Traffic Cardinal Traffic Cardinal wrote 21.04.2023

Marketing KPIs: Track, Analyze, Improve

Traffic Cardinal Traffic Cardinal wrote 21.04.2023
11 min

A thorough analysis of CR, CTR, and other key indicators can provide valuable insights on how to develop and implement strategies that would increase your profit. Moreover, statistical data can also help you to identify and avoid mistakes in the early stages, thus saving the budget. Today we will find out how to evaluate and boost key marketing metrics and make your ad campaigns more effective.

Explaining click-through rate

CTR or Click Through Rate is one of the most important indicators to monitor: it shows the number of clicks advertisers receive on their ads per number of impressions.

CTR is calculated as follows: number of people who clicked on the ad / number of people who saw the ad x 100%

For instance, your ad was shown 1300 times and 128 people clicked it. Consequently, your CRT will be: 128/1300 x 100% = 9%

Click-through rate is automatically calculated in the analytics section on business accounts or on affiliate program dashboards.

What can affect CTR?

  • creatives: images, videos;

  • promotional text;

  • targeting settings;

  • bids;

  • algorithms and other hallmarks of the traffic source.

Reasons for the CTR drop and how to boost it:

  • Traffic source choice. Some traffic sources are simply not designed to offer a high click-through-rate. Considering this, it is better to lower your expectations and settle for a good average performance, characteristic of such platforms.

  • Algorithm learning with automatic optimization. Algorithms need time to improve impressions, so the first thing you notice — a slight decrease in clicks — may be the result of the adjustment. If you rapidly change campaign settings, the algorithms will inevitably need a couple of days to recalibrate.

  • Wrong targeting settings. The devil is always in the details: pay attention to GEO, local holidays, and time zones.

  • Outdated or irrelevant creatives. Content is like bread: it can go stale. For example, TikTok creatives should be updated every 3-5 days. So you're supposed to keep it fresh and constantly look for inspiration: for this, you can use ad spy tools.

  • Improper creatives. Creatives need a good proofreading session if you want to avoid mistranslation. Another thing to focus on is the components of the creative: make sure you are not using the elements that may be considered inappropriate in a certain country.

  • Low-cost bids. Low bids can sometimes attract non-targeted traffic as your ad will be shown to the people who are not interested in your product or service. It also depends on the traffic source itself, so one smart strategy is to gradually increase the bids and track the results based on CTR.

Optimizing conversion rate

CR, or Conversion Rate measures the number of users who converted as a percentage of the total number of users that visited your site.

CR is calculated by the following formula: number of people who completed the target action / total number of visitors x 100%

For example, your landing page was visited by 120 people but only 15 of them actually bought the product, so your CR will be: 15/120 x 100% = 12,5%.

Mostly, business accounts, trackers and analytics systems are enabled with an automatic conversion rate calculation. Not infrequently you can monitor all performance indicators either on the dashboard of your affiliate program or via Google Analytics.

The CR is strongly influenced by both pre-landing and landing pages and the offer itself.

What causes low conversion rate and how to improve it:

  • Wrong demand forecasting. The promoted product may have already lost its relevance or the price is too high. To avoid this, you need to check marketability performance by GEO beforehand.

  • Slow page loading. The worst match ever is the slow internet connection in the GEO and heavy animations on the landing page. To prevent this, analyze traffic with Google PageSpeed Insights, optimize media elements, and get rid of the big files and scripts.

  • Too many or too few steps of the sales funnel. A long sales funnel makes people go from one stage to another, losing their interest in the process. The shorter funnel, though, has a similar problem: people don’t have enough time to see the value of the offer, so they lack motivation to complete the purchase. Any ideas on how to deal with it? Yes. Perform A/B testing of various approaches, get acquainted with other cases and seek guidance from your affiliate manager.

  • Inconvenient checkout process. What a bummer: the checkout form is too complicated and takes ages to load. This stage is vital when it comes to conversion, so be sure to test it before driving any traffic to your landing page.

