About Target CPA bidding for video ads

Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is an automated bidding strategy that lets you tell AdWords the amount you're willing to pay for a conversion. AdWords then automatically sets your bids to give you as many conversions as possible at your targeted cost-per-acquisition.

This bid strategy can help you reach customers who are likely to take an action, such as purchasing or filling out a form on your website. Target CPA bidding focuses on maximizing conversions for your video ads, so that you pay for conversions rather than views, as in CPV biddingTrueView for action campaigns use target CPA bidding to optimize in order to drive clicks and relevant conversions on your website.

How it works

To use target CPA for your TrueView campaign, you must first set up conversion tracking on your website. Once you set up conversion tracking, you can start using target CPA by selecting Target CPA under “Bidding” when you create your TrueView for action campaign, or in campaign settings for existing campaigns.

You’ll set your target CPA, which is the average amount you want to pay for a conversion. AdWords uses conversion data from your campaigns to predict how likely an engaged view of your ad is to make a user convert. Based on this prediction, AdWords automatically manages your bids to maximize conversions at your target CPA. 

Note: Target CPA does not include View-through conversions in optimization.

The final amount you're charged

Your actual CPA may be above or below your target CPA. This is because:

  • Your actual CPA depends on factors outside Google's control, like changes to your website, your ads, or increased competition in ad auctions.
  • Your actual conversion rate can be lower than the predicted conversion rate.

Tips to optimize your target CPA for website conversions

When starting a new campaign or making changes to bids, targeting, or your ads, allow for 7 to 10 days before evaluating Target CPA performance. Target CPA works best when there are at least 5 to 10 conversions per day. If your conversions are below this range, consider applying tracking and bidding on more frequent conversions such as website visitors, form starts, or shopping cart additions, for example.

Conversion tracking for websites

Conversion tracking helps you see how effectively your campaigns lead to actions on your website. For websites you’ll need to setup conversion tracking following instructions here

Note: Imported Google Analytics goals are not fully supported for TrueView In-stream ads and will result in underreported Conversion counts.

Tips to setup conversion tracking for websites

You may want to track multiple types of conversion actions. For example, in addition to tracking a final transaction like a purchase, you could also track your website visitors by setting up a conversion to track page views with a counting option of one per user. To include multiple conversion actions in your target CPA bidding strategy, use the “Include in ‘Conversions’” setting.

Reporting

You can see the results of your target CPA bid strategy in the statistics table on the Campaigns page. To monitor your conversion tracking, add conversions to the statistics table for your campaign. This will show you the number of conversions resulting from your ads. 

To add the conversions column:

  1. In the page menu on the left, click Campaigns
  2. In the toolbar above the statistics table, click the columns icon Columns, and select Modify columns.
  3. Under the "Conversions" section, select Conversions.

Learn more about how to add columns to see specific performance data.

Tip

To see more specific data for each conversion action, like the number of purchases and the cost-per-purchase (under “Cost/conv.”), you can segment your conversions by “Conversion name.” Learn how to use segments to view performance data.

Accounting for conversion delays

Conversion numbers may take several days to show up on reporting due to delayed interactions between a person’s device, Google, and any third party tracking services you might use. In addition, users don’t always take an action immediately after viewing your ad.

When reviewing conversion reports for video ads, note that the previous 7 days of conversion data may not be complete yet. You can exclude the last 7 days of data to see more accurate reporting. Learn how to change the date range.

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