Google Sunsets Max CPA Bidding Just in Time for the Holidays

Come January 2014, AdWords will retire the Max CPA bidding option for Conversion Optimizer, leaving advertisers to choose between Target CPA or Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). While Target CPA has been around since 2010, Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is a new real-time bidding strategy designed to maximize revenue and meet your target ROAS. The new feature eliminates some of the limitations advertisers encountered with Max CPA. Beginning late Q1, Google will automatically switch all campaigns using Max CPA bidding to Target CPA bidding.

Get a head start this holiday season and optimize before the mandatory update. Adapt Conversion Optimizer-enabled campaigns to Target ROAS bidding with three key recommendations:

First, set up conversion values in your AdWords account.

This requires that you establish Conversion Tracking within your account. Once Conversion Tracking is set up, you can assign two different types of values to your conversions:

1. Static conversion values can be assigned to conversions of a specific type, such as newsletter
sign-ups or white paper downloads.

2. Dynamic conversion values apply if each conversion has a different value. Ecommerce sites
typically use this type because each customer’s order could greatly differ in value, e.g. one
order may be worth $328 compared to another customer’s $18 purchase.

Second, switch to Target ROAS now.

Target ROAS will be rolled out to all AdWords accounts in the next few weeks. If you’ve implemented dynamic conversion value tracking and you have Target ROAS available, then you should activate the feature now. Why? Target ROAS not only operates similarly to Target CPA, but it also will help you hit revenue goals via real-time bidding.

Third, don’t forget about your revenue and ROAS goals.

Check your campaigns daily to ensure Target ROAS is helping your campaigns achieve desired results. CPA bids can significantly decrease the amount of clicks you receive, so you’ll want to monitor traffic levels closely. More importantly, you need to adjust Target ROAS bidding accordingly based on actionable data. Similar to other automatic real-time bidding features in AdWords, Target ROAS will not consider seasonality and performance across different devices, so performance may be affected if you fail to take those factors into consideration.

For many advertisers, the holidays bring the fiercest competition and the toughest revenue goals of the year. When implemented properly, Target ROAS can you help you tackle Q4 with real-time insight. Try our tips and let us know how it goes!