As a new AdRoll user, I have been surprised by many of the optimizations AdRoll representatives recommend. Advertisers using AdRoll must learn how to work with the platform’s algorithm in order to maximize impressions and leads. The 4 techniques listed in this post are changes to implement if you want increased traffic and decreased CPCs and CPA.

1) Update Ads Frequently

It’s no surprise AdRoll recommends updating ad creative as often as possible. Any Display ads become stale to users since they are seeing the same creative day after day. Besides improving click-through-rate, updating ad creative can also lower CPCs. The AdRoll algorithm favors the most recently updated ads during the auction.

The AdRoll algorithm favors the most recently updated ads during the auction. Click To Tweet

To see when all of your ads were created, go to the Ads section in the interface below. If you have been noticing a decrease in impressions and a lift in CPCs, go to this page to identify which campaigns need new creative.


2) Stop Segmenting Campaigns

One of the common practices Hanapin teaches is to be as granular as possible with campaign and ad group segmentation in AdWords, Bing, Facebook, etc. However, over-segmenting campaigns in AdRoll can limit your reach. The AdRoll algorithm works best with larger campaigns that use a more general audience target.

Most advertisers need to split out different product groups, programs, or location targets into separate campaigns. The last two tips are most important for advertisers who have to segment campaigns more granularly than AdRoll suggests.

3) Create Campaign-Specific CPA Goals

When setting up an AdRoll account, advertisers provide a CPA goal. This goal gives the platform’s algorithm a goal to work towards and greatly impacts performance metrics. If you have several campaigns running, revisit the CPA goal you provided AdRoll during account creation.

The account-level CPA goal for the below example was set at $45. As you can see, CPA is under goal over the last 30 days, which is great.


Looking at specific campaigns, however, multiple areas of the account have room for improvement. This specific account has conversion volume goals for each campaign. The below screenshot shows performance metrics over the last 30 days for the highest CPA campaigns.


Since CPA is well over the $45 goal in the first campaign listed above, our AdRoll representative recommended creating a more realistic goal for that campaign. The CPA goal for this campaign is now set at $70. By increasing the CPA goal, we expect impressions to increase which should lead to additional conversions once the algorithm shifts.

Another reason to revisit your initial CPA goal depends on how you track conversions. AdRoll includes View-Through-Conversions (VTC) and Click-Through-Conversions (CTC) when calculating CPA. If you or your client only credits AdRoll with Click-Through-Conversions, make sure your goal CPA is low enough to align with your goals.

4) Revisit Your Visitor Segments

This last optimization provided by the AdRoll team was the most unexpected. When setting up visitor segments, be as general as possible. Again, the AdRoll algorithm works best with little segmentation. For example, if you are retargeting visitors who are shopping for televisions, it’s best to use the highest level URL as your segment target like the example below.

The AdRoll algorithm works best with little segmentation. Click To Tweet



Very specific URL segmentation gives the algorithm less room to work its magic. Avoid being as segmented as the example below. Instead of targeting visitors who have visited any television pages, this set up would require the advertiser to specify each page the target audience could be seeing. Simplifying visitor segments not only helps the AdRoll algorithm, but can save advertisers a lot of time.



If you’re new to AdRoll like me, keep these recommendations in mind when setting up new accounts or optimizing existing campaigns. Contact AdRoll Support for a review of your account to receive account and campaign specific suggestions.