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CPC skyrocketed after changing the country and match types

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi there,

I have overtaken the AdWords campaign management from a colleague who has run three campaigns for one year, all in broad match type. The CTR has been very low. Two of three campaigns have been run in Search&Display, one only on Search. So far I have only run campaigns in Search and don't have any experience in the Display Network. I was told the reason for using the Display Network as well is that we can't afford bidding for our keywords on Search as we are in a competitive environment.


After having a look at Google Analytics, I found out that 90% of our website's traffic stem from campaigns, with a very high bounce rate and less than 2 pages have been visited.The demographics shows that China is ranking second after our country (Australia), and 19% of visitors of one campaign come from China.


I interpreted this as waste and last week I changed the setting for this campaign as China is not our target market. The setting before had been worldwide, I limited it to our two target countries Australia and the USA (it was only this campaign that was set worldwide, the other two were targeted within Australia). I also added negative keywords to eliminate waste and changed match types to a mix of modified broad match and phrase match to make it more specific. 


I anticipated a drop in impressions and clicks, an increase of the CTR and a lower CPC; this was the case one day after the changes, but since then the CTR has dropped and the CPC skyrocketed from $0.19 to $0.97. I analysed all three campaigns; for all three I changed the match types and the only difference I did with the one that has the highest increase of CPC was the country setting. I have no idea why this can be??? It looks as if I have worsened the campaign performance. What can I do for improvements????


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: CPC skyrocketed after changing the country and match types

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello there;

Yes. cpc is country dependent; once you start to target more competitive markets (e.g. Australia and the US)-  the average cpc, naturally, goes up (assuming as you indicated that you are in a competitive business).

Have you checked for average costs for your keywords using the keyword planner? (Formally the keyword tool)


Another advice: separate the display campaign from the search one;


This discussion could be helpful:


Higher CPC in in US?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: CPC skyrocketed after changing the country and match types

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Kerstin,


Your problem interest me. I´am learning for Adwords so I´do not have experience. But I love to analyse and brainstorm. So take my background in mind reading my reaction. And try to get advice from experienced people. But maybe I can tell something that is worth for you.


My brainstorm:


The first thing I was thinking: Is it possible to track and measure conversions? That may be a more meaningful metric to compare and optimize things.


You moved from worldwide to specific region.

This could be a more completive region compared to world wide. And the standard off living could be higher there, so overall prices are higher. But this could produce more or more profitable conversions. You only know if you are measuring conversions.


If you have a high bouncerate, than it could be a sign that er are possibilities to optimize your website and landing pages. Is it possible to make special landing pages for USA and special landing pages for Australia?


An other reason for a high bounce rate could be that the former broad keywords, did attract visitors who were looking for other services. So that your website was not relevant for them.

** I´am learning Adwords and find it very interesting.
** Ik ben Adwords aan het leren en vind het erg boeiend.

Re: CPC skyrocketed after changing the country and match types

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you two for your replies.


I was wondering why the campaign was set up in display&search and not separate; I was told for Search only the keywords would have been too expensive. We are in a competitive B2B business, very intangible.


I haven't used the keyword tool to check the costs; the keywords I am using now are there because I added positive and negative keywords from the search term report and also adjusted the match types. Would it have made sense to check every keyword in the keyword tool before adding it from the search term report? I guess this would be a cumbersome process?


After having observed the three campaigns for nearly two weeks, this is the current status: out of three campaigns, the one where I changed the target country from worldwide to only Australia and USA, the CPC increased significantly; the CTR only slightly increased.

As per the other two campaigns which were set already to Australia, the CPC increased as well and the CTR decreased. The changes there were adding negative and positive keywords from the search term report and also adjusting the match types from broad to modified broad match and phrase match. The CPC for one campaign varied up and down; overall, it increased a lot as well.


I asked for the initial reason setting up this campaigns. It was to gain website visitors. In fact, Google Analytics says that paid traffic made up 90 % so in that sense you can assume the campaign was successful. I question the quality of that traffic as it does not make sense at all to get clicks from China which is not our target market but contributes to a high bounce rate (no wonder if we don't offer anything in Chinese) and a low number of pages visited. 


I am struggling to see an impact on lead generation for our business through the campaigns. I want to change our website's content as I want to offer more value through white papers, blog posts, a glossary etc. and also improve the design in regards to legibility and navigation; with this tactics I hope to increase the time visitors stay on our website and also the number of pages they visit (encourage them to click on links within a text) while concurrently lowering the bounce rate.


After having made the first adjustments to AdWords, I have to justify why the money we spent is used more inefficiently at first sight as the CPC increased and the CTR decreased.

What would make sense in my situation now? What would you do? Go deeper into the campaigns and refine the text or stop it altogether? Or set up campaign goals like click on the contact page?


Thank you in advance!




Re: CPC skyrocketed after changing the country and match types

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

(Again my disclaimer : I´am learning for Adwords so I´do not have experience. But I love to analyze and brainstorm)


It looks like the whole thing is in the middle of a changing process. And that a lot has to change.


Seeing your problem, then I ask again is it possible to measure conversions.  It looks like measuring conversions would be a guide.


Did the change has any effect on the bouncerate or other effects in metrics (time on page or other visitor engaging metrics like time on site, visitor path, returning visitors, page depth, visit duration, etc?)


If you have low CTR or want higher CTR then the first thing often is looking at the Ads. The ad text and ad appearance. Do the ads appeal to the (right) visitors?

Are you doing A/B testing with Ads? Make different Ads and test which work best. With Ad tests you find the words, phrases, and propositions that appeal the most to your target audience.


Are there other ways to make the targeting more effective? (more specific themed adgroups, with more specific ads? More specific location targeting? Or campaigns with the best working keywords clustered together)


I do not understand why the campaign are not separate, the search and display campaign. Keywords for display work a different way.  You can have a different budget more focused ant fitting and have more control in separate campaigns I think. Maybe display is eating your budget while search works better or the other way around.

Separation will also allow you to adjust different settings such as different time/day parting and delivery method, locations, device bidding adjustments.

** I´am learning Adwords and find it very interesting.
** Ik ben Adwords aan het leren en vind het erg boeiend.

Re: CPC skyrocketed after changing the country and match types

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
You did tell you it is not easy for you to track conversions.
Maybe you do not have a kind of "thank you" page for a customer making a purchase or fill in a form.
Maybe you can do something other goals that track engagement.
If you use Google Analytics you can make goals in Google analytics.
Goals for people downloading a important document (first make an event for making a goal with it)
Or make goals for visitors visiting more than 2 or 3 or 4 or more pages
or goals for time on site thresholds, how many people are visiting 1 minute or longer, 5 minutes or longer etc.

Maybe this kind of statistics in Google Analytics can tell you something.
** I´am learning Adwords and find it very interesting.
** Ik ben Adwords aan het leren en vind het erg boeiend.