When we optimize campaigns that are limited by budget there are certain steps we can follow to improve performance. These steps are the most basic optimization procedures, but without them, you would be throwing your money away.
Once we have determined that our campaigns are not performing to their max potential because of lack of funds, we must decide how to fix this.
The first thing to consider is, are you experiencing a positive return on your investment? If so, then go ahead and up your budget. Simple as that!
However, if you have not yet reached a positive ROI, consider the following actions to help you get there:
Use Ad Scheduling
One of the great things about AdWords is that it provides you with almost unlimited amounts of information. One of those pieces of information is the ability to know when conversions occur.
And this is where ad scheduling can help you bring down costs. For example, recently, one of the campaigns we handle was severely limited by budget; ads rarely showing past 2 pm.
Upon analyzing traffic, a pattern emerged: we identified that clicks at the beginning of the day (8 am – 12 pm) were almost 50% more expensive than later in the day.
Is this due to increased competition in early hours where all budgets are starting fresh? Do more businesses choose these hours to advertise?
Whatever the case, scheduling our ads from 6 am to 8 am and then from 12 pm onwards has allowed us to show our ads later in the day and increase a number of customer calls.
Is ad scheduling right for you? It more than likely is. When analyzing the data, be sure to use a sufficient date range to ensure a complete picture of your traffic.
Decrease Bids To Place In Lower Positions
Sometimes, AdWords managers, especially those still green behind the ears, insist on being in top position. To them, being first means being best. Well, that’s not the case in AdWords.
The top position will oftentimes be the most expensive and least productive position to be in.
By decreasing your bid, and position, you will be paying less per click. This means that if before you were bringing in 30 clicks per day with a $60 budget ($2 CPC), by bringing down bids to $1.5, you can generate 40 clicks. That’s a 33% increase in clicks!
More clicks mean more visitors to your site and more potential customers. Review your campaigns and consider running a test for 2 weeks where you bring down bids and compare conversions to previous periods. You might be surprised with the results!
Pause Non-Converting Keywords
This strategy should only be undertaken if you have conversion and call tracking installed on your account. If you do not, please don’t try this at home.
Before you begin to pause keywords, you need to make sure they are not generating online conversions or phone calls.
A great way to keep track of which keywords are converting (online and offline) is to import your call tracking data into analytics and then into AdWords.
You can then label those keywords in AdWords to ensure you don’t pause any keywords that have converted in the past.
After identifying those non-converting keywords, you can pause them, allowing your converting keywords more budget to perform. This will result in a boost to your sales and ROI.
Pause High CPC Keywords
As I mentioned above, top position is oftentimes the most expensive and the least productive position to be in, except when it’s not.
These high-ranking keywords may be among the most expensive in your campaign but may be bringing in conversions.
At this point, we want to analyze the Cost Per Acquisition of these keywords and determine whether our budget may be better utilized by keywords that convert at a lower price.
If the answer is yes, then we can pause those keywords and see our sales increase.
Add Negative Keywords
An oldie, but goodie… When reaching daily budget, make sure that you are only showing up for relevant searches.
Negative keywords not only stretch out your budget, but they increase your campaign’s CTR, which will improve your Quality Score and decrease your Costs Per Click, resulting in more clicks for your budget.
The above steps are all meant to decrease your Cost Per Click and provide more bang for your buck. But as always, they should be performed with sufficient data to ensure the desired outcome.
Make sure you have the necessary tracking tools in place to measure account performance.
If you find you have decreased your overall spend, but have also decreased your traffic, or worse your conversions, review your actions and make the necessary changes to increase performance.