The 12 Most Important Things to Know about Conversion Optimizer

by | Featured Posts

Are you familiar with the Conversion Optimizer feature in AdWords? It can be a great way to optimize campaigns to get conversions at a lower cost. In my opinion, these are the 12 most important things to know about it:


  1. Conversion Optimizer is a feature in AdWords that lets you set bids based on how much you want to pay for a conversion on your website, rather than how much you want to pay for click on your ad. So, you simply create what’s called a “CPA” or “cost per acquisition,” bid, and the system will use Google’s massive data repository to determine the likelihood of a conversion. It will then set your auction bid accordingly.
  2. To use Conversion Optimizer, you must have conversion tracking enabled for a period of time–at least 30 days. And you must have received at least 15 conversions within the last 30 days. This gives the AdWords system historical data to base future bids and projections.
  3. Is not compatible with certain other AdWords features, like bid adjustments, and ad scheduling. However, it is possible to make a mobile device bid adjustment of -100%.
  4. Conversion Optimizer and CPA bidding are essentially the same thing. The terminology gets a bit confusing in Google documentation.
  5. There are two types of CPA bids you can use: “target CPA”, and “Max CPA”. With target CPA, you tell Google the average amount you want to pay for conversions received. With Max CPA, you tell Google the most that you would like to pay for conversions.
  6. AdWords will not deliver results that align strictly on your CPA bids, but will attempt to do so. This means that your actual cost per acquisition could be higher than your Max CPA bid.
  7. It’s possible to apply CPA bidding through the flexible bid strategies feature, which is at the account level. You simply set up a strategy in your shared library, and can then apply it with flexibility to various campaigns, or individual ad groups.
  8. Conversion Optimizer will focus either on conversions or converted clicks, depending on the conversion bid metric that you choose in the conversion tracking settings.
  9. Keep in mind that you still pay per click! You simply do not bid for clicks. You bid for conversions.
  10. When setting up Conversion Optimizer, a recommended CPA bid will be provided. It’s generally a very good idea to use the recommended bid to start with.
  11. If a campaign is targeting both search and display networks, Conversion Optimizer will automatically optimize the auction bids for both, based on the same CPA bid and Google’s data resources.
  12. It’s best to use Conversion Optimizer on campaigns that are well-established, and bringing in a regular flow of conversions. You don’t want to use it for campaigns that are in development, and likely to see many changes in targeting.

Barry--BW Profile Photo--qual. 80%Hello. My name is Barry, and I love Google AdWords! Would you like to connect with me? If so, send me an email at this address:

Sign up for IM news


How can we help you with AdWords?


I want to learn more to help my business grow through online exposure.


I want help from a specialist in order to get the most from AdWords.


I would like to consult with an AdWords expert to help optimize campaigns.