SpanishDict Increases Revenue 15-20% By Adding New Programmatic Demand While Maintaining Ad Quality

SpanishDict is one of the top 250 most trafficked websites in the US with over 100 million pageviews each month. The site provides millions of people fast, accurate Spanish-English translations and conjugations.

Ramping Up Header Bidding

SpanishDict has invested heavily in creating a fast, high-quality user experience. Ensuring the ads are fast and family-friendly is central to that experience. The site generates the majority of its revenue by working with programmatic demand sources, and over the past 12 months, the team has embarked on a header-bidder strategy that has lead to significant revenue gains.

As the new sources of programmatic demand came on board, however, a number of problems started to emerge. Despite putting in place stringent block lists, lapses in quality from new partners were growing ever more prevalent. The team was seeing a disturbingly high number of in-banner video ads, blank ads, and inappropriate adult content ads.

"We saw a large sustained revenue increase from adding programmatic demand from header bidding. Unfortunately, this lift was also accompanied with a large increase in bad ads. Attributing these ads to the right partner was hard enough, but identifying a specific campaign or creative wasn't at all practical and resulted in us blocking entire buyers and significantly diminishing our revenue gains in order to maintain ad quality and user experience."

— Ahmed Karim, Ad Operations Lead for SpanishDict

Precisely Identifying and Eliminating the Problem

The team at SpanishDict used PubNation to crowd-source reports from users to identify the problematic ads, attribute them to specific partners, and remove them from their site.

Karim explained "Using PubNation, we were able to leverage user reports to identify and attribute problematic ads that we previously weren't even aware were serving on the site. Campaign and creative level attribution allowed us to block bad ads surgically using the PubNation UI without fear of unnecessarily diminishing our demand pool. This is a far cry from the days of us sending mass emails to all our partners until someone fessed up to serving a bad ad."

The accuracy of the data and the speed with which issues were addressed allowed SpanishDict to confidently bring on new demand partners.

"One of our top header bidding partners wowed us by creating an 12% lift when we initially set them live," Karim said. "Unfortunately, we saw massive amounts of in-banner video and had to block a large number of buyers.  The partner's performance was less than impressive. In trying to remove the offending ads, we inadvertently eliminated huge segment of our demand. Using PubNation, we realized that the bad ads were all localized to campaigns that accounted for less than 5% of the demand we saw. Unblocking larger buyers and selectively eliminating problem ads allowed us to bring back performance to the high initial levels."

‍SpanishDict has a strict policy of no in-banner video ads on its pages

Continuous Ad Quality Improvement

With the new partners in place, the team at SpanishDict continues to optimize ad quality in an effort to improve the user experience while increasing revenue.

With this in mind, the team has established daily and weekly processes to monitor and improve ad quality. For a few minutes each day, Ahmed reviews the PubNation data to see if any unexpected ad problems have arisen. Issues are easily forwarded to the responsible partner. And once each week, the team reviews the overall trends highlighted in PubNation to identify and act upon any changes in speed or quality.

The result of using PubNation is greater control over the ads, confidence while integrating new demand sources, and a better user experience for the users.

"One of the largest benefits of PubNation," Karim noted, "is that it allowed us to finally have visibility into the true user experience on SpanishDict and control of the site in a way that simply wasn't possible before."

Read Next

"PubNation makes it so easy to get ad issues resolved faster than it would take us to search the site, get the code and send it over to the offending party. We save up to 60 hours each month by using PubNation."

Katie Steiner

Director, Programmatic and Ad Operations

Read Case Study