About Target CPA bidding for video ads

Target cost per acquisition (CPA) is an automated bidding strategy that lets you tell AdWords the amount that 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 in a form on your website. Target CPA bidding focuses on maximising conversions for your video ads, so that you pay for conversions rather than views, as in CPV biddingTrueView for action campaigns uses target CPA bidding to optimise 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 that you want to pay for a conversion. AdWords uses the 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 maximise conversions at your target CPA. 

Note: Target CPA doesn't include View-through conversions in optimisation.

The final amount that 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 optimise 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 basket 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 set up conversion tracking following instructions here

Note: Imported Google Analytics goals aren't fully supported for TrueView In-stream ads and will result in underreported conversion counts.

Tips to set up 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.


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-hand side, 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.

Find out more about how to add columns to see specific performance data.


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 that 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 seven days of conversion data may not be complete yet. You can exclude the last seven days of data to see more accurate reporting. Find out how to change the date range.

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