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Google Adwords Conversion Optimizer 101

3 MINUTE READ | September 2, 2015

Google Adwords Conversion Optimizer 101

Like all digital agencies, we aim to work smarter and more efficiently to deliver excellent work. When a technology comes around that may help us move towards this goal, it’s well worth it to at least test it. This is where the Adwords Conversion Optimizer comes into play.

What is the Adwords Conversion Optimizer?

The Google Adwords Conversion Optimizer is an automated bidding system with the goal of getting your client the most conversions possible based on a designated cost per acquisition (CPA). In a nutshell, the Conversion Optimizer decreases the human aspect of manually adjusting your bids. The flipside is you have to loosen the reigns of your campaigns while you are ramping up. Opting into the Conversion Optimizer is a free setting on the Google Display or Search Network.

How does it work? 

Before flipping on the switch for the conversion optimizer, it’s essential to understand a few factors that make this algorithm work. This Google technology takes into account several factors to determine which ad should be shown that will most likely lead to a conversion. This includes user attributes, time of day, historical performance of the ad, quality of the ad and several other factors. So every time your ad has a chance to appear, the conversion optimizer evaluates a multitude of factors to gauge the likelihood that your ad will lead to a conversion.

What’s required?

First, you need to meet a few of Google’s standards before you can get automated bidding underway.

  1. Your account needs conversion tracking setup in your Adwords account.

  2. The campaign requires some successful historical data, meaning at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days.

How do you set it up?

If you meet all of Google’s requirements, the next step is to determine a Target CPA goal (the average you are willing to pay for a conversion). This should be higher than your current average CPA to ensure you are not missing out on any traffic. With the target CPA decided upon, navigate to “Settings” in Adwords and scroll to adjust “Ad Delivery” to “Optimize for conversions” as you can see in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Next scroll to “bid strategy” and select “Focus on Conversions (Conversion Optimizer)” and click “Save.”

Conversion optimizer bidding strategy

Figure 2

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Just like that you have now handed over the controls to the Conversion Optimizer. Now it’s time to sit back and watch while the program works its magic.


Posted by Amanda Presley

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