Best ad server features for advertisers: The Bidder and Conversion Tracking

Apurva Karthik

Apurva Karthik

Advertisers

Feature

Self-Service

Best ad server features for advertisers: The Bidder and Conversion Tracking

Using EXADS as your white-label ad server comes with a host of free automation and optimization tools that your advertising clients can use. In today’s competitive market, tools that are integrated into an ad serving platform and are free to use, are of prime importance to your advertising clients. It can make the difference between them choosing to spend their budgets with your ad server or that of a competitor. Luckily EXADS provides some of the best ad server features for advertisers, to ensure that your ad serving business is competitive and to help you attract more and more advertising clients. In this blog post we will look at two free advertiser features provided with our self-service ad serving platform: The Bidder and Conversion Tracking. Both are very powerful tools independently, but using a combination of the two will give your advertising clients control over their campaign bidding automation and real-time campaign tracking for optimization. Let's dive in!

What is Conversion Tracking?

Conversion tracking is the process in which an advertiser who has launched an ad campaign on an ad serving network, can see how an end user has interacted with the campaign. This is done by measuring the effect of specific data points during the ad campaign’s sales funnel and then analyzing the data that has been generated to understand what specific data points are reached via users they acquire. So for example, data points can be: when an end user clicks on an ad, the end user's actions on a landing page, if they subscribed to a newsletter, if they signed up to an offer, if they made a purchase or downloaded a product. Each data point is called a Goal and advertisers can track several goals at the same time with our Conversion Tracking tool.

What is The Bidder?

Bidding for ad zones is the most important step for an advertiser to give visibility for their ad campaign. If the advertiser’s bid is too low, they will not win the ad zone, if the bid is too high, they will win the ad zone, but will be paying more for it than maybe their budget and KPIs allow. Constant manual optimization of bids is time consuming for advertisers, so an automation tool is an excellent add-on to offer to your advertiser clients. Step in EXADS advertiser feature, The Bidder! It works like a smart assistant automatically optimizing the advertiser’s bidding process in order to win ad zones at a competitive price based on the advertisers CPA and it then blocks ad zones that underperform for the advertiser’s campaign. The Bidder has two editable features: Automatic Bidding Optimization and Rules to Block Ad Zones.

Automatic Bidding Optimization: This intelligently adjusts the bids for ad zones according to how many conversions are received, and blocks those zones that don’t convert. This is done by the advertiser selecting a conversion goal from the Conversion Tracking drop-down. Based on the conversion goal’s conversion value, advertisers can choose between the following two methods:

Best ad server features for advertisers

Use the Goal’s Conversion Value: This method is applicable for Dynamic and Fixed conversion value goals. When this method is chosen, the Bidding Algorithm uses the value set on the conversion goal.

Set Target Conversion Value: This method will allow advertisers to input a conversion value that will be used by the Bidding Algorithm to optimize the bid.

Once the Automatic Bidding Optimization is running, it will adjust the bids up or down, to keep them under the conversion value for the selected conversion goal. Here is an example of a bidding strategy using The Bidder:

Best ad server features for advertisers The Bidder

The payout for this advertiser’s DOI (Double Opt In) offer is €6.50, so the Bidder is set with the Target CPA at €6, which is 50 cents below the “real” CPA target and the maximum test budget aligned with the real CPA target. This strategy is aggressive and will help the advertiser to minimize any loss.

Rules to Block Ad Zones

This is the second feature within The Bidder. It allows advertisers to create additional optimization rules that determine what gets blocked automatically based on the rules set. On the left the Rules can be set based on Impressions, Clicks, Spending, CTR (Click Thru Rate), Conversions, eCPA, or ROI (Return On Investment). These elements can be combined to define which dimensions (selected from the drop down menu on the right) the rules will block.

Best ad server features for advertisers

This is highly beneficial to your advertiser clients allowing them to automatically optimize their campaign targeting set up, based on their Target CPA and Maximum Budget settings. So for example, the advertiser could find that targeting Chrome is more expensive than Safari, therefore if the campaign is underperforming on Chrome, it will be blocked, ensuring the advertiser is not bidding too high for low quality traffic on Chrome. So the rule setting as shown above is: at 10,000 impressions, if the CTR is Less Than 10% then block Browser. You can read EXADS Documentation regarding The Bidder here. So, now let's look at the second advertiser feature, Conversion Tracking.

How Conversion Tracking is used by advertisers

Because Conversion Tracking tools gather this data, it can be considered Business Intelligence for the advertiser. By analyzing the data points, the advertiser can see how the campaign is performing, how the ad creatives and landing pages are performing, how the campaign can be modified and optimized in order to help increase ROI. Perhaps an ad creative is generating many clicks, but once the end user reaches the landing page they are not converting, therefore the Conversion Tracking data alerts the advertiser that something needs to be modified on the landing page to push the end user to convert. These campaign insights are imperative because they help the advertiser fine tune the campaign creatives, bidding strategy, targeting and campaign flow in order to become successful.

Conversion Tracking tools

There are many third party real time tracking tools on the market that advertisers and affiliates use, popular names include Voluum, Cake, Thrive Tracker, AdsBridge and more. Your advertiser clients can easily integrate all third party tracking tools into their campaign monitoring with your network if you use EXADS self-service ad serving platform. However, all of these third-party tools are not free, and advertisers have to pay subscription fees to use them. For example Voluum's prices start at $499 to $1999 per month depending on the plan used. EXADS Conversion Tracking tool is completely free for your advertiser clients to use, meaning that they are saving money which they could then use to fund ad campaigns on your ad serving platform.

