Absa boosts conversions by 94% and cuts costs by 7% with tCPA bidding

August 2017

A long established name in South Africa, Absa is one of the country’s main financial banks. It offers retail, private, investment and other banking services, as well as insurance. With the goal of gaining an optimal cost for the greatest return, Absa wanted to increase their conversions and reduce their cost per acquisition (CPA).

About ABSA

Retail, private and investment banking services

Headquarters Johannesburg


Increase conversions

Reduce cost per acquisition


Adopted Target CPA bidding


40% increase in clicks

52% reduction in cost per conversion

39% increase in conversion rate

94% growth in conversions

33% drop in average cost per click

7% reduction in costs

To boost performance, Absa and agency partner Maxus began an intensive programme of account optimisation and took advantage of a new advanced audience and bidding strategy, Target CPA bidding (tCPA), for some of their top campaigns. An AdWords Smart Bidding strategy, tCPA sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost per acquisition set by the advertiser. It uses advanced machine learning to automatically optimise and tailor bids for each and every auction.

Using historical information about Absa’s campaigns and evaluating contextual signals, tCPA bidding automatically found an optimal bid for every Absa ad whenever it was eligible to appear. AdWords set these bids to achieve an average CPA equal to the target across all ad groups and campaigns.

"The path to achieving positive returns on your investment is to continuously drive incremental improvements."

-Audrey Naidoo, Head Digital Marketing, Absa

Within two weeks, Absa’s performance showed significant improvements. The campaigns showed a 94% increase in conversions, 52% decrease in CPA, 36% increase in impressions and a 40% uplift in clicks. On top of this, the average cost per click dropped by 33% and costs were reduced by 7%. Based on these success metrics, Absa has expanded the use of tCPA across all of their accounts.

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