An Unrefusable Offer From Google Ads: Conversion and CPA

After launching a game, you will run online advertisements to acquire initial users. One of the most accessible platforms for online advertisements is Google Ads. When running a campaign on Google Ads, you may be suggested to increase the “CPA(Cost Per Action) targets” to increase “Conversions”.

“Get more conversions by adjusting your CPA targets”

< Source: Google Ads Youtube, “Adjust your CPA targets recommendation” >

I had a question regarding Google Ads' recommendation to increase the "Target CPI" (Cost Per Install) to boost the number of "conversions." Will increasing the "Target CPI" also increase the number of "new users" for my game?

How Real Is Google Ads’ “Conversion” to Me (or the Game Company)?

A "conversion" in Google Ads refers to achieving a goal you’ve set through interaction with your ad, such as increasing app installs or signing up new users.

<Source: Google Ads Help Center>

If the "conversion rate" increases and the number of "new users" increases, increasing the "target cost per install" may be necessary to improve the "conversion."

If you raise your "target cost per install" as advised by Google Ads and notice that the number of new users increases by the same amount as the increased "conversions," then it's advisable to set your "target cost per install" as high as possible.

According to TentuPlay's analytics data, increasing the "target cost per install" might lead to an increase in "conversions," but it might not necessarily result in a corresponding increase in "new users.

Conversions and New Users: What Are the Important Metrics for Me?

If you want to attract more new users through marketing, it's important to focus on the actual number of new users who have joined the game rather than simply looking at the number of conversions from Google Ads, and establish a marketing strategy based on real user acquisition.

When comparing the “cost of Google Ads conversions” with the ‘cost of acquiring new users”, there is often a significant difference, sometimes up to four times or more. Relying solely on Google Ads conversion cost as the standard for marketing performance can lead to incorrect decisions.

For instance, in a game with a Lifetime Value (LTV) of $0.23, if you use Google Ads “conversion cost” as the benchmark, you might think the game company is making a profit by setting the target install cost at $0.219 after April 24 and continuing marketing.

However, if you instead use “new user advertising cost” as the performance standard, you might realize that continuing marketing after April 24 will result in losses, prompting you to consider stopping marketing activities.

This example illustrates that the “number of new users” brought into the game is a better indicator for shaping a game company’s marketing strategy than the “conversion” metrics provided by Google Ads.

Therefore, game companies should monitor the cost per new user while conducting marketing activities, rather than focusing solely on increasing “Target CPI” and “conversions” based on Google Ads standards. This approach enables them to make more informed and rational decisions.

Analyzing GA's New User Metrics: Things to Keep in Mind

You can use Google Analytics (GA) to track the "cost per new user," but the "number of new users" reported by GA may differ from the actual number, similar to the discrepancies in "conversions" reported by Google Ads.

When relying on the "Number of new users” reported by GA, there's a possibility that the "Marketing cost per new user" may appear lower than the actual value due to differences from the data collected within the game (app). As shown in the graph below, the "Advertising cost per new user reported by GA (blue)" is lower than the "Advertising cost per new user collected directly by the game (orange)." The "Advertising cost per new user reported by GA" and the "Advertising cost per new user collected directly by the game" can differ by up to 1.4 times. Therefore, game companies should exercise caution as their decisions may diverge from the actual values depending on the situation.

Collect Accurate Data Tailored to Your Game

When choosing an analysis tool for your marketing goals, it's important to pick a data collection tool that accurately aligns with your objectives.

Metrics like "Conversion" in Google Ads and "New Users" in GA can sometimes give a misleading impression of your marketing effectiveness. You should be careful because it results in continuing the decisions that deviate from your intended goals for a certain period of time. In order to achieve the desired goal, it is necessary to accurately understand the data generated in the game, including the “number of new users.”

To gather various game-generated data directly and accurately, consider using Tentuplay for quick and easy data collection. Confidently implement your marketing and game operation strategies based on the most precise information available.