In May 2019, Google Ads introduced a tool to help advertisers gather accurate and actionable insights into how specific changes could affect their account’s performance: the Google Ads Performance Planner. Since you’ve clicked on this blog, you probably want to learn more about this tool and how to use it to optimize your conversion rate and boost your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.
But before we tackle how it can be applied effectively to Google Ads management, let’s first understand what it does.
Basically, this Google Ads tool simplifies how you strategize your paid ad campaigns. It shows you outcomes you can get after implementing certain changes, including how they impact your key metrics and overall performance. It also recommends optimal spend amounts and opportunities you can explore based on your budget and campaign goals.
Moreover, if reviewed before and during every campaign’s lifecycle, it can lead any Google Ads campaign to success, Thrive’s Senior PPC Manager Jacob Wulff adds. These are just some of the many reasons why your Google Ads account manager should use this tool. Overall, it gives you the insights you need to maximize the metrics critical to your business, whether it’s clicks, conversions or conversion value per cost.
Now, with the fundamentals out of the way, let’s dive into how to use Google Ads Performance Planner to optimize PPC campaigns and ultimately boost your return on investment (ROI).
How To Use Google Ads Performance Planner
To use the Google Ads Planner to improve your PPC performance, you’ll have to create a plan to do the simulation. Here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Sign in to your Google Account.
2. Click the Tools icon and then select “Performance Planner.”
3. Click the plus button to create a new plan.
4. Choose the campaigns you want to include in the plan.
Google Ads specialists recommend selecting campaigns with similar goals for this step; doing so lets you get the best and most accurate forecasts.
5. Next, select your desired date range and key metric.
Google Ads Performance Planner lets you choose any date in the future to plan your PPC performance for the next month, quarter or year depending on your needs. It also allows you to predict and optimize for clicks, conversions or conversion values, whichever performance metric is essential to your business objectives.
Note that you can still change the date range and key metric after the Google Ads tool has produced initial results, so you can always go back to these later.
6. Click “Create Plan.”
After you do this, you’ll be redirected to a page where you’ll see an overview of your plan.
The gray dot on the forecast graph represents your predicted performance based on your existing campaign settings, while the blue dot shows your predicted performance based on your planned settings.
7. Click “Improve Plan.”
Here, Google Ads Planner creates a forecast based on optimal bid and budget recommendations, enabling you to maximize your conversions without increasing your spending.
8. Click “Compare.”
This lets you or your Google Ads account manager quickly see your spend, conversions and the average cost per action (CPA) compared across your existing settings, planned settings and your campaigns’ past performance.
9. Include a target.
Adding a “Target” is optional, but if you have a target conversion volume, spend or average CPA, consider adding that. Entering your CPA or ROAS (return on ad spend) goal lets Google Ads Planner adjust your potential spend to help you achieve it.
10. Download your results.
While you can use Google Ads Performance Planner to get forecasts, take note that the changes will not be added to your Google Ads accounts automatically. You have to download a file and upload it via Google Ads Editor to implement them.
Top 4 Reasons To Use Performance Planner in Google Ads Management
It Minimizes Guesswork
Before, you or your Google Ads account manager might have been tweaking your campaigns and guessing what would work and what wouldn’t, one change after the other. However, this Google Ads tool takes the guesswork out of the equation.
Its forecasts give you data-driven insights into how variations impact your Google Ads campaign. Having such information empowers you to make decisions that bring the results you want without the trial-and-error process.
It Allows You To Predict Results Before Rolling Out the Changes
In connection to the first point, running a Google Ads campaign often entails experimenting with new tactics to find ways to maximize your budget. Unfortunately, while this tactic does help you identify effective strategies, there’s also the risk of negatively affecting your business’s ad performance.
Google Ads Performance Planner spares you from putting your PPC performance in jeopardy by giving you possible outcomes even before you publish your desired changes. It gives you an idea of how the adjustments impact both your Google Ads budget and PPC ROI. Ultimately, it lets you tweak campaign settings and explore the different results they bring easier than ever.
It Helps You Maximize Seasonality
Wulff adds that one of the most significant benefits of using the Performance Planner or partnering with a PPC ads agency that uses it is having access to seasonal forecasts.
Seasonal changes often bring about uncertainty, but this Google Ads tool helps you identify growth opportunities for campaigns, even during historically slow or seasonal periods. Ultimately, it enables you to manage your budget across your accounts and campaigns efficiently.
It Helps Achieve Highest Return on Your Google Ads Budget
Google Ads Planner helps ensure you’re spending your budget on campaign adjustments that bring you the best PPC ROI. It does this by showing you how tweaking your campaigns will cost you and if any added investment can get you better returns. It also suggests whether you need to bump up your budget and shows how increasing it can optimize PPC campaigns.
All in all, Performance Planner enables you to set the best possible Google Ads budget for your PPC campaigns so you can maximize your investment and capture new growth opportunities.
Points To Remember for a Successful Plan With Google Ads Performance Planner
If you’re new to using the Google Ads tool, feel free to test different changes at first to gain a better understanding of how Google comes up with the forecasts it shows you.
Then, as you move forward, here are some points to keep in mind to get the most out of the tool and enhance your overall Google Ads management strategy:
• Make sure the campaigns in your plan share similar goals. The plan may not make sense if, for example, one campaign has a CPA goal and the other has a brand awareness goal.
• Not all campaigns qualify for the Performance Planner. The search campaigns you intend to include should have sufficient data history to be eligible to be planned.
• The closer you are to your forecast period, the more accurate your plan will be. Conversely, if you’re forecasting into the distant future, keep in mind that many factors can change before your preferred date, affecting the accuracy of the forecast.
• Forecasts produced by Google Performance Planner are not guarantees. These data-driven forecasts only serve as guides to inform your decisions so you can successfully optimize PPC campaigns.
Finally, remember that you can always enlist PPC marketing services if you want to truly maximize the tool. Rather than spend time and effort learning its intricacies from scratch, a professional PPC ads agency helps you leverage the tool while allowing you to focus your energy on developing core strategies crucial to your business.
Maximize Your PPC ROI with the Help of Google Ads Specialists
Google Ads Performance Planner is a handy tool that helps you or your pay per click consultant discover growth opportunities and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) performance. You can use it to create a detailed forecast, manage your ad spend and account more efficiently and, ultimately, hit your target PPC ROI.
If you need help adding this tool to your Google Ads management toolbox, we’re here to assist you through our professional PPC marketing services.
At Thrive, we strive to build world-class paid ad and search engine marketing campaigns for our clients. But more importantly, our PPC marketing agency works hard to get all the best practices right. We utilize available tools to make the most strategic decisions for our clients’ budgets and deliver exceptional results.
If you want to start creating PPC campaigns that generate higher ROIs, contact our PPC marketing agency today. Your dedicated pay per click consultant at Thrive can fully utilize the Performance Planner and handle the technical side of things so you can focus on growing your business.