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Anyone using Conversion Optimizer?

     
10:39 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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so i am eligible for Campaign Optimizer in one of my campaigns... but am leery to jump on board?

anyone had success with this?

10:48 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am using it in some client accounts with great success, but have also been burnt on other accounts.

It's one of those things that you have to try as it can go either way.

It's worth giving a try, but keep a close eye on it and it does take a couple of weeks to settle after it's turned on.

2:36 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ok, well i have 2 major ad campaigns.

the eligible campaign, has a $100 daily budget.

right now, i am at %16 CTR, Avg CPC $1.71, 22 (1 per click conversions) , 52 (many per click conversions) with an average Cost 1 per conversion of $90.32...and a Cost Many per conversion of $38.21

the conversion optimzer says i should set a max CPA of $560! now i know there are a bunch of "secret" factors that G takes into account, but seriously?

i can already see my alerts "You need to increase your daily budget" , "we need more money to make this worth your while..."

3:07 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the same boat - I'm tempted but I'm just not sure about handing the whole shabang over to Google. Had a meeting with our G account optimiser, his advice was:

It worked really well with the majority of accounts, but has admittedly not fared so well on some. Set your CPA slightly above what you would want to be paying for the first 2 weeks - it takes 2 weeks to really bed in and then reduce your CPA down to what you want to pay.

3:50 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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See, i heard the exact opposite when i was in on a Google webinar yesterday regarding that exact scenario...

they almost literally said "accept the recommended bid" becuase if you go lower, then your traffic is going to tank.

i dont want to pay more than $150.. and my recommneded bid is over $500? my traffic will fall like a hot rock.

i actually drafted up a proposal months ago before i started the campaign, that said with the money we spend, and a 2% conversion rate, we should be spending about $150 per targeted lead...

im actually doing better than i proposed, and i dont know if i want to mess with that...

3:55 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think I saw the same webinar and the same thing applied to me - it was way above what would prove profitable. I put this to our account optimiser and he basically said that was a lot like the minimum first page bid figures they give out - inflated (obviously didn't say that but there was a comment with a bit of a wry smile), the best thing to do is just bid a little bit over what you are willing to spend - so maybe in your case something like $165 (+10%?) and give it 2 weeks.

I'm in the same position - doing very well, but I've seen some of the stats for accounts this has worked well on - and it's worked very well - but then that all depends on how good / bad the account was in the first place.

I think I'm probably going to try it on one of our campaigns and then post the results on here...

4:48 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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agreed... i have two ways to look at this.

one. accept their recommended bid. and if the conversions start to skyrocket, and the cost per aquisition stays reasonable, im good.

if the stats start to drop. turn it off and go back to what i was doing before.

OR try a lower CPA bid and see what happens to my traffic if it stays the same, and nothing really happens, increase the CPA. If it falls like a hot rock, again, turn it off.

5:02 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[Disclosure: I've been in the SEM tools space for most of the last 7 years, and am biased against the idea of giving Google any conversion data]

I've tried to follow all of the anecdotes out there on the Internet regarding people who've tried C.O. over the past 9-12 months, and aside from Google's own case studies, well over 50% of people who've tried C.O. have had negative results, and >75% of those who I would [subjectively] characterize as intermediate or advanced AdWords buyers.

7:48 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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hmmmm... interesting.

i have been thinking... it seems like its a case of "let me take care of that for you."

and as soon as you think things are good, its poof "oh by the way i need more money"

im going to hold off on CO right now.

11:27 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you do try it, make sure you've got your search ads and content network ads in separate campaigns.

That's good advice in any case, but with C.O. it's imperative, in my experience.

7:57 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Search ads an content network in the same campaign works fine for me in combination with conversion optimizer. The only problem I have is with search-partners.

EXAMPLE
I'm willing to pay $20 per conversion. When I use conversion optimizer I have to set CPA at $30 to get an actual cost per conversion of $20 for search and content. If I set it at $20 then the actual cost will be around $15 (with less traffic).

The problem is search-partners. If I set it at $30 then the actual cost per conversion for search-partners will be around $35. So $15 more then search and content. (note: I see the same problem with cpc bidding). So what you need is at least an option to make a seperate CPA bid for search-partners.

Anyway, I never use the bid recommended by the conversion optimizer. I always use a lower bid and most of the times I don't see a drop in my traffic. I think you should test it first with the actual bid you are willing to pay for a conversion and ignore the recommended bid.

9:17 am on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>have had negative results, and >75% of those who I would [subjectively] characterize as intermediate or advanced AdWords buyers

That's what I was thinking - that the majority of the good things would happen to users whose accounts aren't that great. I would classify myself as an advanced buyer and I'm struggling to see how they're going to improve the account much...

1:54 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, im certainly not a Certified Google Adwords Advisor, or whatever that cert is... but ive been doing this for 3+ years... so i think that my campaign is good the way it is...

during the webinar, i couldnt believe some of the questions that were getting attention ... basic ish like "what is the difference between CPA and Max CPC"...

Really? i thought we were past that.

2:40 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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yeah, they seem to concentrate on basic stuff in their webinars and also in any seminars they give too - it surprises me, but I guess it just goes to show how little most people still know about adwords.
 

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