Small budget? No problem! Running effective AdWords campaigns on a low budget is indeed possible.
Probably the largest barrier to begin any kind marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs is cost. Even with lots of time, tech savvy, and online following. We are sure you are probably familiar with the common budget adjustments and stress. Having the thought of “If I only had a bit more revenue to contribute to…*fill in the blank*”. Many companies either underspend or over spend on their digital marketing. Its no wonder free social media sites have grown to be the only marketing plan for some businesses or the only business they have. Cat videos anyone?!
Now what if you want to try AdWords? An obvious marketing tool that is certainly not free. Creating your AdWords account and resource guides are free, but getting your campaigns running requires you an ad budget. Uncertainty of what the cost may be freezes out many potential small business advertisers, leaving them go back to brainstorming how to get more social media followers.
Is Adwords Worth the Investment On A Small Budget?
AdWords is not free. So advertising on Google’s networks should be considered an investment with the inherent risks and potential returns. So what is AdWords worth?
72% of consumers prefer to find information on local merchants via search. (WebVisible survey)
Google display campaigns reach 90% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
AdWord’s greatest value it how far you can reach a specific audience that is actively searching for a product like yours. Rather than trying to get the attention of those on social media who only want to scroll about.
Aside from numbers AdWords is clearly measurable. With metrics like cost, conversions, views, clicks you’re always aware of the return. While sometimes the depth of the data is overwhelming, AdWords is anything but opaque and the budget conscious advertiser can see exactly what works and where the waste is.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
How Much Do I Need To Spend On Adwords?
The simplest answer is you can spend as little as you’d like. AdWords has no minimum budget. But you’ve probably seen elsewhere that for a test campaign some say that $1,000-$10,000 a month is a good range. Here at Teacup, we disagree.
We’re currently running small budget campaigns ranging from $5 a day and seeing results. But if you are trying to limit your budget then you would need to have a bit of skill with AdWords and time to contribute to it. You also need to be a realist, and understand that running an effective campaign on a tight budget means being disciplined and patient.
Understand which keywords are competitive and try to avoid them due to their higher price. Also, those who are in the same industry with larger marketing budgets, using the similar keywords, can outbid you for the competitive words. Then you can start looking at negative keywords, match types, various targeting plans, ad extensions and landing pages. All which are not easy or intuitive to know what will be best for your campaign. Investing more to start can help determin the AdWords formula that works for you instead of spreading out over a longer period of time. This of course go back to your budget – experimenting this way eats up your limited budget. A 50% ROI is possible but it is about getting your formula right.
When we first started investigating the best small budget for AdWords campaigns we couldn’t find a straight answer so here goes:
How much do you need to spend on AdWords?
Teacup recommends you budget $10 per day.
We’ll explain how to handle a small budget campaign below but first…
The Price Tag For An Adwords Expert
When venturing into AdWords on your own it is tricky to understand if your time is better spent on other responsibilities. If you don’t quite have the skill or time for AdWords you may consider hiring someone who does. (There is that nerd revenge again). You can hire someone to run AdWords which may not be the same for your other tasks.
The rate for these professionals can be from $50-$500 dollars an hour, not including the agency fees and ad budget. Ideally the money you make from it pays for the rate itself, but that’s just adding more hurdles. It can also be difficult to choose an expert or agency when you are not sure what you are looking for. Another tricky aspect is getting the agency to truly understand your business and when you have a budget of about $3000 and up, finding an agency that takes the time to learn about you is potentially worthwhile. The more they know your business, your customers, their needs, and factors that set your apart the better the keyword selection will be.
However, if your are on a smaller budget it’s more about coming up with the initial investment. Which may be better suited to be contributed elsewhere in your company.
“Money is a headache, and money is the cure.”
– Terri Guillemets
So Is Adwords Possible on a Small Budget?
