Set a conversion goal in a campaign

About conversion goals in AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns

Automatically set bid adjustments and create location targets and product groups

As an advertiser, you organize your campaigns, and the ad groups and product groups within them, to align with your advertising focus. You may want to emphasize brand, highlight products, or generate leads -- and maximize conversions or revenue. 

With your goals in mind, you configure, manage, review, and constantly adjust bids or other settings in your campaigns that target mobile devices, specific geographic locations, previous customers, or highlight your best-selling products.

There is an easier way. You can set a conversion goal in AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns and let DoubleClick Search automate some of the adjusting and managing for you.

What is a conversion goal?

You may be familiar with conversion goals if you've used bid strategy opportunities. A conversion goal enables you to specify whether you want to maximize conversions or revenue in a campaign or bid strategy opportunity.

A conversion goal functions slightly differently depending on whether it's applied to an individual AdWords or Bing Ads campaign or used in a bid strategy opportunity. In both cases, the conversion goal automates certain tasks for you.

When applied to an individual campaign, a conversion goal can manage bid adjustments and auto-generate (or adapt) location targets, remarketing targets, or product groups to maximize conversions or revenue based on the historical performance of selected conversions. The goal optimizes the adjustments and targets in the individual campaign. A conversion goal isn't used to set bids.

Learn more about adaptive campaign options.
You can apply the same conversion goal to multiple campaigns to independently manage each campaign's bid adjustments. For example, if you apply a goal called Maxconversions to campaign A and campaign B, the goal will manage campaign A's selected bid adjustments separately from campaign B's selected bid adjustments.

When a conversion goal is applied in a bid strategy opportunity, the goal is used to identify a group of campaigns with similar performance that would benefit from being managed by a bid strategy. If you convert the opportunity into a bid strategy, the bid strategy's goal is used to manage the bidding for the portfolio of campaigns within constraints that you specify.

Like a conversion goal in a campaign, a bid strategy is used manage bid adjustments to maximize conversions or revenue. The bid strategy's goal and targets can also be used to automatically create (adapt) location targets, remarketing targets, and product groups in its campaigns.

Note that a bid strategy can set bids, set or recommend bid adjustments, and adapt targets for a portfolio of campaigns. A conversion goal can be used to set or recommend bid adjustments and adaptive targets in a single campaign.

Bid adjustments and adaptive targets

Set a conversion goal in an AdWords or Bing Ads campaign to allow DoubleClick Search to automatically set or recommend bid adjustments and auto-generate location targets, remarketing targets, and product groups based on historical performance data.

If you apply a goal to a campaign, but don’t select the bid adjustments, the conversion goal only recommends bid adjustments.

Conversion goals manage different bid adjustments and adaptive targets in AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns.

AdWords campaign bid adjustments and adaptive targets

  • Set or recommend different types bid adjustments (similar to a bid strategy)

    • Mobile bid adjustments
    • Remarketing target (ad groups only)
    • Location target (geo-location only) 
  • Adapt or auto-generate geo location targets from a larger target
    DoubleClick Search will automatically create and manage smaller, more focused geo-location targets from an existing high-level location target, such as a country, state, or province.

    If you're using adaptive location targets, we also recommend that you let DS set bid adjustments for the geo-location targets.
  • Auto-generate remarketing targets
  • Adapt or auto-generate focused product groups within ad groups (applicable only for shopping campaigns)


Bing Ads campaign bid adjustment and adaptive target

  • Set or recommend mobile device bid adjustments (similar to a bid strategy)

  • Adapt or auto-generate focused product groups within ad groups (applicable only for shopping campaigns)

Ad groups inherit bid adjustments from conversion goal

An ad group can inherit the automated bidding settings from its campaign if the ad group doesn't specify different settings. That is, if an ad group is set to to inherit bidding settings from a campaign with a conversion goal applied, the ad group will inherit the campaign's bid adjustments.

How ad groups inherit bid adjustment settings from campaign with an applied conversion goal.


Suppose the Maxconversions goal that is applied to CampaignA is setting the campaign's mobile device bid adjustment to 20%. The conversion goal is only recommending the location target and remarketing target bid adjustments, each recommended at -10%.  
One of the campaign's ad groups, Maxadgroup1, is set to inherit bid adjustments from the campaign. This means that the ad group's bidding setting is set to Manual bidding (inherited). The ad group will use the same bid adjustments as the campaign. The ad group's mobile bid adjustment is set to 20%, while the location and remarketing target bid adjustments are recommended at -10%.
Another of the campaign's ad groups, Maxadgroup2, has a DS bid strategy applied to it. Because a DoubleClick Search bid strategy is applied to Maxadgroup2, the mobile device bid adjustments as well as the other bid adjustments in the ad group are managed by the bid strategy.
If an ad group's bidding setting is set to Manual bidding, it doesn't automatically inherit any bid adjustments from the campaign. If you want the ad group to inherit bid adjustments from the campaign, you can set the AdWords or Bing Ads ad group to inherit targeting settings from the campaign.

Overview of process for creating and applying a conversion goal

The process for creating a conversion goal is similar to the process for creating a bid strategy opportunity goal:

  1. Create a conversion goal.
    1. Select the KPI, conversions or revenue, to maximize your ROI.
    2. Choose the type of conversion.
  2. Select a campaign and apply the conversion goal to the campaign.

    1. Select one of the following types of campaigns:

      • Manual campaign
      • Shopping campaign
      • Mobile app install campaign
    2. In the campaign settings, set the bidding strategy to Manual bidding.

    3.  Apply the conversion goal to the campaign.

    4. Select the bid adjustments and adaptive settings that you want the goal to manage.


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