How to optimize CTR without cookies

2. January 2023 in cooperation with  

A campaign for Volvo was created as part of the RTB challenge “Show what you can do without cookies!” The objective was to reach the relevant audience and lead them to the client’s website. And all this in a cookieless way of course. See what solution the RTB representatives of the Xaxis team produced.

Tereza Cepníková and Klára Procházková of the GroupM agency created the case study as part of the RTB challenge – “Show what you can do without cookies!”

About the Client

Volvo Cars is a Swedish multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles headquartered in the Göteborg district of Torsland. The company produces SUVs, station wagons and sedans. The main pillars on which the company stands are safety, Swedish heritage and design.

Information on the campaign

The campaign for Volvo ran for two months, from 11 July to 11 September 2022. Over this period, we put 43% of the campaign budget into targeting from Seznam, where we also utilized options that are independent of 3rd-party data (vertical targeting and 1st-party ID targeting). The campaign included two visuals of creatives – one for the XC90 and the other for the XC60.

Both models appeared on the creatives.
Campaign at a glance
401 063
0,62 %
37,55 %
28. 8. – 11. 9.
2 486
number of creatives

Campaign objective

The objective was to bring relevant traffic to the client’s website. The essential metric we monitored/measured was CTR, which we set at a minimum value of 0.25%. The user’s landing page was directed to a request for a non-binding offer of the two vehicle models promoted in the campaign.

Data used

The campaign applied four targeted deals from Seznam, whereas all targeting contained both 1st and 3rd-party data.

  • SZN_STAN_Auto/moto_vertikala – an interest vertical based on the user’s relationship to the given websites and their traffic.
  • Search according to Volvo KW on or – users who search for keywords associated with a given topic.
  • SZN_STAN_Zajmy-o-kupyi-zbozi_Auto-moto_Automobile_Volvo – segment of users interested in buying Volvo cars modeled from
  • SUV and CrossOver – segment of users interested in a SUV and CrossOver modeled from


We divided the campaign into two parts. The first included browsers enabling targeting using 3rd-party cookies (Google Chrome, Opera, Samsung). The second part included all other browsers where we used advanced options from Seznam, so-called cookieless user targeting.


In the reporting period, the CTR value of all Seznam strategies was significantly higher than the given KPI, at 1.05%.

Of the total number of impressions on Seznam Data, 31% ran in browsers that support cookies (Google Chrome, Opera, Samsung) with a CTR result of 1.39%, and 12% of impressions on Seznam Data ran in browsers that do not support cookies (Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Edge) with a CTR result of 0.19%.

ImpressionsClicksCTRCTR BenchmarkImprovement
3rd-party targeting123 0181 7231,39 %0,14 %*10x
1st-party targeting49 151920,19 %0,10 %*2x
Total173 1691 8151,05 %0,63 %**1,7x
* Xaxis benchmark 2022 (3rd-party browsers/other browsers) ** Adform automotive benchmark 2022


The average CTR value in user-focused strategies using 3rd-party cookies is 0.14% (Xaxis benchmark 2022, 3rd-party browsers). Our campaign’s results were 10 times better at 1.39% CTR.

For cookieless browsers, this benchmark is 0.10% (Xaxis benchmark 2022, other browsers). The CTR in our campaign was almost double this thanks to the use of high-quality Seznam Data (CTR 0.19%). The overall CTR for both strategies was 1.05%, which, according to benchmarks for the Automotive vertical (Benchmark Adform 0.35%), is a result 1.7 times better than the market average.

Reasons for higher CTR in the strategy using 3rd-party cookies

Significant differences persist in results between strategies using 1st-party and 3rd-party data. In performance campaigns for now, strategies in Google Chrome are still achieving better results thanks to the DSP system settings, which users with 3rd-party cookies prefer upon CTR optimization. Another situation is in the case of visibility optimization, where algorithms focus on the quality of the placement, which does not relate to user identifiers.