With the amount of resources out there and the internet on your side it is possible to begin AdWords on a small budget. It will of course take time and patience. Business with small budgets are usually quite adaptable, ready to learn and work well with what they have. Paying for the second or third position in search results is still very good. It may even perform better than the top position depending on optimization of your page. You may even want to test out a $50 budget to get a feel of the interface of AdWords to know if it something for you.
But if you have a small budget, are truly uncertain of your skills, or if hiring someone is possible we would recommend sitting down for some tea with us. We at Teacup feel AdWords should be a relaxing experience at any budget. And as much as we like making friends you don’t have to be bonded to us. There are no contracts or commitments. We set our pricing so any business can enjoy AdWords without stress to their budgets. And how we do it is no secret…
How To Run A Good Campaign On A Low Budget
Let’s talk the practicalities of running a good campaign without breaking the bank.
Step 1: Don’t Run A Bad Campaign!
Ok, this sounds facetious but we’re sincere. Bad campaigns and weak campaign structure waste money so when you first start running an AdWords campaign, don’t fall into the typical money pits. This means avoiding the following mistakes:
- Don’t write one generic ad for all your keywords
- Rather than drive traffic to your homepage, send clicks to specific, relevant landing pages
- Avoid stuffing your ad group with keywords that aren’t closely related to each other
- Remember to use exact and phrase match keywords, not broad match keywords only
- Add negative keywords when appropriate
- Make sure you’re targeting the right audience
- Don’t ignore good landing page design practices
Step 2: Start Small, Get It Right
Agencies need to justify their budget minimums which is why they need to spend the budget fully. This means chasing lots of keywords with high search volume and, to be honest, there’s a space for that strategy but not if your budget is tiny. See, the agency is looking for data up front and then aims to hone the account’s performance over the next few months.
If you’re looking to run a good campaign on $10 per day, we think it’s better to take a different route. Teacup recommends using Single Keyword Ad Groups, that focus closely on your most relevant handful of keywords. This allows you to make sure that your ads and landing pages are hyper-relevant to the keyword your potential customer is searching for. This increases your quality scores, lowers the cost per click and improves your chances of converting a searcher into a customer.
Step 3: Bid Low To Start
We’re addicted to the top spot on search results and that’s what your competitors are competing for. When you start, Google encourages you to raise your pricing to get there. Instead, bid low (even $0.50 or $1) at the start. It doesn’t matter that you’re not getting to the first page on day 1. Instead, work on improving your quality scores. Make sure the search terms you’re showing up for are right for you and that the people that do click through are actually engaging with your content.
Then, you might find you’re automatically increasing your average position without increasing your bids. Oh, and if you do increase your bids, you know that it’s the right thing to do.
Step 4: Be Patient
Running a low budget AdWords campaign needs patience. The goal in the first couple of weeks is not to get tons of new customers. Instead, the goal is to learn without spending too much money.
Often, people bid on the high search volume keywords that are expensive, competitive and very broad – which means the clicks can be low quality (i.e. costly). If you bid on your most relevant keywords using Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG), especially at a local level, you’ll find you’re getting less clicks but those clicks are higher quality. Low volume and low cost keywords are fine if you’re patient as Google sees you’re relevant for very specific search queries. You’ll also learn new search terms to bid on from the broad match keyword in your ad group.
This method means your phone won’t ring off the hook, at least, not at first. But you won’t be wasting money either. Like most things in life, you should start small and improve little by little.
Step 5: Always Improve
Keep adding new SKAGs. Look for keywords that cost without bringing you conversions. Improve your landing pages and test your ads. Google AdWords has tons of data that point out potential improvements.
Yes, this requires a lot of work but there are solutions (like Teacup). Teacup handles this all for you.
Adwords For Any Budget
AdWords has become infamous for high costs. The rumors are true, mostly. However, business do manage to implement campaigns on their own without dipping into wasteful expenses. This is why we created Teacup to help small business take steps to grow their business with keeping their budgets and time in mind. And you can do it too!