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How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate

February 24, 2011

Andrew Lui, Engineer at Mobclix, highlights some of the most common performance pitfalls, from an integration perspective, and how developers can easily avoid them to radically improve their CTRs.

You’ve made a fantastic app – now what? If you said drive downloads and increase usage, you’d only be half right because all the volume in the world can’t help catapult your app to the upper echelons of revenue earning goodness, quite like a strategic boost in advertising performance can.  There are a number of factors that greatly impact how lucrative advertising campaigns are, but none more so than your click-through rate (CTR).  It tells advertisers exactly how engaging their ads are and more importantly, how users are interacting with your app.

It stands to reason that the more likely a user is to click on an ad, the more likely they are to complete whatever action the advertiser is looking to accomplish, whether that’s watching a trailer or signing up for an offer or just checking out their landing page. That being said, advertisers are willing to pay significantly higher eCPMs and eCPCs to advertise on apps with high CTRs.

While it varies from app category to category, an average app’s CTR should hover right around 0.67%. Incorporating different ad sizes and formats, re-evaluating banner placement, and even incentivizing clicks are all excellent ways to increase engagement, but there’s an even easier way to bolster your CTR: ensure you’re not diluting it with unnecessary impressions. An overly aggressive refresh time, excessive ad units, and even simple integration errors can be artificially inflating the number of impressions your app is serving, thereby negatively impacting your CTR.

The following are some easy ways you can ensure no click is wasted and you aren’t diluting CTR.


Be careful when using app mediation (AdWhirl-like solutions)
Disclaimer: We don’t support using Mobclix with other mediation platforms. Aside from the other shortcomings, these problems are the reasons why:

AdView refreshing:

If you’re planning on using the Mobclix Android Library next to other advertising SDKs simultaneously, keep in mind that if you hide the Mobclix AdView, it will by default continue refreshing ads. Since you’ll likely be continuing to fetch ads with Mobclix, you might not want to free the AdView and recreate it every thirty seconds. Instead, you should disable automatic refreshing on the Mobclix Developer Dashboard and use getAd() to make all the calls. This way, you control exactly how many requests are being made.

Discarded Impressions:

Mediators request ads from all embedded SDKs simultaneously then discard all but the highest paying impression. The problem here is that if an ad is called then ignored, the impression is still counted, and if it’s counted and never shown, it’ll kill your CTR as there’s no way for the user to see and click. Initially you might be thinking: “Great, Adwhirl will artificially increase my impressions and I’ll get more money.” Wrong. It will increase your impressions but it will artificially decrease your CTR. The networks will effectively start ignoring your ad requests; some networks will ban you for fraud. You’ll hurt on ad fill, ad quality and CPMs.


Not pausing an ad request when your view disappears

When your view goes off screen, you should pause the ad refresh timer, otherwise your ad will run in the background.  You do this by calling pauseAdAutoRefresh (see below). If you don’t pause ads when your view goes off screen, you will not only lower your earnings, you will impact your apps’ overall performance.

- (void)viewWillDisappear:(BOOL)animated {

! [super viewWillDisappear:animated];

! [self.adView pauseAdAutoRefresh];



Mobclix AdViews automatically retrieve ads when they’re instantiated.
This means when you create them via your code or your layout xml, they’ll automatically fetch an ad, without a call to getAd().  We’ve seen many developers who instantiate the AdView and immediately call getAd().  This means the first ad that’s retrieved will likely only be shown for a split second, hardly enough time for a user to see and click on it, and the impression will effectively be thrown away.  For most, it’s enough to simply instantiate the AdView and let it do its thing. getAd() should be reserved for some other use cases, one of which we’ll discuss below.

Mobclix AdViews by default refresh themselves as long as your app has focus, even if they’re View.INVISIBLE or View.GONE.
It’s a common use case of the Mobclix Android Library to show ads during a certain event of an Activity, such as for the first thirty seconds of a level in a game, then to hide the ad. It’s good for usability and the Mobclix Android Library fully supports such use. Just keep in mind that when the Mobclix Android Library is hidden, it will still be refreshing ads every thirty seconds! Again, you’re wasting impressions! If you’re not planning on reusing the Mobclix AdView, it’s recommended that you should free the memory to prevent ads that will never be seen from being requested.

These suggestions all boil down to a few points:

-       Make sure ads are visible when you request them.

-       Fewer impressions will more than make up for artificial volume increases when your CTR starts to climb.

-       Higher CTR will get you access to better ads, better ads will get you better CTR. You control the first step!

2 thoughts on “How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate

Leave a Reply

Author : Laura

Glad to hear this was helpful! As far as your question, it will happen automatically.

Author : Robin Baumgarten

That's really helpful, thanks! In fact my app suffered from most of these mistakes, and I'm seeing really low eCPMs and eCPCs. Now that I've fixed my app (i.e., putting adview.pause() and adview.resume() at the corresponding places), will I see my rates going up automatically, or can I somehow "reset" my low rating in the dashboard to get the Ad Networks to pay more?


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