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A very weird problem

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I had a very basic adwords account targeting the display netword that was quite profitable. This campaign was doing well on CPC bidding, and I had a lot of conversion data. So I swittched to CPA bidding and added some topics and interests.

 

This was a complete failure! So now I am desparately trying to get my campaign back to where it was. I have gone through the change history and all is correct - yet this campaign will NOT return to its original profitable state. Impressions are good, but conversions are completely gone. I have no explanation for this since the campaign has been reset to exactly its original form.

 

Any way switching to CPA and back can somehow "break" a campaign or screw up its algorithim so bad that it doesn't work anymore? Any ideas?

 

Scott

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: A very weird problem

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi

Personally I would suggest never go for CPA campaign without having conversion data.

And when you decide to go for CPA you should do a split testing between CPA and CPC/CPM

I would suggest you should go back to CPC bidding. I am sure you can find that out in your campaign settings.

Then wait for a few days to regain its traffic.

I have done some split testing of CPA vs CPC and CPC has alrways outperformed CPA

hope that helps

 

Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog

Re: A very weird problem

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Clansullivan,

 

If you are not getting conversion via CPA so i suggest to switch back on CPC and after that you should do retargetting to achieve your previous campaign.

 

Hope this help !!

 

Regards

-Vicky

Re: A very weird problem

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi,

 

CPA bidding does take time to settle down and is known to be very fluctuating at the start. It seems to have been counter productive for you in this case and switching back to CPC was the right thing to do.

 

However, there are other factors that could have hampered your campaigns performance, namely:

 

  • An increase in the overall CPC for the themes you are bidding for due to increased competition
  • Google has recently launched the keyword level data feature in the GDN, you can now analyze the performance at keyword level, you should check which keywords are not working for you (Read more on this, here.)
  • The sites you were showing up on earlier are not the one's you're showing up on now; this is plausible given the dynamic nature of the way SEM works; you should check what sites got you the most conversions and create a managed placements campaign for these and push them on CPC
  • Recent change in the ad rotation policy could change the way you're ads are running if you had them set on Rotate evenly 

 

I think you should delve into the previous campaign and identify what exactly worked for you before and then work towards getting your campaign back to its earlier performing state.

 

All the best mate.

 

Cheers,

Nikhil 

Re: A very weird problem

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi clansullivan,

 

As you mentioned that CPA is a complete failure, which campaign components you are referring to like High CPA, Quality of conversions, No conversions, less impressions & Clicks etc.

My point is before hurrying back to CPC mode, I would have tried to analyze what's not working in CPA mode & would have tried to fix that since CPA allows us to pay for conversions..usually the ultimate objective of most of the campaigns Smiley Happy

 

Anyways, if CPC mode is not working, than first cross check again that all bids/budgets are back to their previous settings (especially for your top 10 converting keywords/placements) & then allow campaign a few days to get back to its previous performance level.

Still if it doesn't perform to it's previous level, then I think you'll have to start further campaign optimization.

 

Hope this will be of some help.

 

~Rehan

~Rehan

Re: A very weird problem

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Scott,

 

"Any way switching to CPA and back can somehow "break" a campaign or screw up its algorithim so bad that it doesn't work anymore? Any ideas?"

 

The problem you mentioned is relatively frequent with guys who try tools specialized in automated bidding. Most of the reasons have been mentioned above. I do agree with Nikhil's analysis.

 

Users only see the ad copy and the ad position before they click on it. (They don't see e.g. your bids or CTR.) Hence the ad copy and its position are 2 factors that determine your CR% on a particular placement. Hence as an instant probable remedy, I'd try doing 2 things:

 

   - Define earlier good performing websites as managed placements.

   - Drive the ads on the managed placements to the average ad position which used to be their position (honey spots!) when things were still okay.

 

The second job is not easy to implement and you may want to consider using the keyword level automation feature.

 

Best,

Lakatos

Re: A very weird problem

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

I think the problem was that you added the Topics and Interests when you switched from CPC to CPA. 

The CPA bidding system looks at your historical data to determing how you did on certain types of placements, time of day and bid level to build a prediction model. When you added new information by turning on topics and interests, the data it had acumulated before now doesnt match your current campaign needs and it can't accurately predict how your ads are performing. 

Also - make sure you have 30 days of good performance (volume and at the CPA you want consistently) before turning on ANY automated features. Make sure you also start with the suggested bid ( I know it seems high sometimes), and then after a few days to a week you can lower it if you have to. I prefer the Target CPA, as opposed to the Max CPA because I see better results.

 

Remove your Interests and Topics or start them in a different campaign. You shoud see performance level back out in a wwek or two.

Re: A very weird problem

Badged Google Partner
# 8
Badged Google Partner

Wow - Fantastic thread everyone!

 

I agree with Nikhil, and that has been my experience as well. There seems to be an interim when changing the bidding, where the google machine has to "re-boot" so to speak. Then it says "Oh, ok, I see what you're trying to do here!"

 I have found CPA bidding, with the optimize for conversions ad rotation setting to be very (ridiculously even) effective. The more historical conversion data the system has to work with, the better it seems to do. CPA bidding is different, the campaign structure, and thought process has to be a little different as well for the tool to function at it's best. The bottom line is if you are not comfortable with CPA bidding, for whatever reason - Don't use it. You're the one driving here. Smiley Happy

 

Adding more targeting options at the same time could definitely have had an effect. You are essentially telling the google machine - Show ads to users that have not seen my ads before, and use the historical data, that at this point doesn't exist, to determine who to show an ad to, and how much to bid. Then the google machine says "O...K... I have no idea what's going on here, but I'll try to do what I think you want me to do." 

 

In that case, performance will suffer. So now the goal should be to try and find what worked then, isolate and optimize those variables, and perhaps experiment with other targeting options and approaches in another campaign. Then you can give the google machine some strict rules for the top performing campaign, a little more flexability in the broader campaigns, and the google machine's automated tools will be happier, and far more effective. Smiley Happy

 

 

 

Tom

Re: A very weird problem

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for all of the responses.

 

The problem I am having is that I simply cannot get back to where I was. My CPC campaign was doing great, tried the CPA and it wasn't working, but now going back to the identical CPA campaign does not work. Conversions are flat.

 

My advisor talked to the Google rep who mentioned there was a problem in the display network algorithim that started in mid May (when my problem started) and was supposed to be fixed this past week.

 

Has anyone else heard of this problem?

Re: A very weird problem

Badged Google Partner
# 10
Badged Google Partner

I suppose if Google says there was some "problem" then there was some problem, but heck if I know. Smiley Happy

 

I am curious though, do you have past historical data for this same time of year? Market forces being what they are, there could be a perfect storm of multiple changes, and a flat market all at the same time. Do you have analytics? How are the other traffic sources performing at this point in comparison to past months or years?

Tom