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    15 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

    A small PPC budget is a challenge for many advertisers.

    How do you make the most out of it?

    Read on for tips to get started or to optimize your PPC program.

    1. Set the Stage for the Account

    With a smaller budget, setting expectations of the size and scope of the account will allow you to keep focus.

    First, determine approximately how many clicks per day you are likely to receive.

    For example, if the monthly budget is $2,000 per month, and the average cost-per-click is $2.50, you can get 800 clicks per month. That’s only 26 clicks per day, or $66 a day budget.

    Be aware that AdWords, and possibly other channels, may exceed the daily budget from time to time to maximize clicks. The overall monthly, however, should not exceed the daily x number of days in the month.

    Now we have an estimate of the daily budget, we can focus on the prioritizing our goals.

    2. Prioritize Goals

    Often advertisers will have multiple goals per account. A small budget limits the number of campaigns – and the number of goals – you can pursue.

    Some common goals include:

    • Brand awareness
    • Product and brand consideration
    • Leads
    • Sales
    • Repeat sales

    In the example below, the advertiser is using a small budget to promote a scholarship program. They are using a combination of leads (search campaign) and awareness (display campaign) to divide up a daily budget of $82.

    Daily budget example

    Laser Focus

    Several features can help you laser-focus campaigns to make the most of small PPC budgets.

    Remember, these settings will restrict traffic to campaign. So if you aren’t getting enough traffic, loosen up the settings.

    3. Geotargeting

    Geotargeting is one the first settings you need to decide on.

    Should you target states, cities, ZIP codes, or something else?

    The smaller the geographic area, the less traffic you will get so balance relevance with budget. Consider adding negative locations where you do not do business to keep stragglers from seeing ads.

    4. Ad Scheduling

    Ad scheduling also helps to control budget by only running ads on certain days and at certain times of the day.

    If your business is open during specific hours, it might make sense to set ads to run only while you are open.

    If you sell online, you are always open, but it may be smart to review reporting to determine if there are any times of the day when there is a negative ROI.

    5. Match Types

    Match types are essential to controlling budget, especially if funds are tight.

    Study up on the match types and how each triggers ads.

    Combined with ad scheduling and geotargeting, you may have to test different match types to get the right balance.

    Creative Thinking

    Working with a limited budget means you will have to get creative to get the most benefit from the budget.

    6. Call Only

    Some businesses with smaller budgets will also have challenges with a landing page and testing different versions.

    If phone calls are important to your business, consider running a call-only campaign.

    Call only campaigns

    7. Use Display

    Make your company appear to be “everywhere” by using remarketing to website visitors and several different audiences in your target market.

    If you pay per click, the impressions do not cost you anything.

    These campaigns can provide broader reach and increase brand awareness.

    8. Aim for Competition

    Use the portfolio bid strategies settings to always beat main competitors with ‘target outranking share’ option.

    You create a rule by adding the domain to outrank, percentage of the time to outrank, and the max bid.

    Choose top competitors in your area. The auction insights report will show which competitors are also competing for the same search keywords.

    BId target outranking

    More Tactical Tips

    9. Tracking

    Ensure that tracking is set-up through the PPC platform and website analytics to measure performance.

    The data collected will be critical to inform your decisions on where to optimize the account.

    10. Keywords

    Bid for generic keywords can be very high. Look for unique and longer keywords to compete effectively on a smaller budget.

    Find effective long-tail keywords using your analytics account to see organic searches leading to your website, Google autocomplete, and tools like Google’s Keyword Planner.

    11. High Volume Keywords

    High volume and competitive keywords can get expensive and can really put a dent into the budget.

    Consider putting a cap (max bid) on what you’re willing to pay.

    In other words, accept a lower ad rank to pay less per click, depending on your goals.

    12. Dynamic Search Ads

    Consider avoiding Dynamic Search Ads.

    These ads aren’t triggered by specific keywords chosen by you. Instead, they are displayed based keywords in the content of your landing page.

    While this seems convenient, it often results in irrelevant impressions and clicks, which could drive up daily spend.

    13. Ad Extensions

    Ad extensions can call attention to the ad as well as provide additional information that can’t fit into the ad body copy. These details could include:

    • Local address.
    • Sitelinks.
    • Call-outs.
    • A phone number.
    • Structured snippets.

    Google also provides dynamic ad extensions which are automated extension that shows details from your website added to your ad text.

    14. Negative Keywords

    Just like match types, an extensive negative keywords list will be critical to controlling budgets.

    • Generate negative keywords proactively by brainstorming keyword concepts that may trigger ads erroneously.
    • Review query reports to find irrelevant searches that have already led to click.
    • Create lists and apply.
    • Repeat.

    Update it regularly if campaign keywords are broad match and phrase match type.

    15. Landing Pages

    Last but not least, targeted and conversion-optimized landing pages can be essential.

    Google judges the quality of the landing page based on the parameters of relevance, content originality, transparency, and navigability. You will not get conversions from poorly structured or outdated landing pages.

    This can be an issue for some smaller businesses that do not have access to web development staff. If developing landing pages is a hurdle for you, consider the call-only campaign tip in this post.


    Low budget accounts can be effective if they are managed correctly. Hopefully you now have lots of ideas to rock your own small budget PPC campaigns.

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