How to Squeeze the Most from Your PPC Budget

Written by - 22/12/2015

Pay per click advertising can directly generate sales and drastically improve brand recognition, but only if it’s done right. There’s been occasions where we’ve seen accounts put together very badly, built with very few descriptive keywords and no ad variations. If you’ve decided to invest money into PPC advertising, you need to also be willing to invest management time (or hire someone else to manage it) if you’re looking to see any return.

Often one of the biggest failings of PPC accounts is poorly utilising a small budget. I’ve put together what I consider to be the easiest ways to eliminate irrelevant traffic and get the most from your budget.

A good structure

When it comes to setting up a PPC account, structure is a crucial starting point. A well structured set of campaigns will make targeting your ads and keywords so much easier and will mean you are reaching out to what is more likely to be a relevant audience.

A good place to start is looking at the structure of your website. Create ad groups based on your service areas or product categories, as well as being able to collate a selection of targeted keywords and ads, it’ll give a highly relevant landing page to link users to, contributing towards a higher quality score which helps improve position and lower average cost per click!

Long-tail keywords

A common misperception is to target as many broad areas as possible, this can lead to very high costs and very small click through rates/conversions. A way to quash irrelevant traffic is to use long-tail keywords, this means targeting a niche and using a phrase containing descriptive words so you’re targeting those at the conversion stage, instead of those who are likely to just be researching.

Let’s take ‘laptop’ as an example. You would need a substantial budget to rank anywhere amongst the likes of Argos and PC World who will all be competing. As well as a high budget, the likelihood of someone researching laptops and going on to buy from the first page they reach is slim as they’ll want to make some comparisons. By turning this into a long-tail keyword, such as ‘MacBook Pro 15” Case in Red’, although your ad will see far less traffic, you know that the people who it does reach know exactly what they are looking for and are more likely to purchase.

Negative keywords

Continuing with the theme of excluding the wrong type of traffic, negative keywords are a big part of the targeting process. By ensuring your ads do not trigger for a list of particular keywords, you are more in control of the type of traffic your ads are appearing to. Some examples of negative keywords that will be relevant to a lot of businesses are ‘jobs’, ‘free’, ‘courses’ and ‘reviews’ – with frequent searches from job hunters, students and researchers, removing these will ensure your budget is being spent on keywords that really matter and your ads are reaching the right people.


Leaving your account to just tick along will likely see a steady decline in results. Constant optimisations need to be made to keep up with competitors and ensure you are still reaching a relevant audience.

Put time aside to regularly check into your account, at least once a week, to check on progress and modify your campaigns as necessary. If you know you’re the type of person to either forget, lose interest or just don’t know enough about Adwords, hiring someone to regularly check in and optimise your account will likely be a very worthwhile investment. WDL have experience managing accounts across a range of industries, contact us to see how we can help your business achieve your goals and help increase conversions.

A noticeably recurring word throughout this article is ‘relevant’. There is no use spending money to show ads to people who are never going to convert, so keeping on top of your campaigns is a must.

Let’s summarise, some of the key elements to keep in mind when optimising your account are:

  • StructureSeparate key services/product categories into separate ad groups and create specific ads and keywords based around this.
  • Long-tail keywordsTarget a niche. Descriptive keywords mean you’re finding customers who are ready to commit, at a lower cost.
  • Negative keywordsAvoid gaining impressions from search terms completely irrelevant to your business by adding to your negative keyword list.
  • OptimisationKeep on top of your account and monitor it on a regular basis to ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget. If you can’t do that, speak to us and see how we can help.