Keyword Planner: About performance forecasts

This article applies to the previous AdWords experience. Determine which AdWords experience you’re using.

If you’re using the new AdWords experience, read About Keyword Planner in the new AdWords experience.

When you use Keyword Planner to get forecasts for your keywords or campaigns, you'll see an overview of them on the graph and more detailed forecasts in the table. These forecasts can help you plan your advertising strategy so you can reach your business goals.

This article goes over what each forecast means in Keyword Planner.

Before you begin

To see forecasts, sign in to Keyword Planner and use any of the selections under "Plan your budget and get forecasts."

What your forecasts mean

  • Clicks: The number of clicks your ad might receive each day if the keyword were to trigger the ad.
  • Impression ("Impr."): How often your ad might show in a day. An impression is counted each time an ad is shown on a search results page.
  • Average position ("Avg. Pos"): The average position on a search results page that your ad might appear in when the keyword triggers the ad to show. '1' is the highest position on the first page of search results. Keywords with an average position of 1-8 generally trigger ads on the first page of search results, while keywords with an average position of 9-16 generally trigger ads on the second page, and so on. An average position of '1.7,' for example, means your ad usually appears in positions 1 or 2. Average positions are not fixed; they may vary depending on various performance factors.
  • Cost: The average amount you might spend per day for this keyword.
  • Clickthrough rate ("CTR"): The ratio of the number of clicks that your ad might receive divided by the number of times your ad might be shown (which we call an impression).
  • Average cost-per-click ("Avg. CPC"): The average amount you might pay for a click. We automatically adjust the final amount you're charged for a click, which is known as your actual cost-per-click (actual CPC), so you pay only one cent more than the minimum amount required to keep your ad's position. Therefore, the displayed amount may be lower than the overall cost forecast range for all keywords, or the CPC bid already in place for your ad group.
  • Conversions (“All conv.”): An estimate of the total number of conversions you might get for these keywords. We use your historical estimated total conversion rate as a default, but you can edit this.
  • Average cost-per-acquisition (“Est. avg. CPA”): The predicted cost divided by the number of conversions you might get.
  • Total conversion value (“Total conv. value”): The total value of all the conversions expected for these keywords. We use your historical average conversion value as your default, but you can edit it.
  • Return on ad spend (“ROAS”): The total conversion value you could get, divided by the predicted cost of your ads.


Keep in mind that historical stats like average monthly searches are only shown for exact match. For example, let's say your keyword is dark chocolate. If you want to check that keyword's average monthly searches, we'll show you the same exact match stats whether you use a broad, phrase, or exact match type with dark chocolate. Traffic forecasts like clicks and cost, on the other hand, do take into account keyword match types. For example, if you get forecasts for a list of broad match keywords, we'll take into account any overlap between those keywords.

See forecasts by device

After you get forecasts for your keywords or campaigns, you can see a breakdown of your forecasts by device. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Enter a bid in the text box at the top.
  2. To see these forecasts broken down by device, click the Device tab above the graph.

You can use the Bid adjustment column to increase or decrease your mobile bid by a percentage. In the columns next to this, you’ll see how adjusting your mobile bid affects your forecasts, such as clicks, impressions, cost, clickthrough rate, average cost-per-click, and average position.

See forecasts by location

You can also segment your forecasts by location. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Click the Location tab. By default, you’ll see a table breaking your forecasts down by your targeted locations.
  2. To see a more specific geographic segment of your targeted locations, such as region, state, county, or city, select one from the Location drop-down menu on that same tab. Keep in mind that you can only select geographic segments that exist in all your targeted locations (the rest will be grayed out).
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