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9 tips for Google Ads budget management

Back to all resources

9 tips for Google Ads budget management

Key take-aways

Savvy business owners know that nowadays, people don’t just go online; they live online – reaching for the nearest device the moment that they want to know, do or buy something. Being where potential customers are means promoting your business online. But how do you know what budget you will need to successfully reach these customers?

1. How does pay-per-click work?

2. Set your goals to set your budget

3. Connect your Google Ads and Analytics accounts

4. Stick to your budget

5. Target specific locations

6. Optimise to get to a higher position in search results

7. Try long-tail keywords

8. Create specific campaigns

9. Monitor & adjust

10. Enhance your ad strategy with display ads

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an advertising service by Google for businesses that want to display ads on Google search results and its advertising network.

Try Google Ads now

Try new online marketing strategies and plan campaigns guided by data from Google Ads and Analytics. Keep making changes until your advertising is helping you meet your business goals.

1. How does pay-per-click work?

Because of how it works, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising like Google Ads puts you in control of the amount that you want to spend, as well as where and how you spend it. Through Google Ads budget management, you bid on keywords that people search with on Google – related to your business for a chance to show ads in Google search results. Then you pay whatever you bid if, and only if, they click your ad to visit your website or call you.

So with some planning and monitoring, you can have a strategy for maximising your Google Ads budget and connecting with a new audience online. Let’s go over some helpful tips for making the most of your PPC budget.

What are Smart Campaigns?

Smart campaigns are Google's smart, easy solution for small businesses and helps your business get discovered on Google in those relevant moments.

Learn More

2. Set your goals to set your budget

What do you hope to accomplish by advertising online? Do you want to draw more traffic to your website? Get more locals to call you? Are you looking to build awareness of your business in a particular location, or among a certain customer demographic?

Having an idea of the results that you’re going for can help you to decide your goals. Then, you can design specific campaigns or try certain strategies to help you meet those goals and make the most of the budget that you’ve set. With Smart campaigns, you can set a maximum monthly ad budget such that ad bids automatically adjust to optimise results, towards achieving your goal of increasing clicks or calls. You can explore bidding strategies such as CPA (cost per acquisition) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions) once you become a seasoned advertiser.

3. Connect your Google Ads and Analytics accounts

While Google Ads will tell you how many times your ads have shown in searches (called 'ad impressions') or when they’ve been clicked, you won’t know if those interactions led to conversions on your website – customers buying, calling, filling in a form, or whatever action you want them to take to help your business reach its goals. With Google Analytics, a free tool, you can better understand what customers do once they’ve clicked your ad and visited your site.

Say that you own a photography studio and that you’re running online ads that take visitors to your website’s home page when they click. But when you look at the Google Analytics data, you see that the majority of your visitors are immediately clicking to the 'Portfolio' page. This could mean that visitors find this other page more relevant and you should consider changing your landing page to the 'Portfolio' page.

Likewise, Analytics can show you that visitors are immediately leaving your website after clicking a particular ad, indicating that the keywords you’ve chosen to try to trigger your ad might not be as relevant as you thought. Perhaps try different keywords instead of spending money on keywords that aren’t leading to conversions.

What does this kind of information have to do with your budget? Making changes like this might help you provide a better experience to potential customers, which could lead to more conversions. Plus, a more relevant landing page or keywords could raise your ad’s Quality Score – an important factor that determines how your Google Ads budget is spent, that can help to lower your average cost per click. Find out more about Quality Scores.

4. Stick to your budget

Decide your monthly Google Ads marketing budget, and then stick to it for a while. Google Ads lets you set a daily limit on how much of your budget is spent to show your ad, and some days, it might seem like your daily cost is higher. This is because Google analyses daily search traffic and on days when more people are searching, Google Ads will show your ads more frequently, and less frequently when traffic is down. This means that your daily cost could vary by as much as 20%. Don’t worry, and try to avoid tinkering with your budget limits too much – allow time for the results to roll in before you make another adjustment to your campaign. Google Ads also automatically averages your daily limit across the entire month to prevent your campaign from overspending.

