What is it?
The learning phase is when the Google algorithm learns how your campaigns are conducted, how much you spend, and how it could save you on cost-per-click.
This is a phenomenon that will be reflected in campaigns that have more fundamental changes. One of them is the switch to a new CSS partner. Usually, the learning phase begins the day after switching to another CSS service and takes 1 to 10 days.
The learning phase occurs when you use a smart bidding strategy, such as maximizing conversion value or target ROAS.
How does this learning phase look like?
You may find that your Shopping campaign temporarily raises your CPC by between 5 and 20 percent. At first glance, this sounds like the exact opposite of what you want to achieve by switching to a CSS partner, such as CSS Shopping in EU. However, the algorithm needs to find out how much lower CPC it can provide relative to competitors and the market in which you advertise your products. At the same time, the performance of your campaigns will be temporarily degraded, for example, with clicks decreasing. If you have a lot of campaigns and a lot of data in your account, the learning phase will take less time (a few days), if you have fewer campaigns running, it can be up to 2 weeks.
So how does it look like in practice?
In practice, it looks like after the learning period, there is a reduction in the price per click in Shopping campaigns. When using a CSS partner, this is a permanent effect that reduces the cost of clicks in Shopping campaigns by up to 20%.
However, it must be said that the change in the average CPC is influenced by many factors. And they can change every day. These include:
- change of competition in search
- various unexpected events
- change of the CSS partner
- increased number of advertisers running under a CSS partner
For example, it may happen that one of your competitors turns off ads, so your e-shop with lower bids can get into better positions and get more clicks.
Therefore, it is best to evaluate the benefits of CSS services in the long run and ideally under other unchanged conditions.
We bring you a specific example – switch to our CSS service was at 14.2., then 15.2. CPC increased slightly and then fell and remained at a lower level than before.
If the campaign has been completely paused for several days, the learning phase may be extended, so this is not recommended.