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Monday, September 24, 2007

Set Your Target ROI Goals with Google Conversion Optimizer

It was inevitable that in some form, Google would introduce automated rule-based or goal-based bid management, to offer a similar functionality that has been offered by third parties for years.

Their new Conversion Optimizer is in beta. I recently gave it a spin. From a limited test, you don't get much information, but FWIW my result was poor, in the sense that we got worse results with the optimizer "on" than we did with it "off" compared with the same days a week before, and immediately preceding days. Because it was a high volume account, I only left it on for about two days before shutting the experiment down. What particularly concerned me is that we had lower conversion volume as well as higher costs per acquisition. That's both of the key metrics going in the wrong direction.

That may be because of the stellar way we manage our campaigns, or it may be because the Conversion Optimizer does roughly what it says it does, but no more. It'll get you clicks for around what you should be paying while keeping you under your target CPA. In a hotly competitive market, this might be worse performance than you could get by using some other method of managing your bids (automated, or manual).

I'm sure they'll refine the product, but for now, it looks like it's probably going to deliver only so-so performance for many advertisers; much like the confusing Budget Optimizer tool.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




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