CPA Optimizer FAQ
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Written by Dani Nabors
Updated over a week ago

Why can't I enable the CPA Optimizer?

In order to use the CPA Optimizer, you must have at least 30 conversions recorded for the item you are trying to enable the CPA Optimizer on. This requirement is so that the system has a starting point to base models on.

Is it better to set the CPA Optimizer on the Campaign level or the Creative level?

This will vary from situation to situation depending on your configuration. It is important to keep in mind that the CPA Optimizer is looking to acquire the highest possible volume of traffic it can while keeping the CPA around your Target CPA (TCPA). If we think about this from a Campaign level and that Campaign has 10 active Creatives, then we may see certain Creatives with very high CPA, and others with very low CPA, because the Optimizer's primary CPA reference is at the Campaign level and not any particular Creative.

If the CPA Optimizer is placed on each of the Creatives, then each Creative will have its own CPA Optimization model being trained and each one will push to achieve the best volume based on the TCPA of that particular creative.

If you plan on adding new Creatives to a Campaign, it may best to set the CPA Optimizer on the Creative level to ensure each Creative has the best potential volume and performance.

I just turned on the CPA Optimizer but I don't see any changes, why?

When the CPA Optimizer is first added to a Campaign or Creative, it needs some time to analyze data related to the performance of the item from when it was not configured with the optimizer. The more data that is available, the better the optimizer performance can be.

It may take a few days for the CPA Optimizer to learn the details of the Campaign or Creative. It is normal to see some more drastic changes during this time while the optimizer learns what your ideal traffic looks like. These changes could include high and low bid amounts, fluctuations in CPA, etc. while learns what traffic works and does not work for your specific Campaign or Creative.

What can I do if my CPA is getting too high?

If the CPA is getting too high but it has been less than three days since you enabled the CPA Optimizer, you should wait until at least 72 hours have passed so that the optimization algorithm has time to learn what to look for.

If you do not feel comfortable continuing to wait, you could decrease the TCPA slightly. It is highly suggested that the TCPA be adjusted over time to limit the impact to CPA and volume. The best practice is to adjust in no more than 10% increments, over a course of a few days to a week. This will reduce the total volume of impressions but will keep your CPA lower while the algorithm learns about the potential traffic. The more traffic the Campaign or Creative sees, the faster it will adjust.

Pausing out poor performing Keywords is also a potential method for reducing CPA without changing the TCPA.

My CPA is below TCPA and volume is low. What can I do to increase volume?

It is important to note that the CPA Optimizer will always try to keep the CPA close to the TCPA and it only goes lower when it needs to balance out or when it is not finding ideal traffic. We advise giving it a day to adjust on its own when it finds ideal audiences for your Campaign or Creative.

If you would like further push the CPA to be higher, you can increase the TCPA. It is highly suggested that the TCPA be adjusted over time to limit the impact to CPA and volume. The best practice is to adjust in no more than 10% increments, over the course of a few days to a week. This will result in higher bids and a higher CPA but also higher volume.

Adding new Keywords and opening up Creative settings can also be done to increase volume.

Can I disable the CPA Optimizer if I no longer want to use it?

You can disable the CPA Optimizer from a Campaign or Creative at any time. There will likely be an increase in volume and after disabling as the Optimizer will no longer be blocking non-converting traffic. You will need to begin manually optimizing the Campaign/Creative by changing Keyword statuses and Max Bids to reach TCPA.

Can I add/pause Keywords after the Optimizer has been enabled?

You can add new Keywords at any time for Campaigns or Creatives already configured with the CPA Optimizer. It will need time to learn about the new Keywords to factor into the optimization models, and there may be volatility during this time as it tests the traffic. If the actual CPA is above the TCPA, the new Keywords may only receive minimal traffic as the Optimizer is already limiting traffic to reach TCPA.

Pausing Keywords will result in a lower volume but is a helpful strategy to help improve CPA if it is too high.

Can I change targeting strategies on my Campaign/Creative once the CPA optimizer has been enabled?

If the targeting changes result in a larger reach, the CPA Optimizer will need a few days to learn about the new traffic that it now reaches before beginning to optimize. There may be volatility during this time as it learns about the new traffic and tests various options.

If the targeting changes result in a more narrow reach, the CPA Optimizer will not require additional time to learn. In this scenario, you can expect to see lower overall volumes of traffic but potentially better performance, depending on the performance of the traffic that is still within reach.

Can I change the Target CPA after the CPA Optimizer has been enabled?

Yes, you can change the TCPA after the CPA Optimizer has been enabled.

If the TCPA is increased, the bid amounts will be increased and you can expect to see more volume. It is important to note that in this situation, the CPA Optimizer may need some time to learn about the new traffic that is becoming available. It may show some volatile behavior while it learns what traffic works well and which does not.

If the TCPA is decreased, the bid amounts will be decreased and you can expect to see a lower CPA, but a lower overall volume of traffic as well.

It is highly suggested that the TCPA be adjusted over time, no matter if it is increased or decreased, to limit the impact to CPA and volume so that the CPA Optimizer can fully adjust as needed to the new goal. The best practice is to adjust in no more than 10% increments, over the course of a few days to a week. Adjusting too often or quickly (e.g. multiple times in one day) is highly advised against as this can cause negative results in optimizations.

Can I still use the CPA Optimizer if I don't use an OddBytes pixel?

Yes, the CPA Optimizer can work with imported 3rd party conversion data. It is important to note that the more frequently the conversions can be imported, the better the CPA Optimizer will perform. For this reason, real-time tracking is strongly advised as it reduces the manual steps involved while also ensuring the optimization model has the most up-to-date information.

If you would like more information about how conversion data can be imported, please click here.

Is there a way to exclude incorrect conversion data from the CPA Optimizer?

Yes, the CPA Optimizer has a mechanism for excluding data from its history. This is important because if there is a period of time where technical issues occurred, then we will want to remove that data from the CPA Optimizer so that it does not believe that is normal.

If you have any concerns about a period of time that may need to be removed from the CPA Optimizer, please contact your support team.

Why are some Keywords being targeted heavily and other Keywords are getting almost no traffic?

The CPA Optimizer will target the Keywords that are performing best for your Campaign or Creative. Depending on the level that the CPA Optimizer was configured at, all Keywords associated with that Campaign or Creative will be analyzed and targeted based on the quality of traffic that is converting. The Optimizer will focus on whatever Keywords enable it to drive the most quality volume to the offer while keeping the average TCPA within an appropriate range.

Why aren't my recently added Creatives getting any volume?

If the new Creatives were added to an Optimizer-managed Campaign but are not getting much volume, there may be a few reasons why volume is low. If the old and new Creatives have similar targeting strategies and Keywords, there is nothing "new" being brought to the table as far as the CPA Optimizer is concerned and focus will remain on what is existing. New Creatives may also receive little volume if the actual CPA is already high compared to TCPA, and the CPA Optimizer is focusing on bringing down the CPA.

Do I need to manually adjust Max Bids?

No, the CPA Optimizer will automatically adjust bids based on the set TPCA and what it predicts will result in a conversion. If the probability of conversion is high, the charged price may be higher than the Max Bid set in the platform.

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