Use pay for conversions in Display campaigns

You can choose to pay for conversions, rather than clicks or interactions, in a Display campaign. Paying for conversions means you only pay when customers convert on your website or app.

Keep in mind that the pay for conversions feature is only available to Google Ads accounts that meet our requirements. In this article, you’ll learn how to set up pay for conversions for Display campaigns.

How it works

Pay for conversions uses the same bidding algorithm as when you pay for clicks or interactions.

  • Pay for conversions works with the Target CPA bidding strategy. Rather than clicks or interactions, you’re billed for the conversions that you receive at your Target CPA.
For example, if you set your Target CPA to $10 USD and you get 10 conversions during a month, you'd be billed $100 USD.
  • You won't be charged for impressions, interactions, or clicks leading to the conversions.
  • You'll be charged based on CPA at impression time.
Note: Conversions are reported based on the time of click or interaction. For conversions that happen a few days after the ad had an interaction, you will be charged a few days earlier as they have crossed the billing end boundary.

Before you begin

Although Google Ads may show you that you can use pay for conversions, your account may not meet the eligibility requirements. Some common reasons why your account may be ineligible include:

Conversion action isn’t eligible

To use pay for conversions, exclude the “Import from clicks” and “Store visits” conversion actions from your conversion reporting:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the upper right corner, click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon]
  3. Under "Measurement", click Conversions.
  4. Click the name of the conversion action that you want to edit.
  5. Click Edit settings.
  6. Click Include in “Conversions”.
  7. Uncheck the box to exclude the conversion action in the “Conversions” column.
  8. Click Save, and then click Done. The conversion action should now show as “No” under the “‘Include in ‘Conversions’” column.

Conversion delays

You can’t use pay for conversions if you have a conversion delay (the time between a click and a conversion) of more than 7 days.

If you've set up conversion tracking, you can use conversion delay reports to understand how long it takes customers who view your ads to complete a conversion. Use the following steps to access conversion delay reports:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu on the left, click Campaigns, Ad groups, or Keywords.
  3. Check that the date range for your report ends at least 30 days from the campaign start date (or longer, if you have a longer conversion window), and make sure the report has complete conversion data. To change the date range, use the date range selector in the upper right corner of the page.
  4. Click the segment icon , then select Conversions > Days to conversion. This segments the conversion columns in your report into up to 19 rows.

Ineligible for undisclosed reasons

It’s possible that your account can be ineligible for pay for conversions due to undisclosed reasons in Google Ads. In this case, you’ll receive an error message in Google Ads that says, “Your account is ineligible to pay for conversions.”

Making changes to address the issues noted here will not guarantee that the account is eligible. Eligibility is determined by a multitude of factors (such as the API) and can change daily.

Conversion requirements

Your account must have more than 100 conversions in the last 30 days to use pay for conversions. You’ll also need 90% of your conversions to occur within less than 7 days after someone clicks your ad. If it often takes customers more than a week to convert after clicking your ad, then you won’t be able to use pay for conversions.

Keep in mind that you may have a slight delay between when conversions are reported and when you’re charged. Learn more about conversion delay and conversion windows.

Limit on CPA

You can set a Target CPA less than $200 USD (or equivalent in local currency) for your campaigns and ad groups to use pay for conversions. If you set a CPA higher than $200 USD (or equivalent in local currency), you'll find a warning message in the UI and charged the higher CPA amount that you set in your settings. To avoid being overcharged, reduce the Target CPA below $200 USD (or equivalent in local currency) for your campaigns and ad groups or use pay for clicks instead.

Budget

Pay for conversions uses more flexible budgeting rules because the number of conversions in a given day varies more than the number of clicks. As a result, if you pay for conversions, your daily spend may exceed your average daily budget by more than 2 times. This gives Smart Bidding room to optimize better across your campaigns.

The initial monthly budget of a campaign that uses pay for conversions is based on the average daily budget that the campaign starts the month with multiplied by 30.4. If the average daily budget is changed during the month, this monthly budget no longer applies and will be replaced with a new budget based on the remaining days in the month.

You can’t change a day’s budget after it has passed. If you change a day’s budget during that day, your spend on that day will adjust to the budget. If the new budget is lower than the previous one, your ads will stop serving for that day and resume the following day following the new budget.

Example

Say your average daily budget starts March at $100 USD. This means your monthly budget starts at $3,040 USD (100 x 30.4). After a week you decide to lower the budget to $75 USD. On the 8th, your earlier budget no longer applies and you’re set with a new budget for the remaining 24 days of March that totals $1,800 USD (75 x 24). For the last week, you decide to raise the average daily budget to $150 USD. On day 25, your earlier budget no longer applies and you’re set with a new budget for the remaining 7 days of March that totals $1,050 USD (150 x 7). Lastly, you set the average daily budget to $100 USD effective on April 1. This sets your April monthly budget to start at $3,040 USD, but has no effect on the March budget currently in place.

Over the course of March, your spend may have looked like this:

$700 USD ($100 USD for 7 days) +

$1,275 USD ($75 USD for 17 days) +

$1,050 USD ($150 USD for 7 days) =

$3,025 USD total for the month

Note: Pay for conversions campaigns will respect monthly budgets, but pacing may not be even. In rare circumstances, this may result in monthly budgets being exhausted before the. month's end.

Instructions

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu on the left, click Campaigns.
  3. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  4. Choose Sales, Leads, Website traffic, or Brand awareness and reach.
    • If you don’t have a goal in mind, you can also select Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.
  5. Select Display as the campaign type.
  6. Provide the URL for your business’ website.
  7. Enter a name for your campaign.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. In the “Bidding” section, select Conversions as your main bidding goal.
  10. Select Automatically maximize conversions, then check the box next to "Set a target cost per action".
  11. Set your Target CPA.
  12. Under “Pay for”, select Conversions.
  13. When you’re finished, click Create campaign.

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