Google Ads Performance Planner Forecasting Tools: A Quick Overview

Predict spend levels, performance targets and conversion goals with Google's updated performance planner.

Planning campaign performance is tough. You have a client, they have a wish. And you need to deliver.

How to manage expectations? How to keep them happy?

Well, Google has come to save the day.

With a recently updated Performance Planner, Google released new features in 2019 designed to ease the task of planning for the PPC marketer.

Google Ads account managers can now predict various spend levels, performance targets and conversion goals in the Performance Planner.

Google says this can help advertisers drive up to 43% more conversions.

"For example, let's say you have a $92,000 monthly budget across 100 Search campaigns. The planner will recommend how to distribute that $92,000 across those Search campaigns to maximize conversions and project results from these changes in your forecast,” a Google Ads Manager for SEJournal was qouted as saying.

Here are the newest features that have been added to the Performance Planner.

Forecasting

When you create a plan, Google will be able to provide insights on three metrics: Conversions, CPA and Spend.

Increase or decrease any of those three metrics and Google will then estimate how your campaign performance will be affected.

The performance numbers are changed in real-time and Google shares the information with you before implementing anything.

Seasonality

Many businesses are affected by seasonal lows and highs. Google now takes this into account in the forecasts it provides.

Any date range you choose for a forecast will take seasonality into account. Google's predictions will be based on Google's historical search queries in similar periods, geographic locations and categories from previous years, along with year-over-year growth.

For example, if you choose to make a forecast in December, the holiday shopping season will be taken into account if this affects your business.

Budget estimation and allocation

What happens if we increase the Google Ads budget by an extra $1,000?

This is a common question clients ask all the time of Google Ads managers. The performance planner now makes it easier to answer.

Google's performance planner will let you calculate the ideal budget across multiple campaigns and accounts. If the client cuts the budget by $1,000, it will identify the best areas to move money out without performance taking a hit.

The same holds if the client increases his budget for Google Ads. The performance planner will identify the best areas to add the money.

For example, you could see how conversions would differ at a $12 CPA compared to a $20 CPA.

Keyword Level Estimations

Google also lets you add or remove keywords to a campaign and see how performance is affected.

Clicking on the 'Things to Try' section will take you to the keyword page, where you can see if adding new keywords will drive new volume or not.

Steps to use Google's Performance Planner

Google has tried to make using the performance planner as simple as possible. These steps are:

Step 1: Create a plan and view forecasts for your campaigns.

Step 2: Explore your forecast and adjust the different campaign settings.

Step 3: Implement the recommendations identified by Google.

Benefits of Google's Performance Planner

There are three main benefits in using the performance planner, according to Google.

First, you can view projected monthly and quarterly performance of campaigns.

Second, you can get suggestions for how to improve campaign performance during this period.

Third, you can change campaign settings to see how spend and performance goals are affected.

How does Google's Performance Planner work?

Google says that it is able to offer these benefits because of how it has engineered the performance planner. In the official help article for the tool, Google writes:

“Performance Planner takes into account billions of search queries, and is usually updated every 24 hours. Performance Planner then simulates relevant ad auctions in aggregate, including variables like seasonality, competitor activity, landing page, etc. It then forecasts conversions based on the conversion types in the “Conversions” column of your Google Ads performance reports.”

Tips for Google's Performance Manager

  • Make sure you compare campaign performance between campaigns or accounts that ahve similar goals and objectives.
  • Make sure you have enough data for accurate forecasts. Without the data, your campaigns will not be eligible.
  • Don't project too far ahead. The closer your forecasted period is to the current date, the more accurate the data is.
  • Keep in mind the forecasts are just estimates based on auction data, seasonality and recent campaign history. Actual performance levels may vary.

Google Performance Planner Requirements

In order to be eligible to use the performance planner, your campaign must meet the following requirements:

  • have been running for 72 hours
  • have gotten 3 clicks in the last 7 days
  • have gotten 1 conversion in the last 7 days
  • are search campaigns that use manual CPC, enhanced CPC and target CPA

Your campaigns will not be eligible to run if:

  • they were deleted
  • use a shared budget
  • have been changed to meet eligibility requirements, but have not been running for 7 days yet

You can play around with the performance planner in the Google Ads Editor here.

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