Regardless of business, seasonality trends have an influence on publishers throughout the year. Paying attention to all of these elements and optimizing your website properly is the best method to maximize ad revenue. Seasonality is one of the most important elements that determine ad revenue.

As a publisher, you may have observed that your revenue fluctuates significantly from month to month. This is due to ad income patterns across publishers. While publishers may not be able to prevent seasonality effects from occurring, they may certainly improve ad income to some level.

The purpose of this article is to explain what is seasonality, how it affects ad revenue, and how publishers should prepare to maximize their performance at each stage of the seasonal cycle.

What is seasonality?

Any regular variation or trend that recurs across the calendar year is referred to as seasonality, which is further divided into cultural, commercial, and ad-hoc events. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are examples of commercial seasonality. The Olympics, elections, and even certain well-known TV programs are examples of ad hoc events that produce seasonality. According to eMarketer, consumers in the US spent $190.47 billion on Christmas eCommerce shopping in 2020.

It’s critical to examine your target audience and the factors that impact their behavior in order to capitalize on seasonal possibilities. Advertisers are willing to acquire more inventory and/or pay more for it when seasonality peaks. RPMs increase as a result of this. Users are also more inclined to explore the internet during these times, which increases traffic and impressions. Both of these reasons contribute to publisher revenue seasonality.

Those firms that understand the concept of seasonality may forecast and schedule inventory, personnel, and other choices to correspond to the projected seasonality of the corresponding operations, lowering costs and boosting revenue.

What causes seasonal fluctuations?

Seasonality is a time series feature in which the data undergoes regular and predictable changes that repeat each calendar year. Seasonal refers to any predictable variation or trend that recurs or repeats over a one-year period.

During the Christmas season, many publishers may have observed an uptick in their CPMs. Holiday-driven seasonality is mostly a cultural phenomenon. Aside from that, publishers may have seen high CPMs due to commercial factors such as the end of the season and Black Friday sales.

Similarly, during months like January and July, publishers may see a drop in traffic and receive fewer deals. This is due to a decrease in ad spending as advertisers focus on planning activities. Because they are returning to a more regular schedule, user behavior changes as well.

Seasonal trends like this can have a big impact on publishers. However, with some smart preparation, the harm may be significantly reduced.

What to expect in different quarters?

Many businesses divide their year into four quarters: Q1 (January to March), Q2 (April to June), Q3 (July to September), and Q4 (October to December). The following points are intended to inform publishers about what to expect throughout these distinct quarters. This will aid them in capitalizing on publisher trends even more.

Quarter 1 (January to March)

The term “January slump” is probably familiar to most publishers. Advertisers spend less money on ad campaigns in the first quarter since they are primarily focused on developing new strategies for the year. Furthermore, user purchase behavior shifts dramatically in January. After the holiday shopping sprees of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, they are less interested in purchasing anything.

Quarter 2 (April to June)

This quarter has been significantly better for publishers in terms of revenue creation. Since advertisers have begun to invest their resources in various campaigns and have begun to focus on experimentation, publishers have seen an increase in income.

Quarter 3 (July to September)

The July downturn isn’t quite as awful as the January slump, but it’s still a slump. The fall is due to two key factors: a decrease in visitors and advertisers readjusting their expenditures. While changes in traffic are dependent on the publisher’s specialty, marketers evaluating their spending have an influence on everyone.

Quarter 4 (October to December)

Last but not least, Q4 is likely to be the finest quarter for all publishers. Due to the large number of cultural holidays that fall around this period, the end of the year sees an increase in the number of internet users. As a result, businesses lavishly fund their advertising initiatives. Publishers may take advantage of this and earn a lot of money during this quarter.

How to optimize ad revenue?

First and foremost, you should concentrate on inventory optimization. Experiment with various ad units, ad positions, and ad layouts. You should stay current on all of the inventive ad sizes and layouts at your disposal and, if feasible, employ them to add value to your inventory.

Keep a note to see if the ad types you used in the previous quarter were effective. If they haven’t resulted in higher ad viewability, you should consider removing them and replacing them with ad formats that work for you in the next quarter.

Make sure you’re informed of the many holidays and events that occur throughout any quarter. This implies that even if you live in a place where a festival or event isn’t a major thing, you should still optimize your inventory in that manner. This is due to the fact that your users may be from the area where the festival or event is celebrated.

Final Thoughts

It is critical for publishers to recognize that seasonal trends and variations are unavoidable. If your revenue drops in one quarter, you may always make the appropriate adjustments to boost it in the following. More significantly, publishers should understand which methods to employ at when times in order to get the most out of each phase. Furthermore, planning for the future quarter is essential for seizing any chance that arises.

Following the guidelines outlined above can assist publishers in taking advantage of seasonality tendencies. You won’t be able to mend your way out of seasonality, but you can always prepare more strategically.

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Samien Kidwai

Hailing from an academic background, I have been an Assistant Professor in Mass Communication with an additional decade of experience in creative writing. I’m passionate about music and theatre with an inclination towards movies. Being an avid reader, I love to scribble my thoughts and ideas when I’m not running behind my 8 year old daughter.