You don’t often see companies throw a massive chunk of their inventory out the window. Zeropark, however, wouldn’t be where it is right now, if it wasn’t for a major traffic cleanup back in 2017, that left us with just a quarter of the volume we used to have, but also a sixfold increase in average conversion ratio.
After Zeropark had established its position in the market, we started to rapidly increase our inventory, getting more and more publishers and traffic sources onboard.
Right before the cleanup, we had been fluctuating between 400 and 500 billion available ad impressions per month. In peak times, our QPS (Queries Per Second) stood at nearly 500k – that’s 500,000 ad requests per second! Sounds great, right?
Right, but when advertisers ran their Run-of-Network (RON) campaigns, their results were often times subpar. The source of the problem laid in the quantity and mixed quality of the traffic.
A large part of the traffic was of a dubious quality, making it hard for advertisers to optimize their campaigns.
Seeing all this made us bring out the brooms and May 2017 we proceeded with a major inventory cleanup.
In the 5-month process, we were benchmarking each traffic source, checking the cost and conversion rate, as well as analyzing the source itself, to get as much information about publisher profile as possible.
Whenever we found out that the source’s performance was unacceptable or showed signs of fraud, we terminated the cooperation straight away. In case of a doubtful, unstable or unproven performance, we’d double down on investigating this traffic, leveraging advanced monitoring solutions.
To help customers better understand our traffic, we introduced tiers and segmentation.
The default bucket is called Standard Traffic. It provides traffic with stable performance, yet lower than the Premium Traffic, which has a proven track of conversions and comes from trusted and well-known sources.
On the other hand, the unsold traffic that seems unstable and tough to classify, being kind of a wildcard when it comes to conversions, gets thrown to the Remnant Traffic bucket that provides impressions at a flat price.
Let’s get straight to the point.
- The average CPM rate increased from around $0.60 to nearly $1, but along with the increase in advertising costs, campaign profitability and conversion ratio have grown as well.
- As a result of the 5-month cleanup, we got rid of more than 75% of our entire inventory, effectively increasing the quality of traffic in Zeropark.
- Comparing the average Return-on-Investment (ROI) for Q1 of 2017 (pre-cleanup) with a post-cleanup rate for Q4 of 2017 shows a significant increase in the quality of the traffic.
One of the hurdles we had to clear was the poor adoption of the Premium Traffic segment as some users had preconceived notions about the quality and pricing. But plugging in campaigns to the Premium bucket actually paid dividends (conversions) to those who found the nerve to do so.
The Great Achievement
We achieved our main goal – improving the quality of our inventory. Additionally, during the process, we were able to accomplish one more important thing: our own anti-fraud solution that we could extensively test on these big volumes of traffic.
The first step was creating a dedicated team for analyzing each traffic source and its behavior. We have also started using third party web analytics tools to monitor fraudulent actions. Consequently, we were able to polish the set of filters we use to prevent ad fraud.
So today, we still utilize these three weapons in our fight against ad fraud. And additionally, whenever you find the traffic you bought suspicious, let us know, and so we can look into that.
Getting rid of about three quarters of our inventory helped us increase the inventory quality.
In April 2017 we had 416 billion available bid requests. Just a year later, this number dropped to 95 billion, but the average CPM increased by approximately 60%. More importantly for the advertisers, the average CR% rose from 0.13% to 0.83%. That’s a sixfold increase in conversion ratio!
Our traffic is now way more reliable and effective, as it comes only from performing sources. Traffic segmentation has become something neither us, nor our customers could imagine Zeropark without. And finally, with the cleanup we were able to develop our own and highly efficient anti-fraud solutions.
So thank you for being a witness in revolutionizing our platform and continuing to advertise with Zeropark, as we work on bringing you quality traffic and groundbreaking Ad Tech solutions. And if you haven’t tried it yet, help yourself with our traffic and bring home those conversions!