Use simulators to estimate Smart Bidding performance

There are 2 types of Google Ads simulators that you can use, Manual CPC bid simulators and Smart Bidding simulators.

Google Ads simulators help you check 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 values, impressions, and clicks if you had set a different CPA target, impression share target, ROAS target, or budget.

Target simulators can be used in 2 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.

Simulators are based on historical campaign performance, adjusted to account for upcoming seasonal patterns. The simulator is updated each day to reflect the last 7 days.

These current and projected impact metrics reflect conversion delay estimates for search and Performance Max campaigns.

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

Target CPA simulators are available for Search, Display, Shopping, and App campaigns. Target ROAS is available for Search campaigns. Target impression share, Maximize conversions, Maximize conversion value, and Maximize clicks simulators are available only for Search campaigns.

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 values, clicks, or impressions.

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 values
Maximize conversion value Campaign budget simulator Conversion values
Maximize conversions bidding Campaign budget simulator Conversions
Maximize clicks bidding Campaign budget simulator Clicks
Target impression share

Campaign target simulator

Impressions

Find your Smart Bidding simulator

Find a Smart Bidding target simulator for your ad group

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.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Ad groups.
  4. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator icon from the performance report in the section labeled "Strategy Target CPA" or “Strategy Target ROAS”. Learn more about troubleshooting bid simulators

Find a Smart Bidding target simulator for your campaign

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.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator icon. This icon is located in the "Budget" column.

Find a Smart Bidding target simulator for your portfolio bid strategy

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.

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. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click the Budgets and bidding drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Bid strategies.
  4. Select a Target CPA or Target ROAS strategy to view its performance report.
  5. Click the simulator icon Bid Simulator icon from the performance report in the section labeled "Strategy Target CPA" or “Strategy Target ROAS”. Learn more about troubleshooting bid simulators

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