Google Ads Budget Planner

April 12, 2019

As has been reported by multiple sources, Google Ads has begun rolling out a Budget Planner under the Tools > Planning

This tool is designed to give advertisers the ability to forecast performance if they were to use Google’s recommended budget allocation across the selected campaigns.

This feature does not appear on all accounts in our agency MCC, however, there is a workaround: I have been able to switch between accounts while in the planner which allows me to access the planner from any account in the current MCC.

Some additional requirements for a campaign or set of campaigns to be forecastable include:

  • Have received at least 3 clicks in the last 7 days
  • Have received at least 1 conversion in the last 7 days (if the campaign focuses on conversions)
  • Use a manual cost-per-click (CPC), enhanced CPC, or target cost-per-action (CPA) bidding strategy
  • Have been running for at least 7 days while meeting all the previous requirements

Campaigns that don’t meet these criteria aren’t eligible to use Budget Planner.

To use the Budget Planner you have to create a new budget plan by clicking the large blue plus “+” button. This pops-up the criteria for your plan:

You can select a forecast period in the future, up to 1 year from today’s date. You can select a metrics forecast: Clicks or Conversions. After selecting a metric, the Target options will change. If you select Conversions, you can set a target of Conversions, Spend, or Avg. CPA. If you select the Click Metric, you are able to set the target as Clicks, Spend, and Avg. CPC. A handy feature when selecting a target is that if you don’t input a target manually, the builder also provides you with the value of your metric target for the previous period, or the same days for the prior year. This menu will even let you select one of these data points if you don’t want to enter an alternate value.

After selecting your variables the system will generate a draft Budget plan.

The initial recommendation is the plan forecast. This gives you the estimated value of your metric (e.g. Conversions) and target (e.g. Avg. CPA) at various budget amounts:

Like Google Ads’ keyword planner, hoving over the blue line gives you estimates of each metric and target at various budgets.

In addition, the planner also shows the change to budgets broken down by campaign and the impact that it has on that campaign’s performance:

Some of these recommendations haven’t made sense (recommending pulling back on campaigns where performance is actually decent) and they will still require oversight should you have any special budget requirements by campaign.

In addition to the forecast, Google offers a useful report comparing the delta in your metric by a) last year time comparison b) performance with your current budget allocations and c) the estimated gains by switching to Google’s recommendations:

The tool is still relatively new and not bug-free, however, I already see the value especially since my clients frequently request estimates of performance if they adjust their budgets. This tool is also useful if marketers need a way to illustrate gains by spending more on paid search campaigns.