Your Google Ads budget management dictates where you put your PPC ad dollars. Discover how to do it like the pros.

Here you’ll find:

  1. What is Google Ads budget management?
  2. How to set a budget
  3. How do I see my budget on Google Ads?
  4. Why is Google Ads charging me more than my budget?
  5. Google Ads Campaigns budget management strategies

Managing your pay-per-click (PPC) budget is like being a baseball batting coach. It’s only one aspect of the game, but if your team can never get a hit, they’ll never win. If you don’t manage your budget appropriately, you’ll never get the conversions you need to succeed. 

Mastering Google Ads budget management is the key to making sure that your return is more than what you spent. 

Let’s take a journey into the strategies and expert insights that will transform your approach to Google Ads budget management.

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(Image: Adobe Stock)

 What is Google Ads budget management?

Google Ads budget management is the strategic and systematic allocation of your financial resources for your ad campaigns on the Google platform. 

That sounds complex, but in reality, it’s simple. Your Google Ads budget management dictates where you put your PPC ad dollars. Effective budget management is essential to successful PPC campaigns, as it directly impacts your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), whether your ads align with your marketing objectives, and the overall success of your campaigns.

Understanding budget management principles provides a solid foundation for implementing advanced ad strategies, which we’ll explore later.

 How to set a budget on Google Ads

Google Ads lets you set a daily budget for each campaign based on the average amount you’d like to spend each day and your advertising goals. 

You can set this up easily via the Campaigns page (and update it any time). Here’s a step by step:

  • In your Google Ads account, go to “Campaigns” and find the campaign whose budget you want to set. 
  • In the “Budget” column, click the pencil icon.
  • Enter a new average daily budget.

And, to edit your daily budget:

  • In your Google Ads account, go to “Campaigns” and find the campaign you’d like to edit.
  • In the “Budget” column, click the pencil icon.
  • Enter a new average daily budget.
  • Click Save.

Not sure what your daily budget should be? Here’s a simple formula:

(Image: HawkSEM)

 How do I see my budget on Google Ads?

The first step in Google Ads budget management is to find out how much you are spending. Luckily, searching for your budget on the Google Ads platform is not like finding a hidden treasure chest, and the number is straightforward to locate.

To see your budget on Google Ads, you need to: 

1. Log in to Google Ads: Start by logging in to your Google Ads account. If you’re not already there, visit and sign in using your credentials.

(Image: Google Ads)

2. Access the dashboard: After logging in, you’ll find yourself on the Google Ads dashboard.

google ads screenshot

(Image: Google Ads)

3. Select the right campaign: In the left-hand menu, click on “Campaigns.” Here, you’ll see a list of your active campaigns.

google ads screenshot

(Image: Google Ads)

4. Choose your campaign: Click on the specific campaign you want to check the budget for. This will take you to the campaign overview.

google ads screenshot

(Image: Google Ads)

5. Navigate to settings: Once you’re in the campaign overview, look for the “Settings” tab in the left-hand menu. Click on it to reveal the campaign settings.

google ads screenshot

(Image: Google Ads)

6. Budget: Within the “Settings” tab, you’ll see the “Budget & Bidding” section. Click on it to access your budget details.

google ads screenshot

(Image: Google Ads)

7. Update your budget: In the “Budget & Bidding” section, you’ll find your daily or monthly budget, depending on how you’ve set it up. This is where you can see how much you’ve allocated for this specific campaign. Adjust this as needed and click save.

google ads screenshot

(Image: Google Ads)

 Why is Google Ads charging me more than my budget?

It’s every marketer’s nightmare: you set a strict budget, and then Google Ads decides to play tricks with your finances. 

The short answer is that Google won’t spend more than your campaign budget in one month if you set it and never change it. Google promises, “Your monthly spending limit (30.4 times your average daily budget for most campaigns) in any particular month.”

If you’ve checked your budget using the steps above and find that Google is going over your budget, here are a few reasons that you might be getting unexpected charges. 

Understand auction dynamics

The Google Ads ecosystem operates on a real-time auction system, where advertisers compete for ad placement. The intricacies of this dynamic system can sometimes lead to your actual spending exceeding your predefined budget.