What is a bid simulator?

Google Ads' bid simulators help you to see how different bids might change your ads’ weekly performance.

Try out different ad strategies in Google Ads now

5. Target specific locations

If you have a local shop front and you’d like to get more customers to visit, showing your ads to the entire country could use a lot of your budget without getting you closer to your goal. Tweak your Google Ads targeting settings to show your ads only to people searching close enough to visit, or in other locations that are important to your business, to help spend your budget more effectively.

Location targeting can also be useful if your business serves customers outside of your country, or even globally. Start by targeting your campaigns to a few areas you think that your business will do well in, or to major metropolitan areas. Keep an eye on your Google Ads metrics and Google Analytics data to see which geographic areas your traffic and conversions are coming from. Refine your ads to target only where your potential customers are located, and to help optimise your ad budget spend.

6. Optimise to get to a higher position in search results

Your first instinct might be to believe that your ad will only be successful if it displays as high as possible in search results. Remember though, that ads that show in the fourth position or below may still get traffic, possibly at a lower cost per click. Build upon these early results and continue to optimise your advertising strategy until it drives the best outcomes for your business.

7. Try long-tail keywords

Consider trying out some 'long-tail keywords', or longer keyword phrases with three or more words. Because they are less obvious or popular, competition for these keywords is smaller, which means they also tend to have a lower average cost per click. However, they’re also more specific, this means they may attract people with a higher likelihood to buy, call or visit your business. For example, if you want people to know about your studio’s portrait services for students in the weeks leading up to university graduations, instead of choosing 'portraits' or 'photography studio' as your keywords, you might try the long-tail keyword 'graduation portrait photography,' to draw clicks from users who are looking for that precise thing.

Google Ads includes a tool that can help you find long-tail keywords for your campaign. Learn more about how to use the Keyword Planner tool here.

8. Create specific campaigns

Don’t just create and run one campaign for your entire PPC budget, try extending to run at least a couple of different campaigns. If you’ve set your budget at the campaign level, and only one campaign is running, your entire Google Ads budget could be exhausted before customers can search using a variety of keywords more specific to the different products or services that you offer – keywords that could be more likely to bring business, as discussed above.

A best practice that you can follow is to create campaigns based on the sections that your website is divided into. Also known as category or sub pages, these category names can be a way to organise your campaigns - into product or service categories or themes. If you’re creating a Google Ads account for your photography studio, you probably don’t want to just run one campaign around 'Portraits'. Instead, your campaigns may look something like this:

  • Campaign: Wedding Portraits
  • Campaign: School / Graduation Portraits
  • Campaign: Events Photography

This way, you can set different budgets for each campaign, shifting your spending based on your goals (for instance, putting more of your budget toward your 'Graduation portraits' campaign in the weeks leading up to graduation season). Plus, you can show potential customers adverts that are more specific to what they’re searching for, and sending them to the most relevant page on your site.

9. Monitor & adjust

One of the biggest benefits of Google Ads is that you can track your results of your online marketing campaigns and then refine your strategies, and your budget, whenever you want. This lets you test what works and make adjustments. Try new strategies and campaigns continuously, guided by data from Google Ads and Analytics, until you find the advertising formula that helps you meet your business goals.

10. Enhance your ad strategy with display ads

After you have tested and seen success in search campaigns, leverage on the insights gathered to set up ad campaigns on the Google Display Network. This can help you optimise budget spent on display ads.

Display advertising can enhance your overall advertising strategy, by helping you reach a wider audience than search ads. Although conversions from display ads tend to be lower, it can help your brand grow mindshare in the long term. .

Summary

Any size Google Ads budget can have an impact on helping your business reach its goals. Just be savvy about your ad spend and apply smart planning by using these tips, and then test and tweak your ads to help make the most of your online marketing investment.

These tips and strategies are suggestions only and do not guarantee any specific results.

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