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Google Ads Maximize Conversions… Think Twice

Maximize conversions is an automated bidding option. In my experience, it should be used sparingly. I believe there are better bidding options if you are looking to increase conversions through improved bidding.

My recommendation on Maximize conversions? See image above. Alright, TL;DR version over. Expanded version below.

Maximize conversions is a fully automated bidding strategy. It’s a “set it and forget it” approach to bidding. There are no bidding options for individual keywords. With this approach you are tapping into Google’s advanced maching learning to optimize your bids automatically.

The Maximize conversions bidding strategy is designed to get you as many conversions as possible while spending your entire budget. There is no cost per lead or ROI targets to try and achieve. You just set the ‘maximize conversion’ bid option for each campaign you want to use this strategy for, and that’s it.

Because this strategy will try and spend a campaign’s entire daily budget, it is important that each campaign using this strategy has it’s own daily budget. Don’t use this strategy for campaigns on a shared budget. The reason why is Maximize Conversions will spend the daily budget of all the campaigns using the shared budget, not just its own allotment.

How Maximize Conversions Bidding Works

Google will evaluate contextual signals and use the historical data about your campaign to automatically find the optimal bid at the time of the ad auction. Google will do this in real-time for every single search where your ad is eligible to appear. That’s some absurd computing power! Again, the goal with these bids is to get you the most conversions for your campaign while spending your daily budget.

Before switching to Maximize conversions…

  • Understand your average daily budget. It many cases, campaigns don’t spend their average daily budget. For example, let’s say you have a campaign that is set to spend $50 a day but it only spends an average of $30 a day. Remember, Maximize conversions is designed to fully spend your average daily budget. If you switch that campaign to Maximize conversions, you will most likely see the campaign start to spend the $50 daily budget. This would increase your real ad spend for that campaign. You just need to be aware of that.
  • Know your ROI or cost per acquisition (CPA) goals. Do you have any ROI or CPA goals for your campaigns? If so, then you may not want to use this automated bid strategy. There are better bid options for this, such as the  Target CPA or Target ROAS bid strategies. These are also automated bid strategies but they have goals of achieving a targeted ROAS (return on ad spend) or CPA.

Should You Use Maximize Conversion Bidding?

We’ve tested all the different automated bid strategies that Google offers. And, Maximize Conversions is near the bottom of the automated bidding list. This strategy tends to unecessarily increase the average CPA. If you are dead set on using some kind of automated bidding, then I recommend going with the Target ROAS or Target CPA options.

Maximize conversions does not incorporate any cost or profitability metrics in its bidding methodology. It is simply geared to spend all of your budget while getting you as many conversions as possible. Put another way, this strategy is always going to spend the full daily budget regardless of conversion performance.

The spending “all your daily budget” part tends to come before the “get as many conversions as possible” part. The end result is conversions at a higher CPA relative to other bidding strategies.

Answer: My advice is to look at other bid strategies to achieve your goals.