  • Bid competition: The intensity of competition for keywords in your niche can drive up the cost per click (CPC), resulting in higher spend than anticipated.
  • Ad Rank: Your ad’s position on the search results page is determined by the Ad Rank, which considers your bid, ad quality, and expected click-through rate (CTR). A higher Ad Rank might require a higher bid, potentially affecting your marketing budget.

Pro tip: Use your auction insights reports to better understand the competition you face in your ad auctions.

Ad delivery and accelerated budgets

The ad delivery method you choose plays a significant role in budget pacing. Google Ads offers two main options: standard and accelerated.

  • Standard delivery: This method spreads your ad impressions evenly throughout the day to keep your spending within your daily budget.
  • Accelerated delivery: Accelerated delivery aims to spend your budget as quickly as possible, which can lead to faster budget depletion, especially if your campaign has a limited budget.

Pro tip: If you have solid year-over-year data, it’s effective to use accelerated delivery windows when things are hot to help capture maximum market share.

Seasonality and market trends that affect PPC ads

Seasonal trends and market dynamics can influence both search volume and competition. 

  • Seasonal peaks: During high-demand seasons, your budget might deplete more quickly due to increased competition and user activity.
  • Market shifts: Changes in the market landscape, such as new competitors or product launches, can affect CPCs and budget pacing.

Pro tip: Use seasonality adjustments where possible to combat this. Instead of evenly spreading your yearly budget, think of ways where you can allocate a higher concentration of budget during peak times and taper off ad spend when things are quieter.

Budget adjustments and overspending prevention

If these things are happening and are playing tricks with your Google Ads budget, here are some things you can do to prevent it.  

  • Budget monitoring: Regularly review your campaign performance and adjust budgets and bidding strategies as needed to ensure that they align with your objectives.
  • Ad scheduling: Use ad scheduling to control when your ads are displayed, especially during peak hours or when your budget is nearly exhausted.
  • Automated rules: Implement automated rules to pause or adjust campaigns when specific conditions are met, helping you maintain budget compliance.

Negative keywords in Google Ads budget management

The role of negative keywords in your PPC budget management cannot be overstated. While you might be proficient at wielding the Google Keyword Planner to find the search terms relevant to your target audience, you might be ignoring its potential for avoiding the wrong audience. 

Negative keywords are the unsung heroes that can significantly impact your budget by increasing conversion rates and ensuring landing page cohesion. Here’s how: 

Conversion rate optimization

Negative keywords serve as gatekeepers, directing your PPC budget away from keywords and search queries that are unlikely to lead to conversions. By excluding irrelevant terms, you ensure that your budget is focused on driving meaningful actions rather than superficial clicks.

Precision in landing pages

 Successful digital marketing campaigns rely on landing pages that resonate with the user’s intent. When negative keywords are thoughtfully applied, you minimize the chances of driving uninterested users to your landing pages. This precision enhances the alignment between user expectations and your landing page content, ultimately improving the overall user experience for your ad campaign.

Budget management

Negative keywords help you stretch your PPC budget further by preventing it from being squandered on irrelevant clicks. 

Quality Score enhancement

Quality Score plays a vital role in the success of your Google Ads. By optimizing your campaigns with negative keywords, you enhance the quality and relevance of your ads. A higher Quality Score positively impacts ad positions in Google Search and can contribute to lower CPC, further stretching your budget.

 Google Ads Campaigns budget management strategies

Beyond negative keywords, you can use numerous other tactics to stretch your ad budget further and improve your ROAS. 

In the world of Google Ads, no one aspires to be just average. While the typical Google Ads user may settle for the average ROAS of 200% (earning $2 for every $1 spent), you probably have your sights set higher for your brand. 

If your goal is to soar beyond average and achieve extraordinary results. This section will explore advanced strategies to elevate your Google Ads budget management to the next level.

Targeting options for niche audiences

When you look at your budget management, one of the first things to consider is who you are targeting. 

For small businesses and brands with niche audiences, you will want to be careful about not going too broad and wasting budget on audiences that won’t convert. For niche audiences, you don’t want to cast a wide net; you want to make precision strikes. 

You can leverage targeting options like demographic targeting, detailed interest categories, and custom intent audiences to help you truly hone down your targeting.

