Making a Success of Success Rate

At Limelight we are often asked about the three metrics that help generate a high fill rate. Bid Rate, Win Rate and Success Rate. Each of these are important to understand none more so than success rate. In this month’s newsletter we will take a deeper look at success rate, what it is, what effects it and how to improve it.

What is success rate?

Success rate put simply is the percentage of winning bids that deliver an impression. This is of course very important as when a win notification is sent that inventory can no longer be sold to anyone else. It is then frustrating when an impression is not delivered. This means that your supply partner will not get paid, but also neither will you!

In an ideal world success rate would be at 100%, and of course we should always strive to reach that goal. However, what is clear is that if your success rate is less than 60%, there is an issue that needs to be resolved.

Why is your success rate low?

Success rate can be low for a few reasons. Firstly, it could be down to a faulty creative which has been unable to load. It could be that an issue has occurred with the publisher whereby an impression tracking pixel has not loaded or the publisher was unable to load the creative.

However, the third and most common reason behind a low success rate can be attributed to your demand holding an auction or adserver decision after the win is allocated. These “Client side auctions” essentially ignore the fact that the supply has already been bid on and auction won and make a subsequent decision to provide a creative or not. If the choice is not then an empty vast is returned and your buyer avoids paying for the supply. These circumstances are often caused by tags being in the the chain of Demand. You may not have tags on the demand side but your client may or their client etc etc.

How can I increase my success rate?

If your success rate is low the first thing to do is talk to your Demand and Supply partners. There is no substitute to having a conversation with them to better understand what the issue is and how it can be fixed.

However, you can also use the UI to help you to control this. On page 10 of the dashboard you will find the creative report. Here you can see all of the Creatives that are coming through your system.

Add Wins as an optional metric and then sort by wins (highest first). Then in the list look for creatives with a large number of wins and a low number or zero impressions. These creatives are lowering your success rate. One option is to take each of these high wins, low impressions creative Ids and add them to global block list in the Creative Lists section of the Demand Manager. Then ask your Demand partners to also block these creative id’s so that a different creative can bid, win and deliver an impression.


We should note that this is not a magic bullet. You should get into a routine of doing this to increase your success rate. Of course, it maybe that the Demand Creatives are not the issue in which case nothing can replace talking to your partners.

My success rate is higher than 100%. Why?

Sometimes your success rate maybe higher than 100%. Don’t panic. This can sometimes happen. This occurs due to a supply partner not passing a win notification, as such a win is not recorded but an impressions is. When the system calculates the success rate the impression count is higher than the win count so the success rate will be higher than 100%.

In this case the best thing you can do is talk to your supply partner about passing on win notifications.

If you have any further questions about how to make a success of success rate please feel free to contact a member of the Limelight Client Success Team.  

LimeLight Digital Company

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