As a rule of thumb, a campaign needs to run between 2-8 weeks to be running at optimal performance and become a positive investment. Algorithms learn over time to only serve ads to users likely to convert. While this may be frustrating, it is true for all DSP’s. Essentially the algorithms need to “learn” the way to find good users to serve ads to. They learn from “events” such as clicks or purchases.
While the Pontiac algorithm will optimize many variables automatically, there are several manual optimizations that you can also try to improve campaign performance.
- Check Viewability
If you are seeing impressions, but your CTR is unsatisfactory it could be because you are serving impressions with low viewability. If the ads are not visible, it is highly unlikely that users will interact with them. In the flight metrics of a Line item you can quickly compare the total impressions served to the number of viewable impressions. To see more about Line Item Flight Metrics see here: Line Item Flight Metrics. If a high percentage of impressions are not viewable this will impact CTR. In the targeting menu of the Line item, you can add a viewability threshold to restrict the algorithm from bidding on impressions that are unlikely to be viewable. This may restrict delivery, affecting the pacing of your campaign, but it should improve performance. Smaller Banner sizes and Native Ads also tend to have higher viewability.
- Increase Bids
Higher bids help to win higher quality inventory, resulting in improved performance. If you are targeting an Onboarded Audience or a Third-Party Audience with an additional cost, we recommend that you add the associated price of the most expensive segment to your base and max bids to ensure that you can win impressions. The closing CPM will include the cost of the Audience data, so if your base bid is $2.43 and you’re targeting an Audience with a cost of $2.00, you would really be bidding $0.43 for the media. See our general bid recommendations here: Bid Recommendations.
- Evaluate Exchange Performance
Enter into the Reporting tab and select the Advertiser and Line you wish to evaluate and update the report. Scroll down to the ‘Exchanges’ section. In this section you can evaluate each Publisher through which your ad has been served and the corresponding CTR. Campaign performance can be increased by removing Exchanges with low performance. To remove an exchange open the Line Item Targeting settings and in the ‘Exchanges’ tab select the red ‘minus’ sign next to the Exchange name. The Exchange should move from the right side of the window to the left and appear with a green plus sign next to the name. This indicates that you are no longer buying through this exchange. For information on Pontiac Exchange reporting see here: Exchange Reporting.
- Evaluate Site Domain Performance
Enter into the Reporting tab and select the Advertiser and Line you wish to evaluate and update the report. Scroll down to the ‘Site Domain’ section. In this section you can evaluate each Site that the ad has been published on and the corresponding CTR. Performance could be increased by creating a site list with the high performing sites, or by creating a ‘block list’ of sites with poor performance that you wish to avoid. By visiting the sites in the list, you can further evaluate the quality of a site and determine whether to block list this domain. For more information on Site Domain Reporting and creating custom Site lists see the following pages: Site Domain Reporting, Site List Targeting.
- Evaluate Audience Segment Performance
Enter into the Reporting tab and select the Advertiser and Line you wish to evaluate and update the report. Scroll down to the ‘Segment Performance’ section. In this section you can evaluate performance by each Audience segment being targeted. If you are targeting several Third-Party Audiences, it is important to evaluate the performance by each segment. This will allow you to remove any segments that are not performing and to direct more of the budget towards high performing audiences. For more information on Segment Performance Reporting see the following page: Segment Performance
- Evaluate Creative Performance/ Update Creative Assets
If the Exchanges and Site Domains where your ads are being placed appear to be high quality, but your ad is still not receiving the desired amount of user interaction, it could be the appearance or wording of the Creative that is limiting performance. We recommend running A/B tests with different Creatives to test performance as well as trying a variety of different Creative sizes. In the Reporting tab, metrics are readily available by Creative. This information can be used for manual optimization, to remove low performing Creatives and to direct more of the budget towards high performing ones. For example, if a Creative has received 70% of the budget, but only 5% of the clicks, this Creative should be removed from the campaign. See more information about Pontiac Creative reporting here: Creatives Reporting.
If you would like additional help with your Creatives, Pontiac Intelligence offers Creative services for an additional fee. If you are interested in having your ads created by the Pontiac team, discuss this option with your Account Manager.
- Evaluate and Update your Landing Page
The landing page is an important aspect of driving Conversions. If your ads are performing well on CTR, but aren’t generating Conversions, this could indicate a landing page issue. Traffic is being driven to your site, but once on the page they are not converting. For E-commerce we recommend displaying a specific product in the ad and driving users directly to the page for this specific product.
- Test New Targeting Strategies
If you have manually optimized your campaign and still do not feel as though you are getting the desired results, it may be time to try a new targeting or placement strategy. You can read about all products and targeting strategies available through the Pontiac platform here: Product Offerings & Targeting Strategies. Reach out to your Account Manager for recommendations based on the Advertiser brand, target audience, and specific KPI goals.