Set specific amounts and configure the allocation table for a single budget plan

Budget allocation table settings

This article is about configuring the allocation table for a single budget plan. For information about configuring the allocation table for multiple budget plans at once, see Review and set allocations in multiple budget plans.

To refine a budget plan to match the way you allocate spend, you can specify the amount that you want to spend on any day or week of a plan. You can also change the table settings to reflect the way you set up your budgets.

The allocation table shows estimated spend, user-set (custom) amounts and estimated performance based on the plan's conversion goal. 

The table updates automatically when any of the following occur:

  • Custom allocations are specified
  • Table settings are changed
  • Target spend in the budget plan is changed
  • Campaigns are added or removed from the budget plan
  • Budget bid strategy is added to or removed from a plan
Estimates may update even before a plan starts because Search Ads 360 continues to evaluate performance data. Once a plan starts, actual spend and performance replace the estimates. 

Customize amounts

The only amounts that you can directly edit in the allocation table are in the "Custom spend" column.

If you want to override an estimated amount that a budget bid strategy will spend for a date segment, you can specify a different amount in the table. In a manual plan, a custom allocation sets the amount you intend to spend.

You can specify custom allocations for any or all future weeks or days in a plan. This includes setting allocations for a specific week and all the days in that week. (We don't recommend setting a custom allocation for every date segment because errors can occur. Also, if a budget bid strategy is managing spend, custom allocations may constrain the strategy and prevent it from spending the desired amount.)

The estimates in the volume (conversions or revenue) column update when you enter a custom amount. 

When you specify an amount in the "Custom spend" column, Search Ads 360 automatically recalculates the amounts in the "Target spend" and "Adjusted target" columns to reflect the custom amount. If you specify an amount for a week and switch to the "Day" view, you will also see this behavior. 

For example:

  • In the "Week" view, you allocate $2500 for the July 2 to July 8 date segment of a plan. This works out to about $357.14 per day. 
    Note that by default, the allocations include seasonality. This means that the $2500 might be not divided evenly among the 7 days. Search Ads 360 might allocate a larger amount to some days in the week while other days would be allocated less than $357.14.
    Search Ads 360 won't change any of your custom allocations.
  • In the "Day" view for each day of the week, about $357.14 is included in the cumulative amounts in the "Target spend" column for July 2 to July 8.

Partial budget allocation table in per day view. Cumulative Target spend amounts in highlighted rows includes $2500, divided over 7 days

 

You can also specify one or many custom amounts in the "Day" view.

Continuing the example: 

  • You specified $2500 for the week of July 2 to July 8. 
  • In the "Day" view, you allocate $400 on July 4. Search Ads 360 recalculates the other daily amounts in the week, maintaining the $2500 allocation for the week.
  • For July 5, you allocate $2500 for the day. Search Ads 360 displays an error because the sum of custom allocations exceeds the $2500 allocation that was set for the week.
  • Search Ads 360 will recalculate the allocations if you leave room for it to adjust the allocations. That is, if you specify an amount for every day of a week or if you specify amounts that exceed a custom weekly allocation, Search Ads 360 can't recalculate the remaining amounts. 
If you specify amounts for each day in a week and an amount for the week, the sum of amounts for the days in the week must equal the amount for the week.
Custom allocations also impact the even division of the budget when the budget is distributed evenly for each day or week of a plan.
For example, a $20,000 budget for the month of September is evenly distributed by week as follows:
Adjusted target
Week 1 (7 days): $4828
Week 2 (7 days): $4827
Week 3 (7 days): $4828
Week 4 (7 days): $4827
Week 5 (1 day): $690
 
Custom spend
Week 1 (7 days): 
Week 2 (7 days):  
Week 3 (7 days): 
Week 4 (7 days): 
Week 5 (1 day): 

 

Then for week 2, set a $3000 custom allocation. The remainder of the budget is evenly distributed over the other weeks:

Adjusted target
Week 1 (7 days): $5409
Week 2 (7 days): $3000
Week 3 (7 days): $5409
Week 4 (7 days): $5409
Week 5 (1 day): $773
 
Custom spend
Week 1 (7 days): 
Week 2 (7 days): $3000
Week 3 (7 days): 
Week 4 (7 days): 
Week 5 (1 day): 
 
If you instead set a custom amount on a specific day when the budget is evenly distributed by week, only the allocations within that week are recalculated. (The allocate "Evenly by week" or "Evenly by day" options prevent a custom allocation from exceeding the amount for the week or day.) That is, the custom allocation must be less than or equal to the evenly distributed amount.

The allocate "Evenly by week" option will also include seasonality. Switch to the "Day" view to see how seasonality impacts the allocations.

Day view (week 2)

Adjusted target
Week 1: $5834
Week 2: $5833
     Day 1: $805.50
     Day 2: $805.50
     Day 3: $805.50
     Day 4: $1000
     Day 5: $805.50
     Day 6: $805.50
     Day 7: $805.50
Week 3: $5833
Week 4: $5834
Week 5 (2 days): $1666
 
Custom spend
Week 1  
Week 2 :  
     Day 1: 
     Day 2: 
     Day 3: 
     Day 4: $1000
     Day 5: 
     Day 6: 
     Day 7: 
Week 3: 
Week 4: 

 

 

Correct errors in the allocation table

If errors occur in the table, you can always completely remove all future custom allocations and reset the table to Search Ads 360 estimates.

  • Do either of the following to correct errors in the allocations:
    • In each cell, manually remove or correct the custom allocation until the errors are resolved.
    • In the upper right corner of the allocation table card, click the more icon  ,  and then click Remove all custom allocations. Confirm that you want to remove all custom allocations.

