Google CPA bidding definitely has its good points but unfortunately the benefits can be very short-term. The bidding conducted will be useful but when the statistics are new then the bids have to be submitted once again. That can be the case with placements, landing pages, and any other data point that is within the given account. Data changes can disrupt things a little bit. Unlike landing pages, bids do not have a long-term life. Consequently, bids should be considered only something that will provide a brief positive result in the course of events. When that is recognized, more time can be spent on developing areas of long-term gain such as the ads, with a little less time spent on worried about bidding.
CPA Bidding Challenges
Yet that doesn’t mean that a PPC manager should just sit back and watch the clouds roll by. Whatever time is spent looking at CPA bidding should be as effective and efficient as possible. The chances for poor CPA bidding are fairly high. There are several reasons for this happening:
1. The conversion data is highly irregular and this shows up in both the keywords and in the ads. Situations can arise where there are hundreds of keywords but only a small percentage will register a conversion in a given period of time;
2. Google’s superior assistance can make a PPC manager get lazy. Account management best practices are tossed by the wayside.
3. The great unknown. Stuff happens and it may occur that poor reasons that are not easily identified will deliver an inadequate bid. They can be very frustrating but the unknown variables have to be kept in mind.
Some Minor, and Effective, Fine Tuning
A PPC manager should remember the axiom that less is more. What that means is that instead of making major changes in the bidding process, perhaps a few minor alterations can be done though achieve the intended results.
Poor tracking conversions can create their own nightmares. For example, ignoring mobile devices is going to cause a disparity in data. Google cannot be asked to be perfect when it comes to tracking; it is up to the PPC manager to make sure of that. If the mobile device is equipped with the proper conversion code, the CPA bidding is going to be better. As an overall rule of from the PPC manager should make sure that all tracking is as it should be.
Phone extensions as calls can be converted into sales but sometimes sales made over the telephone are not included in the analytics that determine the real revenue to be assigned to separate conversion statistics. Upgrading to a better campaign will allow for the use of the Report Phone Call Conversions option in the account
Checking the Keywords
CPA bidding is so efficient that sometimes it is taken for granted. Keywords are important, and it can happen that keywords are just added on a routine basis in the hopes that Google will take care of any problems. This can have a bad impact on the CPAs overtime. The CPA can gradually increase and the addition of even more keywords just makes matters worse. Fixing this kind of problem requires adding negative keywords into the mix. A long-term solution would be once again paying very careful attention to the search queries of any keywords that are being used.
Tests for ad copy are important but still some care has to be taken. Even Google’s default answering option can result in CPAs rising faster than desired. The CPA bidding process is not made to serve the needs of ads. If ads are to be tested in any CPA bidding campaign, those ads which are going to be forgotten should have the Google Optimize for Conversion option employed for the testing. Google will select those ads with conversion rates that are optimal and these will get the most exposure. The PPC manager must also have control over what is going on. This means indefinite rotations, careful review of the data, taking a look at the winners and removing any losers from the mix. To summarize it simply means in any ad testing the rotation setting for the test has to be good and all results must be carefully scrutinized
Best Practices are Important
By now it should be fairly obvious that even though CPA bidding takes a lot of the work off of a manager’s shoulders, it is no excuse for not staying on top of things. Best practices for account optimization still have to be followed. CPA bidding can quickly become ineffective extremely expensive if everything is simply ignored.
Sitting back and letting an automatic bidding system take care of things is tempting. What has to be remembered is an old adage of computer information systems: garbage in, garbage out. Google CPA bidding will change the bids based on the system inputs. If bad statistics, or ones not needed, are supplied then adverse consequences will follow.
Using Google’s CPA bidding is not a problem as long as you continue to work on the account and not neglect it. Bids are going to change based on data received. If poor data is inputted, less than optimal decisions will be the outcome. Best practices still have to be followed and a PPC manager must stay on top of things. Neglect leads to poor outcomes. It is really that simple.