Google posted an update on their Adwords website regarding Conversion Optimization settings. This may be news to many dealers who run their own Adwords campaign (Automotive SEM) so I am re-posting some information provided on their blog.
Keep in mind that "conversion" for Google tracks responses via forms submission, which would not include phone calls that are generated by PPC campaigns. This is one reason why dealers using PPC should include tracking phone numbers to capture all activity related to PPC clicks.
Since consumers call dealers more often than they submit leads, you just have to keep in mind that Google conversion "numbers" can be just a fraction of the true conversion metrics.
The Conversion Optimizer is an AdWords feature that uses your AdWords Conversion Tracking data to get you more conversions at a lower cost. It optimizes your placement in each ad auction to avoid unprofitable clicks and gets you as many profitable clicks as possible.
With the Conversion Optimizer, you bid using a maximum CPA, which is the most you're willing to pay for each conversion (such as a purchase or signup), or a Target CPA, which is the average amount you'd like to pay for a conversion.
Using historical information about your campaign, the Conversion Optimizer automatically finds the optimal equivalent cost-per-click (CPC) bid for your ad each time it's eligible to appear. You still pay per click, but you no longer need to adjust your bids manually to reach your CPA goals and can benefit from improved ROI.
To calculate the optimal equivalent CPC bid, the Conversion Optimizer first calculates a predicted conversion rate for each auction. The Conversion Optimizer takes many factors into account, including your ad's conversion history, the keyword's broad match query, the user's location, and the conversion rates of Google's search and partner sites on the Display Network. The feature then generates an ad rank by combining your CPA bid, quality score and predicted conversion rate.
Many advertisers using Conversion Optimizer have achieved double-digit percentage increases in conversions, while paying the same price or less for each conversion.
To begin using the Conversion Optimizer, you must have AdWords Conversion tracking enabled, and your campaign must have received at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days. Also, the campaign must have been receiving conversions at a similar rate for at least a few days.
Google recommends you run conversion tracking for at least two weeks before trying the conversion optimizer no matter what your volume of conversions is (more if you don't have a high volume of conversions).
I hope you found this helpful! Google Adwords should be a part of an comprehensive Automotive Advertising strategy. When properly setup, Adwords can be a great sure for leads; sales, service and parts.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
See you in Orlando, April 16-18th at the 2nd Annual Automotive Marketing Boot Camp