In the month of May 2019, Google Ads introduced a new tool to help advertisers gain insights into the potential performance they could gain with campaign changes, known as the Performance Planner.

What is the Google Ads Performance Planner?

The Performance Planner is a useful tool within Google Ads that allows you to forecast your Search, Display, and Shopping campaign’s performance based on your budget, they also take into account billions of search queries and are usually updated every 24 hours. You can gain insights into how certain changes may affect your account’s performance.

According to data from Google, the Google Ads Performance Planner can increase your campaign’s conversion rate by 43%. 

Also, you can see how much you could spend in total to maximise the performance metrics: clicks, conversions, or conversion value.

Unfortunately, we are unable to review what happens in the back end of Google. This means that we never see how they have calculated certain forecasts. However, we do know that they consider these three things:

  • Past performance (selected by a specific date range - last 30 days).
  • Existing performance (current number of clicks or conversions).
  • Search queries (what other people are searching for).

Where can I find the Performance Planner?

The Performance Planner can be located within the tools and settings column of your Google Ads account under <planning><performance planner>.

Where can I find the Google ads performance planner

How to use the Performance Planner Tool 

The Google Ads Performance Planner allows you to choose between the performance metric that is important to your business objective. This could be conversions, conversion value, or clicks. When you are filtering the focus, you will also be asked the date range you would like to see (1st Jan – 31st Jan), your metric (conversions, the conversion value of clicks), a period of time (last 30 days), and any other targeting you wish to include.

How to use the Google ads performance planner

These options give you a clear understanding of how far away or close you are to receiving the maximum number of conversions. This means that Google takes into consideration where you should be based on your current budget, keywords, conversions and conversion value. This is a great way for you to create a plan on how you are going to increase your performance goals.

How to use the Google ads performance planner

With Google’s Performance Planner, you will see a blue forecast line. This shows where your current performance is (Spend, Conversions, Average CPA, and Average Conversion Rate), and where it should be. 

If you are above the line it means your campaigns are already above Google's expectations, and alternatively, if you are under the blue line this means you may have a couple of things that need changing for you to be on track. 

This allows you to see how much you would need to change within your campaigns to reach your goal.

Implementation Process 

Once you are happy with your forecast in the performance planner you can then implement these changes in your Google Ads account 

Remember: these changes won’t be automatically added to the account. You can implement the changes by downloading a file and using the Google Ads Editor.

To review and implement your plan using Google Ads Editor:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads Account. 
  2. Click the tools & settings icon in the top right-hand corner, and then select Performance Planner
  3. Click a plan that you want to review and implement
  4. In the top right-hand corner, click the download icon. 
  5. Choose Ads Editor file (.csv)
  6. Follow the instructions in import a CSV file into Google Ads Editor to review and implement your plan.

Forecasting Seasonality in Google Ads

Seasonal marketing is marketing products or services at certain points of the year. That could be Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving, but seasonal marketing doesn’t have to coincide with ‘official’ events.

Including variables like seasonality, Google will review the historical search queries within a certain period. For example, if you were a clothes company and you have chosen to focus on January, Google will consider the January sales and how it may affect your business conversion actions. Alternatively, if you are an automotive company trying to forecast in March or September then Google will take into consideration an increase in demand for new number plates.

Performance Comparison Chart

The compare chart in the Performance Planner allows you to compare your existing settings compared to your planned settings in a chart format within the same time period.

Performance comparison chart example

Keyword Level

You can also add and remove keyword ideas within the campaign to see how this will affect your forecasted performance. You would need to go into the ‘Things to Try’ section where this will take you to the keywords page. Here you will be able to see if adding new keywords will increase or decrease your performance.

Keywords = the different words people type into the internet to find your business or information

Alternatively, you are also able to add other keywords suggested within the Keyword Planner tool also located within the Google Ads platform. Google Keyword Planner allows you to see how much each keyword is going to cost and also how competitive they might be. You can also see an estimated number of monthly searches.

keyword level example


To be able to use the Google Ads performance planner, your campaigns must have met the following requirements. 

  • More than 3 clicks within the last week.
  • Using bid strategies – Manual CPC, target CPA, or enhanced CPC.
  • Received 1 conversion within the last week.
  • And your ads need to be running for 72 hours.

You will not be able to use the performance planner,

  • Your ads have been running for less than 72 hours.
  • If you have no clicks or conversions.
  • If your campaigns were deleted.
  • If you are using a shared budget.

Adjusting Rates For Individual Campaigns

If you are looking to adjust conversion rates across individual campaigns then there are a couple of steps you need to follow:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads Account
  2. Click the tools & settings icon in the top right-hand corner, and then select Performance Planner
  3. Click the plan in which you’d like to adjust your conversion rate. 
  4. Go to the plan page and scroll down to the campaign table. 
  5. Select a campaign 
  6. In the editor panel on the right, enter a new “Forecasted conversion rate” for that campaign

Adjusting Rates Across Multiple Campaigns

If you are looking to adjust conversion rates across multiple campaigns then you would need to follow the below steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account
  2. Click the tools & settings icon in the top right-hand corner, and then select Performance Planner. 
  3. Click the plan in which you’d like to adjust your conversion rate.
  4. Click Adjust on the conversion rate banner. 
  5. You can adjust your conversion rates in two ways:
  1. Scale conversion rates across campaigns: Enter the percentage amount that you expect your conversion rate to increase or decrease. For example, if you adjust your rate by +50%, a campaign with a forecasted rate of 5% conversion rate will increase to 7.5%.
  2. Set a new conversion rate to apply across campaigns: Enter a new conversion rate.


Remember: Google Ads has tried to make the Performance Planner process as smooth as possible. The steps you need to know:

  1. Create a plan = create and review your campaign forecasts.
  2. Explore your forecast = explore and adjust your campaigns settings 
  3. Implement your recommendations = remember to use Google Ads Editor to implement your recommendations.

If you want to learn more about the tools Google offers to its advertisers, check out our blog post on 5 tools and features in Google Ads that you may not know about.


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