The conversion optimiser is a Google Adwords feature that allows you to specify your target cost of acquisition for each adgroup. There are a few prerequisites to be able to use it:

  • You need to be able to track conversions. To do so you will need to install a code provided by
    Google in the html of your confirmation page. Once this page has been reached by a user it will be reported as a conversion in the Google Adwords interface.
  • You will need a minimum of 20 to 30 conversions over the last 30 days to be able to use the conversion optimiser. But you may want to wait until you have a longer history of conversions to make sure it works best. For best results you should make sure you’ve had at least an average of 100 conversions per month over the last 3 months.

To turn it on, simply go Campaign settings/bidding and budget/bidding option and select Focus on conversions.

Having tried it on a lot of different campaigns the end result is mixed: yes it works on some topics, no it doesn’t on others. So what happens when it doesn’t work? You simply don’t get the number of conversions expected, if any at all. From what has been observed the conversion optimiser seems to struggle when target CPA’s are very high like in finance for example.

On the other hand, when it works, it can help you greatly improve your ROI. This feature will be able to do what no human being can do, analysing huge sets of data to achieve your target CPA.

In conclusion you do not have much to lose testing it over a short period of time as it’s a great feature if you’re struggling with ROI. If it works for your activity, keep it on, if not simply revert back to manual bidding.

What Max CPA should I use?

Google will suggest a Max CPA based on your historic average cost per conversion. This is usually pretty much in line with what you’re looking to achieve so I would just slightly adjust it if needed. If it’s completely wrong or you just had a too high cost per conversion in the past, just set the Max CPA to what you’re looking to achieve. Keep in mind that the conversion optimiser may take a few adjustments on some campaigns to work properly. So don’t start too high and if you don’t get the number of conversions you used to, increase it slowly until you reach it.

My cost per conversion is much lower than my Max CPA

This means that you still haven’t found your ideal Max CPA. Keep increasing it slowly until the cost per conversion matches your Max CPA.

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