Hi! I’m Ajmail, Account Manager at 50onRed, and I put this guide together to help new and existing Traffic Platform advertisers become as successful as possible. Read on for my expertise!
Know How to Target
Keywords and targets match differently depending on the type of campaign you’re running, and it’s essential to know how they’ll match. Otherwise, you might end up with little to no volume or, even worse, your ad might appear on sites you didn’t mean to target.
Many advertisers want to target a very specific URL in a Display or Full-Page CPV campaign but don’t realize long-tail URLs need to be added as keyword targets, not domains. Or, they’ll target a very long-tail URL that gets no volume because it’s so narrow. Generally, it’s a better idea to target root domains and subdomains than a long-tail URL.
The same goes for targeting longer keyword phrases in Full-Page CPV or Display campaigns. I advise keeping your keyword phrases at a maximum of three words. InText campaigns, on the other hand, will be a bit friendlier with lengthier keyword phrases, but may still be low volume because they’re exact match.
Data Collection: Setting the Stage For Optimization
Data tracking is vital to campaign success. I recommend tracking your conversions in your Traffic Platform data, especially if you’re new to CPC, CPV, or CPM. This allows you to uncover a wealth of insights, like the most (or least) profitable keywords or targets, best converting creative landing page, and more.
We have plenty of support to help you start tracking conversions, which is essentially done by installing a conversion pixel on the page that loads after a conversion takes place (like a “Thank You” or confirmation page). If you’re promoting an offer through an affiliate network, your affiliate account probably has a quick and easy tool to place the pixel so you don’t have to edit the page’s code. To find Traffic Platform’s pixel codes, just click the “Pixel Code” tab.
More advanced advertisers also use third-party tracking platforms to collect additional data or see traffic from other sources all in one place. To pass this data to your platform, you’ll need to append our tracking macros to the tracking URL generated by your tracking platform. There are many different third-party party tracking solutions on the market to choose from. Some of the more popular platforms are TrackingDesk, Voluum, and CPVLab.
Testing, Testing, 1…2…3
LeBron James didn’t become a 2X NBA Champion overnight, and I can’t guarantee you overnight success either. However, you can become a pro over time by testing changes to your campaign. Then, test more. And then test again. There a bunch of insights to uncover, and it all begins with a plan.
When you launch a campaign, you should immediately start testing and optimizing your bids. I recommend placing minimum bids when you first add keywords or targets to a campaign. From there, you’ll be able to use the Smart Bid and Bid Graph tools to fine-tune your bid for each target. If you’re bidding way below a target’s recommended Smart Bid, bump it up a bit. After making adjustments to your bids, you may notice volume picking up, and you’ll be able to optimize your bids for the amount of volume you want. Over time, you’ll find that some targets perform better than others, and you can find the sweet spot for bids with the best ROI.
You can also test your campaign to find the days of the week, and even hours of the day, when users are most likely to convert on your offer, then customize your dayparting schedule so your campaign only runs when it’s most profitable. If users can only convert during your business hours, you should customize your dayparting schedule to run only during operating hours.
Direct Linking vs. Landing Pages to Seal the Deal
Once you’ve gotten the impression, the key is to engage with the user and get them to convert. Now, the question is whether to direct link the offer or implement a landing page. Let’s go over the difference between the two methods:
Direct Linking: With direct linking, your link directs the user straight to the offer page. Direct linking is most beneficial when you’re driving traffic to offers with smaller payouts, like email and zip submits, games, short forms, and CPL.
Landing Pages: This is a page that you create and host on your own. It is intended to engage the user by pre-selling your offer before directing them to the page where they convert. If the offer requires a larger commitment, like specific information about a user, for example, you can collect this information from a landing page. Or, you can use a Landing Page to “warm up” the user by engaging them first, which moves you closer to snagging the conversion.
Users who see the same landing page time and time again will eventually no longer find them engaging, so it’s important to adjust them and create new ways to engage with users.
Testing different landing pages by adding multiple creatives to a campaign is one of the best ways to optimize. You can add as many creatives as you want, but it’s best to test two at a time. If the landing pages are both identical with only one difference, you can see which one performs better, then pause the creative that didn’t perform as well. From there, you can tweak the winning creative’s landing page, then test that change to see how it affects conversions. By continuously A/B testing individual changes, you can optimize your campaign to drive higher and higher profits over time.
You can always create your own landing page, but if you need help building one, check out sites like instapage.com, optimizely.com, unbounce.com, and getresponse.com.
Lastly, keep it clean. Our QA team approves creatives very quickly throughout the day. If your creative violates our compliance terms, we’ll reject it and let you know why.
Optimizing For the Win
Let’s fast-forward: Your campaign has been running long enough to get some volume, and now you’ve got data to look at. Where do you start?
Trimming the fat is a good way to begin fine-tuning your campaign. Are you bidding a lot on any keywords or targets that aren’t returning any value? Perhaps, it may be time to cut those loose. If you’re tracking conversion value in Traffic Platform (see my first tip), you can easily see which keywords or targets aren’t profitable.
When you start finding some winning targets, scale up. Test new keywords or targets, and eliminate any that don’t convert. If you’re tracking referring domains in a tracking platform, you can see the sites that are converting best, then add those sites as targets on Full-Page CPV or Display. Traffic Platform also has top volume recommended keywords and domains built in, and they’re organized by niche.
While targets should always be optimized for the type of campaign you’re running, offers may be interchangeable and work well with other campaign types. This doesn’t mean that you should import the targets from your Full-Page CPV campaign into an InText campaign, because both campaign types work differently. But there may be keywords that are effective in, say, a Full-Page CPV campaign that you could test with InText.
Need to know some more ins and outs of Traffic Platform? Ready to scale up, and want some insight? Schedule a call with me or any of our other Account Managers for one-on-one support.