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Improve Pay-Per-Click Results with Google’s Conversion Optimizer Tool

 In Paid Search, PPC

Are you using Pay Per Click advertising (Google AdWords) for lead generation or online sales? If so you need to check out a cool new free Google tool called the Conversion Optimizer. The Conversion Optimizer outsmarts the traditional keyword bidding war strategy, delivering traffic to the words that it thinks will convert better for you. This is a radical change in the way AdWords operates because you no longer need to fight it out with the next guy over who will pay top dollar for each keyword. No more modifying individual keyword bids in qualifying ad groups.

Think of it this way. A security guard is standing outside your store. The guard is Google and the people walking by are keywords. With old-school AdWords you fix the price you are willing to pay your trusty security guard for each person he lets in to your store. Then, you just hope and pray that some of people he let in actually make a purchase. Depending on the results, you continue to hand-pick the people the guard lets in, based on how much you’re willing to pay him for each person – boring! That type of nickel-and-diming your way to the top can get old fast.

With the Conversion Optimizer, the guard standing outside your door (still Google) decides which people to let in based on historical results. Don’t let the snazzy new name fool you, though – you’re still paying on a cost-per-click basis; the difference is that you are letting the guard determine this cost by targeting a cost per acquisition, not a cost per click. So lucky you! Google is now going to send in the people most likely to buy from you – cha-ching!

Above: The AdWords setting lets the bidding utilize Google’s Conversion Optimizer tool.

Above: The Conversion Optimizer in action.

Timeframe: A recent 2 month
Type of site: E-commerce B2C
Features: All the normal ad group metrics

*The difference is that there is no “Default Max CPC” column anymore

Normally, this column would display the maximum cost-per-click you have set as a default for all keywords in the ad group. Instead, the “Max CPA” column now indicates the maximum price per acquisition (sale or lead) you are willing to pay.

How Do I Use This Tool?

In Google AdWords, you can no longer catapult your ad to the top of the list just because you set the cost-per-click (“MAX CPC”) higher than other advertisers. Remember: it’s quality — not quantity — that counts. Here, the Quality Score plays more of a roll in determining the order of ads on the search results page. The Quality Score is determined by a number of factors, including the relevancy of your landing page to the particular keyword. So, you could very well be paying a lower average cost per click on certain keywords than another advertiser, yet have a higher average position. How’s that for leveling the playing field?

These days, running a successful AdWords campaign involves not only identifying the best keywords and writing successful ads, but providing relevant landing pages for each of your ads. Utilizing the new and improved Conversion Optimizer tool can bring further profitability to your account because Google is itself determining the keywords most likely to yield leads/sales to your website. So leave the days of bidding wars behind, and try the Conversion Optimizer today!

Are you running a PPC campaign? Are you happy with the cost and performance? Do you use Conversion Optimizer or max CPA?

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