Smart Bidding guide for display campaigns

Choose your Smart Bidding strategy for display campaigns

For more detailed guidance on Smart Bidding strategies for display campaigns, download the Display Smart Bidding Guide.

Smart Bidding looks at an exclusive set of signals and over 70 million permutations of those signals to set real-time bids for each and every auction in Google Ads. The algorithm that Smart Bidding uses analyses key attributes about each auction and determines the likelihood of conversions for your display campaign.

You can choose either of these Smart Bidding strategies in your display campaigns:

  • Maximise conversions: The algorithm automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. You don’t need to provide a specific CPC, CPA or ROAS target. You can activate Maximise conversions at the campaign level or by selecting a portfolio bid strategy. You don’t need to set up conversion tracking to use Maximise conversions (although it’s encouraged for optimal performance).
  • Target cost-per-action (Target CPA): The algorithm sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible at or below your target cost-per-action. With target CPA, you can bid towards click-based conversions only or click- and view-based conversions. You can activate target CPA at the campaign level or by selecting a portfolio bid strategy.
  • Target return on ad spend (Target ROAS): The algorithm helps you get more conversion value or revenue at your target return on ad spend (ROAS). You can activate target ROAS at the campaign level or by selecting a portfolio bid strategy.
  • Enhanced CPC (ECPC): The algorithm helps you get more conversions from manual bidding. ECPC works by automatically adjusting your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. This bidding strategy is recommended for advertisers seeking to retain a degree of manual CPC bidding control or who are using a third-party bidding tool. You can activate ECPC at the campaign level. You can use ECPC with or without conversion tracking.

In addition to these bidding strategies, you can choose to pay for clicks, pay for conversions or pay for viewable impressions.

Payment mode Description Compatible bidding strategies
Pay for clicks Pay the cost for every user who clicks on your ad

Maximise conversions

Target CPA

Target ROAS

Pay for conversions Pay the cost for every user who converts on your ad Eligible advertisers using target CPA
Pay for viewable impressions Pay the cost for every viewable impression seen by users you target Target CPA (when bidding towards click-through and view-through conversions)*

*Currently in beta. Ask your Google account representative for more information.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the Smart Bidding strategies available and how to use them in your display campaigns.

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