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Change CPA bid according to time of day?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have a CPA campaign where a conversion is worth $7 to me from 9 AM to 5 PM PST, but outside of those hours, it's only worth $4.


I know that I cannot use time-based bid adjustments with a CPA bidding model.


 Google's documentation states:


  • We recommend not changing the CPA bid more than once every few weeks. This will give you time to account for any conversion delays and give Conversion Optimizer time to adjust."


And my experience with trying to change the CPA during the day -- i.e. changing all the ad groups to $4 at at 5 PM... is not good. The change either does not work at all, or takes hours to come into effect, or then the next morning when I try to go back up to $7, that doesn't work well either.


So the only possibility left in my mind is to split the campaign into two - one that only runs from 9 AM to 5 PM, and one that runs the rest of the time.


The problem with this is that I'm already splitting my campaigns geographically... (for similar reasons -- because CPA bidding does not support geographic bid adjustments) so the management of the campaigns will quickly get out of hand, and trying to analyze the statistics will get ugly, since each campaign will end up with a small amount of traffic.


Can you suggest a best practice for this? How do the big spenders do this? I'm sure GEICO is setting exact CPA target by state or even by zip code, which in this method would require thousands of separate campaigns....


I'm good with Adwords editor, but still, it seems like a big management task. 



1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Change CPA bid according to time of day?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Basically conversion optimizer does not support hourly bid adjustment so either you can move bidding option from CPA to CPC bidding and run campaign on the basis of hours and monitor the campaign performance then optimize.

Re: Change CPA bid according to time of day?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Ghengis,

The solution you have suggested is probably the best solution that there is with regards to your goals. If you are adamant on using CPA bidding and you want different CPA's at different times then that is the way you will have to do it.

Your other options would be to set to CPC bidding and optimise yourself.

Good Luck

Re: Change CPA bid according to time of day?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi ghengis,


There are other solutions, but as Clynton suggested, if you really want to optimise your Campaigns you're going to have to accept that it may require a more complex structure.  However, more complex doesn't necessarily mean more time consuming.


Firstly, Target CPA can be set as a Flexible Bid Strategy at the Ad Group level, so I'd be looking to see if this variation in CPA is the same across all Groups or if some Groups are more consistent (and could therefore be given Target CPA at the Group level).


For those Groups that are affected by this variation, you may be able to use a combination of Scripts, Ad Scheduling and Enhanced CPC to build your own version of Target CPA that is more responsive to your needs.  A lot will depend upon how many conversions per day you receive as even with a custom-built solution of this type your data needs to be statistically significant to make intelligent decisions.



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