When executed properly, a well-crafted pay per click campaign will generate valuable benefits for your business including leads and sales. But with the spiraling cost and increased competition using online advertising, you may be wondering if you can successfully use Google Ads (or Bing Ads) if you have a small budget.
The short answer is yes, but you’re going to want to be clever about it.
Here are 7 quick tips which will help you get the best from your Google Ads budget.
1. Target long tail keywords
If you haven’t got much money to spend, then targeting short tail, high volume, competitive keywords isn’t going to help you much. Generally speaking, the shorter the keyword you target, the lower the chance of conversions. But if you go for longer tail keywords such as “personal injury lawyers Milton Keynes” rather than “personal injury lawyers”, you might find a decrease in your cost-per-clicks (CPC), but more importantly, the chance of conversions will increase.
2. Take a look at your structure
Account structure is vital in Google Ads. Structuring effectively will help to keep your quality scores high, which in turn reduces your CPCs and improves your ad positions. So make sure your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords are tightly themed and highly relevant to their landing pages. Learn more about campaign structure here.
3. Create a brand campaign
I’m not just on about sticking your brand name as an exact match keyword. If you sell products or services, then I’d highly recommend targeting keywords in this format: [your brand] + [product/service]. Whilst your competitors out there might not be bidding on your brand directly, they are probably bidding on products/services relevant to your business. If a user types in “Gocompare car insurance”, and assuming your business is Gocompare in this example, I can promise you that the results page for this search will be swamped by competitor ads bidding on “car insurance” and as a result, you will lose out on a proportion of clicks. Not to forget – If your competitors are bidding on your brand directly, then this is a no-brainer. Learn more about branded campaigns here.
4. Be negative!
Do not underestimate the usefulness of negative keywords. Before you launch your campaigns, make sure that you have considered some initial negative keywords. Start by thinking of the really obvious ones; if you don’t sell second-hand products, then add these types of negative keywords; “second hand”, “used”, “pre-owned”. Once your campaigns are live, make sure you are frequently checking out the Search Terms report which is located within the keywords section in your account. Analyse the search terms, identify query themes that are irrelevant, and add them to your negative keyword lists. In doing this, you’ll progressively waste less of your budget on irrelevant searches. Learn more about negative keywords here.
5. Use ad scheduling
Google Ads allows you to schedule when your ads appear. You can select to advertise on specific days and/or certain hours of the day. So if you’re only interested in advertising during business hours, then schedule your ads to run Monday through to Friday, from 08:00 to 18:00. Depending on how you schedule your ads, you could advertise more aggressively during more fruitful periods of time. If you’ve identified that your retail business does particularly well during weekends, then apply positive bid adjustments for weekends. This will ensure that your ads are more prominent during this time. Learn more about ad scheduling here.
6. Use location targeting
If you’re a small business, the likelihood is that you’re serving quite a small area. A solicitor’s firm in Chester isn’t going to get much value from users clicking on ads from Cornwall. So think about where your clients and customers are, and use location targeting to really focus-in your advertising efforts. Learn more about location targeting here.
7. Don’t think that position 1 is the be all and end all
If you’re targeting keywords that possess substantial search volumes, then more often than not, ad position #1 isn’t the most profitable place to be. You’ll find that hovering between position 2 and 3 is the most profitable area to be in. It’s expensive to maintain “top of the page” ad positions, and many users instinctively click the first result – which doesn’t mean that the user is qualified in any way, shape or form. Users who click ads in position 2, 3 and below are actually better qualified, so trust me when I say: don’t judge your campaigns based on position too harshly. Learn more about which ad position is best here.
Of course, the above tips apply to most Google Ads accounts, not just those with small budgets, but it’s good to know that there are ways that you can make the most of a smaller budget.
I encourage my readers to get in touch with me for more information, or for a general chit-chat about all things PPC and digital marketing. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or leave a comment below!