This quick guide will show you how to utilise the Target CPA function within AdWords to get some actionable insights in to how to improve your campaigns.

Cost per Conversion or Cost Per Registration. No matter the label used, this is the most important metric within your adwords campaigns, yet it is a metric that requires complex management.

Firstly, lets get a quick grasp on acronyms –

*Cost Per Conversion = Cost Per Registration
*CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) = Cost Per Registration
(*Google label them differently, but remember that these metrics mean the same thing)

Firstly, copy a campaign with a high cost per conversion. Pause the original campaign, then change the bid strategy setting to target CPA (cost per acquisition = cost per conversion) for the copy of the campaign and set live.

If your campaign is operating at £2.50 cost per conversion for example, set the target CPA setting to £1. This will automatically adjust your keyword bids to allow Google to identify the best way to serve your ads to gain conversions at that rate. As with anything with Google, the target CPA setting is not foolproof, so it is important to allow a campaign to run for 3 to 4 days with this new setting to be able to get data in that is actionable. Once you have done this you will be faced with 3 potential results to varying degrees:

1. Your cost per conversion falls to be within a range of £1 without a significant decrease in traffic volume.

If your campaign falls into this first category, then it could mean that your keyword bids were not optimised and this is what was driving you cost per conversion up. This means you can then adjust your bids manually within the paused campaign to maintain more control and be confident that the other areas of your campaign don’t require detailed attention.

2. Your cost per conversion stays the same or only drops slightly with a marked drop in traffic.

If your campaign falls in to the second category, then it is likely that your adverts, ad groups, and overall keyword targeting is the issue. Address these issues systematically and identify the area that instigates a more significant drop in cost per conversion.

3. Your traffic levels drop significantly and in turn negatively affects conversions to increase cost per conversion.

Finally, if you fall into category 3 then it is a clear sign that your targeted space is either overly crowded with competition or has been exhausted over time and identified as a high value space to target. Consider your location, niche and site design as a collective to decide if you wish to continue with the campaign.

This is just one way of identifying methods to improve your cost per conversion. Every campaign is different and requires different approaches for optimisation. Use these tips to see if it works for you, if it doesn’t work for you then you will have at least gained insights into your campaigns that you didn’t have before. With AdWords, never be scared of trying new approaches – just make sure you learn something from trying.