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CPA Goal & CPT Bid Adjustment on Advertising Impact

When you use Advanced mode to place ASM, you will find two cost control data in the key phrase or keyword setting screen. One is CPT Bid, which means cost-per-click bid, and the other is CPA Goal, which is the target installation cost.

Literally, they are both used to control the cost, but they are not the same in essence. CPT Bid is the bid in the competition, and the role is to compete for the display volume assigned by Apple and control the cost of clicks. CPT Bid is a competitive bid that competes for Apple’s allotted display volume and controls the cost per click, but in general, the bid for CPT is much higher than the target cost per click in order to compete for more display volume.

Table of Content

  • CPA Goal is adjusted up or down by 50%, CPT Bid remains unchanged
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CPA Goal can help placements to control the final cost of installation. However, since ASM is a pay-per-click service, Apple does not have direct control over the cost of installation. CPA Goal’s control over the cost of installation is actually based on Apple’s estimated installation volume, and the cost of click is equal to the cost of installation multiplied by the click-through rate. In other words, for many ads with CPA Goal, the cost-per-click setting is not in fact a CPT Bid, but an amount derived from multiplying CPA Goal by Apple’s estimated install rate.

So what impact will the change have on the product data? Will it increase product volume? Will it reduce costs? We conducted seven research tests over two months and found that they both have different degrees of impact on advertising data after moderating the data.

The data of this study is divided into 4 groups, which are:

1. CPT Bid unchanged and adjusted CPA Goal.

2. no change in CPA Goal and adjustment of CPT Bid.

3. no CPA Goal and adjust CPT Bid.

4. raise the CPA Goal and CPT Bid at the same time.

Note: Red font means the data is going up, blue font means the data is going down

CPA Goal is adjusted up or down by 50%, CPT Bid remains unchanged

Data show that in the case of CPT Bid unchanged, after CPA Goal is adjusted by 50%, the display and cost are on the rise, and the rate of increase is large, but the conversion rate has decreased.

In the case of unchanged CPT Bid, after the CPA Goal was adjusted downward by 50%, all the data showed a significant decrease except for a small increase in conversion rate.

In other words, when the CPA Goal is increased, the conversion rate decreases, while when the CPA Goal is decreased, the conversion rate increases. This is because the conversion rate data is inversely proportional to the CPA of the ad (CPT=CPA*CR), so when the CPT bid is fixed, increasing the CPA Goal may lead to a decrease in conversion rate.

From the research data, the increase of CPA Goal is still obvious for the increase of display volume, and the installation cost will rise with the increase of CPA Goal and fall with the decrease of CPA Goal.

CPT Bid adjusts up or down by 50%, CPA Goal remains unchanged

The data shows that with CPA Goal unchanged, the CPT Bid is adjusted up or down, and as in the case of the previous group, both display and cost increase and conversion rate decreases.

In the case of unchanged CPA Goal, after the CPT Bid is adjusted downward, all the data except cost are on a downward trend.

Logically, lowering the CPT Bid should bring down the cost, but due to the bidding environment, if your lowered CPT Bid is still higher than the cost per click before the adjustment, then the cost will most likely go up.

For example, if your pre-adjustment bid was $5 and your cost-per-click was $2, then even if you lower your bid to $4, the cost-per-click of the ad may still go up to $3 due to the impact of competing bids.

Comparing the data of CPA Goal and CPT Bid, we can see that the increase of product volume is greater after adjusting CPA Goal than CPT Bid.

Without setting CPA Goal, the CPT Bid is adjusted up or down by 50%.

This set of experiments is mainly compared with the data in Group 2 (setting CPA Goal and adjusting CPT Bid), it is obvious that adjusting CPT Bid without setting CPA Goal can increase the product volume. If you do not need to set CPA Goal to control the cost and make the cost more stable, you can consider not setting CPA Goal first.

Increase CPA Goal and CPT Bid by 50% at the same time

Finally, we tested the increase of CPA Goal and CPT Bid at the same time, and compared with the first three sets of data, we found that the increase of CPA Goal and CPT Bid at the same time did not increase the product volume significantly. This is consistent with the increase in CPT Bid alone, and even lower than the increase in CPA Goal alone.

Comparing the data of this study, we can find that in terms of volume increase, increasing CPA Goal > increasing CPT Bid (without setting CPA Goal) > increasing CPT Bid (setting CPA Goal) = increasing both CPA Goal and CPT Bid at the same time.

However, this rule does not apply to all ads, as the specific change data is affected by Apple’s rules for determining cost limits.

Apple’s own cost-per-click limit is the lesser of “CPA Goal CR” or CPT Bid.

For example, if we set a CPT Bid of $3 and a CPA Goal of $5, and Apple estimates the CR of the product to be 50%, then Apple’s cost-per-click limit for you is 5*50% = $2.50.

If your CPA Goal remains the same, whether your CPT Bid increases to $100 or $1,000, the cost-per-click limit as determined by Apple will always be $2.50, which means that the CPT Bid adjustment will not have any effect on the ad data. By the same token, the CPA Goal adjustment may be affected by the amount of the CPT Bid setting.

Therefore, when adjusting the CPA Goal & CPT Bid values, you should consider not to set the amount of one side too high, otherwise Apple will consider the other value as the cost limit, which will result in the adjustment of the data without much impact on the product volume.


CPA Goal is directly proportional to conversion rate, raising CPA Goal will make conversion rate decrease, on the contrary, when lowering CPA Goal can increase conversion rate.

In this case, CPA Goal & CPT Bid upward can effectively increase the product volume, and the increase in volume is more obvious after raising CPA Goal, but the specific change in volume will be affected by the initial setting amount and Apple’s judgment rules.

In this case, the advertising cost will become higher with the increase of CPA Goal & CPT Bid, and the decrease of CPA Goal & CPT Bid will not necessarily reduce the cost due to the influence of bidding environment.