Qualified Traffic Scoring for Mid-funnel Optimization

2022-07-12 | Article | Insights

The quality of traffic can vary widely

Historically, campaign optimization for mid-funnel activities has aimed to bring traffic to your website. However, traffic quality may vary widely causing you to shift your campaign budget also towards low-value users decreasing marketing efficiency. For example, these could be users who have misclicked and have not actually intended to visit your website or app. You would also not want to handle someone who has read an article on your website in the same manner, as someone who has read this article and has additionally already configured an offer. This is where a scoring model for performance evaluation comes to play. Building a scoring methodology around user engagement can help understand the traffic quality and optimize towards qualified traffic. User engagement thereby refers to the activities that users can take on your assets, such as scrolling down the landing page to read about your products and services, watching a video explaining them or reading corresponding reviews of other customers. The scores are assigned based on the importance and depth of the user’s action to reflect how engaged the user is. Once you have assigned a value to the users in accordance to their actions you can use the results of this analysis to decide:

  • on reallocating your media spendings based on where the engaged traffic is coming from;
  • how to make best use of the methodology with value-based bidding to adjust your bids for these users in real-time;
  • what creative dynamization concept to deploy to reflect what is needed in your creative messaging to move a user from one qualified traffic score result to another.

Reporting on qualified traffic using the Google Cloud

Firstly, you should aim to transfer your GMP data to Google Cloud BigQuery. For Google Analytics 4 properties, you can export your raw events to BigQuery. The export from GA provides you a complete log of the events in BigQuery, which can be used for building tailored cases as in this scenario. With the BigQuery Data Transfer Services for Google Ads, Search Ads 360, and Campaign Manager 360, you can automatically schedule and manage recurring load jobs for reporting data as well.

Due to the direct integration of Google Analytics with Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, and Google Ads, you can use the Google Analytics data for these sources. After the data ingestion you can process it using Dataproc so you can explore it.

Another way to import campaign data into BigQuery is to use the BigQuery Exporter feature. This can be enabled at the account level in CM360 or at the partner level in DV360 and then used to send the data generated in (scheduled) reports to BigQuery.

You can use an SQL-like syntax to query that data which in this case helps with calculating the qualification scores based on the different events. Then you can visualize the results with Looker Studio to analyze your activities line by line to unlock insights and yield more effective campaign optimization based on these results.

Optimization based on qualified traffic using Custom Bidding

While striving to improve your campaign performance, you can achieve even better results applying Custom Bidding to optimize your activities in real-time based on this same individual scoring methodology design. Custom bidding lets you define how much an impression is worth for you based on different criteria. Display & Video 360 then uses your insights to build an algorithm that optimizes your bids for the highest performance based on your goal. Because Display & Video 360 also has automated bid strategies, custom bidding is best suited for optimization to metrics other than standard automated bidding goals which is the case with a scoring optimization model. Custom Bidding can be used with both, a Campaign Manager Floodlight integration or with Google Analytics goals. When used with a CM integration, different Floodlight tracking activities are applied for the different actions on the website. The Floodlights are then used as weighted conversions based on which the Custom Bidding script returns the calculated user value.

Similarly, you can choose to deploy Google Analytics for the application of your bidding approach instead. Before you can use Google Analytics goals or conversions for automatic bidding, you must first link your Google Analytics 4 property to Display & Video 360. Other than with Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 provides a linking option to a DV360 account already within the free version.

Creative dynamization based on traffic qualification scoring

Once you have built your qualification scoring methodology and started calculating the values, you can use the data to build audiences based on different traffic qualification clusters and use these to apply dynamic creative optimization in an effort to move customers from a lower-engaging cluster to a higher one. This can also be done based on the specific user paths with an appealing creative that suits the according path. Other than for reporting of the qualification scores, this process involves passing the traffic qualification score to Google Analytics to build audience clusters based on the score height. With Studio, different creatives or creative versions can be delivered to different audiences. When the line item or the insertion order ID is used as the dynamization field within the data feed, a macro can be inserted within the CM360 placement to dynamically transfer this same value from DV360 to CM360 so all three tools, Studio, CM360, and DV360 are perfectly aligned and can work together to deliver the creative message to the assigned audience based on the traffic qualification score.


Using this performance evaluation approach for mid-funnel activities allows you to tailor your marketing measurement and optimization approach to your unique business needs, while discovering how deeply engaged your visitors are. Engaging audiences is the best proof for reaching affine users with your media strategy. Focusing on staying in touch with them is very likely to move them from their current funnel stage to the next one - from having your brand in their relevant set to having your brand as top-of-mind brand when it comes to your vertical to purchasing to being your advocate.

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