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The Google Ads Performance Planner can help predict performance across accounts

Planning can be both thrilling and exhausting as I’m sure many of you find out at the beginning of January already. New years come with new opportunities and planning a whole lot. I’ve actually come to enjoy prognostication a lot over my 8-plus years at Google. Given how much I can enjoy the planning act it takes time to estimate all that. And that may be a period you don’t even have–as when you’re asked to forecast performance for a meeting tomorrow morning at different spending levels performance targets or overall conversion targets.

For just these situations our Google Performance Planner team built. If you need to determine how to allocate your budget through accounts for next month, next quarter, or throughout 2020, you can now answer those questions and more (e.g. Performance Planner now works with accounts managers). Even if your goals or budget aren’t changing you can still find opportunities to improve your campaigns and accounts performance and kick off the right year.

Get the most out of this Performance Planner

If you get a question like: “What can we expect next month from another $1,000?

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Just click on your curve on the right part. The top three fields — conversions CPA, and spending — can be customized. Make a change to one of those, and correct the rest of metrics accordingly.

Forecasting

You can then view it on the draft plan page after you have created your plan. The page contains an overview that allows you to make changes to see how your campaigns could do. You can also see how the output numbers will change in real-time before introducing anything and can share that information. It is a safe comfortable spot.

Plan according to the timeframes that you care about

The dates of your forecast can be changed according to how your business operates. Monthly, quarterly, annually, fortnightly – whatever you want. Projections for 2020 are included so that you can go ahead with the performance of next year. When you wish, you can even focus on a single day.

Know what seasonality can mean when it comes to performance

Seasonality can have a considerable impact on your planning If you change your date range it will take into account the seasonality. This prediction includes whether your campaigns will see increases (or decreases) in traffic in similar periods, geographic areas and categories from previous years based on Google’s historical search queries. It’s also factors in growth year-over-year.

Remember that the projections for seasonality will not include changes to your conversion rates. For example, if you know that holiday sales lead to a higher conversion rate, you can update it manually in the tool.

 

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Budget according to data

You can calculate the ideal allocation of budget across campaigns and accounts, too. This tool can show you how to best spend it, if you get more budget to play with. But what if you get a reduction on your budget? That boss who gave you an extra $1,000 now takes away $1,000. You can then use the Performance Planner to find the best places for cutting while performance is preserved.

You can see what will happen if, for example, you change spending towards campaigns which are expected to have better CPAs. Performance Planner takes into account your planned bidding and budget settings and gives you the performance expected at each spending point.

Estimate how new keywords will affect current campaigns

What will your current query combination and budget plans do with the new keywords? Will those new ideas address searches for which you have already appeared, or will this drive you to new volume?

Tap on your individual campaigns (below the plan table) to find out, and check out the section “Things to do.” You can add the keywords and see what is being projected.

Compare your plan side-by-side with your existing settings

Along with your existing and planned settings you can view past performance. This is especially useful when you get approval from people who may not be so familiar with the campaigns ‘ current performance.

For example, if you want to increase the volume of the conversion while keeping your ROAS stable you can see what that might look like.

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Act on the plans that you are creating

You can act quickly as soon as you get the approval on your plan Plans can be imported as files to the Google Ads Editor, so you can reach the running field. Others can be downloaded as a summary of the plan and includes the changes that you will need to make. Going from the ideation to the execution is in any case a snap.

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Creating a successful plan

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind as you start planning:

  • Plan across accounts. If you have multiple accounts, then you can add campaigns to your plan from each. The Performance Planner is as flexible as the structure of your account might be.
  • Your campaigns and accounts should have common goals in each plan. The plan won’t make a ton of sense if you base things around a CPA goal that only some of the campaigns have shared. Your account(s) will use different plans for different goals.
  • Not all campaigns are eligible for planning. Campaigns need the history to be enough. Also Performance Planner uses other bid strategies to deal with Search campaigns: manual CPC, maximizing clicks improved CPC or Target CPA.
  • Timing affects accuracy. The closer you are to your forecast date, the more accurate the forecast will be. If you’re forecasting out into the distant future, there’s a chance any variables will change from now on.
  • Forecasts are guideline not guarantees. They are based from your campaigns on the auction results, seasonality and recent history.
  • You can manually set a conversion rate if you want to (or if you don’t have enough history of conversion). If you do, be realistic. Too aggressive and you’re likely to miss your high goal, too conservative, and you might lose out on a lot of profitable traffic.
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