Types of Conversion Tracking

EXADS offers two types of Conversion Tracking:

  • S2S(server to server) conversion tracking API: With this method, the Advertiser should add a {conversions_tracking} token to their landing page. When an end user clicks on the advertisement, this will generate a conversion tracking token with a unique ID. The advertiser then needs to record this unique ID to pass back on the conversion tracking API call when the goal is triggered.
  • Pixel Tracking: This method will generate an HTML code that the advertiser can add into a webpage where the end user has visited immediately after completing the conversion (such as an "Order Confirmation" or "Thanks for Your Email" page).

EXADS Documentation offers a detailed description of how an advertiser can set up Conversion Tracking for both S2S and Pixel tracking.

How EXADS Conversion Tracking feature works

The Conversion Tracking feature enables advertisers to choose a Conversion Value while creating or editing a conversion goal and then monitoring conversions through a detailed report on each of the conversions within the admin panel's Statistics and Campaigns List pages. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Track each of the conversions with an accurate monetary value (Revenue).
  • Obtain a more detailed report through the metrics: Conversion Rate, Profit, Revenue, ROI.
  • The Profit and ROI metrics will give a good insight about each conversion goal.
  • Based on these metrics, advertisers can adjust any conversion goals that are underperforming.

 

In order to obtain a more detailed statistical report to help advertisers understand how each of the conversions are performing, they can choose from different options when creating a new Conversion Goal:

  • No Value - No amount will be associated with the goal when logged.
  • Fixed - A fixed amount provided by you will be associated with the goal when logged.
  • Dynamic - A dynamic amount will be associated with the goal when logged.

Advertisers can then add metrics in both Statistics and Campaigns List pages under the Goals section to provide critical information about the conversions set by the advertiser.

The available metrics are:

  • Conversion Rate: Records the percentage of users who have completed a desired action. This is a percentage value calculated using the following formula: Conversions/Clicks*100.
  • Revenue: A monetary income that the Advertiser earns from the number of conversions that take place.
  • Profit: Determines the amount by which the Advertiser is profitable based on the revenue and cost metrics.
  • ROI (Return on Investment): A ratio between net income and investment

To help quickly identify negative and positive trends, EXADS Conversion Tracking feature shows Profit and ROI data in 3 different colors:

  • GREEN: ROI is more than 0%. The return on investment was positive and the advertiser was paying less for each conversion.
  • BLACK: ROI is equal to 0%. The return on investment was break even. So the advertiser could check the detailed statistics of the campaign to improve some sources of traffic.
  • RED: ROI is less than 0%. The return on investment was negative and the advertiser was paying more for each conversion than he could afford. The advertiser could check the sources of traffic and if the campaign setup had errors that needed fixing.

Benefits to advertisers

Both of these features work hand in hand to give advertisers full control of their campaign. Summing up, here is a list of benefits for advertisers:

  • Cost saving: These industry leading tools are free to use, so saved costs can be reinvested into campaigns.
  • Ad spend budget control: The Bidder helps advertisers win the best converting traffic sources at a competitive bid price, limiting over spending and budget burn out on non-converting ad zones.
  • Campaign testing: Automatic optimization allows for the testing of a large range of ad zones, without commiting to a large test budget to see what is working and what isn't.
  • Real time control: The campaign statistics give advertisers real time analysis throughout the evolution of campaigns.
  • Quick identification: Because the Conversion Tracking feature uses the colors red, green and black, advertisers can easily see what is making a profit and what needs to be optimized or paused in real time.
  • Many data points: With a large range of Goals, Dimensions and Data points available for rule setting, this allows for deeper automated campaign optimization and tracking to fine tune the sales funnel.
  • Full flexibility: Advertisers can use The Bidder with EXADS Conversion Tracking feature or with their preferred third-party conversion tracking tool.

Benefits to ad networks and publishers

  • Industry leading features: The Bidder used in partnership with EXADS Conversion Tracking feature allows advertisers free access to industry leading campaign optimization.
  • Keeps you competitive: For ad networks and publishers, your advertiser clients know that your ad serving platform has these features that they can use to help them keep their ROI optimized. This is key, because if advertisers end up burning money testing your network’s ad zones, they are unlikely to test future campaigns on your network. This will stifle your advertiser client growth, and you need those advertisers to compete with each other to keep your publisher network happy, knowing that they can generate good revenues for their traffic with your network.
  • Increases client spend: By automating the advertiser’s bidding optimization, they are able to build up white lists of ad zones that convert for them on your network. Allowing advertisers to increase their spend for their campaign and also allowing them to test that white list with other campaigns to further increase their spend with you.
  • Build strong client relationships: The features help you build strong relationships with your advertiser clients. They allow them to scale up their campaigns with your network, because they don’t have to manually adjust each bid. This frees up more of the advertiser's time to set up more campaigns on your network. 
  • Helps you grow your offering: The Bidder and Conversion Tracking features are great tools to promote to potential new clients to help you win more business and grow your advertiser base. 

Conclusion

You can read an advertising campaign case study here where we demonstrate how EXADS advertiser features The Bidder and Conversion Tracking work together to help optimize a campaign. In conclusion, by using EXADS white-label ad server as a networkpublisher, or as an advertiser, you have a rich list of features that are available to you without additional costs. Powerful tools such as The Bidder and Conversion Tracking will help to save time and increase your ROI. Find out what other powerful features we offer by getting in touch today!

 

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Apurva Karthik

Apurva Karthik

Product Manager

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