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How to Make the Most of a Small Paid Search Budget

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Published Date 11.12.2023

A small paid search budget doesn’t have to be limiting. It can force teams to be creative and intentional. When you need every click to count, you target keywords and set up campaigns with intention.

Search marketing has become more competitive over time. When more bidders are in the market, the cost-per-click rises and some advertisers with large budgets still might feel like they need more money to spend.

We were thrilled to have been nominated for the Best Low-Budget Campaign (PPC) alongside our client, Crema Joe because we believe that ‘small’ budgets are relative. Being able to do more with less is a skill that all marketers need.

Making the most of a small paid search budget requires resourcefulness, big-picture thinking, and laser focus. Crema Joe came to Status Agency because they wanted to use their small budget to reach a niche market of environmentally conscious coffee lovers. Their existing campaigns weren’t generating the profits they required for growth and they wanted to turn their search strategy around.

Here are seven techniques that we applied (and that any brand can use) to make the most of a small budget.

  1. Target in-market customers:

If you have a small paid search budget, then you can’t spend too much money on building broad brand awareness. Instead, you have to hone in on your ideal target customer. In other words, you have to target high-intent customers who are ready to purchase or sign up.

Use your existing audience data to gain insights about your target customer and layer audience targeting into your paid search campaigns.

  1. Pinpoint what’s already working:

If you’re already running campaigns, then analyse them to identify keywords that are converting and generating a strong return on ad spend. See if you can identify any patterns and build upon them in the rest of your paid search strategy.

  1. Leverage organic search:

While we all want to maximise our real estate in the search results, we also have to be realistic about our budget. Use tools like SEMRUSH and Google Search Console to find out what words you are already ranking for organically. If you are already getting solid traffic from these search terms, you may want to leave them out of your paid campaigns. Instead, you can use your paid search budget to fill in the gaps.

  1. Identify undiscovered keywords with dynamic search ads:

Google’s dynamic search ads use the content on your website to create relevant ads. They use the content on your website to automatically target your ads and create ad copy that is highly relevant to searches in your market. Monitor these campaigns to find high-performing and/or trending keywords you haven’t targeted in your other keyword-based campaigns.

  1. Refresh your ad copy and ad extensions:

Ad copy has a huge impact on the relevance of your ad, click-through rates, and your cost per click. The more relevant your ad is to the target search term, the easier (and cheaper) it is to convert your target customer. Review your ad copy to make sure it’s persuasive and relevant to each target keyword. Make sure you’re using all available ad extensions to make your ads more enticing and attract more clicks.

  1. Utilise AI:

Performance max campaigns help you to secure more advertising placements throughout the customer journey. You can easily set up awareness, consideration, and conversion goals to influence the entire marketing funnel with a small budget.

  1. Review performance constantly

When you’re running campaigns on a tight budget, you want to make sure that every click counts. Review your search term reports regularly to find (and focus on) keywords with a high return on ad spend.

Persistence pays off:

Applying these techniques with Crema Joe, we were able to create a 185% increase in return on ad spend in three months. The additional profits have now been invested into brand building, organic social, and email marketing. If you are strategic in your approach, you can generate growth from a humble paid search budget.

“Status Agency is a trusted advisor to the Crema Joe team. Ruth and the Status team understand our business objectives, market challenges and growth plans. Status Agency works closely with our whole business to optimise our campaigns and offer strategic directions that have delivered a significant boost to our business and customer satisfaction. Thanks, Status Agency!”

Simon Underwood, Owner, Crema Joe

Author Bio:

Ruth De Luchi is the Founder and Managing Director at Status Agency, a boutique digital marketing agency with a smart approach to driving brand growth. Believing that innovation comes with space, time, and curiosity, Ruth gives her team the breathing room to stay ahead of new marketing technologies, and the balance they need to inject their full focus and energy into their clients.

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