Google AdWords is a bid manipulation tool that manages bids at the keyword-level with the goal of trying to drive as many conversions at or below an advertiser-specified Cost-Per-Conversion (also known as a Cost per Action, or simply, CPA). In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to use WordStream for PPC in conjunction with the Google Conversion Optimizer to optimize conversion rates – the result is more leads for less money!
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How Does Conversion Optimizer in AdWords Work?
If you (the advertiser) specify a relatively low target Cost-Per-Conversion, the tool will place conservative bids on only those keywords that Google thinks are a sure-thing in terms of their probability to convert for you – the result will likely be cheaper conversions, yet fewer of them – essentially, it will only go after the "low hanging fruit". Conversely by specifying a relatively higher target Cost-Per-Conversion, the Conversion Optimizer will have the ability to bid more aggressively, and will compete for higher ad positions on a broader keyword terms, likely resulting in a greater number of conversions, but at a higher cost.
However, new keyword management and keyword analytics solutions from WordStream can help fundamentally alter this Cost-Per-Conversion vs. Volume of Conversion trade-off – by focusing on relevancy and Quality Score, advertisers can potentially realize both more website conversions at lower costs. In order to be eligible to use Google Conversion Optimizer, you must be using Google Conversion Tracking, and you must have accrued a minimum of 30 conversions in the last month so that Google can use that conversion history to help optimize your bids. You can view Conversion Optimizer eligiblity in WordStream, in the "AdWords" -> "Campaigns" tab as illustrated here:
To enable Conversion Optimizer for eligible campaigns, simply click on the "Enable Conversion Optimizer" button in the "Campaigns" tab, and Google will set keyword bids for you automatically.
Google Conversion Optimizer Review: When To Use It
Bid management performs a critical function that is difficult or impossible to do manually: constantly monitoring conversion behavior several times per day, and adjusting keyword bids so that the likelihood is high that the advertiser will pay no more and no less than the amount required to get conversions at or below their target cost. Conversion Optimizer has important advantages over commercially-available automated bid management software:
- It's Free: The alternative is to use bid management software products or hiring a PPC agency to do the work, but these aren't free.
AdWords Conversion Optimizer: When Not To Use It
Despite these seemingly obvious and compelling benefits, there's been a lot of negative criticism of the Google Conversion Optimizer. Generally, the criticism is along the lines of:
- Transparency: The Google Bid Optimizer doesn't really explain what it's doing or why. You can't see the bids being placed on your behalf.
- Control: The Conversion Optimizer software changes bids on your behalf. You need to yield full control to the program.
- Trust: Some people are skeptical if Google is really bidding to help you meet your objectives (or are they trying meet their google revenues and google earnings objectives)?
Our best advice is to consider the source of the criticism and consider if they're an objective source or not, and beyond that, to simply try out the Conversion Optimizer on one or more of your campaigns and see for yourself! (In WordStream for PPC, you can use either Google Conversion Optimizer or WordStream's PPC Bid Management
Optimizing the Google AdWords Conversion Optimizer with WordStream
The Google AdWords Conversion Optimizer (or any bid-manipulation tool for that matter) tends to work best if the keywords whose bids are being manipulated are:
- Relevant: If you've picked irrelevant or unproductive keywords to begin with, bid manipulators (even the Google Bid Tool) will have a difficult time finding optimal bid levels.
- Matched with Relevant Ad Text: If you've written boring, irrelevant or misleading ad text, these ads are less likely to be successful in producing conversions.
- Relevant to Each Other: This is another way of saying the previous two reasons – in order for relevant keywords to be matched to relevant ad text, your keyword groupings need to be closely themed around specific topics.
- Have Relevant Associated Landing Pages: Once a user has clicked on an ad, you're more likely to realize a conversion if your ad leads to a clear, original and relevant landing page on your website.
Put another way, getting the most out of Google Conversion Optimizer requires that your keywords have high Quality Score, which is the Google AdWords way of computing these and other factors in order to determine keyword relevancy. Quality Score affects many factors which influence Cost-Per-Conversion including your impression share (IS), minimum bid, first page bid estimate, ad rank, and ad position, click through rate (CTR), conversion rates, etc.
- Group Together Related Keywords: Once you've developed your own keyword database, Intuitive Keyword Grouping and Keyword Organization tools make it easy to turn expansive keyword lists into actionable insights for creating and optimizing PPC and improving SERPS through SEO work.
- Eliminate Irrelevant Keywords: Powerful tools for finding negative keywords and keyword de-duplication can help you quickly weed out keywords that shouldn't even be bid on to improve CTR and Quality Score.
- Turn Keyword Research Into Action: AdWords integration make it seamless and easy to create campaigns, Ad Groups, and author the most relevant Ad Text.
These and other search marketing productivity tools greatly reduce the time and effort required to craft and expand highly relevant PPC campaigns – which in turn greatly improves the likelihood of success of any bid manipulation or bid management tool.
Google Conversion Optimizer + WordStream = Great PPC Results
In summary, successful PPC campaigns are largely a result of crafting relevant campaigns and setting optimal keyword bids through the use of effective PPC software. Take action now:
- Sign up for a Free Trial
- Free PPC Best Practices Whitepaper
- Sign up for a free Google AdWords Assessment
Optimize conversion optimization! Get more quality leads at less cost, with less effort and time than ever before, with WordStream's PPC tools and the Google Conversion Optimizer!