What is SmartBid?
SmartBid is Taboola's core machine learning algorithm that utilizes historic data to predict the CVR and adjust your campaign’s bid accordingly. SmartBid is designed to maximize your campaign performance at scale.
What is Maximize Conversions?
Maximize Conversions is a bidding strategy powered by our core machine learning algorithm (SmartBid) that automatically optimizes bids to maximize conversions. It allows advertisers to get as many conversions as possible - either within a predefined budget or within a predefined budget and CPA target.
With Maximize Conversions, our algorithm is able to make continuous adjustments using hundreds of data signals resulting in improved performance.
After inserting your budget, Taboola’s algorithm (SmartBid) will maximize the number of conversions under that given budget, optimizing for the lowest cost per conversion.
Should you wish to apply a specific cost cap (CPA) to those conversions, you can do so by setting a target CPA to the campaign, and the algorithm will maximize conversions at the target CPA.
|You must enable conversion reporting within Taboola Ads to use Maximize Conversions. Maximize Conversions is best paired with the Taboola Pixel, but is also compatible with conversions via server-to-server integrations|
When Should I Use Maximize Conversions?
Maximize Conversions is for advertisers optimizing towards actions measured in Taboola Ads that comprise of the unique customer journey such as leads, purchases, app installs, or page views.
It should be used without a set target CPA to begin with, and is the recommended bidding strategy to explore potential CPA performance on Taboola with CPAs stabilizing after 3-4 days.
Maximize Conversions without a target CPA is also the recommended bidding strategy for launching new campaigns on Taboola.
Visit this page to better understand the available bid strategies on Taboola.
When Should I Apply a Target CPA?
You can set a target CPA to your Maximize Conversions campaign if you want to cap your spend at a certain conversion cost and stabilize your campaign at that CPA. By setting a CPA target, the algorithm will continue to maximize conversions, but within the set cost.
We do not recommend setting a Target CPA in the first few days of your campaign. This is because it may take significantly longer to go through the learning phase and to stabilize performance. If you do want to apply a Target CPA to your campaign, we recommend you wait until your CPA has leveled off for several days, and use this data as a benchmark to set your target.
What Should my Budget be?
When using Maximize Conversions, your daily cap should be no less than 10-15X your expected CPA (or $50 if your expected CPA is below $5) in order to give the algorithm enough opportunities and data to learn from. Once the campaign stabilizes you can then alter your budget.
Maximize Conversions is designed to fully spend your daily budget aiming to gain as many conversions as possible under the campaign targeting, so if you’re currently spending much less than your daily budget with your other Taboola campaigns, Maximize Conversions could increase your spend significantly.
Note, if you’re switching an existing Enhanced CPC campaign to Maximize Conversions with a higher daily budget than what the campaign is currently delivering, you should expect to see performance fluctuate in the first few days due to the increased spend (see more in the section below).
What should I expect in the first few days?
In the first 2-4 days you will likely see fluctuations in performance as the campaign progresses throughout the learning phase. During this time your CPA might be higher and your conversion volume will be lower.
As the learning phase progresses, you will then see your CPA start to decrease and stabilize, and your conversion volume will increase.
How can I optimize my Maximize Conversions campaigns?
Adjusting your budget: One of the most effective ways to control costs with Maximize Conversions is via adjustments to your budget. The algorithm is designed to get the most conversions possible within your set budget - naturally some opportunities are more expensive than others, so you can adjust your budget up and down to find the right balance for you between scale and cost. Remember that the minimum daily budget you should set is 10X your CPA target.
We would recommend this as the primary way to control costs, however, it’s important not to make too drastic changes to the budget to avoid fluctuating performance. It’s not recommended to increase more than double the daily cap at a given time.
Setting a Target CPA: In addition to/instead of controlling costs via your budget, you can also do so via setting a Target CPA. It’s important to set a realistic target to not limit the algorithm in achieving your goal. For example, setting a goal that is too low may result in missing out on quality opportunities that could lead to a conversion, resulting in very limited scale. The recommended way of using Target CPA is after running Maximize Conversions without a target until your CPA has stabilized. You should then use this average CPA to set your target. If you want to set your Target CPA based on other sources we would suggest using the following methodology:
- Analyze your results across different advertising channels to determine your optimal target looking mostly at channels most similar to native (avoiding very lower funnel activity such as paid search).
- Calculate the maximum cost you’re able to afford per conversion. We recommend starting by setting your CPA goal around 20% higher than your ideal target to give the algo enough scope to learn. After the first few weeks of activity including the learning phase, you can lower the CPA target over time should you need to bring performance to be more in line with your goal
Site Optimization: You will not be able to boost/deboost sites with Maximize Conversions because our algorithm will do this automatically. However, you will still have the ability to control which publisher sites your ads appear on by applying a block list or speaking with your account manager to apply an approved list.
Creative Optimization: Getting your creative right is one of the most important things you can do to optimize your campaign. It’s important to follow Taboola’s best practices before launching a Maximize Conversions campaign and to optimize your creatives as you would do normally on any other Taboola campaign, including regularly refreshing your ads.
What should I do if my CPA is too high after the first few days?
If your campaign learning phase is taking longer than expected, it could be for one of the following reasons:
- Your conversion event is too rare and the algorithm needs more data - if you haven’t reached 30 conversions after the first 5 days, then you should consider changing which event you optimize towards, choosing the one closest to your primary conversion event
- Your daily budget is too low - we need between 10x and 15x your average CPA during the learning phase to train the algorithm.
It’s also important to choose a realistic expected CPA from which to benchmark your daily budget - if this makes the daily budget higher than you would like, then you can choose a different conversion goal to optimize towa4ew (higher up the funnel) during the learning phase
- Your creative is not effective - getting your creative right is one of the most important things you can do to optimize your campaign, and if you don’t have strong creative this will impact all campaign metrics, resulting in a longer learning phase
- You targeting is too restrictive - if you have a long site block list or you’re targeting a very niche audience, this may result in a longer learning phase, and a lengthier process to get to stabilized CPA performance
It’s also important to avoid making changes to your campaign settings during the learning phase - as the algorithm is learning continuously, it’s important not to make any changes as this will prolong the process.
How do I set up a Maximize Conversions campaign in Taboola Ads?
You may update your Bidding Strategy from multiple fields. The following instructions indicate how to apply Maximize Conversions as the bidding strategy to your campaign and/or add a CPA target:
1. Click on + CREATE to create a new campaign
2. Select your marketing objective, conversion goal and campaign targeting criteria. Remember: Maximize Conversions is for conversion-based objectives and won't be applicable for brand awareness campaigns
3. Navigate to the bidding and budget section and click on the drop down that says 'What do you want to focus on?
4. Click on Maximize Conversions (CPA)
5. After you've selected Maximize Conversions (CPA) you can navigate to the budget section. Remember to apply a daily budget that is at least 10X your expected CPA goal. For example, if my expected CPA is $25, I will put a daily cap of $250
6. You're all done! Click on CREATE & ADD ADS to complete the campaign set-up
If you're applying a CPA target to the campaign:
7. After selecting Maximize Conversions (CPA), you can check the box that says 'Set a target cost per action (CPA)' Here you can add a target CPA and the algorithm will cap conversions at that target cost.
It's not recommended to use this strategy for new campaigns.
8. Type in your CPA goal. Remember to insert an achievable CPA goal based on previous performance or using results from similar native platforms.
9. Insert your budget. Remember to apply a daily budget that is at least 10X your expected CPA goal. For example, if my target CPA is $25, I will put a minimum daily cap of $250
10. Click on CREATE & ADD ADS to go to the next stage of the campaign set-up