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How to do Google Ads with a low Budget

If you’re like most advertisers launching Google Ads, then starting with a low budget is usually the best way to get started. Then, as performance improves you can increase your budget to then increase your leads and sales for your business.

However, there are many businesses that start with a low budget, and it remains so throughout. And that’s fine too, if it is working.

In this blog post, I’ll share a few insights I’ve learnt over the years about maximising a Google Ads campaign with a low budget. There are many other tips out there, but these I’ve found to be some of the most effective.


Avoid Broad Match Keywords

Broad match is the default match type in Google Ads. So, as you add keywords in your ad groups, they’ll be in the broad match format to target searches that relate to your products or services.

However, the trouble with broad match is the range of searches that it permits to trigger your ads. This is almost like opening the flood gates and allowing a broad spectrum of searches that leads to much traffic in the form of impressions and clicks you get.

And many of these won’t be relevant. So, it’s best to start with another match type that will allow you to leverage the power of machine learning targeting while controlling who sees and interacts with your ads.

The other main match types are phrase and exact match and it’s ok to use both in your campaigns. So, you’ll pick the list of keywords you want to bid on and then add the features that designate these two match types – and then you’ll be ready to advertise.


Be Aware of Power Law Distribution

As marketers and businesses targeting online searchers, we market towards the individuals, but we must by necessity think of the aggregate users that represent our audiences.

That’s because it’s much easier to know and plan for the head of the distribution, than it is for the tail.

Long Tail Keywords

That’s because it is easier to predict behaviour for things that happen more frequently than things that happen less often.

And that’s because “head” keywords make up only about 20% of the traffic volumes. But individually they drive many searches. Whereas long tail searches make up a large bulk of the traffic, but individually their volumes are very low. In fact, about 10% of searches drive only single impressions and rarely ever appear again.

So, it’s hard to predict how searches that appear infrequently are likely to performance.

Of course there are many benefits to targeting long tail searches because you are able to attract traffic that converts at a high level for a very low cost.

However, the trouble is the long tail can be very long, and this means you’re likely to get many clicks from single click search queries that may not convert. Although they may look relevant, you’ll need a lot more clicks from them to determine if they work or not. And that means you will have to spend a lot of money testing that.

But, when you target the head, you are targeting proven searches with multiple searches each and you are able to quickly see if they work or not.

Later, you can test the long tail when you have a larger budget and have good conversions and want to increase volumes and conversions.


Use the Right Keyword Classification

The Broder classification lists three groups that most search keywords can be grouped into. These are:


So, as you do your keyword research, try to determine which group your keywords fall under. In fact, it’s a good idea to do this each time you use a search engine, so you can learn more about search intent as you do so. That’s because the search results will tell you which group your search query likely follows under.

For example, if you find that sites like Wikipedia appear when you search, then that’s likely to be an informational search.

So, when you are doing your keyword research for your Google Ads campaign, try to focus mainly on transactional searches. This will help you to understand search intent better and you’ll be able to maximise your advertising budget.



And this means you can start with a budget as low as £400 per month and then increase it as performance improves. Contact me if you would like to learn more and how to set up an effective campaign with a low budget.

    I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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