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GOOGLE ADWORDS EXPERT & CONSULTANT

Category Archives: AdWords Conversion Tracking

Use Google’s Bid Simulator To Estimate The Impact of Bid Changes on AdWords Conversions

Are you considering changing your AdWords bids but are worried about making the wrong choice? Wondering what would happen if you increased your bid from, say $1 to $1.20, and what difference it would make?

Adjusting bids based on traffic and conversion patterns is essential to optimizing your PPC campaigns, and all successful advertisers modify their Max CPCs regularly to reach their goals. AdWords has for some time now provided data on the impact of bid changes on impressions and clicks, but what anyone tracking conversions really wants to know is what the impact will be on sales or leads. AdWords advertisers can now make some more educated guesses using Google’s updated bid simulator.

How The Bid Simulator Works

The bid simulator works with your Search campaigns only by analyzing data over the past 7 days, taking into account information like your competitors’ bids and traffic you received. It then estimates how results might have differed if you used a lower or a higher bid. For example, you can estimate how many more clicks and conversions you might have received if your bid was 10% higher. If you track conversion values, the tool will also include that metric.

If your campaigns are limited by budget, the tool will not be available and it will also not work with auto bidding or Conversion Optimizer (CPA Bidding).

How To Use The Bid Simulator

You can find the bid simulator at the ad group or at the keyword level. In your AdWords account, go to your Campaigns tab and navigate to an ad group. Hover over the Bid Simulator graph icon below your Max CPC bid and click on it to bring up the tool and explore the different bid options.

Google will provide some metrics based on a variety of Max CPCs you could choose, or you can enter a different Max CPC you are considering by clicking on Use a different bid.

bid_simulator

Compare the current bid metrics to what your results would look like if you used a different bid and decide if the change in bid makes sense for you. For example, if after increasing the bd, the cost would go up significantly without a high enough change in conversions or conversion value, you might want to leave the current bid as is.

Keep in mind that the estimates you are seeing are just estimates and future results will vary, as search patterns are constantly changing and do vary week over week. Your competition is likely changing their bids as well on an ongoing basis.

Make sure to explore the available data when considering changes to your campaigns. If you do adjust bids, continue to monitor your conversion numbers, especially budget and ad spend if you increased your bids significantly.

 

How Long Does It Take For You To Covert a Customer? Find Out Through AdWords Search Funnels

A lot of advertisers I work with are not aware of how long their customers take to convert. However, knowing your sales cycle is important information for many reasons, including to better understand the results you are getting from your advertising efforts and to further optimize your campaigns and marketing efforts.

Some products, like lead generation websites, have faster conversion cycles since there is a less of a commitment on a user’s end. Others, like many e-commerce sites or B2B products, can have much lenghtier sales cycles.

To figure out where you stand, you can check out AdWords Search Funnels. You’ll need to have AdWords conversion tracking enabled in your account to access this information.  In your AdWords account, go to Tools and Analysis and select the Conversions sub-tab. Next, click on Search Funnels to get the following view.

On this screen, you’ll be able to see the average days to conversion, as well as how many clicks and impressions it takes to convert a customer. If you click deeper within the links below the overview tab, you can find out even more information and details, including how the various campaigns and keywords work together and relate to your conversions. Keep in mind that this information is, of course, specific to your AdWords account and that it’s likely that users from other traffic sources are converting a bit differently.

If your average visitor takes several days to convert, keep this path in mind as you analyze your metrics and launch new campaigns. It might take longer for you to truly understand the impact of any new promotions or optimization efforts, since your conversions are not immediate. You may also want to add in time sensitive offers to help speed your visitors along their decision process.

If you have lengthy conversion cycles, I also suggest you use remarketing to remind visitors of your brand. I suggest all advertisers try remarketing, but it’s an even more important strategy for advertisers that need to stay in their customer’s minds, as these customers take their time to make a decision and research further. You can read more about what remarketing is in my previous post and also learn about remarketing best practices here.

Stop wasting advertising dollars on bad keywords

Before you can analyze and make decisions on individual keywords, make sure you have conversion tracking set-up first in your Google AdWords account. Conversions are specific actions you care about on your website, such as lead submissions, white paper downloads, or most commonly, sales. If you’re not tracking conversions already, enable conversion tracking within your Google Adwords account first. You’ll get a code snippet to be placed on a page that’s usually a confirmation page for a desired action.

Once you’re tracking conversions, review your data regularly and make decisions based on patterns you’re seeing. If a keyword is getting a lot of clicks but few of those clicks are resulting in a conversion, you may want to lower your CPCs or pause that keyword entirely. This will save you $ and allow your PPC budget to be spent on other, more profitable terms. In the example below, I paused a keyword that generated clicks and had a good CTR but resulted in only 1 conversion and a relatively high cost/conversion.