About conversion goals

Note: This article describes the use of a new grouping of conversion actions into conversion goals, and a new experience during campaign creation and conversion tracking setup. The updates are designed to improve the performance of your campaigns by keeping a strong focus on your advertising objectives.

Your campaign bidding configurations set prior to this launch have been preserved, and all existing campaigns bidding towards conversions will continue to bid towards that exact same set of conversions.

Conversion goals help you organise your conversion actions so that you can more easily optimise towards your advertising objectives. Actions that you want your customers to take, or conversion actions, are grouped together based on related categories to form these conversion goals. For example, the 'Purchase' conversion goal would automatically contain all conversion actions (from purchasing online on selected websites to purchasing via select apps) that fall under the 'Purchase' category type.


  • Semantically meaningful grouping that helps advance optimisation: The conversion actions in your account are automatically grouped into relevant conversion goals to describe the actions that are the most meaningful for your business. This also helps unlock bidding improvements and optimisation opportunities.
  • Simplify conversion management: Select and edit conversion goals when you create new campaigns to make sure that you’re fully optimising for conversions that matter and getting the most from your campaigns. Capturing all relevant conversion actions is critical to helping you achieve your advertising objective. You can also set up account-default conversion goals that you can apply to various campaigns to save time on managing conversion goals for each campaign.
  • Improve campaign performance: Using account-default goals makes sure that all of your valuable conversions are being considered across all of your campaigns for your Smart Bidding strategies. This gives machine learning more data to learn from to power your bid strategies and deliver better performance. Read more about how Smart Bidding uses advanced machine learning to save time and boost performance.

Conversion actions

Conversion actions are meaningful actions that your customers and potential customers can take and that you've defined as valuable to your business, such as an online purchase or phone call. These actions, measured with conversion tracking, are now grouped together and categorised under conversion goals based on the category type that you select for each action. Learn how to set up a conversion action.

With conversion goals, bidding optimisation is determined by which goals your campaigns bid toward – more on that below. At the conversion action level, you can decide whether or not an individual conversion action is used for bidding optimisation, when the goal that it's part of is used for bidding. If you’d like a 'Purchase' conversion action to be used for bidding when campaigns are optimising towards the 'Purchase goal', you can indicate that it’s a 'primary' action.

  • Primary actions: These are used for bidding if the standard goal that they're included in is used for bidding. They're also used for reporting in the 'Conversions' column.
  • Secondary actions: These are used for reporting in the 'All conv.' column, but not for bidding, even if the standard goal that they're included in is used for bidding. The one exception for secondary action inclusion in bidding and reporting in the 'Conversions' column is when the secondary action is part of a 'Custom goal'.

Learn more about using conversion goals for conversion tracking

Conversion goal types

Standard goals

Conversion actions that you add are automatically grouped into conversion goals based on their conversion category type, for example, 'Purchases', 'Contacts', or 'Submit lead forms'. These goals are called standard conversion goals.

You can select standard goals as goals for default bidding optimisation across all campaigns in your account by making them 'account-default conversion goals.' Those that you haven’t chosen as account-default goals can still be used for bidding optimisation in specific campaigns.

Account-default goals

The standard conversion goals that you set up as account-default goals should be the conversion goals that you’d like all campaigns in your account to bid and optimise towards automatically. These are typically the most meaningful goals for your business. When you create a new campaign, all account-default goals in your account will be selected for optimisation by default.

To get the most out of automation and cross-campaign learning within the account, it's recommended that you optimise all of your campaigns to meet the same set of goals. You can do this by aligning all of your campaigns to the same account-default goals. When you create a new campaign, you’ll be shown your existing account-default goals to add to your campaign.


If you have an existing account-default goal of 'Purchases' that includes a variety of purchase-related conversion actions, that account-default goal will be suggested as a conversion goal for the campaign that you’re creating.

Note: If you have multiple standard conversion goals tracking different stages of the same conversion funnel, we recommend that you set only one of them as the account-default goal. For instance, if you’re an e-commerce shoe retailer that wants to drive more online shoe sales, it's recommended that you set 'Purchase' as the account-default goal.

Custom goals (for advanced users)

Custom goals are goals that you can create and add any combination of primary and secondary conversion actions. For example, you can create a custom goal with a primary conversion action from the 'Purchase' conversion goal and a secondary conversion action from the 'Submit Lead Form' conversion goal. You can create custom goals in your 'Conversions summary' (to view the summary in Google Ads, click 'Tools' and then under 'Measurement', click 'Conversions'). Note that generally, these goals are for advanced use and aren't recommended in most cases.


You’re only able to bid towards one custom goal per campaign, so if you do choose to use a custom goal for a new campaign, make sure that your custom goal includes all conversion actions that you want your bidding to focus on. You can’t combine multiple custom goals for a single campaign.

Terminology change




Conversion Action sets icon

Conversion action sets

Conversion goals icon

Standard goals & custom goals

Conversion settings icon

Include in conversion settings

Account level goals icon

Include in account-default goals +
primary conversion action

Conversion Actions icon

Conversion actions

Conversion Actions icon

Conversion actions grouped by category into conversion goals

Conversion categories icon

Conversion categories

Conversion categories icon

Conversion categories

Related links

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