In order to get the most out of your campaigns, it’s important that you continually keep an eye on your campaigns. This way, you can assess if your campaign is performing for you then make changes to improve performance if necessary.
See below for our full list of optimization recommendations for improving the performance of your Taboola campaigns.
Make Sure Your Content Is Ready Before You Launch
Before setting up your campaign, it is important to make sure you have read through Taboola’s Creative Best Practices and Landing Page Best Practices. By following these best practices for your campaign items and landing pages, you will have the best chance at succeeding on Taboola’s network.
These best practices will also ensure that your campaign items and landing pages are as interesting and user friendly as possible before adding to your Taboola campaign.
Set Up Your Campaigns for Success
Even if you don’t know it, you are optimizing your campaigns before they even start! Setting up your campaigns for success is important, as it will give you the tools and information you need to make smart decisions to improve campaign performance. Here are some tips for setting up your campaign for success:
Create Multiple Campaigns, Organized By Content Type and Targeting
Separate your campaigns by device.User experiences and behaviors will be different across devices, and users on a particular device may be more inclined to engage with your content. For example, it may be easier for a user to input credit card details for a product purchase when they are on their desktop compared to their mobile device.
Separate your campaigns by location. Similar to platform targeting, different locations vary in terms of their performance and market competitiveness. Separating your campaigns into location buckets allows you to target audiences around the world based on their specific behavior and interests.
Separate your campaigns by product or content type. You will most likely see different performance (conversion or engagement rates) for different products and for different content types. In order to give you the flexibility to change your strategy per product or content type, we recommend splitting up your campaigns from the beginning in this way.
Set a Budget That Works For You
You want to make sure that you have enough budget to start that will give you enough data to make informed decisions. By having enough data, you will be able to make better decisions on where you can improve campaign performance. For example, you might want to decide if your campaign items are performing better on desktop or on mobile devices. You will need enough information to make an informed decision. We recommend setting a budget that will allow for at least $50 a day in spend.
On the flip side, you want to make sure that you don’t spend your budget too quickly without assessing campaign performance. We recommend starting with a small or “test” budget before increasing your budget significantly. This way, you know that your campaign is performing for you before spending more of your budget.
Set a CPC That Works For You
Make sure you set a CPC that allows you to meet your performance goals while getting the desired amount of traffic. If your CPC is too low, you may not get the amount of clicks to your campaign that you’d like. This is because your campaign items will be recommended more if they have a higher CPC. You can learn more about how the auction works here.
You also want to make sure that your CPC is not so high that the clicks are not valuable enough for you. You can learn more about goal setting and measurement here.
We also recommend starting with a higher CPC at the start of your campaign. This way, your campaign will be as competitive as possible, which will hopefully lead to enough clicks to make informed optimization decisions. It will also help the Taboola algorithm to learn where users are clicking on your content more quickly. To learn more about starting CPC guidelines, see here.
Don’t Add Too Many Campaign Items At Once
You want your campaigns to be manageable. We recommend starting with a smaller amount of campaign items, especially if this is your first campaign with Taboola. Then, slowly start to add more campaign items to your campaign after assessing performance and getting comfortable with the platform.
If you are a performance marketer, we recommend starting with one unique destination URL per campaign and adding 5-10 different titles and thumbnails for that unique destination URL.
If you are a publisher or a brand looking to grow brand awareness, we recommended starting with 10-20 unique destination URLs maximum per campaign and adding 5-10 different titles and thumbnails for each destination URL.
Improve Performance Through Titles and Thumbnails
“Pre-Qualify” Your Clicks. Your titles and thumbnails should speak to the experience the user will have on your landing page. The user should know what they can expect to see before they get to your landing page, otherwise they might be confused and leave quickly before engaging with your website. Think about this as giving them a “sneak peak” into your landing page.
By doing this, you will be driving clicks from users who are actually interested in the content on your landing page. This will ultimately help you reach your campaign goals.
Don’t Use Misleading Titles. While it may be tempting to use a title that you know will attract a click, remember that the user will leave the page almost immediately if they feel they have been mislead in any way. By avoiding misleading titles, you will get clicks from users who are truly interested in engaging with your content.
