Case Study: How Grammarist increased page RPM by 58% after switching to Raptive from Freestar

Lauren Lauren Fitzpatrick

Entrepreneur Graham Haas got into website monetization in 2011, starting with an affiliate revenue model on a mattress review site.

“I was naïve in that I didn’t think display ads could earn much compared to affiliate. It turns out I was quite wrong.” 

Graham partnered with Raptive for his first foray into programmatic advertising on a gardening site, where he quickly saw the benefits. Over time, he experimented with multiple ad management companies on different sites to see how they fared.

“I found that even though there is some choice between ad management companies, there are really only two big players that deliver and [Raptive] seems to come up at the top more often than not.”

Graham now makes several site acquisitions each year, and Raptive is a solid part of his business strategy.

“Getting the traffic to reach Raptive is always one of the main goals for the websites we acquire or start from scratch.” 

Grammarist: A New Opportunity

Graham acquired Grammarist, a site about everything and anything related to English grammar. The site has been around since 2009, and while it had a large readership it also had a large content archive that wasn’t optimized for SEO. 

Graham had been running Freestar ads on Grammarist but wanted to know if he could be earning more. He reached out to Raptive to see what kind of improvement he could expect if he switched.

The AdThrive Approach

Once the site was approved to join Raptive, we started by asking Graham about his priorities for the site and ad revenue. Reader experience was at the top of the list, followed by site speed and income. 

Our team ran a detailed analysis of his existing ad layout and found that the ads weren’t earning as much as they could be. In fact, many of the ad slots were blank, so they weren’t earning anything at all. 

We guaranteed a minimum 20% RPM increase based on the same amount of ads and upgraded his video setup to the Raptive video player with our recommended video configuration. Although Grammarist didn’t have an existing video library, we provided a related stock video to open up higher-earning video ads.   

Graham also gained free access to Content Optimization, Raptive exclusive SEO solution. Creators can use it to optimize existing posts, write new posts, and generate content ideas — perfect for a site like Grammarist with content in need of updates.  

The Outcome

Within two weeks of running Raptive ads, Grammarist was already seeing a 58% page RPM increase. 

We asked Graham what benefits he’s seen with Grammarist since bringing it over to Raptive. Here’s what he told us!

There are 4 things that keep Raptive at the top for me. 

1. Content Optimization — extremely handy for an old site like Grammarist with a large amount of posts that are often under-optimized. 

2. Ad install and setup is easy. With other companies, you have to play around with ad inserter plugins or add code to your headers. Raptive takes care of everything, including ad placement changes whenever you request them.

3. Customer support is responsive and competent. I’ve never had an issue Raptive doesn’t solve quickly and I’ve been with them for years.

4. Most importantly, the revenue. Raptive consistently outperforms other ad management companies.

~Graham Haas, Grammarist

We’re excited to work with Graham on another of his sites and look forward to seeing those RPMs continue to increase!