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How To Determine The Best Ad?

     
11:35 am on Jan 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I'm looking to maximise the performance of an Adgroup such that we get the most number of enquiries possible, while keeping to our set CPA.

I currently have 16 ads in the adgroup (all of which were set up at the same time, with "Ad rotation" being set to "Rotate indefinitely") which have generated 100 leads - and I now want to cut back to the best 2 or 3 ads.

On first glance one ad stood out - it has a Conv rate twice that of the others, and a CPA half of our target.

However my aim here is not to get the cheapest leads possible, but rather to maximise how many leads we get (and we never reach our max daily budget as there's a limited number of searches each day). The above ad has a much lower CTR than some others, hence has been clicked on less (and seems to have had fewer impressions) and hence has resulted in fewer overall conversions.

What value(s) should I be looking at to determine how to maximise the number of leads we get?

I'm considering some of the following possibilities:

1. Keep the ads that have generated the most conversions
2. Look at some combination of values (CTR, conv rate,% served,etc) to determine the best ones
3. Change the Campaign Settings "Ad rotation" field to "Optimise for conversions", letting adwords figure things out itself
4. Set up a "Bid Strategy" in the Shared Library using "Target CPA" (I've just noticed this option)

Would any of these help me to maximise the number of conversions we get?

Thanks
4:51 pm on Jan 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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CTR is such a heavy QS factor, that we often find the best road is to Optimize Clicks, not Optimize Conversions. Inspect your higher converting ads for ideas that aid Conversions, but focus mainly on CTR (but Conversions is a very, very close second).

Essentially, optimize both CTR and Conversions.

Kill lower CTR ads, kill lower Converting ads, keep several variants to aid freshness.

Use the Conversion Optimizer, it has a greater effect on ROAS / CPA than the choice of rotating for CTR or Conversions.

If you lose focus on Conversions, as you're working on improving CTR, if you look carefully and thoughtfully, you'll notice your ads focus is the cause.

I suppose Optimize Conversions, while keeping an eye on CTR, is also good (inverse) alternative to what I've said above - point again being, find the place where both CTR and Conversions are, as a pair, both well optimized.
7:00 pm on Jan 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Sometimes an ad which gets a low CTR when served for one search term can get a much better CTR when served for a different search. That can make it worth experimenting with different combinations of ads and keywords.

If you have 16 ads to work with, before just deleting those that seem like under-performers, try splitting them into multiple ad groups and have them aiming at different search term variations.

In particular, consider copying the standout ad to its own ad group or even its own campaign so you can (1) tighten its keyword targeting and (2) bid more aggressively. (Don't delete the original until you see how the clone performs.)

You didn't say what type(s) of keyword matching you're using, but be sure you're making effective use of negative keywords.
2:34 pm on Jan 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Too many variants in parallel could delay significant results.
If e.g. the number of generated leads (conversions) per day is less than 5 per day, 16 ads in one adgroup may too much, if you want results to be significant within a month.
4:09 pm on Jan 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone for the useful advice.

Regarding the last point - I will need to reduce the ad variations a little next time. We've had 100 conversions in this adgroup, but that's over 16 ads, and has taken a month. I will aim to test fewer ads in the future!
12:34 pm on Feb 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There's lots of good advice in this thread; but the last thing you should also do is segment the data by device if you are running your ads on both desktops and mobile devices to pick the best ad by device.

It's very common to see an ad do better on one device or the other, so don't just keep the best ad, keep the best ad for a desktop device and keep the best ad for a mobile device and then mark the mobile ad as 'mobile preferred'.