Drive action with Video

Official checklist for driving online conversions with YouTube ads.

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Whether they’re just discovering a product or making a purchase, people are increasingly turning to video to help them when they’re shopping. In fact, and over 40% of global shoppers say they’ve purchased products they found on YouTube.1

Follow these best practices for effective direct-response campaigns on YouTube. 

1. Set yourself up for measurable success

  • Create your Video campaign in the same account as your Search and Display campaigns.

Why: This will prevent Google Ads from double-counting conversions.

Why: This is essential to understanding how people interact with your ad and what their path to conversion looked like.


Optimize for light conversion events such as a site visit, form completion, content download or ‘add to cart.’

  • Select Leads, Sales or Website Traffic as the campaign goal then Video as the campaign type.

Why: When you start with a campaign goal in Google Ads, you’ll see suggested settings and bidding strategies to help you obtain that goal.

2. Make it easy for viewers to take action from your video

Why: TrueView for action campaigns are skippable in-stream ads designed to drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls-to-action to your video ads.


Experiment with creative variations. Try 5+ variants using different CTAs & headlines.

Why: Extensions make it easier to engage with your ads. Sitelinks on TrueView for action campaigns can drive up to 40% higher conversions, 20% higher clicks and 30% lower CPAs on mobile devices.2

3. Extend your search keyword strategy to YouTube

Why: 80% of people say they typically switch between online search and video when researching products to buy3, so high-performing keywords from Search should also be effective on YouTube.

  • Upload 10-15 keywords to your custom intent audiences.

Why: Using converting and assisting keywords from your search campaigns creates a more customized audience for you to reach.


Run potential video keywords through the Keyword Planner to get a sense of your potential impact on YouTube.

  • Avoid adding age and gender on top of custom intent audiences.

Why: When you go beyond demographics, you can reach more relevant people based on their intent to buy.

Why: Using remarketing helps you reach users at varying stages of the purchase funnel. TrueView for action campaigns using remarketing generate 270% higher conversion rates at less than half the cost compared to TrueView for action campaigns using other audience types.4

4. Set your bidding strategy

  • Select the right Smart Bidding for your TrueView for action campaign.

Why: Smart Bidding strategies like maximize conversions and target CPA use machine learning to optimize for conversions based on your campaign objectives.


Help the optimization algorithm improve your campaign faster by starting with maximize conversion to boost your initial conversion volume. Your daily budget should be 10X your Video CPA so that you generate at least 5 conversions per day for at least 14 days.

  • Use the bidding suggestions in Google Ads to set a competitive target CPA.

Why: Typically your bids on Video campaigns will be higher than the bids you use on Search and Display.

5. Understand how Video impacts other campaigns

Why: These reports can help you improve CPA or budget setting by giving credit to assisting Google campaigns across Search, Shopping and YouTube.



1. Source: Google/Ipsos, Global (U.S., CA, BR, U.K., DE, FR, JP, IN, KR, AU), “How People Shop with YouTube” Study, 18–64-year-olds who go online at least monthly and have purchased something in the last year, n=24,017, July 2018.
2. Source: Google Data, Global, Nov 2019. Study based on YouTube app (Android and iOS) results of 260 beta TrueView for Action advertisers.
3. Source: Google/Magid Advisors, "The Role of Digital Video in People’s Lives”, Global (US, CA, BR, UK, DE, FR, JP, IN, KR, AU), August 2018, n=20,000, A18-64 general online population.
4. Source: YouTube Internal Data, Global, June 2018 - July 2018


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