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Optimization Guide Step 1: Improve Traffic Quality

At this point in your journey traffic flows into your campaign funnel. You see the first numbers appearing in Voluum. Not big numbers, though. You are probably constantly checking your stats, waiting for the first conversion that will be the proof that you are on a right path.

This is a crucial moment for you. Many beginner affiliate marketers give up at this point, decide to cut their losses if they don't see a conversion on the first day. That rarely happens. Instead of acting on impulse, have a plan.

I. Match Offer Characteristics With Available Traffic Targeting Options

Your goal is to match people with an offer they respond to. So if your offer requires a specific audience, make sure that you are able to send one.

Different traffic source platforms provide different traffic targeting options. Some may have the option to target specific mobile operating systems, while others do not. No point in directing all mobile traffic to an Android-only offer because:

  • You will have to pay for traffic that definitely will not bring you any money.
  • If traffic comes from a GEO that is outside the offer restrictions, an affiliate network may not pay for conversions.

Pick a traffic source platform that gives you a targeting option to send Android-only traffic to such an offer.

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II. Pass As Much Information from a Traffic Source Platform as Possible

Information is key in affiliate marketing. The more information you gather, the more data points you have. That's why you want to pass as much information as possible and use it later for optimization purposes. This does not apply to a situation where you use a traffic source template, because all available tokens are already configured correctly.

Passing and viewing information from a traffic source :

Consider a situation in which you want to have information about which creative was clicked the most by visitors. Your traffic source platform passes a creative ID in the {} token. In this example, there are three possible creative types:

  • Banner1
  • Banner2
  • Banner3

When adding a custom traffic source platform, you match this token with custom variable 1 var1.

Now, every time you group your reports according to the custom variable 1, you will see the traffic volumes for each creative type:

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III. Gather Data

The whole point of your actions right now is to gather a statistically significant sample of data. You can't tell anything about the profitability of a campaign after merely three hours and four visits, you need to have some statistical significance. The volume of traffic that you should get differs between campaign types, but in a pop campaign, you should expect high volumes of traffic.

It is a good practice to have at least some conversions in your campaign to assess its profitability. Most performance metrics take the number o conversions into considerations.

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IV. Check You Stats Regularly

Affiliate marketing is a dynamic industry. You should check your stats at least a couple times a day. Apart from financial information (revenue, costs and profit) and traffic information (visits, clicks, conversions) there are the following metrics that you should pay a close attention to:

  • ROI: This is the main indicator of your campaign's profitability. It is the proportion of the money earned vs money spent. If it's above zero - you are making money. If it is below zero - then you are losing money.

    • Negative ROI: You are spending more on traffic than you are earning money from. Refine your buying and spending strategy.
  • CR: This indicator shows you the attractive your offer is. It tells you how many people have converted in relation to the number of people that have clicked the CTA button on the landing page.

    • Low CR: Your offer is not very attractive to your audience or be a mismatch. It may not necessarily mean that your offer is bad, it may mean that your audience does not respond well to it, but other audience might.
  • CTR: This indicator shows you how attractive your landing page is. It tells you how many people have clicked the CTA button on a landing page in relation to the number of people that have clicked your ad and visited your landing page.

    • Low CTR: Few users click on the CTA button on your landing page. That might mean that your landing page isn't very attractive or that there might be some errors preventing visitors from going further down the campaign funnel. Consider improving your landing page, check it for errors or test it with a different audience.

Discover new features: Voluum offers you a feature that will save you from sitting in front of a computer all day. With the Custom Notifications feature, you can create complex rules for events in your campaign funnels and get notifications about them on your phone while on the move or on your desktop when working on something else.

Availability: The Custom Notifications feature is available on the Profit pricing plan and above. However, you can request a trial of this feature on the Discover pricing plan. In order to do so, click the button in the top right corner of the screen in Voluum and click the Request trial button below the Custom Notifications feature.

IV. Cut Down Unprofitable Traffic

Be prepared that even when you select appropriate targeting options to match traffic with your offer, not all traffic will convert. So after gathering some data, you might consider cutting down unprofitable segments of your traffic.

Find out what doesn't work in Voluum

Finding out what works and what does not is one of the main things Voluum can do.

  • Remember to check for categories that you can later adjust in traffic source's targeting options. No point in checking traffic characteristics that you can't change. So if your traffic source platform allows you to target specific carriers, check if there are any clearly outlying carriers that you can cut off.
  • Remember to start cutting down categories with low traffic volumes. If you cut down the entire OS (such as iOS) you will lose a lot of traffic. Start by cutting categories with low traffic volumes, such as placements or carriers.

In order to cut down unprofitable carriers in an example mobile campaign in India, perform the following steps:

  1. Open a specific report for your campaign by clicking this campaign and then clicking the Report button.
  2. Click the Connection button and select the Mobile carriers option from the drop-down menu.
  3. Sort your data by ROI or Profit in descending order.

    Voluum Info: It is generally recommended to aim for the highest profit, not ROI, at the beginning stages of your optimization process.

  4. Locate carriers that are unprofitable. In this example, Orange mobile carrier is not turning profits.

In this view, we can see that visitors using the Orange mobile carrier are causing losses. You can go to your traffic source platform and stop buying traffic from this carrier.

Cut down unprofitable segments of traffic in your traffic source platform

In your traffic source platform, locate the campaign targeting section that allows you to buy traffic from specific carriers and deselect carriers that you don't want to buy traffic from. In Zeropark, it looks like this:

Your unprofitable carrier Orange has been excluded from buying. Your profitability will go up at this point.

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V. Check for Invalid Traffic

The last point when discussing the topic of improving your traffic quality is bot traffic. You've heard this phrase probably hundreds of times at this point: bot traffic, or better yet: invalid traffic. Invalid traffic is any traffic coming towards your offers without real interest in them. This includes accidental clicks as well as intentional fraud, with bots being the biggest part of it. There are three ways that you can use to tackle the problem of invalid traffic.

  • Use Voluum

    Discover new features: Voluum comes with a built-in anti-fraud feature, called Anti-Fraud Kit. It is a set of tools and metrics that operate using different mechanics on different levels. It includes:

    • Honeypot: A unique bot trap that creates an invisible link that only bots can activate.
    • Anti-Fraud Metrics: A list of metrics that checks for typical indicators of bot behavior: short clicking times, high numbers of clicks, IPs originating from known data centers, bad referrer reputation and so on.
    • Time-To-Convert Metrics: Measure how much time it took a visitor to convert.
    • Traffic Log: A raw data sheet useful when you want the highest granularity level.
    • IP / UA Filtering: block single IPs, IP ranges or UserAgent

    Availability : Anti-Fraud Kit is available for Profit pricing plan and above, however you can request a trial of this feature on the Discover pricing plan. In order to do so, click the button in the top right corner of the screen in Voluum and click the Request trial button below the Anti-Fraud Kit feature.

  • Use third-party solutions

    There are many paid external platforms that offer bot-filtering options.

  • Address the issue on your own

    If you have substantial knowledge, you can create bot catching traps and put them on your landing pages.

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