GoogleAds launched plenty of new features in the last quarter of 2018, with arguably the biggest and most exciting launch being Pay for Conversion in Display Campaigns. We’ve been testing out the new bidding strategy since beta stage and have now used it on a multitude of accounts with differing KPIs and in different industry sectors. In this blog post we’ve compiled our initial learnings and thoughts so far.

As the name suggests, with Pay for Conversion, you only pay your specified target CPA when someone converts after clicking through the ad, and this bidding method can be used in either smart or standard display campaigns.

To be eligible, your account must have more than 100 conversions in the past 30 days and have a click to conversion window of less than 7 days. This is the first time Google have made conversion-based bidding available for display and may be a sign of things to come!

When launching campaigns with pay per conversion bidding, we’ve generally seen an initial surge in impressions and traffic within the first week, followed by either a complete drop off in campaigns that haven’t converted within the learning period, or steady conversion volume. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we’ve found that campaigns with higher target CPA’s and daily budgets perform better, achieving better reach and quality of placements. Despite the mixed performance, clients who have not seen these campaigns convert have still benefited from a huge amount of impressions and nice amount of free traffic brought to the site.

Whilst it is a drawback that Google quickly limits reach and stops serving ads should they not convert initially, there does not seem to be a limit to the number of campaigns you can have so refreshing assets regularly can overcome this. We have also found that simply duplicating the campaign with minor tweaks to campaign names has also refreshed the campaign and has received the same surge in reach as new creative.

As with all display campaigns, it is important to keep a close eye on the placements report as soon as the ads are set live, particularly for lead gen clients where defining the quality of a conversion needs clarity. We have found that app placements seem to serve the most and have previously seen an influx of conversions from here, which due to Googles recent updates cannot be wholly excluded without excluding all mobile placements, these conversions haven’t transpired to be the highest quality of leads.

Overall, we’ve so far found the new Pay for Conversion bidding is a relatively risk-free way of running prospecting display activity. We have seen some accounts excel, with good conversion volume through these campaigns at their desired CPA, whilst the campaigns also contribute to overall brand awareness. Equally, if traffic doesn’t convert you don’t pay a penny, and we’re therefore encouraging clients who may have previously been hesitant about running prospecting display to use this opportunity to test out how it could potentially benefit them.