The Google AdWords bid simulator is quite impressive. This was a tool that until recently was in beta. You use the tool within your AdWords account. The Bid Simulator is different than the keyword tool that Google offers to suggest other keywords and give you an idea of traffic as well as competition.
What Bid Simulator Does
Assuming you have a keyword for one of your campaigns within AdWords you can try the simulator. Not all of the keywords will have the simulator option but if you see the icon next to the cost per click that you are bidding you will be able to try it. Essentially you can determine the amount of traffic you can expect to receive for a particular keyword without having to raise your bid and spend the extra money. Take a look at this image. You can see that the current bid for “play game” is $0.20 and the estimated impressions, clicks and cost may also be shown.
The image does not show the estimated clicks or cost as this was a test account. This simulator is based on estimates, however read more to understand why it is so powerful.
Power of Bid Simulator
The bid simulator is very powerful. However first realize the estimates it provides are estimates of what would of happened in the past. In other words I had checked to look at the dates between 10/3/09 and 10/9/09. If the bids had been increased to the CPC amounts you see in the image then the simulator provides the estimated cost and clicks you would have received during that time period.
For those who are stock analysts you will know the phrase “past performance does not predict future behavior“. Therefore the simulator does not predict the future but gives you a pretty good idea.
Typically you would have to spend the money by bidding higher to determine the impact of the bidding. This is extremely valuable information at your fingertips available without having to spend the additional money before knowing the results.
How to Use the Bid Simulator
To use the bid simulator you choose the Keywords tab in AdWords. Next look at the maximum CPC column with your maximum bids. If there is a small blue icon you can click it to see the image as you see above. Not all of your bids will have the simulator but many will.