Optimizing Campaign & Ad Group Performance

GUIDE 


Campaign Setup and Optimization Schedule

The framework for campaigns should be completed as early as possible and at least 72 hours prior to the launch to ensure a timely launch, as it can take up to 72 hours for exchanges to approve creative assets and for any custom geolocation, CRM, and IP lists to process. Once the campaign is set up, use the below timeline as a guide for launching and optimizing successfully.

Making optimizations a quarter or a third of the way through the campaign’s flight dates allows for:

  • A mid-campaign touchpoint

  • The mitigation of any possible issues

  • Adjustments to be made to the campaign with significant time left to make up for potential spending or performance issues

  • Goals & Optimization Overview Document 

Ad Group Goals

A goal specifies the target performance metric for your channel. Goals are set at the ad group-level and are important because they inform our system's site, supply vendor, and creative auto-optimizations.


Possible goals include:

  • Reach: This goal is focused on helping you reach the most unique users. By setting this as your KPI at the ad group level, our system will optimize towards the lowest CPM per user. A ‘Reach’ goal will help your ad group to serve more impressions on inventory that is achieving the highest amount of viewers seeing your ads.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): A ‘CPA’ goal will help your ad group to serve more impressions on inventory that is achieving your desired cost-per-acquisition (cost of converting a user once). CPA ad group goals will only work if the Choozle Smart Container Tag is placed on the conversion event’s root URL. If you have multiple conversion events set at the campaign level, the CPA will be aggregated to include all conversion events. Ideally, this metric should closely represent the target you wish to pay in order to attain a conversion.
  • Cost per click (CPC): A ‘CPC’ goal will help your ad group serve more impressions on inventory that is garnering an average cost-per-click equal to or less than the desired CPC. Cost per click will look towards simultaneously increasing the number of impressions won on inventory that's clicked through while simultaneously looking to decrease your CPM.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): A ‘CTR’ goal will help your ad group to serve more impressions on inventory that is achieving an average click-through rate or greater than the CTR goal you set. The goal would be to win more impressions on inventory that produces more clicks, not necessarily pay more (which may cause you to win fewer impressions). This figure should represent the target percentage of users you hope to click on your ad.
  • Cost-per completed view: CPCV or cost per completed view is calculated by dividing the total spend by the number of completed views. You can also expect very low targets for cost per completed view—around $0.50 -  $1.00 (USD)—for publishers with high CPMs. This is an ideal goal if you are leveraging video, connected TV, or audio ad formats. 
  • Completion Rate: Represents the percentage of impressions in the campaign that reached completion of the ad. Completion rates for connected TV are extremely high (in the range of 80% to 97%), as the environment doesn't allow for skipping the videos. This is an ideal goal if you are leveraging video, connected TV, or audio ad formats. 

Optimization Tips

In understanding whether the goal of the campaign is awareness, engagement, or conversions and whether the KPI is reach, click-through rate, or cost per acquisition, the following sections provide insight into what tweaks can be made to reach these goals.


The ad group goal selected in Choozle should accurately reflect your KPI, as Choozle's creative asset, supply vendor, and site placement auto-optimizations cater toward the goal that is selected.

  • Awareness-based campaign >> Reach ad group goal
  • Engagement-based campaign >> CTR ad group goal
  • Conversion-based campaign >> CPA ad group goal (if using conversion events), otherwise CTR ad group goal


For awareness campaigns striving to maximize reach, focus on pacing to ensure that your budget is fully used to serve the most impressions possible. For engagement or conversion campaigns, focus on performance metrics to effectively allocate your budget toward variables that are performing best for your given KPIs.

Detailed Reports

The demand for marketers to showcase campaign performance is higher than ever, and Choozle is meeting this demand with the Detailed Reports feature. Detailed Reports provides more and deeper data in near-real-time removing the need to download Excel documents for comprehensive data. Viewable within the ‘Action’ button on campaigns and ad groups, users will be directed to in-depth and expanded reporting across many key data points, such as creative, sites, geolocation, browser, device type, etc.

The reports are accessible on the campaign and ad group levels. Each of the reports is similar in data points, however, the ad group report will be exclusive for the ad group that is selected. Below is an overview of the charts and data points that are available across Detailed Reports.

