Making the Most of AdWords on a Small Budget

By Philip | Google AdWords

Mar 31

Let’s face it: not everyone has thousands of dollars to invest in AdWords each month. The good news though, is that even if you have a slightly smaller budget (or even a significantly smaller budget), AdWords can still be your BFF.

One of my favourite things about AdWords, in fact, is how scalable it is. You can start off pretty much as small as you want, and increase your budget as you start seeing results.

And this mean little risk for you, the advertiser.

Keep Control of Your Campaigns

Even as an advertiser on a small budget, you can get fantastic results. The trick is to make sure you keep control of your campaigns, and start off small.

In fact, even Google suggests that new advertisers start off with a daily budget of only $10-$50 AUD. Keep in mind that your AdWords budget is per campaign, not for your whole account. This gives you even more control over how you spend your money.

Another key way to keep control over your budget is to always choose manual bidding, not automatic bidding. Otherwise you could find your budget being eaten up very quickly, without achieving the results you were hoping for.

Finally, as with ALL AdWords campaigns, be sure you have conversion tracking set up. With a small budget, you’ll need to be extra sure that you’re not wasting money on keywords that aren’t converting.

6 Ways to Save Money on Your AdWords Campaigns

Below are 6 ways you can ensure you’re using your AdWords budget effectively and efficiently.

1. Don’t assume you need to be in the #1 position.

The price to be in the top ranking position – or even the 2nd or 3rd – can be very high, and it may not be necessary. Try bidding enough to land in the 4th or 5th position (or even lower) and see how your ad performs. You may be surprised to discover that your ROI is actually better than if you were in a top position.

2. Bid only on highly-targeted keywords.

It’s better to target keywords that are highly-specific to what you offer, as these will convert better. Longer, more specific keywords also will very likely have lower competition, and therefore tend to be less expensive.

3. Bid on exact match until you get some experience and results.

One of the biggest mistakes I see advertisers making is overusing broad match. And especially if you have a tight budget, lots of waste can have catastrophic effects on your wallet. Instead, bid only on exact match until you start seeing results and feel comfortable with how your campaigns are running. At that point, I’d recommend continuing to bid on exact match, and also adding phrase match.

4. Only advertise on search.

While advertising on the Display Network is great for driving traffic and increasing exposure, you’ll likely have far better conversions when you target search. As an advertiser with a smaller budget, you’re likely looking to drive traffic and sales, not to increase brand recognition, so search is definitely the way to go.

5. Go slow.

You don’t need to immediately jump in and target every single keyword available. Start with the most relevant keywords, and slowly expand the number of keywords in your account based on what’s working for you.

6. Pay special attention to negative keywords.

With a small budget, you can’t afford to be paying for irrelevant traffic. Make sure to qualify your traffic before they click on your ad, or risk wasting your budget on clicks that will never convert. Don’t be afraid to say who your ideal customer is in your ad copy. Some negative keywords that many e-commerce companies use include:

  • free
  • jobs
  • “how do I”
  • information
  • training
  • tutorial

The trick is to advertise smarter so you don’t waste money on irrelevant keywords, match types, or clicks. Following these 6 steps, you should be able to jump right in and start seeing results, without worrying you’re throwing away your hard-earned money. What’s your best tip for saving money on AdWords? Any I’m missing above? Let me know below! By Philip Shaw

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