optimize the ad setup in each case. 

The Result: Improved ad viewability, fast and responsive support, and better quality ads 

The client’s ad viewability at the domain-level currently stands at over 87%. Such high ad viewability means the ad inventory is more attractive to advertisers. 

In addition, the client’s ad revenue grew by around 50% and CTR by 20%. That’s because advertisers are willing to spend more on refreshed ads because they have higher CTRs, especially if the user spends most time in one viewport. 

My favorite part about our partnership is that I can count on them, and if they see that something must be changed to improve ad revenue – they will let me know immediately, and I will not miss any good opportunity. The communication with Jekabs and his team is always lightning-fast. I haven’t sent an email to which he did not reply in 1 or 2 hours. Great job there as well! Deyan, Founder of Board Games Online

All in all, Setupad had achieved the following:

  • Improved ad viewability.
  • Increased ad format variety.
  • Generated extra ad revenue for the publisher.
  • Improved the quality of ads thanks to the careful price floor management that got rid of the low-quality ads while ensuring the best fill rate possible. 
  • Improved the user experience.
  • Generated additional demand from server-to-server connections. 
  • Ensured optimal selection of demand partners for each ad placement

Are you interested to see our technology in action? Join a trustful monetization partner like Setupad and test our solution with no risk!

About Alise Zaiceva
Alise is a content marketing manager at Setupad. She’s passionate about content and helping publishers scale their businesses through powerful digital marketing strategies. In her free time, she expands her knowledge of tech.

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