Use your search mindset to find success on YouTube

Official checklist for managing video campaigns like a search marketer.

People are increasingly turning to online video to discover and research products. In fact, more than 55% of people search for a product on Google, and then learn more by going to YouTube before they buy it.1 In many ways, managing campaigns on YouTube can be a lot like managing search campaigns. Use the advice below to succeed with video using your search mindset:

1. Extend your search keyword strategy to YouTube

Why: Custom intent audiences reach people who are actively researching your product on Google. They’re more likely to be ready to take action.

  • Upload a minimum of 50 keywords to your custom intent audiences.

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

  • Avoid layering demographics on top of custom intent audiences.

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


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

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

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


Use a creative with a clearly defined product offering and strong call-to-action. Check out our guide to YouTube advertising on how to create great video ads.

3. Set your bidding strategy up for success

  • Enable Smart Bidding on your TrueView for action campaigns.

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


Boosting your initial conversion volume will help the optimization algorithm improve your campaign faster. When you start a new TrueView for action campaign, your budget should be at least 20x your CPA until you are consistently generating 50 conversions per day.

A TrueView for action ad shown on a mobile device

4. Understand how measurement differs across search and video

  • Treat search and video conversions differently, but part of the same end goal.

Why: An ad doesn’t have to be clicked for it to be effective, particularly for video advertising. Different metrics and goals may work for different campaign types.

Why: See how effectively your video ads drive valuable customer activity, such as clicks to your website, purchases, newsletter sign-ups, and more.


Consider tracking micro-conversions to better understand how your video ads are performing at each step of the purchase journey.



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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