1. Set Traffic Goals – Understand your traffic goals and campaign objectives so that you can convey the types of publishers and targeted websites for a true fit. One way to think of traffic is to do so in three major categories: “Site Building, Conversion, and Re-advertising.” Site Building works well for campaigns that look to increase the volume of traffic to their site. Conversion traffic drives clicks especially targeted to products and services for purchases or long lead generation. Re-advertising clicks provide traffic ideally suited for wider ad distribution onto other ad networks such as Google or Yahoo! Knowing the type of traffic you’re looking for will enable your ad network and campaign managers to eliminate the guess work of bringing your ads to specific performance-based publishers and will avoid you having to pay for lengthy optimization trials-increasing your ROI in the long term.
2. Target Venues – Take advantage of different publishers’ target venues. In addition to having your ads appear on different websites, other popular venues are mobile devices (including iPads, tablet computers, smart devices, smart phones), mobile applications, online radio, social networking sites and video. Expanding your campaign to available target venues will increase your ROI based on the number of people you’ve reached. Identify sources which can specifically achieve your goals. In addition, test additional traffic venues – as this is integral to optimization and ultimate campaign efficiency.
3. Increase your report sampling frequency – Get as close to real-time as you can with the monitoring of your traffic, conversions, clicks and payments to ad networks. Cloud-based platforms have the great advantage of processing large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. Combine up-to-the-hour performance data with campaign day parting and you’ll be able to easily target your daily spend to the times of day that deliver the strongest value.
4. Budget each day of the week separately – All days of the week are not created equal nor should your daily budget be allocated equally. Weekend Internet traffic can be very different from weekday Internet traffic. The same concept applies to “day parting” where you choose the exact time of day when your campaigns will spend. You should also “pace” your spend throughout the day. Together, day of week budgeting, day-parting and pacing are three very important tools to hone in on your target audience. If you are new to these types of targeting, find a knowledgeable campaign manager who will work with you to test each of these – in parallel – until you’ve optimized your spend and returns.
5. Be Alert! – Or rather, get alerts and real-time notifications. If your advertising network offers them, turn them on. SMS texting, email notifications and email-based reporting are great ways to stay on top of your campaign and avoid costly mishaps.
6. Avoid static Ad Copy – Many ad networks offer the ability to substitute searched terms into the advertisement displayed in real-time. Combined with geo-targeting, long-tail keyword search networks and the right creative, your target audience sees exactly the product they want directly in your advertisement without creating complicated campaigns or ad groups. On the right networks, many of these features can be enabled for run-of-network campaigns at very low costs per clicks. E.g. “Looking for premium quality traffic sourced from Manhattan, NY?” In this example, several of the words in the display text for the ad came from the keywords being searched and the geo-targets applied at search time. This type of “dynamic substitution” is a valuable feature that enables your creative/copy to be much more relevant and meaningful to your desired audience
7. Don’t Get Ripped Off! – Some ad networks will ‘accidentally’ overspend your daily budget and leave you holding the bill. While they may claim their system could not take down your ads fast enough, you should hold them accountable and demand a refund. Their technology problem shouldn’t be your business problem.
Have a question about how to leverage these great tools? Please comment!