Campaigns limited by budget are not necessarily a bad thing for your bank balance. They are a good early warning system that your account may be in bad shape and just in need of some optimisation.
Although the orange letting can be alarming and after reading Google’s suggestion box you may feel like increasing your budget; there may be simple changes you can make to bring your budget under control before inadvertently spending good money after bad. After all, Google is in the business of making money from your advertising, and they won’t complain when you increase your spend with them! This small and seemingly helpful message has helped make Google millions and has possibly been one of the simplest, understated advertising methods of the last few years. So don’t take the suggestions at face value and make sure some of your basics are covered first.
Immediately question whether the settings are correct, and then look into the keywords themselves. There are really basic changes that can help focus your budget and should give you a much better return on investment. At most they will only take you a couple of hours to do, but they will give you a much better foundation to build your campaign on:
Settings – the quick wins!
- Change your Ad Schedule to match your marketing aims. Do you need to show ads at 2am in the morning? For B2B campaigns, do your business hours mean you have someone there to answer a call at 2am? If you have conversion tracking (and you really should!) when do you see most conversions taking place? Are you focusing your budget to ensure adverts appear at the right times?
- Are you targeting too large an area? Do you really need a nationwide campaign? Is even a 25mile radius too much?
- Take advantage of the enhanced campaigns and bid appropriately for mobile users. On average, bidding for mobiles is cheaper so you can get more clicks for your budget. (but this may change soon, watch this space)
- A neat new feature on enhanced campaigns enables you to bid according to how far away the searcher is from you physical location. If you are driving visitors to a your restaurant for example, consider differentiating your bid by how far away people are.
Keywords – this is the grunt work and may take a little longer if your campaigns are in bad shape.
- Make sure your keyword match types are not too broad! This is the most common mistake, and could be wasting a lot of your budget. On the Adwords interface, look for the keyword details box, and find out what search terms you are are actually appearing for, broad match keywords often through up some nasty surprises.
- Exact and Phrase match types are inflexible, but they offer a lot more control. Consider creating comprehensive lists in these match types to cover your bases.
- Add negatives regularly!
- If you find that one greedy, often searched keyword is still stealing all the budget, consider making a campaign specifically for it. This will mean you can control the budget it does spend, and will allow other keywords in the account more exposure, possibly unearthing some new gems of keywords in the process!
These should help give you a stronger focus for your budget. Every account is different though and if you have high CPC’s and small budgets, you will need to spend a lot longer on your campaigns and a budget increase may unfortunately be inevitable.
For more information and how to navigate Adwords to make the alterations mentioned, we will also soon be running screencasts. So subscribe or follow RocketMill on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Facebook for more information! (coming soon)