Pay for conversions

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

The option to pay for conversions is only available when you use Target CPA with Display campaigns.

This article explains how to set up pay for conversions for a standard display campaign or a Smart Display campaign.

How it works

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

  • If you choose to pay for conversions, you still use the Target CPA bidding strategy, but you pay for conversions instead of clicks. You'll only be billed for conversions received at the Target CPA that you set.
For example, if you set your Target CPA to £10 and you get 10 conversions during a month, you'd be billed £100.
  • You won't be charged for clicks or impressions leading to the conversions.
  • You'll be charged based on CPA at impression time.
Note: Conversions are reported based on the time of click. For conversions that happen a few days after the ad was clicked, you will be charged a few days earlier as they have crossed the billing end boundary.

Remember that although your Google Ads experience may show you pay for conversions as an option, your account may not meet the eligibility requirements. You can make sure that your account is eligible to pay for conversions in a few ways. The following sections contain common reasons why your account may be ineligible, and the steps that can be taken to ensure your eligibility to pay for conversions.

Remove offline conversion tracking

Offline conversion types include 'Import from clicks' and 'Shop visits'. If you want to be eligible for pay for conversions, make sure that these conversion types aren't included.

Follow these steps to check whether you account has offline conversions, and to remove them:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon, then click Conversions under 'Measurement'.
  3. Check for conversion source in the 'Source' column.
  4. Tick the box next to the name of the conversion action, and from the Edit drop-down, click Remove.

Conversion delays

Advertisers can't use Pay for Conversion unless the CID has a conversion delay (aka conversion lag, time between click and conversion) of fewer than seven days.

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

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns, Ad groups or Keywords in the left page menu.
  3. Check that the date range for your report ends at least 30 days ago (or longer if you have a longer conversion window) to make sure that the report has complete conversion data. To change the date range, use the date range selector in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  4. Click the segment icon, select Conversions, 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 the UI that reads, 'Your account is ineligible to pay for conversions'. If you receive this message, it means that you'll be ineligible to opt in campaigns at this time, although eligibility is refreshed daily.

Making changes to address the issues noted here won't guarantee that the account is eligible. Eligibility is determined by a multitude of factors such as the API, and can change daily.

Set up pay for conversions

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu, click Campaigns.
  3. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  4. Choose from the Sales, Leads, or Website Traffic goals.
    • If the information in this article doesn't reflect what you're seeing, you may have a different version of goals. For information on your version, please see About campaign goals in Google Ads.
  5. Select the Display campaign type.
  6. Select Standard display campaign or Smart display campaign.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. In the 'Bidding' section, under 'How do you want to get conversions?', select Automatically maximise conversions and tick the box for 'Set a target cost per action'.
  9. Under 'Pay for', select Conversions,
  10. Click Create campaign.

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 pay for conversions.

Bear in mind, you may see 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 (or equivalent in local currency), you'll see a warning message in the UI and charged the higher CPA amount that you set in your settings. To avoid being overcharged, please reduce the Target CPA below $200 (or equivalent in local currency) for your campaigns and ad groups or switch to pay for clicks.


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 two times. This gives Smart Bidding room to optimise better across your campaigns.

The initial monthly budget of a pay for conversions campaign 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.

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

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

£700 (£100 for 7 days) +

£1,275 (£75 for 17 days) +

£1,050 (£150 for 7 days) =

£3,025 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.

Learn more about Why costs might exceed your average daily budget.

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