Use simulators to estimate Smart Bidding performance

There are two types of Google Ads simulators that you can use, Manual CPC bid simulators and Smart Bidding simulators.

Google Ads simulators help you see how different settings might change your ads’ weekly performance. When using Smart Bidding, simulation tools help you to better understand what will happen to your ads’ performance when you change your CPA target, ROAS target or your average daily budget.

How target and budget simulators work

Target and budget simulators collect and analyze data from ad auctions you participated in, and estimate how your ads might have performed in terms of key metrics like cost, conversions, conversion value, impressions and clicks if you had set different CPA or ROAS targets, or budgets.

Simulators can provide insight into how different targets and budgets might have affected performance over the past 7 days, but they don't attempt to predict future performance. For instance, if you believe that your ad performance might change significantly in the coming weeks, you’ll want to be careful using simulator data to choose your settings.

Target CPA simulators can be used in two ways:

  • You can set a single campaign or portfolio-wide target. This will clear any ad group targets you have set.
  • You can scale campaign or portfolio targets along with ad group targets by a certain percentage.

You can estimate your simulator results at scale by using the Google Ads API (AdWords API).

Target CPA simulators are available for Search, Display, and App campaigns. Target ROAS is available for Search campaigns. Maximize conversions and Maximize clicks simulators are available on the Search network.

Using Smart Bidding simulators to estimate your Smart Bidding performance

You can pick a Smart Bidding simulator based on the key metric you’re hoping to achieve, like conversions, conversion value, or clicks.

Bid strategy Smart Bidding simulator Key metric
Target CPA

Ad group target simulator

Campaign target simulator

Portfolio target simulator

Conversions
Target ROAS

Ad group target simulator

Campaign target simulator

Portfolio target simulator

Conversion value
Maximize conversions bidding Campaign budget simulator Conversions
Maximize clicks bidding Campaign budget simulator Clicks

Find your Smart Bidding simulator

Find a Smart Bidding target simulator for your ad-group

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Ad groups.
  3. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator icon from the performance report in the section labeled "Strategy target CPA" or “Strategy target ROAS”. Don't see this icon? Learn why.

Find a Smart Bidding target simulator for your campaign

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns.
  3. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator icon Don't see this icon? Learn why. This icon is located in the "Budget" column.
    • If you are using an App campaigns, you can find this in campaign settings

Find a Smart Bidding target simulator for your portfolio bid strategy

With a portfolio strategy, you can attach multiple campaigns and ad groups to a single bid strategy. If you're using a portfolio Target CPA bid strategy, you can find the Target CPA simulator in the Shared library.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon, then under “Shared library”, click Bid strategies.
  3. Click a Target CPA or Target ROAS strategy to view its performance report.
  4. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator icon from the performance report in the section labeled "Strategy target CPA" or “Strategy target ROAS”. Don't see this icon? Learn why.
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