Setupad Header Bidding Test by

Setupad header bidding is an advanced ad monetization partner. They work with high quality medium to large websites and the goal is to increase ad revenue. With more than 15 ad exchange (SSP/DSP) partners it is one of the most advanced advertising solutions out there.

In simple terms header bidding is an auction. When set up and optimized correctly it can really lift CPM by up to 30%-300%. By combining 15+ ad exchanges into one auction it is easy to understand why the revenue benefits can be so high. Auctions happen in real time for each position and depending on the user and content a bid price can go up a lot. For example, it makes sense to sell your house to the highest bidder instead of the first one who is willing to buy it.

Why did we Choose Setupad?

So far we were using AdSense for monetizing the website and earning ad revenue. When browsing through potential ad solutions Setupad stood out with their optimization technologies. It is important that buyers in the header bidding are premium and high quality, such as Index Exchange, GoogleAdx, Xandr, OpenX, AdForm, Sovrn and many more. While does not have a huge amount of traffic we would never manage to get these partners directly. They are difficult to get in the first place and for some you have to have atleast 100m ad impressions a month. Even though header bidding can be set up if you have GoogleAdManager account it takes time, knowledge and plenty of resources to set it up properly (not considering having accounts in premium AdExchanges,SSP’s,DSP’s). Higher competition = higher CPM.

AdSense revenue is based on CTR, meaning whenever a user clicks on an ad you earn revenue. Whereas Setupad is CPM based and for each impression (every time an ad has been seen) you earn money. Why is this important? First of all you will get high quality advertisers that just want to show you the ad instead of necessarily wanting for you you click on it. For example, coca cola would just try to remind you of them and for that they would be willing to pay a high price in the auction. Not only that the setup is optimized in such a way that every impression counts and is squeezed to make as much revenue as possible.

How is Setupad Header Bidding Different?

It is a ready to use solution and easy to test and implement. There is just one ad code for each position that can be placed either through an adserver (such as GoogleAdManager) or directly on the website. Not only that there are very smart ad optimization techniques applied, such as:

  • Advanced formats: sticky anchor, interstitials, video ads sticky leaderboards and more.
  • Viewable bid optimization: in simple terms it is a very smart refresh technology that focuses on viewability, CTR and CPM. Read in more detail here.
  • Ad quality monitoring: see an ad you do not wish to be shown on your website? Setupad has a plugin that lets you report any unwanted ad.
  • Anti malvertising: blocks any malvertising attacks such as redirects, popups etc.
  • Reporting: real time reporting with aggregated daily data combining all of the adexchanges, SSP and DSP data.
  • Payments: 60 day net payments (bank or PayPal)
  • Fast support and in depth consultancy from your account manager.
  • If you have a big website with your own header bidding partners there is also Setupad SaaS. Use your partners with an advanced setup (rent their technology). Read about it here.

How it Works in Real Life

Once we replaced all of our ad units with Setupad we received dashboard access. In the back end we know that it is very complex but the user interface (UX) is great and easy to understand for anyone. Daily analytics with option to select each ad unit and see data separately works great. This allows to compare results with our previous ad monetization solution (AdSense). Ads have to be kept on the website for at least 2-4 weeks to allow for demand sources to be added and to let advertisers buy and check how well the ads perform. So that is what we did. (and still use Setupad on all ad positions)

With the real time chrome plugin created by Setupad we are able to see in real time all of the bidding partners directly on the page. It includes CPM‘s, all of the adexchanges, SSP’s and DSP’s and their bids. As mentioned in the article it also allows us to report any unwanted ads. So far advertisers have been of high quality and there have been no issues. It is also possible to block any categories, URL’s and specific advertisers by just asking the account manager.

Setupad Header Bidding Test Results

After a month of launching Setupad ads we managed to increase revenue by 300%. Seems like a lot, but actually if you understand how the technology works then it seems relevant. It is not just a product that increased the revenue – their suggestions on ad positions and sizes made it even better and more noticeable. With increased competition and premium buyers the CPM naturally goes up. There are many other websites that have had similar success, you can read about them in Setupad blog (case studies) here.

If you have doubts the best thing is that you can do is start with just one banner, see how well it performs, compare results and then launch the rest of the ads and focus on content creation. Your account manager will help you with all of the information needed and assist in all of the steps of launching Setupad.


We greatly recommend trying Setupad. You can start small and check it for yourself. If you are a publisher with around 100 000 visitors a month you can sign up by clicking here. You will have an assigned account manager that you will have direct communication and support. The company has been around for many years and they will suggest the best performing positions and ad sizes based on the layout of your website.

Get More Money From Your Ads Try Setupad (50%-200% revenue increase)

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About Alvils Karlštrems

Alvils Karlštrems is an Ad Operations Specialist. Knows all the ways how to optimize ad delivery on websites.

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