Don’t Use Gimmicky Tactics. Examples are “Click Here” or “While Supplies Last”. Original and clever titles are much more likely to get a user to click.
Dynamic Keyword Insertion for Titles. Dynamic keyword insertion for titles allows you to dynamically place specific keywords in titles based on where the user is located, the day of the week or the device they are currently using. This will help you create titles that are more specific to your users, which will most likely lead to more clicks and higher engagement.
An example of a title using this feature is “People in Phoenix, Arizona Can’t Get Enough of This Razor Subscription Service.” In this example, the location will dynamically change in the title based on where the user is. You can learn more about Dynamic Keyword Insertion for Titles here.
Track Your Campaign Performance
Use The Taboola conversion tracking code. It’s very important to know how your campaign is performing compared to your goals. Taboola offers a conversion tracking code that helps you track the actions taken on your landing page after a user clicks on your campaign item(s). This engagement - or conversion - information is displayed in Backstage so you can quickly assess performance and make informed optimization decisions. You can learn more about the Taboola conversion tracking code here and how to understand your campaign data in Backstage here.
Use Backstage reports to track performance. You have real time campaign data available to you in Backstage. Using Backstage, you can easily monitor the performance of your campaigns. You can learn more about Backstage reporting here.
Use URL parameters to track performance. URL parameters are an advanced tracking tool that helps you monitor users’ activity after they have clicked your campaign items. URL parameters allow you to understand how users behave once they clicked on your Taboola campaign items, using your analytics platform (e.g. Google Analytics or Adobe Omniture). You can learn more about URL parameters here.
Target Highly Engaged Audiences
Monitor and adjust your campaign targeting based on performance. We recommend starting with the most broad targeting for your campaign as possible, then start to narrow down targeting settings that work for your campaign. After you have enough clicks to your campaign, you can optimize your targeting in a couple of ways:
- (Recommended) Create new campaigns with different bidding and budget strategies for different targeting options. For example, you might find that Campaign A performs better in the morning for you. You are willing to spend a higher CPC in the morning because this will get you an increased amount of traffic for those valuable clicks. The traffic in the afternoon and evening doesn’t perform as well as in the morning, but you can still run a campaign at a lower CPC for that time that still brings in valuable clicks for you. So, you can use the campaign scheduling feature to change Campaign A’s schedule to only run your campaign items in the morning and create Campaign B with the same campaign items running in the afternoon and evening. Then, you can continue to change your CPC and budget based on performance.
- Block targeting options that are not working for you. You can completely remove mobile targeting, for example if that device is not driving positive results for you.
Here is a list of targeting options you should consider in your optimizations:
- Location targeting
- Device targeting
- Operation system targeting
- Campaign scheduling
- Content type targeting
Retarget your campaign items to users who have shown interest in your content. By taking advantage of Taboola’s retargeting feature, you can increase your engagement and conversion rates. Retargeting allows you to target users who have already visited your website or specific pages of your website. You can learn more about retargeting here.
Change your CPC by traffic source. Changing your CPC by traffic source is a powerful tool that can help you reach your campaign goals. This feature allows you to change your CPC by traffic source based on performance. So, for example, you can increase your CPC on a traffic source that is performing very well for you which will most likely lead to more clicks from that valuable traffic source. You can learn more about optimizing by traffic source here.
Increase Click Volume
If you are happy with your campaign performance and want to drive more click volume to your Taboola campaigns, there are a few ways you can do this:
Increase cost per click bid (CPC). Increasing your CPC will make your campaign items more competitive on the Taboola network, which will most likely lead to more clicks. You can learn how to change your CPC here.
Increase click through rate (CTR). Increasing your CTR will make your campaign items more competitive on the Taboola network, which will most likely lead to more clicks. You can try to increase your CTR by adding more title and thumbnail variations for your landing pages. In other words, add more campaign items to your campaigns. You can find more tips on title and thumbnail best practices here and how to add new campaign items here.
