How using a CPA bid strategy in Google Ads increased revenue Experiment ID: #16974

The Heritage Foundation

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Experiment Summary

Ended On: 7/11/2019

In Google Ads, we wondered if leveraging a CPA-based bid strategy would impact donor conversion or revenue.

Research Question

Does a CPA-based bidding strategy on Google Ads impact donor conversion or revenue metrics?


Treatment Name Revenue per Visitor Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: Control $0.07 $40.50
T1: Treatment #1 $0.14 98.9% 99.2% $50.07

This experiment was validated using 3rd party testing tools. Based upon those calculations, a significant level of confidence was met so these experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 60.9% increase in conversion rate
× 23.6% increase in average gift
98.9% increase in revenue

Key Learnings

First, the good news ….

With a 99.1% level of confidence, we confirmed a +98.9% increase in revenue.

This is as a result of an increase conversion rate (+60.9%) alongside an increase in average gift (+23.6%) that produced a higher result.

Since the assumption was that most traffic coming through the CPC traffic channel would be searching for a brand keyword with the motivation or intent to find us anyways, there has never been much historical testing around leveraging new bid techniques in this channel.

Experiment Documented by...

Greg Colunga

Greg is Executive Vice President at NextAfter. If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.