I have small business owners contact me all the time about managing their Google ads accounts. Which I LOVE! I truly love improving existing campaigns and building new campaigns every chance I get. When you’ve spent more than a decade managing accounts, you have a lot of knowledge and past experience that can take accounts to new heights.
While being able to set your own budget in Google ads is great, you still need to have a reasonable size budget. Many “small businesses” want throw a tiny amount of money at advertising hoping to somehow magically get all the data they need to determine the future success of their account. Which is not the case.
Here is an over simplification of how PPC works.
- You research keywords that reflect your product or service. You place those keywords into campaigns and ad groups, set a bid on each keyword and let it run.
- As each keyword / phrase is shown and clicked you collect data.
- As you collect the data on each keyword those that exceed a predetermined CPA are paused.
The data we gather will also allow us to find out….
- The keywords produce leads and sales.
- Identify the keywords that are not converting and need to be excluded. (no, we don’t know ahead of time.) Researching your competitor’s terms and placing them in your campaign doesn’t guarantee they will work for you.
- Which devices drive lower cost per conversion. Sure, you could only advertise on mobile, but do you want to risk losing conversions at a possible lower cost? If you don’t test, you won’t know.
- Discover the days of the week and hours of the day that produce the cheapest and most expensive conversions.
- Identify gender and age groups that convert the cheapest for you or the most expensive and exclude them.
Do you think you can get this data from a campaign spending $10 a day? The fact is; the average keyword cost a minimum of $5 – $25. If your budget is $10 a day; after one or two clicks and you’re done for the day. Even if you ran your ad only during business hours, by mid-morning your ads will have stopped running. That is if Google will even show your ad because your budget is too small. You don’t want Google to over spend, right? So, if your set bid is $12 and your budge for the day is $20 Google may not even show your ad. It’s not worth Google running a campaign that may be paused in a short amount of time.
How am I, the manager going to get the data I need to make the correct decisions? I won’t and therefore I can’t. When the campaign with an insufficient budget fails clients assume paid search isn’t for them. This is why i recommend a sufficient budget and if the client can’t afford to increase the budget – I turn the client away with some alternatives outlined below.
What should you do if you have a small budget?
- Save! Save until you have enough money to run your campaign 24/7 for at least 30 – 60 days. In the beginning your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) will be high, but as you collect more data that will drop.
- Focus on less keywords. The more keywords you have the longer it will take to gather data to make informed decisions.
- Advertise on another platform, such as Bing or Facebook.
If you haven’t figured it out yet the one important factor you need in order to run a successful PPC campaign is a sufficient budget! You need a budget that will allow you to run your campaign for at least 30 – 60 days depending on how many keywords you have in your account. If your campaign is managed well the CPA and budget will decrease as more data is collected.
If a person or agency is willing to work with such a small budget, they don’t really care about your performance. It’s unfortunate to hear agencies taking on clients even though they know (or should know) that smaller budgets can produce poor results. They will just agree with the budget you suggest in order to get a management and setup fee from you.