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Boosting AdWords ROI with the Conversion Optimiser

Tuesday 3 March 2009 | 10:43

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This week we are looking at how you can get more conversions at a lower cost from your existing AdWords campaigns with the Conversion Optimiser. The Conversion Optimiser is a free AdWords feature that manages your campaign costs based on your cost-per-acquisition goals.

Whether you want visitors to fill out a form, sign up for an account or buy a product, you want the people who click on your AdWords ad to complete some action on your site. More importantly, you need this action to occur at a cost-per-conversion that is profitable to your business. The Conversion Optimiser can help ensure that more of your visitors convert into customers at cost below the maximum which you set.

How it works: The science bit!

The Conversion Optimiser helps you get the most conversions for your ad spend by using your Conversion Tracking data to improve your advertising efficiency. It does this by optimising the placement of your ads in each auction based on the probability of a sale or lead occurring at that time.

For example, say you advertise on the keywords 'coffee' and 'rich roast coffee’. If the Conversion Optimiser finds that historically people who search for 'rich roast coffee' buy more often from your website than people who search for 'coffee', it will adjust your bids so you can appear higher on the page for the more profitable term and lower for the less profitable term. In this way we try to get you a conversion when 'rich roast coffee' is searched for and save you money when 'coffee' is used.

Why use the Conversion Optimiser?

You may already adjust your keyword bids with the goal of increasing your conversions, or decreasing your costs, but the Conversion Optimiser is able to adjust bids using additional factors that are otherwise unavailable to you. For instance, the Conversion Optimiser looks at the actual search query used and whether this is a broad match or exact match to one of your keywords. It also looks at the searcher's location and the particular search or content partner sites where your ad is appearing. And it does this each and every time your ad shows!

This helps you to avoid unprofitable clicks and gets you more conversions for your budget without requiring you to spend as much time managing your bids. This affords you more time to spend on strategic efforts such as campaign optimisation or website analysis. The Conversion Optimiser enables many advertisers to achieve double-digit percentage increases in conversions while paying the same price or less for each conversion, with minimal effort.

After the first month, we got things running well and saw an increase in sales and it more than halved our cost-per-conversion. Twice as many sales for the same cash has got to be good.

- Jonathan Barber, Read more

Great! How do I sign up?

It is really easy to get started using Conversion Optimiser. All that is required is that you are using Conversion Tracking and you are getting at least 30 conversions in the last 30 days for one of your campaigns. In order for the system to correctly predict whether a conversion is likely to occur, we need to have at least this level of conversion history for your campaign. If you meet these criteria, you will be able to select the option to use Conversion Optimiser within your bidding options, under your campaign settings.

If you are familiar with the Conversion Optimiser, you may be happy to hear that we have recently reduced the number of conversion needed to use it. So, if you were previously unable to use the Conversion Optimiser for some of your AdWords campaigns, you may now be eligible.

To find our more, check out for FAQs, success stories and more.