Managing AdWords budgets

AdWords budgets are there as a safety measure to prevent you from overspending on your marketing budget. They aren’t however an effective way of managing AdWords spend

  • Adopt an always-on approach to PPC and avoid a depleted daily budget
  • Manage your AdWords budget through bid management to an CPA/ROI – if you are hitting your target then why hold back on budget?
  • If your campaigns are hitting their daily budget caps then you are not getting the most out of your paid search campaign

In theory if you are hitting your CPA/ROI you shouldn’t have a budget, but in the real world it happens!

What should I do if I’m hitting my daily budget caps?

You could increase your daily budget cap – AdWords shows a recommended budget for campaigns that hit their budget caps and lets you increase it. If you can’t increase the budget then consider lowering bids, pausing lower performing campaigns or using ad scheduling as described below.

Lower bids or pause broad/phase match campaigns

If the budget reduction is medium or long term then consider reducing your bids – this could give you more and cheaper clicks for your budget. If it’s a short term budget cut, consider pausing badly performing campaigns or broad/phrase match campaigns which generally don’t perform as well as exact match campaigns.

My market is competitive so reducing my bid means I don’t show up!

In some competitive markets your bid needs to be high just get into the AdWords auction. This makes it hard to control spend as you don’t have enough budget to buy every click, so you’ll eventually stop showing up. One solution to this is to use ad scheduling. Find the best converting hours of the day and set an ad schedule which means you appear in the auction at time when you have the best chance of converting a visitor and does not over spend your budget.


Budgets are a necessary feature of an AdWords account but a smart combination of bid changes and ad scheduling can mean you get the best results you can from limited spend