Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) helps you get more conversions from manual bidding. ECPC works by automatically adjusting your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. Unlike Target CPA and Target ROAS Smart Bidding, which automatically set bids based on your cost per conversion and return-on-ad-spend targets, ECPC will try to keep your average CPC below the max CPC you set (including bid adjustments) when optimizing for conversions.
For Search, Display, and Hotel campaigns, ECPC helps increase conversions while trying to keep your cost-per-conversion the same as you would get with manual bidding. For Shopping campaigns, ECPC helps increase conversions while trying to maintain the same overall spend. You can also set ECPC to optimize for conversion value, allowing you to prioritize high-value conversions and properly value different conversion actions. Optimizing for conversion value with ECPC is available for Search and Shopping campaigns. In this article, we’ll explain how ECPC works and how it can help you get more value for your ad budget.
Before you begin
To use Enhanced CPC with Search, Shopping, or Hotel campaigns, you’ll need to set up conversion tracking. You don’t need conversion tracking to use ECPC with Display campaigns, but conversions will help you learn whether your ads are effective.
To learn about ECPC for Shopping, read Set up enhanced CPC for Shopping campaigns.
To learn about ECPC for Hotels, read About Enhanced CPC bids for hotel campaigns.
How conversion tracking works with ECPC
The Google Ads system looks for patterns of clicks and conversions and compares them to your past results. If certain locations lead to more sales, for instance, it will know. You'll get optimal performance if you use conversion tracking with ECPC.
Make sure to review your conversion counting method for each conversion action to ensure it matches your goals. If you're tracking leads (such as sign-ups), you probably only want to count one conversion per ad click. If you're tracking sales, you probably want to count every conversion.If you aren’t using conversion tracking
If you aren’t using conversion tracking, you can still use ECPC on your Display network only. You may find higher quality traffic and more conversions because Google Ads will raise and lower your bids according to the quality of the traffic we perceive for each auction. Your daily spend might increase as a result. If you're using manual CPC and want to keep your spend at around the same level it is currently, you should adjust your CPC target to your 30-day average spend.
How ECPC works
Available as an optional feature with Manual CPC bidding, ECPC is a form of Smart Bidding that uses a wide range of auction-time signals such as browser, location, and time of day to tailor bids to the unique context of each search, but not to the full extent of other Smart Bidding strategies, such as Target CPA and Target ROAS.
Optimizing for conversions
Suppose you sell shoes both on your site and at a physical location, you’ve set your max CPC to $1 USD, and you have ECPC bidding turned on. If you set the value of store visit conversions to be higher than visits to your website, and Google Ads finds an auction that looks likely to lead someone to a store visit, it might set your bid to $1.70 USD for that auction. If another auction looks likely to lead to a website visit instead of a store visit, ECPC might lower your bid to $0.30 USD for that auction.
Optimizing for conversion value
Suppose your ad features a specific designer shirt, and you’ve set your max CPC bid at $1 USD and you have ECPC bidding turned on. If you set total cart value as the conversion value, and Google Ads finds an auction likely to lead to a purchase of just that shirt, it might bid $0.40 USD for that auction. If another auction looks likely to lead to a purchase of several items of clothing and accessories at a much higher total price, ECPC might raise the bid to $1.10 USD for that auction.
ECPC is available on the Search Network and the Display Network, but not for app installs campaigns. For Hotel ads, ECPC works when a traveler clicks a hotel booking link.
Because ECPC will increase your max CPC bid when it finds a good opportunity, don't be surprised if your Google Ads report occasionally shows average CPCs that are over your max CPC. ECPC will try to keep your average CPC below the max you set, but your average CPC may exceed your max CPC for short periods of time.
How ECPC is different from other conversion-based Smart Bidding strategies
Both ECPC and other Smart bidding bid strategies work to get you more conversions and conversion value. The key difference is that ECPC partially automates your manual bids by adjusting your max CPC (after applying any bid adjustments you've set), and doesn't allow you to set an explicit target. Other Smart Bidding bid strategies fully automate your bid strategy based on the CPA, ROAS, or budget target that you set, and don't require you to set manual bids.
Smart Bidding gives you the very best chance to improve your results. However, ECPC provides a level of manual control that some people prefer.
ECPC and other conversion-based Smart Bidding strategies
- Use conversion tracking or Google Analytics data from your account
- Predict a conversion rate for each auction
- Adjust your bids to help you win the most promising clicks
- Works with all your campaign settings and max CPC bids
- Raises or lowers your manual bids to help you get more conversions or conversion value
- Works with third-party bidding systems, even if they're automating your bids
Bid adjustments with ECPC
ECPC automatically takes into account different conversion rates for all types of traffic, but sets bids separately for mobile devices. This means you don’t need to set any bid adjustments (aside from mobile) for ECPC to maximize conversions. However, if you want to bid more aggressively for certain types of traffic you can still choose to set a bid adjustment. This adjustment will be applied on top of ECPC’s automatic adjustments.
Mobile adjustments can also help incorporate any additional conversions that aren’t tracked using the Google Ads conversion tracking tag (such as in-store visits). ECPC will continue to automatically set bid adjustments for desktop traffic versus tablet traffic based on differences in conversion rates.
Learn more About bid adjustments
Optimizing for conversion value on Search
ECPC for value on Search factors in the difference between conversion rates on mobile and desktop, so mobile bid adjustments aren't required, and won't be used if they're applied.
How to enable ECPC
Keep in mind that ECPC works slightly differently for Shopping and Hotel campaigns than it does on Search and Display. Learn how to set up ECPC for Shopping campaigns. Or learn about Enhanced CPC bids for hotel campaigns.
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Click Campaigns from the page menu.
- Click the name of the campaign you want to work with.
- Click Settings in the page menu.
- Click the Bidding section, then click Change bid strategy.
- Select Manual CPC from the drop-down menu, and check the Enable Enhanced CPC option.
- When you choose ECPC, Google Ads automatically sets your ad rotation setting to "Optimize", even if it's currently set to "Do not optimize".
- Select Save.
Read about creating a portfolio bid strategy to create a portfolio bid strategy for ECPC.
Tip: Choose which conversions to bid for
The Include in "Conversions" setting lets you decide whether or not to include individual conversion actions in your "Conversions" and "Conversion value" reporting columns. The data in these columns are used by bid strategies like Target CPA, Target ROAS, and ECPC, so your bid strategy will only optimize based on the conversions that you've chosen to include. Learn more about the "Include in 'Conversions'" setting
Cross-device conversions from Display Network, Video, Search, and Shopping campaigns are included by default.