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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

Difference Between Target CPA and Maximize Conversions Bid Strategy (Google Ads)

Today we are answering a very common question that comes up often when you're using Google Ads - which is 'What is the difference between Target CPA and Maximize Conversions bid strategy?'. If you haven't already, you can check out our other article about Google Ads Bid Strategies Explained where we explain all 6 Google Ads bidding strategies and what they are, how to use them, and when they should be used. Otherwise, this article will delve solely into the differences between the two bidding strategies (Target CPA and Maximize Conversions) and provide use cases for both strategies. Without further ado, let's get started!


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Maximize Conversions

Maximize Conversions strategy will adjust your bids (increase your bids) to get as many conversions as possible. The system will bid very aggressively in order to get clicks that will result in conversions and will not take into account your cost per acquisition. As a result, it will significantly increase your cost per click to get conversions. In our experience, it will not help lower the cost per acquisition and it will not help you to get as many conversions as possible from your budget. This is because it will increase your bid to get conversions at any cost. As such, we consider this as a desperation strategy for campaigns that are really struggling to get conversions.

To summarize, Maximise Conversions is for campaigns that:

➡️ Have zero or very few conversions

➡️ Have a healthy daily budget available

➡️ Are not making full use of their daily budget

Target CPA

Target CPA strategy will ensure that you get conversions at a certain cost per acquisition. You can dictate the system to get conversions at a set maximum cost per conversion. It acts as a cap, so the system will not significantly increase your cost per acquisition and spend your budget aggressively. With Target CPA, you can also enable the advanced option to cap the maximum cost per click. For instance, you can set your target CPA at a maximum of $30 and cap the cost per click at $2.

To set the Target CPA, you can look into your historical data and set a Target CPA that is not more than -10% of what you're achieving now. For example, if your CPA is $100, then you can set the target CPA at $90. You should not go below this value because the system may not be able to achieve your target and will not deliver the ads accordingly.

To summarize, Target CPA is for campaigns that:

➡️ Consistently generate a healthy number of conversions

➡️ Have a healthy search volume - meaning that the algorithm has a lot of data it can use to optimize the campaign

Maximize Conversion with Target CPA (Hybrid Strategy)

Instead of choosing either Target CPA or Maximize Conversion strategy, you can also blend the two strategies. You can create a Maximize Conversion Strategy and enable the Target CPA. This strategy will allow the system to bid to get you the most conversions whilst taking into account your maximum CPA.

Though this blended strategy might seem similar to both Maximize Conversions and Target CPA, there is a subtle difference. With Maximize Conversions, you are unable to control the CPA, whilst this blended strategy allows you to set your target CPA. With Target CPA, you can set the maximum bid limit (cap the cost per click), but this blended strategy does not allow you to do so as the system only allows you to cap the CPA.

To summarize, Maximize Conversions with Target CPA is for campaigns that:

➡️ Have very few conversions and want to get data but don't want to overuse the budget


In short, here is an easy guideline to decide which bid strategy you should go for:

  • Healthy campaigns with lots of conversions: Target CPA

  • Moderate campaigns with small amount of conversions: Maximize Conversions with Target CPA (Hybrid)

  • Poor campaigns with no conversions at all: Maximize Conversions

1 Comment

7 days ago

When it comes to Google Ads. There are many issues that need to be taken into account. If you are looking for and want to develop in this topic, I highly recommend this post on this topic:

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