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Get the Most Out Of Even the Smallest PPC Budgets

Let’s face it. Adwords is a great platform to get in front of targeted consumers, but not every company has the luxury of a large budget to spend over a wide audience. Some of us need to be very particular in where our money goes. This can be quite tricky and hard to determine the best way to manage where the budget should go. Below, I will outline 3 effective ways to get the most out of your budget – no matter how small!
Determine the most profitable keywords
The best keywords are going to be determined differently based on your own goals and initiatives. For some, it will be those keywords that result in the most sales or leads. Others may want to stay within a specific cost-per-acquisition (CPA) range. You may also want to take a look at Google Analytics data to look at user interaction metrics (bounce rate, average time on site, etc) to help determine if the visitors from these keywords are finding what they’re looking for or immediately leaving the site.
Once you determine your most profitable/important keywords, see if those keywords could use more funding to gain more impression share or increase position. Try to prevent unprofitable keywords from taking too much budget away from the profitable keywords.

As an example, let’s take into consideration the following account structure:
Campaign 1: Exercise Equipment
Ad groups:    Hand Weights, Workout DVDs, Yoga Balls, Yoga Mats  
Campaign 2: Women’s Activewear     
Ad groups:    Athletic Tops, Athletic Pants, Sports Bras, Yoga Pants                           
Let’s say that both of these campaigns run out of budget every day and only display for about 50% of impressions. Our Exercise Equipment groups perform very well. We get the most conversions from these groups and they stay within our CPA goal. The ad groups within the Women’s Activewear campaign on the other hand rarely convert and require high CPCs and high spend. In this case, it would be a good idea to take some of the Women’s Activewear budget and move it over to Exercise Equipment. This allows the ad groups within Exercise Equipment to stay active for more clicks throughout the day and gain more qualified traffic than the Women’s Activewear group would have.
Note: In order for this to work, your campaigns should be set up in a very strategic manner with tightly themed ad groups and campaigns. For more information on how to strategically structure your campaigns, refer to this post on setting up your account.
By taking a look at the Time of Day report in the Dimensions tab, some companies will notice that there are specific periods of time throughout the day or week that traffic or conversions are much lower than other times. Typically, you might find that any clicks that occur at night are much less likely to result in a conversion. If this is the case, day-parting is a great way to reduce budget spent on these unqualified clicks. You can choose to either reduce your bids by a certain percentage (if you still want to be present) or you can pause your budget all together during that time.
Take it a step further: Adjusting bids based on device and location are also good options.
Increase negative keywords
Most likely, you’re already checking search query reports to add negative keywords that are completely unrelated to the keywords you’re buying (ie. Negative matching “yoga videos” in your Yoga Pants ad group). But when you have a small budget, you need to take it a step further.
Going along with the campaign structure above, let’s assume that the Exercise Equipment campaign has a much higher ROI than Women’s Activewear, so we choose to give more budget to the Exercise Equipment campaign. The Women’s Activewear campaign ends up running out of budget throughout the day. If we don’t have the appropriate negatives in place in the Yoga Mats or Yoga Balls ad groups, it’s possible we could start attracting traffic for “yoga pants” searches because they are relevant broad matches to the keywords in that group. You’ve already decided that you want more of your budget to go towards the equipment instead of the apparel so it doesn’t make sense to allow more money to be spent on apparel searches just because they’re now matching to a different keyword – even though you do sell this product. (Also, remember that the landing page will now be a page containing yoga equipment, as opposed to yoga apparel, potentially resulting in a bounce anyway). By being more diligent with your negative keyword additions you can have more control over what searches your budget is being spent on and you can focus more of that money on more profitable keywords.
These are just a few of the most efficient ways of optimizing budget towards more qualified clicks, but there is always more you can do. What has worked for you? Leave a comment with more suggestions!

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Kelsey Cadogan

Kelsey has been in the digital marketing industry since 2010 with experience working both in-house and agency-side. Her specialty is in paid search marketing although her experience also includes search engine optimization, content marketing and social media marketing. When not in the office or relaxing at home, she can be found at the nearest volleyball court.

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