 

Campaign Overview  

  • Campaign Overall Pacing
  • Campaign Daily Recommended Budget
  • Campaign Total Budget
  • Campaign Spend
  • Campaign Impressions
  • Campaign Win Rate
  • Campaign CPM

  • Campaign CPC
  • Campaign CTR
  • Campaign CPA (1-25)
  • Campaign Clicks
  • Campaign Conversions (1-25)
  • Campaign VCR
  • Campaign CPCV

Campaign Details 

  • Campaign Top Performing Sites
  • Campaign Top Performing Private Marketplace Deals 
  • Campaign Top Performing Creative
  • Campaign Top Performing Devices 
  • Campaign Top Geolocations by Clicks 
  • Campaign Top Geolocations by Impressions
  • Campaign Ad Environment Performance
  • Campaign Fold Position Performance
  •  Campaign Supply Vendor Performance 
  • Campaign ​​Browser Performance
  • Campaign CPA by Time of Day
  • Campaign CTR by Time of Day
  • Campaign CTR by Device Type

Ad Group Overview 

  • Ad Group Overall Pacing
  • Ad Group Daily Recommended Budget 
  • Ad Group Total Budget
  • Ad Group Spend
  • Ad Group Impressions
  • Ad Group Win Rate
  • Ad Group CPM
  • Ad Group CPC
  • Ad Group CTR
  • Ad Group clicks
  • Ad Group conversions (1-25)
  • Ad Group CPA (1-25)
  • Ad Group VCR
  • Ad Group CPCV

Ad Group Details 

  • Ad Group Top Performing Sites & Apps
  • Ad Group Top Performing Private Marketplace Deals 
  • Ad Group Top Performing Creative
  • Ad Group Top Performing Devices by Impressions
  • Ad Group Top Performing Devices by Clicks
  • Ad Group Top Geolocations by Clicks 
  • Ad Group Top Geolocations by Impressions
  • Ad Group Ad Environment Performance
  • Ad Group Fold Position Performance
  • Ad Group Supply Vendor Performance 
  • Ad Group ​​Browser Performance (Impressions, Clicks and CTR)
  • Ad Group Impressions by Time of Day
  • Ad Group Clicks by Time of Day
  • Ad Group Conversions by Time of Day

 

Alerts

Keep a close eye on your goals by using Detailed Reporting Alerts. Alerts can be helpful for a user to understand if their campaign or ad group is underperforming or on track. Users have a lot of flexibility with Alerts by defining when to be notified. For example, users can set up an Alert for when their win rate drops below 10%. These additional features give users the insight they need to make better optimization decisions without having to log into the platform.

 

Scheduling

Within Detailed Reports, users will have the ability to send an email report of the entire dashboard now or schedule them at any frequency of their choosing - monthly, weekly, or daily. Users will be able to add their email address along with any others to receive the delivered reports in a variety of formats. Reports will be delivered as either CSV ZIP files, PDF, or a PNG visualization. Scheduling provides flexibility for users to gather the information on their reports at the time that is most relevant to them without having to log into the platform. Scheduling reports will help streamline optimizations by removing the wait time of downloading pivot reports from the platform.

Pacing

A campaign’s pacing, or its ability to effectively use the entire budget over the duration of the campaign, is visualized by pacing bars on the campaign and ad group dashboards. Red or yellow pacing bars indicate that the campaign is pacing behind, whereas purple pacing bars indicate that it’s pacing ahead.




Depending on the scenario, consider the following optimizations to attempt to get pacing back on track.


Pacing Behind
Pacing Ahead

- Increase bids, if the win rate is low (< 8%)

- Increase frequency caps under the ad group’s Advanced Settings

- Expand targeting parameters, if the win rate is normal/high (10-30%), including the following:

  • Geolocation

  • Custom audience

  • Contextual categories

- Loosen daily spend cap parameters to make up for the lost time and to account for a period of initial slowness as our system works to re-optimize the campaign based on any changes

- Decrease bids

- Decrease frequency caps under the ad group’s Advanced Settings

- Refine targeting based on information in pivot reports

  • Geolocation

  • Custom audience

  • Contextual categories

- Tighten daily spend cap parameters

Performance KPIs

For engagement or conversion-based campaigns, evaluate the campaign's performance based on the desired KPI, such as click-through rate or conversions, using Pivot Reports. These reports come at the account-level and can be filtered by campaign, the ad group, or both. Export campaign data by following these steps:


Select the blue Export button in the upper right-hand corner of the Campaigns dashboard, where you'll be prompted to select the metrics and campaigns you'd like to export. 


A Pivot Report will be emailed to you immediately, from help@choozle.com.



Pivot Reports

Each tab of the pivot reports offers insight into the campaign performance based on the different variables, including creative, site, and others. Assess the following tabs of available data to your KPI metric to identify what tweaks could be made to improve performance.


