How to Optimise your PPC Budget

Laura Caveney
28th September 2020

Every dollar spent on your PPC budget is valuable as each cent can help you to build your reach, connect your product to a targeted audience and ultimately, grow your revenue.

In a dream world, our PPC budgets would be unlimited, and we’d have a whole team designated to managing and optimising our ad campaigns. Sadly, that’s not the world most businesses live in.

Even for those businesses that do have large PPC budgets, they might not necessarily be seeing high returns from those campaigns. So, what’s a PPC marketer to do?

Understanding where each cent of your PPC budget goes is the first step. The second is using that information to stretch your future budget to go that little bit further. You can do this without bigger budgets or bigger teams.


7 ways to optimise your PPC budget

Ready to learn how to optimise your PPC budget? Here are our 7 tips to get the most for your money!

Editor’s note: Before we begin, marketing attribution is a great way to understand the impact of your paid advertising. You can see the impact of your campaigns, ads and even keywords on your online and offline conversions and optimise based on what you can see is working.

Book a demo to find out how Ruler Analytics can help you get the most out of your PPC budget.

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Bid more on high-value keywords

Do you know which of your keywords are generating the most revenue? While tracking impressions, clicks and leads is important, you should be optimising your adverts based on revenue generation.

While your ad might be generating hundreds of clicks, and tens of leads, how many of those leads then convert into sales?

Monitoring your ad impact on inbound calls, form submissions and live chat sessions is a great way to optimise your ads. An even better way is to pool your budget into keywords that generate revenue, not leads.

Ruler Analytics can help you understand what offline and online conversions, generated by PPC campaigns, are resulting in revenue. And you can even get granular with the data. Our keyword report allows you to look at revenue generation by keywords. This means you can turn off keywords that aren’t resulting in sales and improve your ROAS.

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Ruler Analytics’ keyword report – highlighting which keywords are bringing in revenue, and which are bringing in empty leads


Choose the right platforms

PPC channels cost different amounts to advertise on. While Google is the major player for pay-per-click advertising, don’t forget about Bing or Facebook.

Microsoft Ads, in particular, have seen some impressive results. With a good reach, but significantly cheaper, Microsoft advertising has been found to be around 33.5% cheaper.

Similarly, you might find advertising via social channels might be cheaper in the long-run for your business. However, it’s important to remember that search ads generally have much higher intent as you’re targeting users based on their search intent. On social, you’re targeting users based mainly on their interests and demographics.

As such, it’s best to test PPC ads across different platforms to understand which ones work best for your business. And remember, costs can vary dramatically industry to industry for search ads in particular, so that’s also important to consider.

Track all of your PPC advertising properly to understand which channels work hardest to bring you revenue, not just clicks and impressions.

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Ruler Analytics’ source report – highlighting which channels are bringing in the most leads, but also identifying the amount in sales too

Remove irrelevant placements

Targeting on your ads is essential as irrelevant placements can be a huge waste on your PPC budget. Just imagine an ad that’s driving plenty of traffic, but the user isn’t the right fit for your product and so you’re wasting budget on an irrelevant lead.

Imagine you sell iPhone cases and you want to use PPC advertising to drive interest and sales. If you try to target the keyword ‘phone cases’, you’re already sharing your ad to users who aren’t relevant as you can’t offer Android cases.

Take time to understand your current customers and their search intent which led to buying your product. Using tools like Ruler Analytics allows you to see which keywords result in revenue, meaning you can get really targeted with your ad campaigns.

By prioritising based on the keywords you know bring in revenue, you can increase your cost per lead and improve your return on ad spend.

Always consider making use of exclusionary lists. Facebook allows you to remove demographics from your paid advertising campaigns. Google and Bing allow you to add negative keywords. These are both useful tools to ensure you’re being as targeted as possible in your approach.


Try retargeting

Retargeting is an effective method to optimising your PPC budget for a number of reasons.

