1.6K members online now
Dive into advanced features like Remarketing, Flexible Bid Strategies, AdWords Editor, and AdWords Scripts
Guide Me

Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Level 6

Is it possible to set up an experiment for a CPA campaign on the display network?


Reading the documentation it looks like it should be possible with either CPC or CPA (but not enhanced CPC).


But I only see a way to set separate bids with experiments for CPC campaigns, not CPA.


Am I missing something?



2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Top Contributor

Hi bcc1357,


If you are exploring Adwords Campaign Experiments, I found this article that suggests bidding features fall under the 'Things you can't test' list.  If you're not looking at experimenting on the bidding strategy and rather looking to run an experiment on a campaign that is making use of automatic bidding, I'm afraid according to Google, that is not an option either.


"In addition, you can't set up experiments with automatic bidding or enhanced CPC because these features work on the campaign level. You'll need to disable these features to run an experiment, and you won't be able to turn them on for any campaigns that are already running an experiment.


It would appear that there are some options available to you for CPA campaigns.


What you can run experiments on for Display Network campaigns are:


  • Bids on managed placements
  • Additional placements
  • Additional keywords for contextually-targeted ad groups
  • New text ads or display ads
  • New ad groups
  • Ad group default bids, including max CPC and max CPM
  • Max CPA if campaign is using Conversion Optimizer
  • Remarketing options
  • Site exclusions


Experiments are run at the ad group level and campaign level setting apply to both the original and experimental ad group.


Hope this helps!





Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Level 8

You can run CPA by Display Conversion Optimizer.


For more details - http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60150


But the major point is -You can only start if you 15 conversions in 30 days.


ECPC does work on Google, the Search Network, and the Display Network.





Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Level 6

PPCBossman, actually, I read the same help article. And it does say, as you point out, that "Max CPA if campaign is using Conversion Optimizer" is one of the things we can run experiments with.


But when I set up an experiment for a CPA campaign, I don't see a way of setting different max CPA for the ad groups for control vs. experiment.

With CPC campaigns, I see a way to increase of decrease the ad group's CPC for the experiment as percentage of control's CPC.


So either the documentation is wrong or I'm missing something. I hope it's the latter.

Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Top Contributor

Hi bcc1357,


When you start to set up an experiment, you will start with the basics, selecting an campaign and set the basic settings, you'll see some copy like this:


"Make experimental changes to bids, keywords, ad groups, and ads in your campaign.
    Change keywords, ad groups, and ads."


If you click on ad groups, you can then select an ad group and adjust the MAX CPA experiment settings.


I hope I explained that correctly.  Let us know how it goes.



Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Level 6

> If you click on ad groups, you can then select an ad group and adjust the MAX CPA experiment settings.


Have you actually tried it with a CPA campaign?


According to the docs, those are the exact steps. But in my account, it doesn't allow me to adjust experimental bidding price for CPA campagins in this manner, only for CPC campaigns.


When I enable experiment segmentation while looking at the ad groups of a CPA campaign, it shows the stats for control and for experiment but I can't change the bid. For CPC campaigns, it shows a way to set different bids though.





Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Top Contributor

Hi Bcc1357,


I have run numerous experiments.  I'm not exactly positive that I've done exactly what you're looking to do.


I also don't have any current campaigns that I can set this up on at the moment. 


Perhaps someone else can chime in and provide you some better information.


Sorry I could not help more.


ChetanP, can you perhaps add more to this?



Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

[ Edited ]
Level 6

OK, for anyone else reading this in the futre, the only way to set up an experiment with different CPA bids is to create another ad group.


Basically, you create two identical ad groups and set status of one ad group to "control only" and the status of the other ad group to "experiment only". After that, you can change the CPA bids for one of the ad groups  and watch the stats.


The ad groups won't compete with each other because for any given ad auction the determination of wheter it's control or experiemnt is made at the campaign level. So it's not the same as simply having two identical ad groups with different bids - which is good.


At the same time, the new ad group would be at a disadvantage because it would lack ad, keyword, placement CTR history -- which is bad.


So it's possible to run experiments with CPA campaigns, but it's not as convenient as with CPC campaigns.



Re: Campaign Experiments for CPA?

Top Contributor

The only way to truly test two ad groups against each other, be it in CPA or in CPC bidding, is to create them in the AdWords Editor and launch them at the same time. If you already have a "control" ad group, then you should copy it, create the experiment one, tweak it, pause the initial ad group and then launch the control (the clone of the initial ad group) and the experiment.


Otherwise the newcomer will always start with the history handicap.


My 2 cents.

Experts in the Topic