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9 tips for Google Ads budget management

Key take-aways

Savvy business owners know that the modern-day consumer lives online, reaching for the nearest device when they want to know, do or buy something. To effectively reach out to your consumers, you'll have to promote your business online. Read on to learn about running online ads and maximising your ad budget.

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. Enhance your ad strategy with Display ads

6. Target specific locations

7. Optimise your position in search results

8. Try long-tail keywords

9. Create specific campaigns

10. Monitor & adjust

What is Google Ads?

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

Try Google Ads now

Taking a data-driven approach is the way to go. Keep optimising your ad campaigns using data from Google Ads and Analytics.

1. How does pay-per-click work?

"Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is straightforward: you only pay for each click that your ad receives. When you run PPC ads, such as Google Ads, this puts you in control of the amount of budget that you want to spend, as well as where and how you spend it. Simply bid on relevant keywords, then pay as and when consumers click on your ad to visit your website or call you.

Want to come up with a strategy to maximise your Google Ads budget? Read on for some helpful tips.

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.

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

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 lead 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

Once you've decided on your monthly Google Ads marketing budget, stick to it for a few months before evaluating your results. While Google Ads lets you set a daily limit on how much of your budget is spent to show your ad, note that your daily cost may exceed your budget on some days. This is because Google shows your ads more frequently on days when more people are searching for the terms you're bidding on, and less frequently when traffic is slow. All in all, your daily cost could vary by as much as 20%, but don't worry – Google Ads averages your daily limit across the entire month to prevent your campaign from overspending.

What is a bid simulator?

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

Try out different ad strategies in Google Ads now.

5. 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, these ads can help your brand grow mindshare in the long term.

6. 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.

7. Optimise your 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.

8. 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, try using the long-tail keyword 'graduation portrait photography'. This will help you drive more targeted traffic to your site.

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.

9. Create specific campaigns

When running Google Ads, a best practice to follow is to create campaigns based on the different categories or sub pages of your website. If you want to run ads to promote your photography studio, for instance, you wouldn'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 ads that are more specific to what they’re searching for, and send them to the most relevant page on your site.

10. 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.

Summary

Regardless of how big or small your advertising budget is, you can utilise Google Ads to achieve your business goals. Use the above tips to make the most out of your ad spend, and remember to continuously test and tweak your ads to optimise your Return On Investment (ROI).

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Optimise your Google Ads campaign now

  • 1. Create an account
  • 2. Set your budget
  • 3. Write your first ad and decide where it's going to appear
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