Small Budget Strategies for Google Ads

Mar 30, 2023

The main reason why I love Google Ads is that it allows small businesses to successfully and profitably take on larger companies.

I saw this in my own business back in 2010 when I launched my very first Google Ads campaign. We were in the tourism space and were competing against very large companies like:

  • Tripadvisor
  • Marriot
  • HiltonAnd I always joked that these companies had daily coffee budgets that were bigger than my total monthly marketing budget. 

My top 3 tips for running ads with small budgets

So, in this video, I want to take you through the 3 top small-budget strategies for success with Google Ads.

You need volume

The first important small-budget strategy is that you need to make sure that you are getting enough data & volume going through your campaign.

The reason why this is so important is that without this data Google won’t be able to finalise any testing & learning, keeping your campaign in an endless learning loop.

And then, on top of that, you won’t have enough data to review so that you can make the required optimisations. 

As a goal, you need to get at least 10 clicks a day.

The reason why this is so important is that if you achieve a baseline CTR of 5% for search campaigns and 1% for Performance Max campaigns, you will be getting:

  • Around 300 clicks and 6,000 impressions for search.
  • Around 300 clicks and 10,000 impressions for Performance Max.

This then gives you & Google enough data to complete reviews and make the required optimisation actions. 

So to set your starting budget, always make sure that your daily budget is 10x the average CPC.

To make sure that you are reviewing your data correctly and implementing the correct optimisations get your free copy of my Google Ads optimisation checklists. You can download these from the video description below.

Focus on one product or service

The second small-budget strategy for success with Google Ads is to only focus on 1 KW theme, product or service.

So if you have 3 different services or 5 different product categories, I would focus on just one of these - usually, the one which is most popular or if your best seller.

The reason for this is

  • As you already have a small budget and will be competing against larger competitors, you don’t want to spread your limited budget any thinner.
  • By focusing on your most popular product or service, you have a much higher chance for success, which means after you get success with this first product or service and you have seen increased sales or revenue, you can then re-invest this profit into new KW themes, products or services.

So with the strategy, it's all about focusing on your strengths to bring in more revenue so you can then re-invest this new revenue.

You want to be very aggressive with your ad copy. And the reason for this is that with Google Ads, you pay when someone clicks on your ad, so it is better to have someone who is not suited to your product read your ad and not click on your ad.

Rather than click on your ad and go to your landing page only to find out that your product or service is not for them.

Some examples of this are:

  • Putting your price in the ad copy. Especially if you are not the cheapest product or service, by putting your price in the ad copy, you are pre-qualifying people who can actually afford your product or service.
  • Clearly mention your product limitations. For example, with our first campaign, we started advertising our 1 bedroom villas, so our ad copy made it clear that our accommodation was only for couples. Ruling out large families or groups.

Run an effective and optimized campaign

For success with Google Ads, above everything else, you need to make sure that your campaigns are set up correctly, so make sure to check out my other blog articles and videos on how to set up your campaigns correctly.

Running a properly set up and optimized Google Ads campaign is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that your ad budget is being used in the most effective way possible. Without optimization, you are likely wasting money on irrelevant clicks or impressions, which can quickly drain your budget without producing results.

Additionally, an optimized Google Ads campaign allows you to target your ideal audience with precision. By choosing the right keywords, ad format, and targeting options, you can reach the people most likely to click on your ad and convert searchers to customers.

Additional tips for small-budget success

Besides the three tips above, there are many other ways to ensure a better return on your ad spend, let's cover some of them.

Raise your quality score

Raising your quality score is essential for maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of your Google Ads campaign. Quality score is an important metric that Google uses to determine the relevance and effectiveness of your ad. It is calculated based on ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected click-through rate.

One of the main benefits of raising your quality score is that it can help lower your cost per click (CPC). This is because Google rewards ads with higher quality scores by giving them a better position on the search engine results page (SERP) while charging them less for each click. This means that if you raise your quality score from a 5 to a 10, you may see a significant decrease in the cost per click of your ad.

Raising your quality score can also result in higher ad visibility and a higher click-through rate (CTR). Google gives preference to ads with higher quality scores, which means they are more likely to appear in higher ad positions on the SERP. This increases the visibility of your ad and can lead to a higher CTR, which in turn can lead to more conversions and a higher ROI.

Optimize your landing page

The landing page is the page that users arrive at after clicking on your ad, and it's where they take the desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form.

