Optimizing Adwords PPC campaigns with CPA bidding

adwords-cpa-biddingCPA bidding is a great way to let Google Adwords’ system work for you based on historical performance of your campaigns. It sounds simple to run a campaign for couple of months and switch to CPA bidding to save time required to adjust everything manually and utilize that time doing something else. While the idea behind is exactly the same i.e. to save time, the campaign still needs regular monitoring and adjustments to keep the costs under control.

Things can go wrong unknowingly when campaigns are set to CPA bidding. Below are some tips to optimize such campaigns and avoid any problems while doing so:

1. Make Sure All Conversions are Getting Tracked

I cannot press on this anymore. Get all your conversion points (desktop, mobile, calls) tagged with Adwords conversion tracking code correctly otherwise you might land on misleading and incomplete data which in the end will result in wrong future strategy. If you don’t have conversion tracking installed correctly, don’t go for CPA bidding.

2. Add Negatives Regularly

When set to CPA bidding, Adwords doesn’t let you adjust keyword level bids. You can only add keywords and pause them. Whenever Adwords system finds that a conversion is likely to happen, it increases bid of your keywords. In such a scenario, it becomes highly important to weed out terms which you don’t want your ads to show up on. Doing this ensures that your ads are highly targeted to your audience. You can investigate negatives from your search terms report. This activity should be done weekly.

3. Find and Add Highly Relevant Keywords

While short, generic keywords hold traffic potential, long tail and niche keywords hold conversion potential and that too with lower CPA. Use Google Keyword Planner to find as many long tail keywords as possible as those keywords are very specific to what you offer. You can also find valuable long tails in the same search terms report you ran for point #1.

4. Pause Low Performing Keywords

You also need to continuously hunt for the low performing points and consider pausing those budget eating keywords. Don’t do this in a rush. Let the campaign run for a month as it takes some time for Adwords to adjust the keywords, bids and ads when you switch to CPA bidding.

5. Have a Custom Ad Schedule

Once your campaign is some months or years old, you can view which day of the week and which hour of the day is performing better for you. Consider stopping your ads to show when CPA is higher than your desired amount. You can also reduce your bids by a certain percentage. For example if you find that CPA is higher between 11AM to 7PM on weekend, you can stop showing your ads during this time or you can reduce your bids whichever you are okay with.

Do you know other ways of optimizing a campaign with CPA bidding? Drop your ideas in the comments section below.

Image By: Sira Anamwong

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