Welcome to the help center for Search Ads 360, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the Search Ads 360 product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Forecast the performance of a Search Ads 360 bid strategy

About Search Ads 360 bid strategy forecasts

Experiment with Search Ads 360 bid strategy settings to find the best ROI target.

If you're unsure of the CPA, ERS, or ROAS target to set for a bid strategy, use a bid strategy forecast. The forecast uses historical data in an existing bid strategy to show:

  • The target needed to achieve a specific range of conversions: If you know how many conversions you want to achieve per week, you can see which CPA, ERS, or ROAS target you're likely to need.

  • How the bid strategy performs with a specific amount of weekly spend.

  • The trade-offs between cost and conversion volume as you adjust your CPA, ERS or ROAS.

The forecasting graph shows the expected conversions and cost for a target.

Learn about this example

The example above is from a bid strategy with a $55.00 CPA target. Based on historical performance, Search Ads 360 projects that this target will:

  • Generate 669 conversions

  • Spend $36,067.00

As you can see by sliding the bar in the graph, you could achieve 543 conversions if you changed the CPA target to $41.80, which is projected to spend $27,380.00.

The forecasting graph shows the effect of changing the bid strategy target.

Note: Bid strategy forecasts are estimates and are not a guarantee of performance.

Make small changes and evaluate

Instead of making large, infrequent changes to your bid strategy's ROI target, the forecast will be more accurate if you make a small change (that is, less than 30% difference from current target) and then check the forecast again after a few days. Continue making small changes once every week or two until you've reached your ideal balance of cost and conversions.

Even though the bid strategy's forecast is updated daily, you'll need to wait a few days after changing the bid strategy to see the effect of your change.

If a forecast hasn't been updated for several days, you should check the health of the bid strategy on the Overview tab or the Bid strategy health column. The bid strategy might be constrained and can't update the forecast.

Based on historical performance

Bid strategy forecasts use historical performance data of the biddable items and conversions in your bid strategy to project likely performance over the next week. The historical window is the previous 7 days, and the forecast assumes that next week will be similar to the previous 7 days.

Note that the performance history of a biddable item may precede its inclusion in a bid strategy. For example, you create a keyword and traffic it to an engine account. A month later, you apply a bid strategy to the keyword. The forecast will consider the keyword's performance history from the past 7 days, even if you only applied the bid strategy a few days ago.

If there isn't enough historical data

If the biddable items and conversions in your bid strategy don't have sufficient performance data, Search Ads 360 cannot provide a forecast. For example, if you apply a bid strategy to a campaign with all new keywords, Search Ads 360 cannot provide a forecast until the keywords accumulate performance history.

In addition, if you change the conversions or biddable items in a bid strategy, Search Ads 360 will need some time to recalculate its forecast. You'll see a message on the forecasting page when this occurs.

Reasons a forecast may not be available for bid strategies 

Search Ads 360 can't create a forecast for a bid strategy with historical performance data, if, within the past seven days: 

  • You overrode a bid strategy by manually setting bids for biddable items that compose a significant portion of the spend in a bid strategy's portfolio. 
  • The bid strategy was paused for several days.

If you overrode a bid strategy's bid, wait a few days and then check again for a forecast. 

If the bid strategy was paused, reactivate it, and then wait a few days before checking again for a forecast.    

Supported bid strategies

Search Ads 360 can forecast performance for the following types of bid strategies and conditions:

  • Goals: Conversions or Revenue 

  • Targets: CPA, ERS, or ROAS target

  • Engines and campaign types: Google Ads manual and Shopping campaigns and Microsoft Advertising manual campaigns

If a bid strategy includes a combination of Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising shopping and manual campaigns, forecasts ignore the Microsoft Advertising product groups. 

Unsupported bid strategies

Search Ads 360 does not forecast performance for the following types of bid strategies and conditions:

  • Goals: Clicks, Position, or Advanced Targeting
  • Targets: Monthly spend 
  • Microsoft Advertising shopping campaigns aren't included in forecasts
  • Auction-time bidding campaigns

Unsupported web browsers

Bid strategy forecasts do not support Internet Explorer 8.
For optimal performance, we recommend using Chrome or Firefox version 3.5 or later.

Bid strategy constraints

While Search Ads 360 does forecast performance for bid strategies that specify constraints (such as min bid/max bid, max CPA, or a position range), the effect of those constraints is not shown in the forecast.

Likewise, forecasts don't consider the limiting effect of campaign budgets. That is, forecasts assume an unlimited campaign budget, and therefore may suggest a CPA or other spend target that is beyond the budget you've set for a campaign.

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