Top 5 Must Haves on a Small PPC Campaign Budget

Top 5 Must Haves on a Small PPC Campaign Budget

3rd March 2014

Top 5 must have’s on a small PPC budgetManaging AdWords campaigns well is time consuming, but here is a list of things you should do even on a small budget.

Eliminate ineffective keywords and ad groups

This tactic helps to achieve 3 things at the same time:

  1. decrease costs
  2. lower cost per conversion
  3. increase conversion rate.

To manage ineffective keywords properly you need to have conversion tracking setup and working properly in your AdWords (or Bing) account. It’s best to focus on each campaign or ad group separately because cost per conversion varies from campaign to campaign. If you don’t have much time, work at the account level

  1. Set the date range to the last 2-3 months.
  2. Go to keywords and sort them by cost in descending order.
  3. Review your top spending keywords one by one. If cost >= average cost per conversion (or cost per conversion you would consider acceptable) then pause that keyword.
  4. If there are no such keywords, go to ad groups tab, sort your ad groups by cost in descending order and if cost >= average cost per conversion then pause that ad group.

Choose devices and channels which are right for you

This tactic helps to cut costs and move your budget to a better converting channel. If your campaigns are limited by budget you can cut costs by opting out of search partners or mobile devices on the campaign level.

  1. Set the date range to the last 2-3 months.
  2. Go to ‘Campaigns’ tab and segment your data by ‘Network’ or ‘Device’:

segment your data by Network or Device in AdWords

  • Devices.Review costs and cost per conversion separately for desktops, tablets and mobile phones.If your cost per conversion is much higher or there are no conversions from a particular device, I would recommend not to show your ads on that device.(see example of a campaign where cost per conversion from mobile devices is almost double that from desktop computers)

    AdWords Campaign where cost per conversion from mobile devices is double the desktops

    Unfortunately, enhanced campaigns only allow you to opt out of mobile devices (it can be done on campaign settings tab). You cannot opt your campaigns out from showing ads on tablets, so you need to optimise your website for tablets as a matter or urgency.

    Remember, if you advertise on tablets but your website isn’t ready for tablet devices, you can waste up to 30% of your whole budget on traffic which will never convert.

  • NetworkSearch ads are eligible to show not only in Google search, but also on Google search partners too. Segmenting by ‘Network’ you will see how effective your advertising is on Google search partners websites.If your cost per conversion is higher or search partners don’t bring any conversions opt out of search partners (you can do it on the campaign settings tab):

    NetworkSearch ads

    All the same steps are available in Bing too. Bing shows performance broken down by device and network. Fortunately, Bing allows you to opt out from advertising on tablets if your website isn’t ready for these devices.

Use remarketing in search if it helps you to close the deal

Remarketing in search ads lets you show ads in Google search results but only those users who previously visited your website but didn’t convert. You can show a completely different message or improve on your original offer and be certain that nobody else but the users who already know you will see it. This feature is an absolute must for a mature advertiser. It delivers leads at very lost costs, which is important for small ppc budgets.

Leverage location targeting

You can target specifically those areas where your business operates. Leveraging geo targeting helps to increase performance and cut costs.

For example, if your customer audience is based in Ramsey, there is no need to target other cities.

To define your Geographical settings go to Settings, All settings and then Locations.

Define your Geographical settings in AdWords


Know your negative keywords

Always analyse negative keywords before setting up a campaign with a small PPC budget. It will help to avoid wasting money and poor results at the start of a campaign.

There are many tools which can help you find your negative keywords. The best way to start your research is to use Google Keyword Planner or just Google search.

If you are selling ‘leather shoes’ in the UK just type it into Google search and predictive search will show you the terms associated with your search query. You will see straight away what is irrelevant. For example, you may want to add ‘philippines’ or ‘pakistan’ into your negative keyword list.

search query 1
search query 2
search query 3

Related search terms displayed at the bottom of search results are also very useful:

Related search terms in Google

The same tactics can also suggest relevant keywords you may have missed.

If your campaign has run for a while and accumulated history, review the search terms that brought your visitors to the site and find out if any of them are irrelevant.

Search terms report

Investing time into negative keyword research pays off, it helps to decrease cost and increase CTR.

Everyone has a different way of optimising AdWords accounts. There are hundreds of other things you can do to increase your reach, increase your conversion rate and lower your costs, however not all of them are quick or cheap fixes. Things like conversion optimisation, ROI optimisation or design and development of great landing pages take time and cost money. But if you cover the above basics, even in on small budget campaign, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results you get.


Written By
Polly Pospelova is a passionate online marketing professional who thrives on delivering unique value-driven search solutions. As well as managing UNRVLD agency’s natural and paid search teams, Polly works closely with both technical developers and UX specialists to maximise customer experience, customer engagement and conversions.
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