Google has expanded its Conversion Optimizer bid management feature to make it available to all advertisers whose campaigns have enabled AdWords Conversion Tracking and accrued at least 200 conversions in the past 30 days.
Advertisers specify a maximum CPA bid, and then the tool will use historical information about the campaign to automatically generate an optimal CPC bid for each auction. Advertisers still pay per click, but no longer have to manually adjust their bids to reach CPA goals. The product launched in beta in September.
There are some limitations to campaigns using Conversion Optimizer. According to the AdWords Help Center, the features that are not compatible with Conversion Optimizer include position preference, budget optimizer, placement targeting, advanced ad scheduling, preferred cost bidding, and separate content bids. Also, Conversion Optimizer campaigns may not be modified using the AdWords Editor or the AdWords API.
For campaigns meeting these criteria, the product can be a real time-saver, doing the heavy lifting to ensure ads are shown when they are most likely to convert. Conversion Optimizer takes into account factors like the conversion history of a given search query, location of the user, and conversion history of particular sites in the Content Network.