Shoestringin’ It: 3 Strategies for Campaigns on Smaller Budgets

Everybody is looking for a way to cut costs and stay within budget these days, in all businesses. So, PPC is no different. Not everyone has a large budget to bid with, so it makes sense that there are other strategies to employ to be successful. So, without further ado, there are three strategies that you should try out in order to get the most out of your limited budget PPC campaigns.

1. Scheduling

Depending on your industry, you could have some pretty interesting patterns regarding your traffic and times of the day/ days of the week. So, check this information out in your Adwords interface by clicking “Segment” then any of the options that is pertinent to you (day of the week, year, quarter, month, week, etc). IF you find that you are getting irrelevant traffic on a certain day, decrease the budget for that day. This can potentially save you money, and allow you to spend your valuable budget on more relevant visitors to your site. This can be checked for any number of metrics, such as conversions, cost per conversion, click through rate, etc. So if you find one of your core metrics costing you money on a certain day, simply decrease the budget for that day. This also goes the other way—if a day is working well for your ads, boost the budget on that day.

2. Match Types and Long Tail

Each match type has its own benefit, but generally if you are wanting to keep your traffic highly relevant and cost effective, you want to stick more to phrase match and exact match. Broad match is great for getting your name out there, but you are going to rack up more impressions (especially without more specific targeting), which in turn may lower your quality score and negatively affect how much you pay for each click. So, to keep your traffic from negatively impacting your cost per click, it may be advisable to keep your keywords more specific. Which leads to my next point—long tail keywords. The competition for the industry bruisers is usually fierce for the more broad and simplistic keywords. So, in order to combat this phenomenon, keep an eye on your search query reports. Look for keyword combinations that are longer, and you may be able to find a more viable source of traffic. A longer, more specific keyword string is not only going to cost less, but you are going to get more qualified traffic, and more impact on your bottom line for each click.

3. Find what you’re good at, and get better.

Naturally, this sounds like a moot point. But, let me explain. Bigger budget campaigns can afford to test out several different campaigns, and can divide their budget in order to try their hand in several different markets. If you have a smaller budget, you do not have as much freedom to do this. So, initially, test to find what drives you the most traffic, or contributes best to your most important metric. Then attribute all of your resources that way. From personal experience with a client with a sub $500 a month spend, I can attest to this strategy. For a couple months, I tinkered with what keywords I could effectively bid on, and with the divided daily budgets and the extreme industry competition, I drove very little traffic. But, recently, I put all my eggs in one basket so to say, and the top two click generating campaigns were given the entire budget. I knew I couldn’t compete with the larger industry titans, and especially so with a divided budget. So, consolidating my budget with two successful campaigns has recently lead to a substantial increase in Google traffic, even with the extreme competition in the market. So in short, don’t divide yourself if you have meager funds. This will only lead to you getting less traffic.

So, implementing these strategies with a smaller budget can definitely help you to see the results you want. And with time, who knows, with what you save, you may be able to increase your budget.