Google adds pay for conversions bidding in Display campaigns

Advertisers can pay for conversions rather than clicks or impressions.

Google adds pay for conversions bidding in Display campaigns |

Advertisers can now select conversion-based bidding in Google Display Network.

Google has announced the availability of conversion-based bidding for display campaigns called “Pay for conversions”.

Why you should care

With the new bidding options, advertisers are charged when users convert from the ads rather than for ad clicks or impressions.

Similar to Google search campaigns, advertisers that want to pay by conversion set a Target CPA (cost per acquisition) in the Bidding section of campaign settings. In an example of how the pricing works, Google offered, “Let’s say your target CPA is $10, and you drove 30 conversions over the weekend. You’ll pay exactly $300, with an actual CPA of $10.”

Pay for conversions uses the same bidding algorithm as click-based payment. Google says, “you’ll never pay above your target cost per action.” The goal is to generate as many conversions as possible at that target threshold.

Your account must have more than 100 conversions in the past 30 days to be eligible for pay for conversions. Additionally, the time between click and conversion must be shorter than 7 days for at least 90 percent of those conversions. To see your conversion lag time data in the Google Ads UI, segment data from the past 30 days or more by Conversions > Days to conversion.

More on Target CPA bidding

  • Target CPA bidding is most appropriate for relatively high volume campaigns promoting products or services with similar margins. The upper limit on Target CPA is $200.
  • If you get an error while trying to use pay for conversions, your account may be ineligible for “undisclosed reasons.” Google says eligibility is refreshed daily.
  • Pay for conversions does not work for conversions imported from calls or Salesforce or for cross-device conversions. It also doesn’t work with shared budgets.
  • There is also an option to use Smart Display campaigns with pay for conversions. Campaigns need to reach 50 conversions in a 30-day period to be eligible for Smart Display campaigns.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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