How to Evaluate an Ad Network's Traffic Volume and Quality

In this article, we will learn how to optimize Media Buying strategies. We will look at Engagement Metrics to evaluate traffic quality received from an ad network. We will also look at the Outgoing Links to determine who else has partnered with the ad network and the quality of traffic they are receiving. Popular Pages will help us assess how influential the campaign is on a site’s incoming traffic.

Introduction

Holidayiq.com is one of India's largest travel and holiday information portal. They had two big spikes in traffic on August 17 and August 20:

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Digital Research > Company Research > Website Analysis > Overview > Website Performance (August 2016 > India Country Filter)

Interestingly, on the two days of the spikes, Holidayiq.com's Avg. Visit Duration decreased, Pages per Visit decreased, and Bounce Rate increased. Although they were able to gain more visits, it seems that the quality of the traffic was not so high. We wanted to see what caused this spike in traffic and the impact this had on Holidayiq.com.

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Source of Spike in Traffic

Referral traffic for Holidayiq.com increased by 127% from July to August (110,000 to 250,000 visitors):

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Digital Marketing > Affiliate Research > Find Affiliates > India Country Filter > July 2016 2016

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Digital Marketing > Affiliate Research > Find Affiliates > India Country Filter > August 2016

Looking at the analysis we can see that the biggest referrer in August was way2sms.com, which referred 77% of the referring traffic to Holidayiq.com, compared to 41% traffic share in July.

By looking at Holidayiq.com's Popular Pages we can identify that they had a campaign running with Way2sms.com and that way2sms generates the top popular page for Holidayiq.com:

Website Analysis > Website Content > Popular Pages > August 2016 > India Country Filter

The Analysis

Now that we have identified why Holidayiq.com had two spikes in traffic in August, we should do an analysis to evaluate the ad network they used to generate this increase in traffic - Way2sms.com. Using the Similarweb PRO platform we can run a health check on a partner and gain insights into the quality of traffic they send and who else they work with.

Way2SMS is a free texting website. They provide ‘Social Media Advertising’:

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We can look at way2sms.com's Outgoing Links in order to see who else has partnered up with them:

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Website Analysis > Traffic Destination > Outgoing Links > July 2016 > India Country Filter

We can see that indiaproperty.com received the most traffic from way2sms.com in July. Indiaproperty.com is one of the premier property websites in India. Looking at Top Sites under Industry Analysis we can see that indiaproperty.com is the 5th real estate site in India:

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Marketing Research > Industry Research > Web Industry Analysis > Real Estate > Overview > Industry Leaders > July 2016 > India Country Filter

Similar to holidayiq.com, this site has the lowest engagement when compared to the other top 5 websites.

By looking at indiaproperty.com's Popular Pages we can identify that they also have a campaign running with Way2sms.com and that way2sms generates the top popular page for them:

Digital Research > Website Analysis > Website Structure > Pages > August 2016 > India Country Filter

Conclusion

After running a health check on way2sms.com we can deduce that they can generate a high amount of traffic to their partners, however, the traffic is of low quality as indicated by the low engagement metrics... Partners of way2sms.com may want to renegotiate traffic rates or consider using other advertising partners.

The Engagement Metrics, Referrals, and Popular Pages tabs enable you to perform a thorough analysis on new and existing partners/ad networks. You can find out which of your partners are generating high quantity and quality traffic and who are worth investing in. Using Outgoing Links allows you to see who your partner is sending traffic to and the traffic distribution between yourself and your competitors. It is important to remember that quantity is not always quality!

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