How to Reduce Your Google Ads CPA in 2020

Is your task to increase the conversions and reduce the CPA for your Google Ads client? It’s one of the most common KPIs a client will throw at me. And when I login to a new client account for the first time I can often find out within 15 minutes if I am going to make a good success out of an account or not. Here are 7 tips to help you reduce your CPA:

1. Pause Poor Performing Keywords

If you have a target CPA pr simply the task of lowering the current CPA, it’s always a good idea to run an account-wide report on your keywords. Add Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Clicks, Conversions, Conversion Rate and Cost/Conv. to your report with a date range of the past 90 days.

From here you can see which keywords are working and which are not. However, I wouldn’t recommend pausing all of the underperforming keywords immediately. It could be a case that the Text Ads that were running before you acquired the account weren’t suited to the keywords, or irrelevant keywords were causing most of the spend because of match type or a lack of negatives. All of these factors need to be taken into account and researched before going ahead and pausing all over the expensive keywords.

2. Negative Keywords

There’s no perfect Negative Keyword list out there because you can add more every time you check out the Search Terms report. Unless you’re only running Exact Match campaigns your ads are going to appear for irrelevant keywords, particularly on new campaigns.

Depending on your budget and the number of impressions your account gets will have an influence on how frequent you will run the Search Term reports, but I’d recommend a couple of times a week for accounts spending five figures a month, and at least once a week for others. Sort these reports by Impressions so you can start with the most common terms, in case you don’t have the time to go through 10,000+ rows.

3. Partner Networks

By default, new campaigns run on both the Search Network and Search Partners. There’s also the option to run Text Ads on the Display Network too. Run a report by campaign to see what the CPA is by network, Often Display Network and Search Partners will have much higher CPAs than the Search Network, which may be causing your target to be out of sight.

4. Ad Scheduling

If you’re running Call Ads and/or Call Extensions, make sure they’re only active during work hours, otherwise you’re wasting budget when no one is available to answer the phone calls. For the rest of your ads, you can run reports by Day and Hour to see how your campaign is working.

By doing this you may determine that running ads between midnight-6am Monday-Thursday is not profitable, nor 9pm-midnight Monday-Sunday. You may also discover that your ads are very profitable between midday-3pm Monday-Friday but that your Impression Share has only been 50%. In this case you can test Budget Adjustments to see if you can garner more conversions without negatively affecting your CPA.

5. Device Bid Adjustments

A good report to run is to see how your ads are performing by device. It usually depends on the industry you’re in, but you may perform much better on either Computer or Mobile compared to the other, and Tablet.

In this instance, you can reduce your bids on the underperforming devices and can increase the bids on the profitable devices if you wish. If one or more of the devices are not working at all for any campaigns you can set budget adjustment to -100% to stop appearing on them.

6. A/B Test Ads

Something you should be doing by default is testing your ads. Responsive Search Ads allow you to test up to 15 Headlines and 4 Descriptions at a time. Once you have winners in these you can test them as Text Ads on their own.

Factors into determining the winner between text ads is the Conversion Rate and Click-through Rate. If there are significant differences between your ads then it’s time to replace the poor performing ad with a new combination of text,

7. Adjust Bidding Strategies

The Target CPA and Maximise Conversions bid strategies sound like a dream but often they don’t work as well as Maximise Clicks. When this is the case then change your strategy to the latter, where you can also set a max bid. This will help you get back on top of things. Sometimes you’ll notice with the Maximise Conversions strategy is that your CPC shoots up but your conversions don’t, and that’s not ideal.