  • Page design issues. Don’t forget to check the way your landing page is displayed on different devices. If you added new scripts, make sure those changes didn’t ruin the whole layout. The text has to be structured, divided into short paragraphs and lists, and highlights, infographics and authentic images are included.

  • Regional imperception. It is important to specify the relevant currency that people in this GEO use. Another thing is a correct choice of celebrity pictures: make sure you choose the celebs that are familiar to people in this region.

  • CTA is missing. It has to be clear what exactly people are expected to do: take part in the campaign, use a discount or a limited offer, etc. Otherwise your ad will simply miss the target and you will get fewer conversions.

Influencing approval rate

AR, or Approval Rate is an indicator that reflects the percentage of conversions confirmed by the advertiser. For instance, if AR equals 30%, it means that out of 100 calls, only 30 people either confirmed or placed an order, and the rest changed their minds.

The AR formula: number of confirmed conversions / number of leads x 100%

Approval rate is usually calculated within the affiliate program. This indicator can be found on the dashboard of your account. You can also find an average AR displayed on the list of the program offers (this is how you know what to expect before starting to work with a certain offer).

What factors impact AR:

  • affiliates themselves and how they tailor their ads;

  • compliance with the advertiser’s requirements;

  • traffic quality;

  • accuracy of content and creatives;

  • regional and global situation;

  • call center services.

Why approval rate is low and how to fix it:

  • Low-quality traffic. If you cut the campaign costs to the minimum, you may suddenly realize that your ads are shown to the wrong audience. However, this approach might accidentally work (yes, strange things happen not only in a TV series). In short, manage your bids and monitor the results.

  • Factual errors in promos. For example, a landing page mentioned a warranty that doesn't even exist, because the advertiser did not provide it. So do a reality check, analyze your creatives and landing pages, and make sure it fully goes along with the offer.

  • Rules violation. Say, an affiliate doesn't understand that delivery is not available in certain regions. As a result, the advertiser has to deal with irrelevant leads. Now, an example: if you drive traffic to island GEOs, make sure that the product can be delivered to the cities on these islands. If you are not sure, don't risk: exclude them from your target settings.

  • Regional situation. AR drop can be caused by natural disasters or other unfavorable events in the GEO. Anyways, the best way to solve potential problems is to temporarily pause all the campaigns until the situation improves.

  • Shopping cart differences. Big payouts may be due to high average order value. Check with the advertiser if the product is sold by the piece or in bundles.

Maximizing ROI

ROI, or Return On Investment is a performance metric that shows the amount of revenue generated by marketing campaigns in relation to the expenses.

Finding your ROI is simple: (income generated — investment made) / investment made x 100%

Let’s say, an affiliate invested $4000 in advertising and earned $6500, then their ROI will be: (6500 — 4500) / 4000 x 100% = 62,5%

ROI is influenced by a whole lot of indicators, including CTR, CR and AR.

Low ROI: reasons and solutions:

  • Marketing costs are no longer covered by payouts. In this case, it's time to review traffic sources and marketing services and find something more cost-effective, or ask your advertisers to increase payout rates.

  • Budgeting mistakes. For example, an affiliate budgeted only targeting expenses and completely overlooked other costs such as account purchases, proxy, bills, ad spy tools fees, and so on. Don’t forget to include all the costs in your budget!

  • Small volume of advertising traffic. If your budget is low, the marketing flow won't be fully carried out, or the process will take more time than expected. Anyway, you need to carefully plan your expenses and estimate your approximate revenue in order to achieve higher ROI.

  • Blocks and bans. They can be a big blow to the budget, wasting your precious time: you may need to relaunch the campaign. It is highly recommended to use high-quality proxies, link cloaker tools, and correctly set up antidetect browsers.

Low ROI can also be boosted by additional monetization such as retargeting, push notifications and email newsletters.


Having an effective marketing campaign requires thorough analysis, KPI monitoring, and improvement. We hope that our recommendations will help you achieve desired results without any hitch!

If you need any guidance on choosing an offer or GEO, feel free to contact your manager!

Live long, drive traffic, and prosper!

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