Firstly, you can reach warm audiences with strong messages safe in the knowledge they already know your business, and your product. Retargeting generally improves your conversion rate, though it can be more expensive across all PPC channels.

Retargeting also means you’re not losing potential customers. We know that users have long customer journeys nowadays. While your first attempt to convert them into a lead, or customer, might not have been the right message at the right time, retargeting to them could mean you’re reaching them at the right time and on the right channel.

Bombarding your audience sounds full-on, and expensive, but allowing your potential customer to see you across channels means your success rate will increase. It also ensures ad spend on any earlier campaigns didn’t go to waste, and is essentially a second chance to improve your ROAS.

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Google Analytics allows you to prove your return on investment as Ruler can feed your online and offline sales back into your analytics


And, with marketing attribution tools like Ruler Analytics, you can properly track that ROAS. Being able to view your full customer journey means you can see the impact of paid adverts that might not have initially been successful.


Trial A/B testing and report often

Testing across all paid channels is essential to understanding what’s working and what isn’t. And with Ruler Analytics, you can easily see the impact on your bottom line. This means you can optimise your campaigns (and your PPC budget) based on the variations that are resulting in more sales.

Channel by channel, A/B test capability varies, but there’s plenty to trial.

Look at your copy, or your ad creative. Play with audiences and targeting and learn more about your ideal target audience. You might be surprised what you learn!

And even better, with marketing attribution tools like Ruler’s, you’ll be able to see which version brings in the most leads, and revenue. So, instead of optimising for leads (which could be low-quality), you’re optimising for actual sales. Here’s why that matters:

a/b testing ppc budget optimisation ruler analytics
Example of an A/B test with two very different results.


Without Ruler, we would have optimised for ad set A, as it’s bringing in the highest amount of leads. However, not many of those leads are going on to convert. While ad set B is bringing less leads in, they’re much higher relevance and so are converting.


Test Google’s smart bidding

Google’s smart bidding takes all the hard work out of PPC ad management. You can set Google’s machine learning tech up to maximise your pay-per-click ads based on a chosen objective. Whether you want to reach the most people you can, or if you want to optimise for revenue generation, smart bidding can help.

Read more about smart bidding with our ultimate guide compiled with Google Account Manager, Odolena Kostova.


Rather than depending on a human to make the right decisions, Google will rely on your data for online and offline conversions to understand what makes a user a potential customer. Forget labouring over keywords and big strategy, and leave it all in Google’s capable hands.


Track offline conversions

If you use inbound calls, email or store visits to convert leads into customers, then offline conversion tracking is essential.

Some PPC channels offer conversion tracking for offline sales but this is still quite manual. If you want to track your phone calls, form submissions and more, and understand how those channels result in revenue, then you need to implement offline conversion tracking.

While Facebook and Google both offer click-to-call tracking, the quality of this is completely different channel to channel. Google will now only track calls that last a minimum duration. Facebook meanwhile can’t even do that.

If a user clicks to call you on an advert, Facebook will count any time a dial pad is pre-loaded with your phone number. Not only does that exclude counts where the dial pad is closed without making a call, but like Google, it means you can’t understand call quality.

optimise ppc budget offline conversion tracking ruler analytics
User A and user B both click on your ad, but while you track them as a conversion, they didn’t result in a sale


Ruler’s call tracking tool allows you to track, and record, all inbound calls. What does that mean? Well it’s simple. You can see what channels and campaigns are driving your inbound calls. And, you can see what calls are then resulting in revenue.

optimise ppc budget - call tracking


Find out more about our call tracking tool and how you can use it to understand your inbound call lead quality.


And there you have it! Seven easy ways to optimise your PPC budget and ensure you’re getting the most customers, not clicks, out of your paid advertising.

Interested in learning more about Ruler Analytics? Find out more about us and how we can help you by booking a demo for our marketing attribution tool. You’ll learn how to track PPC channels, campaigns and keywords to help you make the most of your resources.

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