So the other day I was stumped.  I have an account that I’m currently trying to hit a specific CPA through the Google AdWords system.  I’m trying to hit a CPA of $50.  This is a new account that we just took over in the past month. They’ve always been in the $35- $40 range over the past 14 months of the account.  Well, I found out that the account was duplicating information and that they were really paying around $120-$150 per conversion on a $155 product.  Oops, looks like no one had caught this in the past.  The previous group that was managing the account didn’t really catch this. It’s a heartbreaking day.

What to do in this situation?

Breaking bad news to your client is always hard.  Even though this isn’t our fault, it stinks breaking bad news to clients. You really have to focus on the positives of the account.  Is the PPC account making money in different areas?  Are they getting phone conversions through the site.  Luckily this client has call tracking for AdWords that’s different from their regular phone number. The situation calls for honesty.  Tell your client that this is no ones fault and that you just need to get the situation fixed and back on track.

Why Did I see a HUGE dip in Traffic on the 9th of November?

I was stumped for almost a week on why my traffic dropped off on November 9th.  I had found out that our CPA was being blown out of the water on November 5th I believe. So I called up Google and no one could answer my question.  I got advance to a specialist who took a week to get back to me.  Here is what they said:

Thanks for your call on Monday. Since we spoke, I’ve looked into your “GFF – Display Ads” campaign’s drop in performance around November 9 with a specialist and I think the campaign’s CPA bidding is holding you back.  Essentially, the campaign does not get enough conversions for CPA bidding to benefit you — since you’re not getting many conversions, the cost per conversion is high. I’d recommend switching off conversion optimizer, and reverting back to CPC bidding, to see if that brings back higher traffic, once things have stabilized.

I’m an idiot and should have known this from the start.  I guess sometimes we all overlook what’s right there in-front of us.  If you have your account set up for a specific CPA and you are clearly double or triple the cost your ads will stop showing as to not lose you any more money.  This is Google’s way to protect it’s advertisers from losing money.  I hope that this post will help you in the future to not lose any money and not be terrified if your traffic drops from 500 clicks a day to 10 when you’re bidding on a CPA level.  All you have to do is revert your account back to regular CPC bidding.

John Rampton is a PPC Entrepreneur, Author, Founder at Due a finance company helping small business owners. Follow me on Twitter @johnrampton

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