If you are a publisher driving traffic for audience development/engagement you should think about the following best practices to drive scale for your non-commercial campaigns. Non-commercial content is typically of general interest and does not contain links to products, links to an advertiser landing page, or paid promotion of any kind. While the content itself can’t be commercial, other sources of revenue may appear outside the main content, ie. advertising in header, footer or right/left rails.

How our Algorithms Work

Content.ad is a performance-based network. Our algorithms favor content based on eCPM, which is a combination of the CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click through rate) of your ad. The more competitive your CPC and CTR, the more volume your campaigns will receive.

CPC Adjustments

Increasing your CPC is the single most important factor to boost traffic volume for your campaign. To increase your traffic volume, adjust your CPC with a significant increase, (ie: 25%+). Due to network competition, significant CPC increases produce quicker results and more data, which allows faster optimization of your campaigns.

We suggest increasing your CPC by a few cents or more to give your campaigns the best opportunity to increase traffic volume. Consider increasing the CPC until you see a change in traffic volume and continue making adjustments as needed to deliver volume based on your daily or total budget.

When adjusting CPCs, allow up to 24 hours for the algorithms to test the change throughout the network for best results. Reducing or setting the CPC back to the previous rate within 24 hours after an increase will reduce the ability to increase traffic volume.

CTR Improvements

The best way to improve CTR is to test unique headlines and images for each ad. Avoid only testing the same headlines with a few image variations, or vice versa. Also, avoid testing too many creatives at one time. Ideally, you should test no more than 3 to 5 creatives at a given time for best results. Be sure to add new ad variations daily or weekly to improve the ability to scale.

Top Performing CTR’s:

  • 1.0% CTR + (High-end)

  • 0.50% CTR + (Mid-range)

  • 0.25% CTR + (Low-end)

  • 0.15% CTR + (Low, Low-end)

*CTR is only one factor that determines your ad’s eCPM metric. CPC is the other component as stated earlier. So effectively, you may be able to deliver the same eCPM by increasing both your CTR and CPC.

Top Performing CPC’s by Device and Geo:

To gauge your ad’s growth potential, use these benchmark CPC’s* by Device and Geo:

  • US
    - $0.05 – 0.11+ (Desktop)
    - $0.035 – 0.07+ (Tablet)
    - $0.025 – 0.055+ (Mobile)

  • International
    $0.05 – 0.075+ (Desktop)
    - $0.020 – 0.07+ (Tablet)
    - $0.0150 – 0.055+ (Mobile)

*CPC is only one factor that determines your ad’s eCPM. CTR is the other component as stated earlier. So effectively, you may be able to deliver the same eCPM by increasing both your CPC and CTR.


Marketing outside the U.S. can be a key driver to scale your campaigns.

  • Top markets to test:
    United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand

  • Additional markets to consider:
    France, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, India

  • Rest of the world:
    All other INTL markets are included in this GEO


Marketing to all device types is another great way to scale your campaigns.

  • Mobile:
    - #1 Volume opportunity
    - Fastest growth rate
    - Least saturated

  • Tablet:
    - Mirrors mobile in terms of opportunity
    - Performs similar to Desktop
    - High CTR’s

  • Desktop:
    - Largest % of Impressions
    - Most Saturated

Top Performing Ads:

Compelling ads that delivers top performing CTR’s is the biggest factor to drive engagement and page views. Consider the following examples of top performing ad categories when creating your campaigns.

  • Celebrity, Entertainment, Lifestyle

  • Sensational, Outrageous, Shocking

  • Disturbing, Horrifying

  • Controversial, Polarizing

  • Unexpected, Timely, Captured Moments

  • Embarrassing, Funny, Hysterical

  • Sexy or Sexual in Nature


As an advertiser, you can view the content rating for your approved ads. Your content rating can be found under Campaigns>Manage Ads. The content rating will indicate either a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating. Please note that our Compliance and Content teams review the image, headline and landing page to determine the overall content rating.

NOTE: To maximize volume, be sure to create ads that receive content ratings across all the rating categories. Ads that receive higher ratings may get higher CTRs while ads with lower ratings are able to serve in many more placements and are eligible for more impressions.

To learn more about our content ratings and guidlines, please review information below.

Guidelines to Follow:

Content Rating

G: Absolutely no suggestive content of any kind, including images of people showing any amount of skin.

Examples of G Content

PG: No sex-related or sensual content. Tasteful imagery associated with topics such as swimwear and fitness may include skin.

Examples of PG Content

PG-13: Content includes sexual topics or non-explicit suggestive imagery. Includes terms and images that may be considered “sexy”.

Examples of PG-13 Content

R: All of our sponsored content can be shown here. Content may be sexual in nature. Ad content does NOT contain nudity, pornography or explicit sex. (Note: This option may not be compliant with Google AdSense or other ad network policies.)

Examples of R Content

Image Dimensions

Some publisher placements utilize higher resolution images to maximize performance. In order to make your content available to our entire network, simply provide an image with the recommended dimensions.

  • Recommended dimensions: 300×250 pixels

  • Minimum dimensions: 150×150 pixels

Pausing & Activating Campaigns

The length of time a campaign remains “Paused” can limit it’s ability to scale once its set back to “Active” as network performance is dynamic and changes daily. If you notice your campaign is not performing at or near the same rate prior to setting it “Paused”, you should increase your CPC and CTR to improve the campaign performance metrics until you see an increase in traffic volume.

Things to Avoid

  • Daily and Total Budgets
    - Limiting Daily and Total Budgets when attempting to scale campaigns
    - Suggestion: Consider using Open Budgets

  • Geo and Device Targeting
    - Testing only one Geo if your campaigns accept traffic in other Geo’s.
    - Testing only one Device if your campaigns accept traffic for other Devices.
    - Limiting Geo and Device targeting to fewer than two countries or Devices may negatively impact your traffic volume in the network due to the performance variances between Geo’s and Devices. (The exception is if the campaign is only approved to run in a single geo and on a particular Device type.)

  • CTR
    - Not adding new content based on the assumption your current ads are still working
    - Suggestion: Be sure to add 3-5 new pieces of content every 24-48 hours to improve CTR
    - Don’t rely on just CTR changes to improve CPM performance metrics

  • CPC
    - Don’t make modest CPC changes to increase volume, be aggressive to see results
    - Don’t rely on just CPC changes to improve CPM performance metrics

Network Competition

Performance can change at any time. The network changes dynamically as advertisers adjust campaign settings. If your adjustments don’t drive up volume, then campaign performance metrics did not improve enough to drive increased traffic. Consider increasing the CPC even more and creating new ad variations until you see an increase in traffic volume.

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