About budget management

Budget management incorporates planning, budgeting, and reporting tasks into Search Ads 360 to help you seamlessly manage spend and understand your campaigns’ success, removing the need to export the data to spreadsheets.

Begin managing your fiscal year, quarterly, monthly, or weekly advertising spend in Search Ads 360 by first organizing campaigns into budget groups that reflect your business structure, advertising focus, brands, or lines of business. Then, create a budget plan to define how much you want to spend in a specific time period. 

Organize campaigns into budget groups

To manage your budgets in Search Ads 360, first organize campaigns with the same focus into budget groups. For example, if you sell refrigerators and stoves, you might create a budget group that includes all the campaigns that advertise appliances. If you advertise both upscale and economy hotel brands, you might put the different campaigns into luxury and economy budget groups. 

A budget group can contain multiple campaigns from any supported search engine account. Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo! Japan, and campaigns from other account types can be in the same group if the campaigns use the same currency

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

Diagram of 2 budget groups in an advertiser. Each budget group contains 3 or 4 campaigns and 2 or 3 quarterly budget plans impact campaign budgets

Supported campaign types

All supported campaign types can be included in a budget group, regardless of how the money is managed. That is, the daily campaign budgets can be managed manually or automatically, with either standard or accelerated delivery spend (pacing). 

To identify the campaigns that you want to include in a group, you can use the names of your campaigns, the labels you’ve applied to campaigns, your custom business data, or other criteria that uniquely identifies a set of campaigns.

Set spend in budget plans

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

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 budget management with a budget bid strategy

You can let Search Ads 360 optimize spend during a plan by using a budget bid strategy to automatically allocate and reset the individual campaign budgets, bids, and bid adjustments. Learn more.

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

Something to keep in mind

If you plan to enable a budget bid strategy to optimize spend, be aware that campaigns that use shared budgets (an engine-provided method for automatically allocating spend) can't be optimized by a budget bid strategy. Learn more about using a budget bid strategy to automate allocation and spend.

 

Example budget pacing chart with actual, estimated, and target spend

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

Budget allocation table

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 performance indicator (revenue, clicks, CPA, or conversions).

 

Budget allocation table in new budget plan.  $750000 allocated weekly from April 1 to April 30.

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

Reporting in budget management

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

Reporting on budget group performance is available only in budget management.

Summary of budget management benefits

The benefits of budget management include:

  • Graphs of the target, estimated spend, and key performance indicators (such as CPA or revenue) for all budget groups in an advertiser, enabling you to quickly 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 budget groups and budget plans and their performance within an advertiser.
  • 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.
Budget management replaces Budget pacing reports as the reporting tool for your spend. Learn more about how to recreate your budget pacing reports in budget management.

Supported and unsupported features

The following lists summarize the Search Ads 360 features that can be used with budget management components.

Supported features

  • Goals. A conversion goal or a clicks goal is required to create a budget plan.
  • Bulk edits. Add or remove multiple campaigns from a budget group using the user interface or a bulksheet.
  • Business data and filters. You can use your business data to filter a list of campaigns to include in a budget group.
  • Search engines only. Only search engine campaigns can be members of budget groups. Engine track and social engine campaigns can't be included in budget groups.
  • Change history. Certain types of budget management changes are logged in change history reports. For example, changes to budget groups, plans, budgets, bids, and bid adjustments.
  • Monthly spend budget bid strategies. Monthly spend bid strategies are being replaced by budget bid strategies. Budget bid strategies can also optimize spend for weekly, quarterly, or custom time periods. Learn more. ​

Unsupported features

  • Rules can't be used to add or remove campaigns from budget groups or to change budgets.
  • Budget group and budget plan performance aren't available in Executive reports.
  • Bid strategies can't be applied to budget groups or budget plans. Instead, you can create a budget bid strategy in a budget plan to automate changing budgets, bids, and bid adjustments. 
  • Campaign copy. Budget groups, budget plans, and budget bid strategies aren't copied.

Overview of steps to use budget management

  1. Create budget groups and add campaigns to them.
  2. Create one or more budget plans and enable budget automation by enabling a budget bid strategy.

 

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