Using Google’s Custom Segments + Pay for Conversion Campaigns to Find Success

One of my favorite campaigns I have used this year is Google’s Pay for Conversions Display campaign. I almost always test some kind of Google Display campaign for my clients, but often I get feedback that the conversions were of poor quality, or the campaign spends but never converts. Enter: Google Pay for Conversion Campaigns

Another issue I often run into is trying to scale niche accounts with a small number of keywords. Enter: Custom Segments, a way to identify Google users who might be interested in your product by entering relevant keywords, URLs and apps. Custom Segments can be added to Display, Discovery, Gmail and Video campaigns.

A few changes have happened on the Google Ads end: Previously Custom Segments were referred to custom intent and custom affinity segments. According to Google, “With the new custom segments this choice is no long needed: based on your campaign goals and keywords, the new custom segments will interpret all of these signals behind the scenes to tune towards Reach, Consideration or Performance, bringing efficiency to your account management.” The previous segments will be automatically migrated.

Using Google’s Custom Segments

How many times have you conducted keyword research only to find there is little to no volume for what you thought could be core keywords? For me, it’s pretty often. There have been a lot of times that I have had to revise my original list of keywords due to ‘low volume’ warnings from Google Ads.

Occasionally, this signals to me that other types of campaigns might be necessary. One of my favorite ways to do this is with Google’s Pay for Conversion campaigns using Custom Segments.

You can create a new Custom Segment in Google’s Audience Manager. Click Custom Segments and then the blue plus sign button.

Give your segment a name and then choose either “People with any of these interests or purchase intentions” or “People who searched for any of these terms on Google”. I like to create at least one audience for each to see how they perform.

After you select your interests or purchase intentions, you can also choose to expand your segment by including people who browse certain types of websites or use certain kinds of apps.

Follow the same process to create a Custom Segment for search terms.

Set up a new Pay for Conversions Display campaign by following these instructions. This campaign type will work with Target CPA bidding strategy. This is my favorite option because you get free traffic to your site, free impressions and you only pay if someone converts. You can also set a CPA goal, which is usually key for my clients.

Add your Custom Segment(s) to your ad group and watch things take off!

Actual Data

I launched a Pay for Conversions campaign targeting two Custom Segments in August. Initially, the CPA was in the $45 range, which wasn’t ideal for this client. Since then, I have been able to bring the CPA down to $25 while simultaneously increasing conversion rate. See the data in the table below.

The conversion rate has nearly tripled and I have been able to lower the CPA by 43% since the launch of the campaign.


The next time you’re looking for a way to boost conversions, consider testing Pay for Conversion display campaigns plus Custom Segments!