Set up enhanced CPC for Shopping campaigns

Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) is a Smart Bidding strategy that helps you increase the number of conversions you receive while keeping your total spend the same.

With ECPC, you'll still have control over your bids just like you did before, but ECPC helps you by adjusting each bid based on how likely it is that a click will result in a conversion. If a click seems likely to convert, ECPC will raise your bid.

ECPC double-checks itself by leaving part of your traffic alone to work with your regular max CPC bids. Then it compares the two sets of results and adjusts accordingly. So when you choose ECPC, you should see conversion results that are better than, or at least the same as, the results you get without it.

This article explains how to set up ECPC bidding for your Shopping campaign.

Store visits are not supported in ECPC for Shopping campaigns. 

Before you begin

You will need to enable conversion tracking for your Shopping campaign. With conversion tracking in place, ECPC can use existing and evolving conversion rates and values to determine the most optimal bids. For best results, each of your campaigns should have more than 20 conversions per month.

If you're not sure which Smart Bidding strategy to use with your Shopping campaign, refer to our guidance on automated bidding for Shopping campaigns.

Keep in mind

ECPC bidding for Shopping ads works only on Google Search. Also, ECPC bidding does not apply adjustments to your bids for Shopping ads that appear on Search Partner sites. For ads appearing on Search Partner sites, smart pricing applies.

Available optimizations

Optimizing for conversions

ECPC looks for ad auctions that are more likely to lead to conversions, and then raises your max CPC bid (after applying any bid adjustments you've set) to compete harder for those clicks. If a click seems less likely to convert, Google Ads will lower your bid. ECPC will try to keep your average CPC below the max CPC you set (including bid adjustments), but may exceed your max CPC for short periods of time.

Example

Let’s say you sell shoes on your site, you've set your max CPC bid at $1, and you have ECPC bidding turned on. If Google Ads sees an auction that looks likely to lead someone to buy shoes on your site based on conversion tracking, it might set your bid to $1.70 for that auction. If another auction looks unlikely to lead to a sale, ECPC might lower your bid to $0.30 for that auction.

Optimizing for conversion value

ECPC looks for ad auctions that are more likely to lead to high-value conversions, and then raises your max CPC bid to compete harder for those clicks. If, based on conversion tracking, a click seems less likely to convert, or if the value of the conversion is lower than other conversions, Google Ads will lower your bid. ECPC will try to keep your average CPC below the max CPC you set but may exceed your max CPC for short periods of time. Learn more about conversion values.

Example

Let’s say your ad features a specific designer shirt, you’ve set your max CPC bid at $1, and you have ECPC bidding turned on. If you set total cart value as the conversion value, and Google Ads sees an auction likely to lead to a purchase of just that shirt, it might bid $0.40 for that auction. If another auction looks likely to lead to a purchase of several items of clothing and accessories at a much higher total price, ECPC might raise the bid to $1.10 for that auction.

Note: You will need to ensure that you have a conversion action with values included in Conversions in order to use this strategy. We recommend using transaction-specific conversion values for best results.

Instructions

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns from the page menu.
  3. Click the name of the campaign you want to work with.
  4. Click Settings in the page menu.
  5. Click the Bidding section, then click Change bid strategy.
  6. Select Manual CPC from the drop-down menu, check the Help increase conversions with Enhanced CPC option, and select either Optimize for conversions or Optimize for conversion value.
    • When you choose ECPC, Google Ads automatically sets your ad rotation setting to “Optimize”, even if it’s currently set to “Do not optimize”.
  7. Click Save.

To create a portfolio bid strategy for ECPC, read Create a portfolio bid strategy.

Tip: Choose which conversions to bid for

The Include in "Conversions" setting lets you decide whether or not to include individual conversion actions in your "Conversions" and "Conversion value" reporting columns. The data in these columns are used by bid strategies like target CPA, target ROAS, and ECPC, so your bid strategy will only optimize based on the conversions that you've chosen to include.

Cross-device conversions from Display Network, Video, Search, and Shopping campaigns are included by default.

Bid adjustments with ECPC

ECPC automatically takes into account different conversion rates for all types of traffic, but sets bids separately for mobile devices. This means you don’t need to set any bid adjustments (aside from mobile) for ECPC to maximize conversions. However, if you want to bid more aggressively for certain types of traffic, you can still choose to set a bid adjustment. This adjustment will be applied on top of ECPC’s automatic adjustments.

Mobile adjustments can also help incorporate any additional conversions that aren’t tracked using the Google Ads conversion tracking tag (such as in-store visits). ECPC will continue to automatically set bid adjustments for desktop traffic vs. tablet traffic based on differences in conversion rates.

Learn more about bid adjustments.

Monitor performance

Here are a few tips to check how ECPC is performing for your campaign:

  • Consider giving the bid strategy 15 days to run before you evaluate its performance. Allowing this time to pass gives the strategy time to adapt.
  • Make sure that you have enough data to evaluate the strategy’s performance. Consider reviewing your data weekly as opposed to daily, especially if there is little traffic.
  • Consider that a number of factors may affect your results over a period of time. Your results may be affected by holidays, weekends, special events, changes to your feed and your competitors in the auction.
  • Remember that your cost per click may go up or your number of clicks may go down, but this is expected as ECPC reduces bids for clicks with low expected conversions. ECPC then uses the savings to bid higher when a conversion or a high-value conversion seems more likely.
  • Account for conversion delays. Some conversions take more time than others, in some cases up to days or even weeks. If you compare recent performance with past performance, your recent performance might not look as strong because of conversion delay. Learn how to find a report on your conversion delay.
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