Mastering Google AdWords to advertise a business online can be a matter of trial and error.

Those who start from scratch know that trying things out and making mistakes is the only way to learn what attracts customers to click on an advert – and do whatever you want them to do, be that making a purchase or signing up to a mailing list.

But as you travel along the Google AdWords path, there are tools and techniques which become available to make it easier to read the market and drive more customers to your business.

You may not know about them. But here are five important techniques which no business should be without.

Target CPA

This stands for ‘cost per acquisition’ and it is a smart bidding strategy which sets bids with the aim of getting as many conversions as possible.

It allows the advertiser to set how much they want to pay per conversion. Google will provided a recommended target CPA on what it believes is a sensible conversion cost, given historical cost-per-clicks and click-conversion rates.

Target CPA is not possible if you’ve just opened an AdWords account. You need conversion tracking enabled with at least 30 conversions in the last 30 days. The more data you have, the better Google can manage your CPA goal.

Target CPA allows Google to take the reins of bidding in individual ad auctions. If Google’s algorithm believes the search query is likely to lead to a conversion, you have a higher position.

But don’t forget to set a maximum bid limit – to ensure your budget doesn’t run out of control.


AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) means that when you make a change within your account, you can split test two versions of a campaign or ad group simultaneously to see how these changes affect performance.

If you have two ad texts within your ad group, each will receive 50% impressions and you can determine which one has best results.

Go into the “settings” tab under “advanced settings”, open up the “experiments” section. You will be able to specify a test name, the portion of your actions which will take part in the test, and a start and end date.

YouTube video lists

This is a remarketing tool which allows you to show personalised ads to viewers on YouTube and video partner sites, based on their past interactions with your videos.

Lists can be created by linking your YouTube and AdWords accounts. This means you can remarket to people who have visited or subscribed to a YouTube channel’s page, and either viewed, liked, commented on or shared a video. Lists of viewers can be used in your targeting settings for new or existing campaigns. To manage your lists, go to the “audiences” section of the shared library.

More than one YouTube channel can be links to your AdWords account. But while you can create several lists per channel, you can’t use the same list on multiple channels.

Data Driven Attribution

Customers may do several searches and click a number of ads before making a purchase. And credit for that conversion will usually go to the last ad which was clicked upon – whether it’s deserved or not.

But DDA uses account data to determine which ads, keywords and campaigns have the greatest impact. It can be used for website and Google Analytics conversions from Search Network campaigns.

An account generally needs to be established, with around 20,000 clicks, before DDA becomes available. And there should be at least 800 conversions within 30 days. If you don’t have enough data, you won’t see an option to use Data Driven Attribution.

In short, DDA compares the click paths of those who convert to the paths of those who don’t. It shines a spotlight on those steps which make a conversion more likely, so you can see which ads have the greatest affect. 

Cross Device Attribution

Just like DDA, this method shows you the pathway a customer has taken to conversion – but this time across multiple devices.

So it doesn’t matter if they clicked on an advert using their mobile phone, but then went back to make a purchase on their laptop computer.

You find this feature by clicking on the “tools” tab of your AdWords account and selecting “attribution”. In the menu on the left hand side, click Cross Device Activity, and then select the report you want to see.

The reports available will include:

  • Devices – shows the number of conversions with cross device activity, total conversions and percentage which included cross –device activity
  • Assisting Devices – gives the number and ratio of last-click conversions and click-assisted conversions for each type of device
  • Device Paths – breaks down the number of conversions by the path between devices, so you can analyse the order people generally use devices before converting

For help with Pay-Per-Click Advertising contact the experts on 0800 612 9890.