Customize the allocation table

In addition to overriding Search Ads 360-recommended allocations, you can customize the allocations by changing these options in the table. 

  • View by. Set the date range segmentation in the allocation table. Select Day to display cumulative daily amounts in the table. Week is selected by default.
  • Start weeks on. Set the day of the week that you start spending on advertising. The default start day is Sunday.

The following commands are available on the more menu .

  • Allocate. Choose how Search Ads 360 calculates or distributes the target spend. 

    • Default. This option is selected by default. Search Ads 360 examines performance history and factors seasonality into the estimates, along with the target spend.
    • Evenly by day. Search Ads 360 evenly distributes the target spend over each day in the budget plan. Does not include seasonality.
    • Evenly by week. Search Ads 360 evenly distributes the target spend over each week in the budget plan. Seasonality is included in the daily allocations.
      You can overwrite automatically calculated amounts by specifying allocations in the "Custom spend" column.
  • Remove all custom allocations. Replaces any custom allocations in the allocation table with Search Ads 360-calculated amounts. 

  • Show cumulative amounts. By default, cumulative amounts are shown. Remove the check mark to display individual amounts.

 

Column descriptions

The following table describes the allocation table columns and how you can set allocations.

Column Description
Date range column

Shows date segments for the budget plan's time range. 

You can change the date segmentation by using the options on the "View by" menu and the "Start weeks on" menu. Switching between the "Week" and "Day" views also changes the amounts shown in the "Target spend", "Adjusted target", "Spend", and performance columns. 

For example, in the following abbreviated allocation table:

The budget plan starts on the 1st day of the month, which falls on a Saturday. The Saturday is shown as a single date in the "Week" view of the allocation table because the plan's weeks begin on Sundays. Compare the cumulative amounts in the "Day" view for the same time period.

 

"Week" view    Truncated budget management table with just date range and target spend columns

 

"Day" view       Budget management allocation table truncated day view

Target spend  

Displays estimated amounts for each date segment of a manual budget plan. This column isn't included in plans that include a budget bid strategy.

Note that Search Ads 360 will recalculate future estimates if you enter a different allocation in the "Custom spend" column. Search Ads 360 won't update the amounts for past dates.

The estimates may be inaccurate if campaigns are paused and then restarted, or if bids, ads, or ad groups are changed.
Custom spend column

Manually set allocations are referred to as custom allocations.

For every amount you enter, Search Ads 360 will recalculate amounts in the "Target spend" and "Adjusted target" columns unless the custom allocation causes an error. 

For example:

  • The target spend in a plan for one month is $1015. 
  • Search Ads 360 estimates about $245 for each week of the plan.  
    The cumulative amounts are: $35, $280, $525, $770, and $1015.
    Partial allocation table with empty custom spend column
    In an actual plan, Search Ads 360 doesn't automatically allocate spend evenly for each week or day of a plan. Instead, Search Ads 360 looks for seasonality in the campaign's performance history, and factors any differences in spend into estimates. For example, if Search Ads 360 found more spend on Mondays than on the other days in the week, Search Ads 360 would allocate more of the target spend to Mondays.
  • You specify $350 for the second week of the plan. 

    Partial allocation table with user-set amount in the second row

 

  • Search Ads 360 automatically updates the allocations for all future weeks in the plan, with $1015 as the last cumulative amount.  
     

Appearance of cells in the "Custom spend" column 

  • A cell or cells with a dark border indicate that a user-specified or custom amount has been specified for the date segment. In the "Week" view, an empty cell with a dark border around it indicates that a custom amount is specified for at least one of the days in that week. In the "Day" view, a dark border around the days in a week indicate that a custom amount is specified for the week.
  • A cell with a gray background indicates a past date segment.

Custom amounts must add up

You can specify an amount in every row of the "Custom spend" column to overwrite a Search Ads 360-estimated amount for a date segment, but the amounts must add up to the desired total spend. 

Search Ads 360 won't overwrite allocations that you set even if they are incorrect in some way. Errors occur if the totals don't match. For example:

  • If the sum of the "Custom spend" column doesn't equal the target spend.
  • If you specify allocations for a week and every day in that week, the totals must match. 

Remove custom allocations

Here are a few options to reset the amounts.

You can:

  • Replace the amount.
  • Use the Remove all the custom allocations command on the more menu   to reset all of the allocations to the automatically-set amounts.
  • Change the target spend in the plan.
  • Remove at least one of the custom allocations to allow Search Ads 360 to automatically recalculate the amounts. Search Ads 360 will recalculate if the total of the remaining amounts is less than the target spend.
  • Change the plan dates.

 

Adjusted target

Initially, the column displays recommended (for manual bidding) or target (for a budget bid strategy) amounts for a date segment based on the budget plan's target spend, goal, and historical performance. While a plan is running, future amounts may be updated.

The recommendations or targets are italicized.

By the time a plan ends, the column is empty.

Spend 

Initially, the column is blank. As a plan runs, the column updates with actual amounts spent.

Completed plans include the actual amounts spent for each date segment.

Performance   

The performance (volume and efficiency) columns initially display estimated amounts for volume (number of clicks, conversions, or revenue) and efficiency (CPC, CPA, ROAS/ERS). 

The metrics are based on the plan's conversion goal.

As the plan runs, the column updates to show the actual amounts for past date segments.

Estimates are based on historical performance of the campaigns in the budget group during similar time range. If a targeted amount is beyond the historical spend, Search Ads 360 can't estimate performance.
 
Changes to budgets, bids, ads, or ad groups will take at least 3 days to be reflected in the estimates.
The estimates may be inaccurate if campaigns are paused and then reactivated.

 

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?