Estimate your results with bid simulators

AdWords bid simulators help you see whether different bids could have affected your ad performance over the last seven days on the Search Network.
  • The regular Bid Simulator allows you to estimate the clicks, costs, impressions, conversions, and conversion value your ads would have received if you had used a different max. CPC bid for your keyword or ad group. You can find it on the Ad groups and Keywords tabs. A set of bid simulator columns can also be added to the statistics table on your Keywords tab to quickly view estimates for multiple keywords.
  • The Campaign Bid Simulator can be used to model and apply bid changes across your account, and display details at the campaign level. Find it on the Campaigns tab.

Example

Suppose you have a max. CPC bid of US$1 for your keyword, but you're curious to see what results you'd get with a bid of US$1.50 or US$0.75.

The Bid Simulator can show you estimates of the clicks, cost, impressions, conversions, and conversion value you would have seen with max. CPC bids of US$1.50 or US$0.75 for your keyword.

The Campaign Bid Simulator can show you the same estimates based on setting a campaign-wide bid of US$1.50, for example, or increasing or decreasing your campaign-level bid by a certain percentage.

How to get bid simulator estimates

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Campaigns, Ad groups or Keywords subtab.
  4. In the "Budget" column (if you're on the Campaigns tab) or the "Max. CPC" column (if you're on the Ad groups or Keywords tab), click the simulator icon (Bid Simulator icon). See the Bid Simulator icon
  5. Try it now
  6. Alternatively, you can add the bid simulator columns to the statistics table on your Keywords tab to easily view estimates for multiple keywords. Learn more about this group of columns

Tip

If your campaign has a "Limited by budget" status, you'll get budget ideas in the pop-up window on your Campaigns tab instead of the Campaign Bid Simulator. Learn more about budget ideas

How the bid simulators work

The bid simulators collect and analyze data from ad auctions on Google and the Search Network from the last seven days, while considering information such as Quality Score, your competitors' bids, and keyword traffic. The tools use this information to estimate where your ad would've appeared and how frequently it would have received a click.

Remember, the bid simulators can provide insight into how your bids could've affected ad performance over the last seven days, but they don't attempt to predict future performance. For instance, you might have reason to believe that your ad performance will go up or down during a particular week, and you'll want to keep that in mind when choosing your bids for that time period.

Using the bid simulators for conversion estimates

If you're using Conversion Tracking, the simulators offer conversion estimates to help you understand the number of conversions your ads might have received if you had set different bids. If you've assigned values to your conversions — or set conversion values — you can review your conversion value estimates to get an idea of the conversion value you might have received if you had set different bids.

Here's some information to keep in mind:

  • Conversion delays: Conversions can be reported up to 90 days after the click, depending on the conversion window you’ve chosen. The bid simulator's conversion estimates show how many clicks might result in a conversion within approximately one day, based on clicks from a recent seven day period. Conversion value estimates show how much conversion value you might receive from conversions that happen within approximately one day. Note that you might receive additional conversion value up to 30 days after each click.
  • Sparse conversion data: There is usually less conversion data than click or impression data when calculating these estimates, so conversions can be more difficult to estimate. The longer the history and the more conversions you have, the more accurate these estimates will be.
  • Changes to Conversion Tracking: Removing or moving the Conversion Tracking tag could invalidate the estimates. Don't make any major changes to the Conversion Tracking code for at least two weeks before using the bid simulators for conversion and conversion value estimates.
  • Conversion definitions: Conversions rely not only on ad clicks, but also on the actions that customers take on your site. This can also make them more difficult to predict.
Benefits of using the Campaign Bid Simulator
  • You can view bid changes in aggregate and model changes even when keywords or ad groups might not have enough data for this on their own.
  • Bid scaling is available, so you can see what might happen if you increased or decreased all your bids by a specific percentage (10%, for example).
  • Because campaign-level bid changes can increase traffic significantly, we'll tell you whether you need to increase your budget and, if so, what to change it to.
  • You can model what happens if you changed all your bids in the campaign to a fixed value. If you choose to apply one of these campaign-wide bid changes, your ad group default bids will be changed to this fixed value, and your keyword-level bids will be erased.
  • You can download the bid simulation data at the account or campaign level.
  • You can download an AdWords Editor-compatible file with the bid amounts to which ad groups and keywords must be set.
Troubleshooting

Missing bid simulation

Here are some common reasons you might not see a bid simulation:

  • Not enough data

    The bid simulators use data from the last seven days to provide estimates. They might not be able to provide estimates if a campaign, keyword or ad group was recently added, or didn't receive many clicks in the last seven days.

    If you've just added a new campaign, keyword or ad group, check back after more time has passed to see if the simulators have provided estimates. If your campaign, keyword or ad group doesn't get many impressions, increasing your bids can help give your ads more exposure.

  • Campaign daily budget

    If your campaign has reached or nearly reached its daily budget at least once in the last seven days, the simulators may not be able to provide estimates.

  • Campaign bidding option

    The simulators don't work with campaigns that use automatic CPC bidding or the Conversion Optimizer.

  • Campaign opted out of Search Network

    The bid simulators work only with campaigns that are opted into the Search Network, because traffic estimates don't include data from the Display Network. For Campaign Bid Simulator, we only show simulations for campaigns targeting the Search Network exclusively.

  • Not enough keywords using the ad group default bid

    If you're using the Bid Simulator at the ad group level, the Bid Simulator might not be able to provide estimates if you're using keyword-level bids. Try switching your keywords to the ad group default bid instead.

  • Campaign Experiments

    The simulators don't work with campaigns that have active experiments running.

  • Product Listing Ads

    The simulators don't include estimates for the performance of Product Listing Ads.

Missing columns within the simulator

Here are some reasons why your simulation might be missing the following columns:

  • Clicks and cost

    The clicks and cost columns will only appear if you met a minimum threshold of clicks within the last week.

  • Top of page impressions

    This column only appears if you are estimated to receive at least one top of page impression for any of the bids simulated.

  • Campaign bidding option

    The simulators don't work with campaigns that use automatic CPC bidding or the Conversion Optimizer.

  • Conversions and conversion value

    The "Conversions," "Converted clicks, and "Total conv. value" columns only appear if:

Tip

Curious about the difference between the bid simulators and the Keyword Planner?

  • Bid simulators estimate your ad performance based on detailed information that's specific to your campaign, including your Quality Score and keywords.
  • The Keyword Planner provides information about overall traffic patterns across all AdWords advertisers.