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Use the bid simulator with Shopping campaigns

Want to increase or decrease your bids for your Shopping campaign, but not sure how it would affect your performance? The Bid Simulator can help bring clarity to how different product group bids could affect your traffic by estimating what your advertising results could’ve been over the previous seven days, if you’d set different bids. Use this tool from the "Product groups" tab to gauge what bid amount is likely to deliver the performance you want, with the budget you have. Then, quickly apply your new bid to your product groups, or across all subdivisions of a product group.

This article explains which bid simulators are available for Shopping campaigns, how they work, and how to use them in your campaign.

How it works

The Bid Simulator collects and analyzes data from ad auctions on Google from the previous seven days, while considering information such as the quality of your ads, your competitors' bids, and product data. The tool then uses this information to estimate how certain changes to your bid would have impacted your clicks, cost, impressions, and conversions.

You can use the Bid Simulator to gauge performance for an individual product group, or for a product group with subdivisions.

Here are some things to keep in mind when using the bid simulator for a product group with subdivisions:

  • You can view bid changes in aggregate and model changes for non-excluded product groups, even when individual product groups might not have enough data for this on their own.
  • You can use bid scaling to see what might happen if you increased or decreased all of your bids for product groups within the subdivision by a specific percentage (10%, for example). Then you can apply the bid adjustment across these product groups with just a few clicks. Note that bid scaling isn’t available if any of the product groups are subdivided by item ID.
  • You can model what happens if you changed all of your bids in the subdivided product group to a fixed value. If you choose to apply one of these product group-wide bid changes, your ad group default bids will be changed to this fixed value, and your product group-level bids will be removed.
  • Bid changes across many product groups can increase traffic significantly, which could cause you to reach your budget limit. We’ll show you the projected cost for bid changes, and you might need raise your budget to make the most of your bid adjustment.

Keep in mind

  • The Bid Simulator is available when Shopping ads for a product group have been included in enough auctions or accrued enough impressions to generate a sufficient estimate of potential performance with a different bid amount. If you don’t see the Bid Simulator, you probably need to let your ads run for a little while longer or try to participate in more auctions by increasing your bids or providing higher quality product data.
  • The Bid Simulator isn't available for "excluded" product groups with no bid.
  • The data displayed in the Bid Simulator for your “current” bid is a projection based on your traffic over the previous 7 days. If you recently changed your bid, you may notice a discrepancy between the “current” data reflected in the Bid Simulator and the actual data available in your account.

If you still aren’t seeing the tool, then consider revising your bid for that product group, or improving your product data.

Instructions

How to use the bid simulator to get estimates for an individual product group

Here's how to see your estimates for an individual product group:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Select the ad group for the Shopping campaign you’re interested in from the side navigation.
  3. Find the product group you’re interested in and click the simulator graph icon next to the bid in the "Max. CPC" column.
  4. In the Bid Simulator window, select different bid options to see how they could impact your traffic. Bid Simulator -Shopping campaigns
  5. You can change your bid and have it applied directly to your product group by selecting a new bid option in the Bid Simulator and clicking Save.
How to use the bid simulator to get estimates for product groups with subdivisions

Here's how to see your estimates for product groups with subdivisions:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com
  2. Select the ad group for the Shopping campaign you’re interested in from the side navigation.
  3. Find the subdivided product group containing the product groups you’re interested in and click the simulator graph icon in the "Max. CPC" column (there won’t be a bid since this product group is subdivided).
  4. To see how percentage changes to your bids for these product groups could impact your traffic, select Bid scaling (%) in the Bid Simulator window. To change your bid by that percentage, select the option next to your desired bid and click Save.

    To see how different fixed bid amounts across your subdivided product group could impact your traffic, select the Product group-wide bid option. To change your bid, select the option (or enter your own bid next to “Use a different bid”). Then click Save.
How to use the bid simulator to get estimates for conversions

If you're using Conversion Tracking, the bid simulator offers conversion estimates to help you understand the number of conversions and conversion value your ads 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 conversions you might receive within your conversion window. Learn how to find a report on conversion delays.
  • Estimate availability: If we don't have enough reliable data, we won't show any conversion estimates. Reasons that we might not have enough data include:
    • Not enough traffic on your campaign
    • A high conversion delay
    • A pattern of very irregular conversions
  • Changes to Conversion Tracking: If you've made any major changes to Conversion Tracking in the last two weeks, you may not be able to rely on bid simulator data for conversions.
  • 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.
How to use the bid simulator to get estimates for mobile device traffic

The Mobile Bid Adjustment Simulator shows you how changes to your mobile bid adjustment might affect your ad performance on different devices. Learn more about this simulator and how to use it in your campaign.

Tip

Alternatively, you can add the Bid Simulator columns to the statistics table on your Product groups tab to easily view estimates for multiple product groups. Learn more about this group of columns.

Troubleshooting

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

Not enough data
  • The Bid Simulator uses data from the last seven days to provide estimates. It might not be able to provide estimates if a campaign or product group was recently added, or didn't receive many clicks in the last seven days.
  • If you've just added a new campaign, ad group, or product group, check back after more time has passed to see if the simulators have provided estimates. If your campaign, ad group, or product 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 simulator may not be able to provide estimates.
Product group is "excluded"
  • The Bid Simulator isn’t available for product groups you’ve marked as “excluded,” which means the products in that product group aren’t being advertised with that ad group.
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