Add new campaign items. By adding more content items to your campaign, you are increasing the chances of finding a campaign item that users want to click on. You can learn how to add new campaign items here.
Increase targeting reach. If you can, try increasing the reach of your targeting options. If you are only targeting the US, for example, but are able to ship your product to Canada, then test out a campaign targeting Canada. As another example, if your desktop campaign is delivering positive results, then try testing a mobile campaign.
Make sure to always monitor the engagement of users on your landing page after making changes to campaign items and targeting. Increasing click volume won’t help unless the clicks are working for you!
Boost Top Performing Campaign Items
After launching your campaign, you can see how your campaign items are performing in the ‘Top Campaign Content’ report. In order to assess performance, you can look at a combination of click through rate, conversion rate/engagement rate and cost per action. Here’s what each one of these metrics will tell you about your campaign item:
Click through rate (CTR) - if the CTR of your campaign item is higher than the other campaign items in the campaign, this most likely means it’s interesting to users as they are clicking on your campaign item at a higher rate than others.
Conversion or engagement rate - CTR does not tell the whole story though, it’s important to understand how users are interacting with your landing page after they click on your campaign item. The higher the conversion or engagement rate, the better that campaign item is performing for you and your goals. Learn more about setting goals here.
Cost Per Action (CPA) - CPA will tell you if the clicks to your campaign item are as valuable as they need to be to bring you a positive return on investment (ROI). CPA can apply to purchases, email sign ups or other performance goals. It can also apply to engagement metrics like pageviews or video views. The main question you need to ask yourself is: how much am I willing to pay for a particular action on my site? This is your CPA goal and how you can assess if a campaign item is successful for you or not. You can learn more about CPA here.
Pause Low Performing Campaign Items
After reviewing the above metrics for your campaign items, and if there are a significant amount of clicks per item (roughly 500-1000 clicks), then you may want to start pausing low performing items. Low performing means the campaign item has a low conversion/engagement rate compared to the other campaign items in the same campaign. If this is the case, you can pause the low performing campaign items. You can learn how to edit existing campaign items here.
Isolate Top Performing Campaign Items
After reviewing the above metrics for your campaign items, and if there are a significant amount of clicks per item (roughly 500-1000 clicks), then you may want to start isolating top performing items. Top performing means the campaign item has a high conversion/engagement rate compared to the other campaign items in the same campaign. To do this, you should pause all other campaign items except the top performing campaign items. You can also create a new campaign for the campaign items you paused, and start that campaign at a CPC that would work for your goals. You can learn how to edit campaign items here and how to create a new campaign here.
Optimize Campaign Item Elements
Campaign item elements include titles, thumbnails and landing pages. You can use Backstage reporting to assess which campaign titles, thumbnails and landing pages are driving the best results for your campaigns. You should allocate more budget to the versions of the campaign item elements that are performing the best. You can assess performance of titles, thumbnails and landing pages by using the following metrics:
Conversion or engagement rate - It’s important to understand how users are interacting with your landing page after they click on your title and thumbnail combinations. The higher the conversion or engagement rate, the better that title, thumbnail or landing page is performing for you and your goals. Learn more about setting goals here.
Cost Per Action (CPA) - CPA will tell you if the clicks to your campaign item are as valuable as they need to be to bring you a positive return on investment (ROI). CPA can apply to purchases, email sign ups or other performance goals. It can also apply to engagement metrics like pageviews or video views. The main question you need to ask yourself is: how much am I willing to pay for a particular action on my site? This is your CPA goal and how you can assess if a title, thumbnail or landing page is successful for you or not. You can learn more about CPA here.
Pause Low Performing Campaign Item Elements
After reviewing the above metrics for your titles, thumbnails and landing pages, and if there are a significant amount of clicks (roughly 500-1000 clicks), then you may want to start pausing low performing titles, thumbnails or landing pages. Low performing means the campaign item element has a low conversion/engagement rate compared to the other campaign item elements in the same campaign. If this is the case, you can pause the low performing titles, thumbnails or landing pages. You can learn how to edit existing campaign items here.
Learn how to A/B test here.