It's important to forecast increasing budgets so ensure the maximum use of budget, but wouldn't it be much better if there was a less time-consuming way to do it?
A lot of us will agree that planning can sometimes be rather time-consuming, especially when it comes to forecasting performance, from increasing budgets. Quite often, we want to visualise the results we would get if we were to increase budgets in our campaigns. Understandably, we don’t want to spend hundreds and thousands more on campaigns that won’t convert.
Hands up if you’ve ever manually planned and forecasted? It’s not too bad if it’s one or two campaigns, but when it comes to dozens of campaigns, it gets quite time-consuming. Depending on various factors like seasonality, it can also be very challenging and you easily find yourself spending hours on it. Sounds familiar right? Google performance planner can be one solution.
What is Google performance planner?
Google performance planner is a tool that allows you to forecast and allocate budget in your account in the most efficient way, depending on your goals. You can create the forecast for your campaigns based on conversions, clicks, or conversion value.
It takes billions of search queries into account to provide the most accurate forecasts and is usually updated every 24 hours. You can use Google performance planner for weekly, monthly and quarterly forecasts – or even a custom date range.
What are the requirements?
In order to use the performance planner, your campaign must meet a few simple requirements:
- It must be active for at least 72 hours.
- It should have received at least 3 clicks in the past 7 days.
- It should have received at least 1 conversion over the past 7 days (if the campaign’s focus is on conversions).
- It is a search campaign that uses the following bid strategies: manual CPC, enhanced CPC or CPA.
You can not use the Google performance planner if your campaign:
- Has been deleted.
- Uses shared budgets.
- Has been changed to meet eligibility requirements less than 7 days ago.
How to use it?
Using Google performance planner is a pretty straightforward process and can be done in the following steps:
- Choose campaigns (one or multiple) you’d like to run the forecast for;
- Select the forecast period – it could be a week, month, quarter or a custom date range;
- Select a metric you want to focus on: conversions, clicks or conversion value;
- If you focus on conversions, you can choose the dates for historical conversion rates that will be used for the forecast: last 7 days, last 30 days, last 90 days or the same time last year;
- Select the target, which can be conversions, spend or average CPA, but also can be set to “No target”.
Once all of the parameters are in, it takes only a few seconds for Google performance planner to provide a forecast:
It looks nice and simple and very easy to understand. It’s easily adjusted too. For instance, if you want to see how the number of conversions would change if you were to change the budget. You can simply click on any part of the curve and the forecast will automatically be adjusted in a split second.
As the performance planner also takes seasonality into consideration, every time you change the date range, it may change the forecast:
You can also compare your forecast to the previous performance, which is an easy way to visualise the changes you and your client may expect from it:
Implementing your changes
Perhaps the only downside of Google performance planner is that you cannot implement the changes in the Google Ads interface. You can, however, download Google Ads Editor files and upload them straight away which is a relatively simple process.
Things to remember
Google performance planner is a very powerful tool that uses an endless number of signals and queries to provide the best forecast. However, you have to keep in mind that it is still just a forecast, not a guarantee. Use common sense when implementing changes from your forecasts and make sure to keep an eye on the performance once you do apply the plan to your campaigns.
Want to know more about Google performance planner? Get in touch with our PPC team now!