How to Optimise your PPC Budget

Laura Caveney
11th November 2022

In order to maximise your PPC budget, you need to deeply understand what is and isn’t driving revenue, and what should be. 

In a dream world, our PPC budgets would be unlimited and we wouldn’t be stuck fighting competitors for space at the top. 

Sadly, that’s not the reality. 

Understanding where each cent of your PPC budget goes is the first step. But next, is using your data to understand what it brings back and how to optimise it. 

Keep reading to learn: 

Let’s get started. 

What a PPC budget is 

A PPC budget is how much money you commit to online traffic acquisition efforts. It is used to pay for clicks to your website via a paid advert. 

PPC budgets can cover full channels from Google Ads to Bing and range from a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per month. 

How much you spend on PPC depends on your industry, your goals and your campaigns. 

How to set your PPC budget 

There are generally three key steps to look at when setting your PPC budget: 

  1. Defining your campaign goals 
  2. Researching your keywords and their cost 
  3. Doing the math 

You could also look at your expected return on ad spend but this can be tricky if you’re doing a mix of adverts. 

For example, a prospecting advert on its own might not have as good a ROAS as two campaigns targeting prospective customers and then retargeting these same customers later down the line. 

Related: Guide to PPC conversion tracking

Setting your PPC budget, just like setting your marketing budget, can be tricky. 

We tend to start with a small amount and build our budget up as we learn what does and doesn’t work. 

How to track the return on your PPC budget 

Tracking your PPC budget and its return isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. 

Related: How to track and scale your PPC performance

Remember, you need to be mindful of long customer journeys when tracking and marketing activity. 

This is one major hurdle that gets in the way of most marketers looking to track the effectiveness of their marketing. 

To fully understand your ROAS, you need to implement attribution. 

💡Pro Tip 

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.

Learn more about marketing attribution via our complete guide

Attribution allows you to connect the dots between anonymous website visitors and leads and revenue in your CRM 

Think about it like this. 

Visitors land your website from a PPC advert you created and set live. 

The only data you get, is some traffic sourced to paid in Google Analytics. 

So, when users convert via a form or phone call, you can’t link that new lead back to your paid campaign. 

Attribution, however, allows you to track these inbound leads and link them back to their marketing touchpoints. 

It gives you definite proof of how paid ads impact and influence revenue. 

7 ways to optimise your PPC budget

Now you know how to effectively track the ROAS of your paid campaigns, you probably want to learn how to optimise your PPC budget.

Here are our 7 tips to get the most for your money: 

Let’s explore them one by one: 

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.

💡Pro Tip 

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; from campaign to keywords. 

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.

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. 

Related: Complete guide to refining your paid strategy

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.

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. 

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 optimise 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.

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 by what you learn!

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.

Related: Complete guide to smart bidding 

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. 

Related: How to send offline conversions to Google Analytics

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.

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

Start optimising your PPC campaigns for revenue 

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.

In the meantime, learn how to improve your PPC performance using Ruler.