The main reason why optimizing your landing page is important is that it can significantly impact your ad's conversion rate. A well-designed and optimized landing page can enhance user experience, increase engagement, and encourage visitors to take the desired action. By focusing on improving the layout, design, and user experience of your landing page, you can reduce bounce rates and increase conversions.

Optimizing your landing page can also help you to communicate your message and offer to your target audience better. By aligning your ad copy, offer, and call-to-action with the content of your landing page, you can increase the likelihood that users will convert. For example, if your ad is promoting a discount on a product, your landing page should clearly explain the offer and prominently feature the discounted item.

Go after long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are typically longer and more specific than shorter, more frequently searched keywords. Examples of long-tail keywords include "best Italian restaurant in downtown Seattle" or "affordable handmade jewellery online."

One of the primary benefits of going after long-tail keywords is that they tend to be less competitive than shorter, more general keywords. This means it can be easier and less expensive to achieve a higher ad position and attract targeted traffic to your website.

Another benefit of targeting long-tail keywords is that they tend to have higher conversion rates. This is because users searching for specific long-tail keywords are often further along in the buying process and have a clearer idea of what they're looking for. As a result, they are more likely to click on an ad that directly addresses their needs and leads them to a relevant landing page.

Going after long-tail keywords can also help you to more effectively target your ideal audience and attract highly targeted traffic that is more likely to convert into customers. Long-tail keywords can also help you to understand your audience's needs and interests better, thereby refining your marketing strategy.

Use ad extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information that can be added to your ad, such as a phone number, location, links to specific pages on your website or a call-to-action button. By including ad extensions, you can enhance your ad's visibility, relevance and effectiveness.

One of the primary benefits of using ad extensions is that they can improve user experience and engagement. Ad extensions provide more information to the user, making it easier for them to understand what your business has to offer and encouraging them to engage with your ad. For example, including a location extension allows users to see your business's physical address, making it easier for them to find your store.

Another benefit of using ad extensions is that they can increase click-through rates (CTRs) and conversions. By including relevant ad extensions, you make it easier for the user to take the desired action, whether that's clicking through to your website or making a phone call. This can increase the CTR and conversion rate of your ad, leading to a better return on investment (ROI) for your ad spend.

Negative keywords are your friends

Negative keywords are words or phrases that you don't want your ad to show up for. By using negative keywords, you can prevent your ad from appearing in irrelevant searches, saving you money and improving the overall performance of your campaign.

One of the primary benefits of using negative keywords is that it can help to reduce your ad spend. By filtering out irrelevant searches, you won't be charged for clicks from users who have no interest in your product or service. This means that your smaller budget is being used more effectively, as you're only paying for clicks from potentially interested parties, which can ultimately lead to a higher ROI.

Another reason why using negative keywords is important is that it helps you to target your audience better. By filtering out irrelevant searches, you can more effectively focus on the audience who is most likely to take the desired action. For example, if you only sell high-end luxury watches, you can use negative keywords like "cheap watches" or "affordable watches" to make sure your ads are only shown to users who are interested in purchasing a high-end luxury watch.

Target relevant locations

Location targeting allows you to specify the geographic locations where you'd like your ads to appear, making it possible to target specific markets and locations where potential customers are located.

By focusing on specific geographic areas, you can ensure that your ad is only shown to users who are likely to be interested in your product or service. This can increase the click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate of your ad, leading to a higher ROI on your ad spend.

Location targeting can also help to reduce your ad spend by preventing your ad from being displayed to users who are unlikely to be interested in your product or service. For example, if you are a local florist in Seattle, there's no point in displaying your ad to users in New York who are unlikely to purchase flowers from you.

Measure and improve everything

By tracking and analyzing your campaign's performance, you can identify what's working and what's not and make strategic decisions to optimize and improve your campaign over time.

By paying attention to key metrics like click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per click (CPC), you can identify which areas of your campaign need improvement and make adjustments accordingly. For example, if you notice that your ad has a low CTR, you might experiment with different ad copy or images to improve engagement.

Measuring and improving everything can also help you to identify areas of your campaign that are highly effective. By identifying high-performing aspects of your campaign, you can optimize and expand those areas to further increase the ROI of your ad spend.

Remember that running ads is not a set-and-forget method. By continuously testing and optimizing different aspects of your campaign, you can learn more about your target audience and what works best in terms of messaging, targeting, and ad format. Then adjust and refine the details until you maximize your small budget and build your business up to the point where you can use a higher ad budget.