Switching from CPA Bidding to Manual Bidding
We just took on a client that has been using CPA bidding for most of their campaigns. I want to switch these to manual CPC bidding so that I have much greater control over performance, and so that we can fully utilize our bid-management software.
I've never switched a campaign from CPA to CPC bidding. Does anyone have any recommendations for keeping performance steady during this transition? My main problem is that I will have no idea what to set the keyword-level bids at to keep performance steady, let alone improve the CPL.
My plan of action at this time is to start slow. I will start by switching one campaign from CPA to CPC. To determine bid-levels I will probably start with a bid that is a couple dollars above the current average CPC for each individual keyword. Hopefully I will see good results from this, but since I will only be doing one campaign at a time I am hoping to avoid any sharp drop in performance overall.
Re: Switching from CPA Bidding to Manual Bidding
I've had mixed results when going from CPA back to CPC so you are right to be a bit cautious about it and I like your plan of attacking one campaign at a time, makes complete sense.
Make sure to make a backup aea file from editor before you may ANY changes.
I have found the longer it's been running on CPA (if it is going quite well already) the harder it is to beat manually and I have failed numerous times to get better results and ended up switching back to CPA. Basically the CPC's will revert back to what they were before activating the CPA bidding, The auction landscape could have changed quite a bit in the time it's been running on CPA so you may need to make quite a few bid changes at the beginning.
It would be worth switching to eCPC as this still uses conversion data to help decide if AdWords will bid slightly higher on terms when it thinks there will be a conversion. It's like going half way from CPA to CPC so it might not shock the system as much.
Run some keyword reports, note the average positions of the keywords and then try to achieve similar positions as this is one of the better ways to try and get things on track. If you're using bid management software you should be able to do this pretty easily.
I hope this helps you out a bit. Let me know how you get on.