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My CPA Rate went straight up after adding Content Ads to my Search Campaigns.

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# 1
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Good morning everyone,


I've always had separate Search and Content Campaigns. After having read about some good results I decided to expand one of my exisiting Mobile Search Campaigns with Display Network.


As I've always worked with CPA targeting (Max Target CPA) I was under the impression Adwords would keep a close eye on my values. 


The CPA values went straight up (from about $9 to $20+) within a few days. Slowly but surely it looks like the CPA values are coming down a bit (Still a long way to go)


1. Is it normal for the system to spike this way to find a certain balance?

2. Can I expect the system to level out on the same values I had before after having deleted the 'expensive domains'? (I will help them a bit as well obviously) 


Thank you,

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author DeBeenus
September 2015

Re: My CPA Rate went straight up after adding Content Ads to my Search Campaigns.

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# 2
Top Contributor
Hi DeBeenus,
Unfortunately, yes, in my experience, this is normal. You're going into an entirely new ecosystem with very limited previous conversion data for Google to make smart decisions on.

It will take a while (probably longer than you are willing to accept) for the CPA to come down. Might I also just mention here that it is going to be very unlikely that this will ever reach your search CPA.

A rule of thumb we have here is that it can be up to twice as much (in your case $18) so don't be surprised if it doesn't come back down further.

At the end of the day, it's about you objectives. Perhaps a $18 barely works for you, perhaps it doesn't, perhaps you can improve the conversion rate on the back end.

Just like helping our by removing the expensive domains, you can help Google AND your business by constantly improving your conversion rate.

Remember, 0.1% improvements add up significantly over a year. This can offset the increased CPA and add to your customer LTV.

Re: My CPA Rate went straight up after adding Content Ads to my Search Campaigns.

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# 3
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It may not be possible to do well on mobile. There are alot of irrelevant impressions on the mobile network (primarily apps).


If your display campaign did well on mobile previously, then just hang in there. Otherwise, I'd recommend you start removing the app URL's. That may be the secret to helping the Google tool hit your CPA targets.


As other posters have mentioned, it does take Google a little while to learn how things work.


Also, I personally don't really recommend the target CPA tool. Doing it manually most often gets you better results.