Growing an ad network requires constant attention and commitment. You have to adhere to a strict schedule of being on top of your metrics, key performance indicators, publisher relationships, industry trends and long hours. And whether you track a thousand or a billion clicks a month, there is always room for improvement. While there is a wealth of resources for marketers and publishers, that depth of information is frequently missing for performance marketers and ad networks managers.

Working to close this industry-wide information gap, here are tips and tricks from successful ad networks which have put the time and work into solving the puzzle of what makes their company excel.  

Don’t overdo it

Ad networks never sleep, and just because the metrics never stop running doesn’t mean you have to be glued to them at all times. The best in the business focus on figuring out what their most significant metrics are, and then check them a few times a day. You should only spend a couple minutes checking each metric, scanning for things that demand your attention. This could be your earnings per click, run rates, or reports with specific publisher data.

Advice from the pros:

“Come up with three or four saved reports that allow you to see your network from different angles; relying on one report could lead you astray,” explains Brian Fox, CEO at Ad Action Interactive.

“The easiest way: The HasOffers mobile app is a great way to check on the vital signs of your network while on the go. It is an easy way to check day-over-day trends by hour on key network performance indicators, such as gross revenue, profit, conversions and clicks,” he adds.

Partnering isn’t easy

The ad networks that know their numbers and unique combination of factors that allow their network to run smoothly are the ones that run smoothly. The ones that win are those which also seek help outside.

The affiliate and performance marketing world relies on the relationship between advertisers, publishers, and partners. Choosing the right partner will strengthen your business and will be financially beneficial to both of you.

Advice from the pros:

“Advertisers need to ask themselves, ‘What kind of partner is this network? Are they proactive in managing our ad spend, or are we constantly telling them to lower this rate or turn off this source?’ If Adperio sees anything that isn’t meeting the post-install goals we set with the client, we make optimisations on their behalf and test other sources until we find the ones that perform. We pride ourselves in collaborating with clients. A true partner is one who shares your goals,” says Matthew Lord, Adperio’s chief strategy officer.

The power of the fraud score

Before you go and reject every lead with a high fraud score, talk to your advertiser and understand if the suspicious leads are up to your standard. It’s important to understand the difference between low-quality traffic and fraudulent traffic. Make sure you and your advertisers are on the same page. And if you aren’t sure why your advertisers are flagging conversions as low quality, do not hesitate to ask. The more insight you have into their thought process, the better the traffic that’s delivered and the better the relationship you will have.

Advice from the pros:

“The industry is becoming more sophisticated. We’re moving from straight cost per install (CPI) campaigns to more nuanced cost per engagement (CPE) and cost per action (CPA) campaigns. As metrics evolve, we need to see fraud scores evolve as well, moving from identifying a problematic install to identifying suspicious post-install behavior. In order for this to work, we will also need to encourage much more transparency and data sharing between technology providers and advertisers.

“Post-install data is vital to successfully identifying fraudulent traffic. The more data advertisers share, the better the entire industry will be in combating fraud,” explains Omer Kaplan, CMO and co-founder at ironSource.

Explore more

There are five more relevant and incredibly important tips to pick up on from how to stand out to publishers and tapping into your own organisation for maximum productivity and ROI. “The 8 Habits of Highly Successful Ad Networks” is a free e-book that will help you improve your ad network. Unlock the rest of the tips and put them into action today.