Not all traffic is equal.
Some placements convert well.
Other placements will never fligh high.
Paying the same price for a wide range of traffic quality isn’t really an smart approach.
You overpay for bad and mediocre placements.
You underpay for good and great placements.
Even if you’re willing to overpay for mediocre placements, you will leave lots of money on the table.
The sharks are running bids adjusted to the earnings of well performing placements.
A one size fits all bid will never unlock the real money makers.
In fact, you will probably never see any traffic from them.
You won’t even know that those placements exist.
If you want to tap into truly good traffic, you need to start bidding accordingly.
The right price for the right placement
In a perfect world you would pay a price adjusted to the earnings of each placement.
Since that is not a viable option (too much work), bid baskets are the way to go.
- Bundle several placements that have roughly the same EPV in one campaign
- Set a competitive CPV that still provides your target ROI
- Check from time to time that all of your big placements are still sending traffic
- If you loose an placement break it out into a separate campaign and increase the bid till the traffic flows again
You will get good traffic without overpaying for mediocre traffic.
At the same time you will be able to defend your position on good placements.
You might spend a little more than necessary, but in the long run it’s always worth giving up some of your profits to protect good placements.
Find and dominate hidden placements
I had several campaigns where 2-3 placements did all of the damage.
With your current bids and campaigns you might have never unlocked the real heavy hitters.
You won’t even know that they exist.
You need to show some gamesmanship to start getting the golden traffic.
In general you can run two approaches:
- Increase the bid of your main campaign by 30-100%. Check after a couple of hours for new and profitable placements that opened up. Break them out into a new campaign with the same bid. Reduce the bid of your main campaign back to the old level
- Create a new high bid campaign and use your original blacklist. Add all placements to the blacklist that are currently sending good traffic. Start the campaign and check if new placements are opening up. Rinse and repeat
The right price for the right time
Not all hours are equal.
Most campaigns aren’t profitable 24 hours/day.
Especially with expensive traffic, low margin campaigns and high payouts this can become problematic very fast.
You make money during the prime time.
You loose all your profits during the off hours.
If your campaign is not close to break during the off hours, you should take action:
- Stop the campaign during the off hours and only run during the prime time. On some traffic sources it takes a while to get back into the rotation. Start your campaign a couple of hours earlier or increase the bid till you’re back in the rotation
- Adjust the bid of your campaign according to the time. Run an competitive / high bid during the prime time. Lower your bid by 10-50% during the off hours. On display or native this can hurt the CTR of your creatives, better just stop the campaigns for those traffic types
Many verticals and traffic forms have as well big swings in performance based on weekdays.
But as a rule of the Universe, Tuesday and Wednesday ain’t too good most of the time.
Use the already discussed day parting strategies to avoid loosing money on the bad days.