About Bidding and Planning

Bidding and Planning incorporates bid strategies, planning, and pacing tasks into Search Ads 360 to help you seamlessly manage performance and spend in one place.

This article describes how you can begin managing your bid strategies in Search Ads 360 to help you achieve your goals.

What's new/What's changed?

Bidding and Planning offers the same core features of the previous Bid Strategies and Performance Center, and
the existing bid strategies experience remains accessible from the "Bid strategies" page for now. Bidding and Planning also offers the following new management features:

  1. Integrated bidding workflows across campaigns and bidding, with improvements to bid strategy management including a new creation flow, and in-line edits. Learn to create and edit a bid strategy.
  2. Simplified Budget bid strategy management without campaign groups required. Learn more about Budget management.
  3. Simplified workflows for bulk target changes, improved charting, and additional forecasting metrics. Learn to review and set target ad spend for plans.

Bidding strategy features

In addition to the above, Bidding and Planning offers new features to help you manage your bid strategies, report on them, and improve performance:

  • Automated bid strategy performance
  • Centralized reporting and management for all bid strategies
  • Metrics like for conversion delay (total CPA, total ROAS, conversions total, conv value total, conversion value delay), estimated conversions due, and more.
  • Campaign reporting for bid strategy report
  • Charting for bid strategy landing page
  • Simplified avigation to “Campaigns” tab

Supported campaign types

Add supported campaign types to a campaign group. You can select campaigns no matter the spend management or spend-delivery rate.

Search Ads 360 supports the following campaign types:

  • Search
  • Shopping

Select a campaign from an account or search by campaign name to identify the campaigns you want to add. You can also add campaigns from multiple accounts to a campaign group.

Set spend in plans

Fundamentally, a plan specifies an amount that you want to spend and a time range (week, month, quarter, year, or custom) in which to spend the budget to achieve your advertising goals (key metrics).

A plan includes graphs that show projections or estimates of spend, a budget pacing chart, and an allocation table to help you to visualize the incremental spend and see how the budget might be spent over the specified time frame. You can use the graphs and allocation table to track and report on performance relative to an amount that you want to spend, to view estimated spend for each plan segment, and to set one or more intermediate targets.

Automate Bidding and Planning with a budget bid strategy

You can let Search Ads 360 optimize spend during a plan by using a budget bid strategy to automatically set the individual campaign budgets, bids, and bid adjustments to achieve optimal performance. Learn more about how to automate budget allocation and spending in a plan.

Search Ads 360 doesn't automatically change your campaign budgets (and bids) unless a Search Ads 360 budget bid strategy is managing spend.

The budget-pacing chart graphs the estimated, target, and actual spend during a plan.

Budget allocation table

When you create or edit a plan, the budget allocation table shows the total budget, segmented by week or day, with estimated and actual cumulative amounts, and the estimated and actual key metrics (revenue, clicks, CPA, or conversions). For more details, see Review and set allocations in a single plan.

When you create or edit a multi-plan, the table will vary from the single plan table. Each row in the multi-plan table represents a campaign group, not a time segment. Each campaign group row covers the time range of the entire plan. The data displayed isn't just a day or week as is the case in a single plan allocation table.

Choose how you want to spread your spend across campaigns.

  • Suggested uses your past performance to determine spend allocation for each campaign group (default).
  • Proportional lets you decide how much spend to allocate to each campaign groups. Activate a spend lock to allocate a specific spend per campaign group. Then divide the remaining spend equally across the remaining campaign groups.

For example:

Say you create a multi-plan with 3 Campaign groups: Cameras, Laptops and Printers. You have a total spend of $5 million and you choose to spend lock $1 million for Cameras. You now have $4 million left to allocate between Laptops and Printers.

Let's assume you rank your campaign groups as follows:

  1. Cameras
  2. Laptops
  3. Printers

See how Bidding and Planning calculates the remaining $4 million spend.

  • Laptops 2/5 x 4= $1.6 million
  • Printers 3/5 x 4 = $2.4 million

Search Ads 360 uses historical performance data to estimate performance and only recommends allocations in each plan.

Reporting in Bidding and Planning

Search Ads 360 reports on the performance of all campaign groups and campaigns collectively, and on individual campaign groups and plans, enabling you to compare actual spend with your targeted budget. Learn more about budget reporting.

Reporting on campaign-group performance is available only in Bidding and Planning.

Organize campaigns into campaign groups

To manage your budgets in Search Ads 360, first organize campaigns with the same focus into campaign groups. For example, let's say you're a retailer who sells electronics and wants to group your campaigns by department. In this case, you can add home theater equipment (TVs, soundbars, etc.) to one campaign group and home office equipment (monitors, laptops, etc.) to another.

A campaign group can contain multiple campaigns from any supported client account as long as they share the same currency.

While a campaign group can contain many campaigns, a campaign can belong to only one campaign group at a time.

Summary of Bidding and Planning benefits

The benefits of Bidding and Planning include:

  • Bid strategy tab where you can view the bid strategy settings and metrics at the manager, sub-manager, or client account level.
    • Additional forecasting capabilities to help you plan target adjustments.
  • Bid strategy tab where you can view the bid strategy settings and metrics at the at Manager, sub-manager, or client account level.
    • Additional forecasting capabilities to help you plan target adjustments.
  • Graphs of the target, estimated spend, and key metrics (such as CPA or ROAS) for all campaign groups in a sub-manager, letting you review budget and performance pacing.
  • Optional automatic budget allocation, bid, and bid adjustment setting by a budget bid strategy.
  • Reporting tables that list all the campaign groups and plans and their performance within a sub-manager.
  • Use of historical performance data and targets to estimate spend and other targets. The performance history also enables Search Ads 360 to include some seasonality when estimating the initial allocations.
  • Estimated cumulative spend for different targets and allocations, indicating whether the target spend is within range of historical spend for the group of campaigns.
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual budget reporting to help you develop insights into optimal budget allocation and view the pace of spending.

Supported and unsupported features

The following lists summarize the Search Ads 360 features that can be used with Bidding and Planning components.

Supported features

  • Conversions. A conversion or conversion value is required to create a plan.
  • Custom dimensions and filters. You can use your custom dimensions to filter a list of campaigns to include in a campaign group.
  • Bulk edits. Add or remove multiple campaigns from a campaign group using the user interface or a bulksheet.
  • Certain advertising platforms. Only Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo! JAPAN Ads, and Baidu campaigns can be members of campaign groups. Engine track and social engine campaigns can't be included in campaign groups.

Unsupported features

  • Performance-plan and campaign-group performance aren't available in Reports.
  • Bid strategies can't be applied to campaign groups or plans. Instead, you can create a budget bid strategy in a plan to automate changing budgets, bids, and bid adjustments.
  • Campaign copy. Campaign groups, plans, and budget bid strategies aren't copied.

Overview of steps to use Bidding and Planning

  1. Create campaign groups and add campaigns to them.
  2. Create one or more plans. Enable budget automation by enabling a budget bid strategy or manage your plan manually.

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