Imagine you’re selling gourmet dog food; why waste your campaign budget on pet lovers (that could include cats, ferrets, or any domestic animal you can think of)? Targeting dog enthusiasts ensures your advertising budget is spent on the most relevant prospects.

Because your product is gourmet, you can also consider targeting by household income, as lower-income households typically search for more budget options.

Google Ads Scripts for advanced budget control

Google Ads scripts are a toolkit for advanced campaign budget control. These pieces of code allow you to automate tasks, monitor performance, and respond to changing conditions in real-time, making them indispensable for marketers looking to push the boundaries of budget management.

  • Automated bidding adjustments: With scripts, you can set up rules that automatically adjust your bids based on specific conditions. For instance, if your return on investment (ROI) drops below a certain threshold, a script can reduce your bids to prevent overspending. It’s like having an eagle-eyed financial advisor watching over your budget 24/7.
  • Budget pacing and alerts: Scripts can help you monitor your budget and spending pace. If your campaign consumes your budget too quickly, a script can pause it to avoid overspending. On the flip side, if your campaigns are underperforming, scripts can trigger alerts to investigate why and make necessary adjustments.
  • Keyword and ad performance analysis: You can create scripts that automatically analyze the performance of keywords and ads. When a keyword is underperforming, a script can pause it to prevent a large amount of money from going to waste. Conversely, when a keyword performs exceptionally well, the script can increase its bid to maximize ROI.
  • Pause keywords when they don’t meet your criteria: There are also scripts to pause your keywords when they have a low quality score or if they exceed a specific CPC. Automating such actions will allow you to act quickly and preserve your budget.

Multichannel attribution and budget allocation

Gone are the days of last-click attribution. With Google Ads, you can embrace multichannel attribution models to understand the customer journey. 

There are various attribution models to choose from, such as first-click, last-click, linear, time decay, and data-driven. Each model offers a unique perspective on how different channels contribute to conversions. For example, a time decay model gives more credit to touchpoints closer to the conversion, while a linear model distributes credit evenly.

You can also look at combining attribution from different marketing channels. For instance, Google Ads can complement your SEO efforts by capturing immediate intent, while SEO builds long-term organic traffic. Advanced budget allocation maximizes this synergy by ensuring both channels receive sufficient funding.

By allocating budget to the touchpoints that contribute the most to conversions, you get the most bang for your ad bucks.

Choose the right metrics to measure

You need to choose the right metrics to measure your campaign’s success if you want to really understand how well your budget is being spent.

Rather than going for vanity metrics like clicks and impressions, look a little deeper. 

For example, you might have a campaign that generates a high number of clicks. But if those clicks don’t convert into desired actions, such as purchases or sign-ups, then it might be a waste of your budget.

Metrics such as CTR, conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), and ROAS provide a deeper insight into the campaign’s performance. By paying attention to these metrics, you can make data-driven decisions that impact your budget management.

We’ve seen the greatest revenue and success for ad campaigns that were consistently informed by insights from data and metrics. ConversionIQ, our proprietary tech, cultivates rich data and reveals which leads bring the most revenue.

Shared budgets for efficiency with restricted budgets

Shared budgets are yet another way to manage your budget. Why? Because you won’t need to spread your budget thin by allocating it across multiple campaigns. Spend will be more consistent, and it will go to ad groups, keywords, and other elements that perform the best. A shared budget also means improved efficiency and optimization of your campaigns and less work for you.

How to calculate an optimal average daily budget

Now that you have a better understanding of how Google Ads budgeting works, you understand that you should calculate an optimal daily budget that coincides with your marketing strategy. 

To do this, you should take the number of conversions you’d like to get and multiply that by your CPA. There are certainly other ways to calculate a sufficient budget, but this will help you get a better idea of the dollar amount you need to achieve your goals.

Once you calculate your average daily budget, you can calculate your monthly budget. Do this by taking the average number of days in a month, which is 30, or roughly 20, if you only advertise on business days, and multiply that by your daily budget.

The takeaway

As we wrap up this exploration of Google Ads budget management, you now possess the knowledge and strategies to take control of your advertising spend like a pro. 

Remember, it’s not just about managing your budget, but mastering it. As you embark on your digital marketing endeavors, keep in mind that a well-controlled budget is your key to achieving outstanding ROI and other metrics that align with your campaign goals.

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