Target CPA and Target ROAS on Google Ads are GONE – Transcript

So then, where are those options now? If Google are getting rid of target CPA and target return on advertising spend as standalone bidding strategies, how can I optimize my campaigns based on a target CPA, or a target ROAS?

Hey guys, so a brand new update from Google for you today, and that is that Google are planning on getting rid of two of their key bidding strategies. Now, if you don’t know what bidding strategies are in Google ads, I’ve done a whole playlist breaking down every single Google ads bidding strategy and how to use them. I’ve linked that kindly down below for you guys to watch.

Once you’re up to speed with that, you will notice in this video, there are going to be two strategies that Google are getting rid of. Google are getting rid of target CPA and target ROAS. Those two strategies that restrict your advertising based on a conversion goal for both lead gen and for revenue, these two bidding strategies are going, Google are getting rid of them.

Now I can already hear you saying, “Darren, is this a case of Google doing what they usually do in making changes to the AdWords platform in order to get more revenue for themselves and detrimental to the advertiser themselves as well? Is it one of those changes?” I don’t think this is, and I’ll go on to that in a moment. When I’ve looked at changes Google have made recently, there have been changes where they have done things that can negatively impact the advertiser and improve their own revenue. Most namely, the most recent one of these changes is the changes they made to the search terms report, restricting how many search terms you can see in your campaigns. That leads to Google getting more money.

This change is not one of those changes. The simple reason for that is because you can still optimize your campaigns based on a target CPA, and you can still optimize your campaigns based on a target ROAS.

So then, where are those options now? If Google are getting rid of target CPA and target return on advertising spend as standalone bidding strategies, how can I optimize my campaigns based on a target CPA or a target ROAS? Lucky for us, Google have kept these options, but put them within different bidding strategies. Google have taken the direction of making sure people who want to optimize towards a bidding strategy like target CPA and target ROAS to put them within the maximize strategies.

In order for you to run a target CPA campaign, you need to use a maximize conversion strategy, and then within that bidding strategy, set a target CPA. Again, the same goes for target ROAS. If you want to do a campaign where you want a target ROAS, you have to go into a maximize conversion value bidding strategy, and within that strategy, you can set a target ROAS. Those two things are staying in the system, but they’re underneath the maximize strategy.

One thing to mention is that if you are currently running on a target CPA or a target ROAS campaign, you don’t need to worry. Google aren’t going to migrate you automatically. Those two strategies will still be available in your account and for your campaigns using those strategies at the moment. The only change is new campaigns going forward, you will need to choose a maximize strategy and put restrictions on that maximize strategy in terms of CPA or ROAS. That’s the difference really.

The question remains, again, why Google have done this. I think they have duplicated and diluted their bidding strategies. Again, if you look at the playlist of all the strategies I break down there is a lot of bidding strategies in there, and I think in all honesty, Google wants to simplify things to make sure that advertisers choose the right strategy for them.

I don’t think this is sneaky from Google. I know going into a maximize strategy means that potentially you could spend more money, but as long as you’re using that CPA or ROAS restriction within that strategy, you should be fine.

The skeptic in me might think that Google are hoping people use a maximize strategy without setting a CPA or a ROAS, but ultimately, if people are going to use target CPA or target ROAS as strategies anyway, then that’s probably not going to happen. People will be looking for those options and going in there and making those changes. I don’t think this is a bad thing from Google, but I don’t even think it’s a good thing either. It’s just a change to simplify the number of bidding strategies available.

Remember, Google’s biggest challenge is getting advertisers with no marketing or digital marketing knowledge onto the platform and using it successfully. Smart campaigns can help with that, but ultimately, to get the best results, usually, you will need to use a proper search campaign. Smart Shopping, which I covered in my last video, does work really well, generally speaking, in my experience.

However, search campaigns in terms of smart campaigns for search, they don’t really perform as well as a full search campaign with all the controls you have available to you. I think that’s the problem Google is trying to balance. I think this change, again, is trying to make the system a little bit more simple for advertisers who are new to the platform. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Let me jump into Google ads and show you guys exactly what I mean and where to find these bidding strategy options and set your restrictions in terms of your target CPA and target ROAS within a maximize strategy.

Okay, so I’ve jumped into this test Google account, and what I’m going to do is head into a campaign and then head over to settings. Now, while I’m in the settings, you’ll notice there is the bidding options here. Currently, it’s set to target CPA and I’ve set a target CPA in this campaign of £40. Now, when this change kicks in from Google, this won’t go away, I’ll still be able to run target CPA. However, let me show you how to change this when we move over to a maximize strategy.

If I click on change bid strategy, click this dropdown, and go to maximize conversions, which is right here, you’ll see there’s an optional action here to set a target cost per action. When you tick that, if I wanted to maintain my £40 target CPA, I would simply put 40 in there and then hit save.

Now you can understand why the option of adding a target CPA into a maximize strategy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does the same thing as a standalone target CPA campaign. Although the maximize strategy sits on top of that, you’re still targeting Google with maintaining a CPA that you determine. Again, the same goes for return on advertising spend.

Target ROAS, again, is a standalone bid strategy that’s available in this account, but going forward when this is removed, you want to go to a maximize conversion value strategy and then optional, again, set a target return on ad spend, and then pick your target return on ad spend in here. Maybe you want 400% return on investment, maybe you want 500%, whatever the target you want to set, do it the same way you would with a standalone target ROAS campaign, and Google will try and meet the same objective, so you’re not really missing out on anything.

Thank you guys so much for watching this video. If you liked it, leave a like down below. Let me know in the comments what you think of this change. Are you skeptical, or are you quite comfortable thinking Google are doing the right thing here by simplifying their options? Or just ask me anything about Google ads. Hit me up down below, I reply to pretty much every single comment I get on new videos. Like this video if you like it, don’t forget to subscribe. Check out the other content across the channel, and I’ll see you guys on my next video.

Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a PPC and digital marketing expert with over 10 years experience in delivering winning campaigns and training the next generation of marketing leaders.

View all posts

As Seen on YouTube

sem academy youtube

Subscribe Here