TAB 1: RAW DATA
  • See data from all tabs below in one (non-pivot table format) view including added metrics:
  • Fold: This metric details where your ads have been shown: above or below-the-fold. You can adjust how much the system bids based on where inventory is located on a web page within the advanced settings of an ad group. 

  • Device Type: This metric shows the device type (desktop, mobile, tablet, or all) in which ads were served. To customize whether your ad group serves impressions to computers, mobile phones, or tablets, navigate to Ad Group > Action > Edit Ad Group. From the Edit Ad Group screen, scroll to advanced settings and expand Device Type. By default, all device types will be selected, but any may be deselected to prevent serving impressions to those devices.

TAB 2: Ad Group Performance

  • Performance-based on each ad group is visualized. One optimization option is to then reallocate the budget to the higher-performing ad group(s).

TAB 3: Creative

  • Which creative is showing the most engagement? Look for trends in individual creative performance and remove poor-performing creatives.

TAB 4: Site

  • A list of websites for which ads have appeared

  • Determine possible blocklists or whitelists

  • Eliminate at-scale options with no clicks

    • Create a blocklist for poor-performing sites, and/or

    • Create a whitelist of high performing sites

  • Consider a bid adjustment of performing sites

TAB 5: Ad Format

  • This tab breaks creative assets out by the size of the creative asset
  • See attached creative specifications sheet to see top-performing creative asset sizes

TAB 6: Contextual Category (if using contextual category targeting):

  • A list of publisher-defined categories of sites for which ads have appeared on. For example, “food and drink,” or “women’s health.”

  • Include or exclude categories in an ad group based on category performance.

  • Adjust the order of categories, as they are targeted in the order in which they are listed in your ad group setup.

TAB 7: Date
  • View campaign performance broke out by the date of impression delivery.

TAB 8: Brand Data (if using data targeting)
  • This tab breaks out impression delivery by data segment in custom audiences.
  • Include or exclude data brands in a custom audience based on data segment performance.
  • Adjust the order of data brands, as they are targeted in the order in which they are listed in your custom audience.

Filtering Pivot Reports:

  • Narrow each tab’s view to just line items with statistically significant impression counts.

    • Look at site placements with >1,000 impressions won (one CPM unit).

    • If the campaign has no volume of site placements serving more than <1,000 impressions, then you'll want to use your best judgment to determine a clean point of delineation.



  • Narrow each tab’s view to your KPI metrics

    • If you have a conversion goal, then TC (Total Conversions)

    • If you have an engagement goal, then CTR (Click-Through-Rate)

    • If you have a conversion goal and no TC accrued yet, then begin by looking at CTR


Tracking Conversions:

In addition to Pivot Reports, Choozle can also provide RTB reports upon request for conversion-based campaigns, which offer a complete picture of all click-through and view-through conversions for your campaign's conversion events.


If you set up fewer than the maximum five conversion events, consider building out the conversion funnel by adding additional conversion event URLs, which will facilitate tracking users as they move through the conversion process to identify where they are dropping off.



If the campaign isn't converting as desired, evaluate some of the following campaign variables on which conversions can depend:

  • Conversion URL: Was a conversion URL input upon the campaign setup? This is necessary to track conversions as well as CPA, or cost per acquisition.

  • Smart Container Tag: Is the Smart Container Tag placed before the close of the header on the conversion event's root URL?

  • Targeting: Is a relevant audience being targeted? Can different targeting be tested?

  • Creative: Is the creative clear and compelling? Does the messaging resonate with your audience(s)? Does the creative have a clear call-to-action? Are there new creatives that could be tested?

  • Landing page: Landing pages are hugely important to the conversion event. Is the landing page specific to the campaign? On average, a unique landing page (in comparison to just linking through to the website homepage) has better results, as it gives a much clearer desired path for the user to take. There are easy tools, such as InstaPage if you don't have the resources.

Optimization Considerations:

Ideally, implementing some of these optimizations should start to produce noticeable results within several days. We suggest not making too many adjustments at once, which will make it difficult to determine which change resulted in any performance shift, and giving enough time for the first round of optimizations to take effect before completing further optimization rounds.


Sometimes, campaign and ad group optimizations are not effective due to targeting or creative assets.

  • Restricting targeting could limit the available inventory.
  • Creative assets should contain a call-to-action, little text, and no contact information (i.e., phone number, email address, website, URL).
  • Creative assets should be refreshed roughly every month to avoid creative wear-out.

While our team frequently implements and recommends the strategies outlined above in the described situations, we understand that each campaign is unique, so please reach out through the Choozle Support Center if you'd ever like our Client Experience team to review your campaign and to propose optimizations specific to your campaign based on your goals and KPIs.