Use your search mindset to find success on YouTube

Official checklist for managing video campaigns like a search marketer.

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People are increasingly adding video into their customer journeys, using online video to discover, research, and influence purchase decisions. In fact, more than 55% of people search for a product on Google, and then learn more by going to YouTube before making a purchase.1 And as seamlessly as customers are switching between Search and YouTube, managing your video campaigns is just as simple. Use the advice below to learn how you can use your search mindset to drive action on YouTube.

1. Create your video campaign just as simply as your search campaign

  • Start your video campaign in the same account as your Search and Display campaigns.

Why: This provides you with the most accurate results and prevents any conversions from being double counted.

Why: This helps measure online actions generated by your video campaign and shows how effectively your video ads drive valuable customer activity, such as clicks to your website, purchases, newsletter sign-ups, and more.

2. Extend your search keyword strategy to YouTube

Why: Custom intent and remarketing audiences reach people who are actively researching your product or service on Google, or are already engaged with your company. They’re the people most likely to take action.

  • Upload a minimum of 300-500 of your highest converting keywords when using custom intent audiences.

Why: Using all 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.

3. Make it easy for people to take action on your campaigns

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


Experiment with at least 5 creative variations with clearly defined product offerings and strong calls-to-action. Check out our guide to YouTube advertising on how to create great video ads.

4. Set your bidding strategy up for success with Smart Bidding

  • Start with Maximize conversions if this is your first TrueView for action campaign, and use a budget that is at least 10x your expected campaign CPA or 30x your Search CPA. ​

Why: Maximize conversions will help you capture the most conversions within your budget while continuously optimizing for the lowest CPA.

  • Monitor your performance for one week before making campaign adjustments.

Why: It can take 3-7 days for the algorithm to learn how to best optimize for your campaign goals.


After running your campaign for 2 weeks with Maximize conversions, switch to a Target CPA bidding strategy to get more conversions at your current CPA. You are ready to switch when you see a steady conversion volume of 5 conversions/day over 7 days with consistent CPAs that don’t vary more than 20%.

  • Once you are using a Target CPA bidding, make sure your daily budget is at least 20x your target CPA bid.

Why: Without budget constraints, target CPA bidding can help you find additional conversions at your desired CPA.

TrueView for action
A TrueView for action ad shown on a mobile device


1Source: 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.


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