Estimate your results with bid, budget, and target simulators

There are 2 types of Google Ads simulators that you can use:

Google Ads bid simulators help you see how different bids might change your ads’ weekly performance.

  • The regular Bid Simulators show you how changes to your max. CPC bid might change the cost or the number of clicks, impressions, conversions, and conversion value your ads would have received for your keyword or ad group. You can find them on the Ad groups and Keywords page.
  • The Campaign Bid Simulator shows you how changes to your campaign’s bids might affect that campaign’s performance. Find it on the Campaigns page.
  • The Shopping Campaigns Bid Simulator shows you how certain changes to your bid might have impacted your product group's performance. You can find it on the Product groups page.
  • The Hotel Campaigns Bid Simulator shows how changes to your max. CPC, max. CPC%, or Commission % might have impacted your hotel group’s recent performance. You can find it on the Hotel groups page for max. CPC and max. CPC% bid strategies and on the Campaign page for Commission % bid strategies.

Suppose you have a max. CPC bid of US$1 for your keyword, but you're curious to see what results you might 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.

  • Any active bid adjustments for your campaign or ad groups are taken into account during simulations.
  • If your campaign has a "Limited by budget" status, you'll get budget ideas in the pop-up window on your Campaigns page instead of the Campaign Bid Simulator. Learn more about Types of recommendations.

How bid simulators work

The bid simulators collect and analyze data from ad auctions on the Search Network and the Display Network while considering information such as Quality Score, keyword traffic, and competition in the ad auction. The tools use this information to estimate how your ads might have performed in terms of key metrics like cost, impressions, clicks, and conversion volume.

You can estimate your bid simulator results at scale by using the Google Ads API.

How to get bid simulator estimates

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

Use bid simulators on the Search and Display Networks

Bid simulators work on the Search and Display Networks, and on Search Network campaigns with Display Expansion.

Note: Using a bid simulator in a “Search Network campaign with Display Select” only simulates the search portion of the traffic.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
    • Click the Campaigns drop-down in the section menu for Campaigns or Ad groups.
    • (Or) Click the Keywords and content drop-down in the section menu for Search keywords.
  2. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator iconDon't see this icon? Learn why.
    • If you're in Campaigns, the icon is in the "Budget" column.
    • If you're in Ad groups the icon is in the "Default max. CPC" column.
    • If you're in Keywords, the icon is in the "Max. CPC" column.
  3. You can change your bid by selecting a new bid option in the Bid Simulator.

Tip

Alternatively, you can add the bid simulator columns to the statistics table on your Keywords page to easily view estimates for multiple keywords. Learn more About columns in your statistics table.

Use the bid simulator for App campaigns

App campaign Bid Simulator can only be used for App campaigns.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click App campaigns in the campaigns menu at the left.
  4. Click Campaigns in the page menu.
  5. Locate your campaign and click the bid simulator icon Bid Simulator icon within the "Budget" column. Don't see the icon? Learn why.
    1. The bid simulator will appear to the side.
    2. The shaded box changes dynamically as you enter new values for target cost-per-install bids or target cost-per-in-app-action bids.
  6. Click Save and continue to apply your new settings. Click Cancel to exit without applying any changes.

Use the bid simulator for Performance Max campaigns

Performance Max campaign Bid Simulator can only be used for Performance Max campaigns.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Performance Max campaigns in the campaigns menu at the left.
  4. Click Campaigns in the page menu.
  5. Locate your campaign and click the bid simulator icon Bid Simulator icon within the "Budget" column. Don't see the icon? Learn why.
    • The bid simulator will appear to the side.
  6. Click Save and continue to apply your new settings. Click Cancel to exit without applying any changes.

Use the bid simulator for Shopping campaigns

The bid simulator is available for Shopping campaigns to help you estimate how changes to your bid would have impacted your clicks, cost, impressions, and conversions. Learn how to Use the bid simulator with Standard Shopping campaigns.

Use the bid simulator for Hotel campaigns

The Hotel Campaigns Bid Simulator helps you estimate how changes to your bid would have impacted your recent clicks, cost, impressions, and conversions. Learn how to Use the bid simulator to analyze your hotel campaigns.

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. On the Search Network, 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 definitions: Conversions rely not only on ad interactions such as clicks, but also on the actions that customers take on your site. This can also make them more difficult to predict.
  • 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 2 weeks before using the bid simulators for conversion and conversion value estimates.
  • Conversion delay: Conversion delay occurs when people click on an ad and then take some time to complete a conversion action. Keep in mind that the conversion could still occur up to 90 days after each interaction depending on your chosen conversion window.
    • Search and Performance Max simulators count conversions related metrics recorded so far and also those that are expected to arrive, so that the current metrics and projected metrics are more accurate. For example, if 10 clicks took place during the simulation period but 5 conversions were recorded after the simulation period, the 5 conversions would be counted in the estimates.
    • Simulators for all other campaign types count conversions that are recorded during the simulation period. For example, if a click took place during the simulation period but the conversion wasn’t recorded until after the simulation period, the conversion wouldn’t be counted in the estimates. Learn more About conversion delay estimates.
  • 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. If your account doesn't typically get a lot of conversions, we may not have enough information to generate an estimate for conversions. The longer the history and the more conversions you have, the more accurate these estimates will be.

Learn how to Use the bid simulator with Standard Shopping campaigns.

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.

Troubleshooting

Unavailable bid simulator

A bid simulator may not always be available to help you estimate how changes to your bid, budgets or target CPA/ROAS might affect performance. If a simulator is unavailable, the simulator icon (Bid Simulator icon) will be grayed out. In Google Ads, the simulator icon will be grayed out with a slash through it. Here are some common reasons why:

  • Not enough data

    The bid simulators use data from the last 7 days to provide estimates. They might not be able to provide estimates if a campaign, keyword, ad group, or product group was recently added, or didn't receive many clicks in the last 7 days.

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

  • Campaign uses shared budget

    If your campaign uses shared budgets the campaign bid simulator won’t be available.

  • Campaign average daily budget

    If your campaign has reached or nearly reached its average daily budget at least once in the last 7 days, the simulators may not be able to provide estimates.

  • Campaign Experiments

    The simulators don't work with campaigns that have running or recently ended (within the last 8 days) experiments. Learn more About experiment statuses.

    Product groups in Shopping campaign using the Item ID attribute

    The Bid Simulator isn't available for product groups that use the Item ID attribute.

Missing columns within the simulator

Here are some reasons why a bid simulator 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 1 top of page impression for any of the bids simulated. This only appears for the Search Network.

  • Conversions and conversion value

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

    • You're using Google Ads conversion tracking.
    • You received a minimum threshold of conversions within the last week.
  • Additional budget/day required

    This column may only appear in bid simulators at the campaign level.

Tip: Bid simulators vs. Keyword and Display Planners

  • 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 and Display Planner estimate ad performance based on your advertiser information, and provide information about overall traffic patterns across all Google advertisers.

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