Changes to how Smart Bidding strategies are organized for Search campaigns

Smart Bidding helps you reach your conversion and conversion value goals by automatically setting bids using real-time signals. Google is changing how bid strategies are organized for Search campaigns to focus on 2 main performance goals:

  1. Conversions
  2. Conversion value

You’ll still be able to use Target CPA and Target ROAS as bid strategies. They will simply be bundled with the Maximize conversions and Maximize conversion value bid strategies, respectively. This means that:

  • Maximize conversions will have an optional target CPA
  • Maximize conversion value will have an optional target ROAS

You’ll start seeing these optional fields in the next few months as you create new bid strategies. There will be no impact to bidding behavior due to this update. Using the optional target CPA and target ROAS fields will optimize your performance the same way Target CPA and Target ROAS bid strategies do today.

Performance goal Current Bid Strategy Updated Bid Strategy
Maximize conversions within a set budget Maximize conversions Maximize conversions
  • Optional target CPA
Maximize conversions to a target CPA Target CPA
Maximize conversion value within a set budget Maximize conversion value Maximize conversion value
  • Optional target ROAS
Maximize conversion value to a target ROAS Target ROAS
Note: You don’t need to take any action on any of these changes and there will be no impact to bidding behavior. These changes only impact Search campaigns and won’t impact other campaign types that support Smart Bidding.

Timeline

You’ll start seeing optional target fields for new Maximize conversions or Maximize conversion value bid strategies in the next few months. With an optional target, Smart Bidding will optimize to these goals the same way it would for Target CPA and Target ROAS. Maximize conversions with a set target CPA will behave like Target CPA strategy does today, and similarly, Maximize conversion value with a set target ROAS will behave like a Target ROAS strategy does today.

You can still create new Target CPA and Target ROAS bid strategies in the meantime. However, starting later this year you’ll only see the updated options:

  • Maximize conversions with an optional target CPA
  • Maximize conversion value with an optional target ROAS

Starting in early 2022, as part of this change, your existing Target CPA and Target ROAS strategies will be switched to these new fields automatically. You will be notified in advance before these changes start rolling out.

How it works

When you select Maximize conversions or Maximize conversion value bid strategies, you can choose to add an optional target CPA and target ROAS instead of creating standalone strategies for Search campaigns.

  • Maximize conversions using a target CPA:
    • Google Ads automatically sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-action (CPA) you set.
    • Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.
    • This strategy will work as the Target CPA bid strategy does today.
  • Maximize conversion value using a target ROAS:
    • Google Ads automatically sets bids to help get as much conversion value as possible to achieve an average return on ad spend (ROAS) at the target you set.
    • Some conversions may have a higher or lower return than your target.
    • Within the Maximize conversion value strategy, this target ROAS is the average conversion value you’d like to get for each dollar you spend on ads.
    • Enter a value as a percentage using this formula: Conversion value ÷ ad spend x 100% = target ROAS percentage. For example, if your goal is to get an average of $5 in sales for each $1 you spend on ads, your target ROAS would be 500%.
    • This strategy will work as the Target ROAS bid strategy does today.
Note: When the optional targets aren’t set, Maximize conversions and Maximize conversion value will still behave in the same way that they do today.

Instructions

Set up your Maximize conversions using a target CPA or your Maximize conversion value using a target ROAS bid strategies

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns.
  3. Click the campaign you’d like to edit.
  4. Click Settings and scroll down to the “Bidding” settings. You can select to focus on:
    • Conversions: You can select to set a target cost per action on your Maximize conversions campaign.
    • Conversion value: You can select to set a target return on ad spend Maximize conversion value campaign.
    • Target cost per action or target return on ad spend: Enter the new amount you’d like to use.
  5. Click Save.

View your Maximize conversions using a target CPA or your Maximize conversion value using a target ROAS in the bid strategy report

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns. You’ll be able to see one row for each campaign.
  3. Within the “Bid strategy type” column, you’ll be able to see your “Maximize conversions” or “Maximize conversions value” bid strategy types. Click on the link to see your bid strategy report.

Find your Maximize conversions strategies that have a target CPA or target ROAS set

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns. You’ll be able to see one row for each campaign.
  3. In the upper right corner of the table, click the columns icon A picture of the Google Ads columns icon, then select Modify columns.
  4. Under the “Attributes” section, select Target CPA or Target ROAS.
  5. Click Apply to view it in the statistics table. If the Maximize conversions strategy contains a Target CPA or a Target ROAS within the Target CPA or Target ROAS column, it means a target is set for the strategy.
Note: The bid strategy type will appear under the “Bid strategy type” column as Maximize conversion or Maximize conversion value.

Impacts to Google Ads Editor and Google Ads API

It is currently not possible to specify a target CPA on a Maximize conversions strategy or target ROAS on a Maximize conversion value bid strategy using Google Ads Editor or the Google Ads API. You’ll need to make those changes in Google Ads.

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