Posted January 10, 2008 6:15 pm by with 5 comments

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Google’s nifty little tool, the Conversion Optimizer, has been updated. Originally launched in September, the tool is designed to optimize Google PPC ads for conversion.

The Conversion Optimizer uses user data from your website to observe when most of your conversions occur from PPC ads. The Optimizer lets you specific a maximum cost per acquisition (CPA) for an adgroup, then automatically adjusts your bidding to keep your CPC down and your conversions up. It’s designed to minimize the cost per acquisition and maximize the number of conversions.

Currently, it sounds like the primary method for doing this is automatic dayparting. According to the official announcement, the Conversion Optimizer accomplishes all this by “showing ads when conversions are most likely to occur.”

The Inside AdWords blog cites one case study of this in action from Moritz Daan, CEO of Webgamic’s CEO:

With the Conversion Optimizer, we managed to get 600-plus conversions per day, instead of the usual 200. Also, I thought it wasn’t possible to get below €0.60 CPA, but Conversion Optimizer managed to cut our costs down to €0.25 per conversion.

An additional benefit mentioned in the post: much easier management. Google is also offering the tool to more AdWords users: “any campaign with AdWords conversion tracking enabled that has received 200 conversions in the last 30 days can now use the Conversion Optimizer.”

Of course, to do this, Google has to have access to at least some of your users (by way of a cookie), so that they know when these conversions actually happen. Another potential drawback is the possibility that the software could make mistakes or have glitches. (Then again, if the alternative is human management by hand, you’re probably better off with the software.)

  • Zen

    Will their tools eventually replace the search engine marketeer?

  • Zen, I doubt it based on some of the accounts I’ve seen. Most people don’t take advantage of the tools they have at their disposal as it is and it will always be good practice to have someone other than the place you buy check to make sure you’re buying smartly.

  • I couldn’t agree more: even with all of the great tools in the world, you would still hear people complaining about how PPC is not working out for them 🙂

    Alan Johnson

  • Good point, Alan. I saw a stat recently that less than 10% off Google’s top 100 Adwords advertisers were doing any type of A/B split or Multivariate testing on landing pages! I don’t know how accurate that is, but if it’s anywhere near, it’s amazing.

    We’re seeing some great results for our clients using Google Website Optimizer.

    In case your readers are interested, we’ve posted some conversion rate optimization examples and free resources.

  • Complaining without having done your job right is definitely an attitude which is not likely to go away anytime soon, I guess some people just feel the need to blame others for their failures.

    Alan Johnson