Smaller PPC Budgets can still outperform Bigger ones………….but only if they are managed effectively

By Loran Simon | Our Service

In the Google Adwords beauty parade ‘Big is not always Beautiful’ - bigger budgets won’t always win in the ad auction stakes. In this article we explore how you can still outperform competitors who may have 2, 3 4 times your budget to spend on their campaign.

5 simple tricks to improve the performance of your PPC account and get more from your budget, whatever its size.

Tip #1 - Tune your bid strategy

Your bid strategy is key to how well your account performs. Whether your budget is large or small, what determines your ad displaying is a combination of the individual keyword bid price and your Quality Score.  While it is definitely possible to have influence over the quality score (something which DIY advertisers sometimes don’t realise), you have far greater control over what you tell google you are willing to spend on a click. Get this wrong and it doesn’t really matter the size of your budget, you’ll end up paying over the odds for your clicks for ads that display less frequently and that convert far less.

Sounds obvious but it is all too often where dental clients managing their own accounts go a little off piste. And, if you’ve got something as fundamental as your bid strategy wrong, then you quickly find your small budget evaporating.

If you are manually setting individual bids for your keywords, then take care to set your bids to an optimal value. If you are not bidding enough on a particular keyword then you will find yourself either occupying a poor position in terms of ad ranking, or your ad may not be shown at all. This will in turn decrease your expected click-through rate, which will lower your Quality Score and increases the price you have to pay to show your ad.

Always do your research to understand your industry’s bid prices.  A good starting point in the dental industry is around £1.50 (for most) to £3.50 (Invisalign) but this will vary according to treatment and geographic area, up or down.

Tip #2 - Maintain a good quality score.

We’ve talked about the importance of your Quality Score in a previous post. It is, as we have said before, a significant factor in AdWords account success. The higher your Quality Score, the cheaper it is to advertise on AdWords. The formula looks like this:

Ad Rank = CPC bid * Quality Score

So how can you keep your Quality Score high?

  • Improve your Click through rate - how can you do this??? One certain way is to bid a suitable amount on your keywords - do you see the virtuous circle emerging? Also create effective ads and make sure you are targeting these effectively.
  • Ensure you’re including only relevant keywords in your ad groups and limit the number of keywords in each group in order to ensure that the ad copy is hyper-relevant to the keyword.
  • Write your landing page (make sure you adopt a landing page strategy and do not send clicks to your website), so that it matches your ad copy - relevancy earns greater kudos with google and improves your Quality Score
  • Build a great reputation. The better your account performs historically, the better Quality Score your new campaigns will get.

Tip #3 - Prioritise conversion rate optimisation.

Did we mention landing pages!! It goes without saying make sure you are using them and not sending visitors directly to your website but before we get onto landing pages, make sure the keywords you’re bidding on relate to your business. Broad matches might bring in a lot of traffic, but if it’s the wrong traffic you’ll be wasting your spend. We recommend allocating more than half of your budget to high-intent, top-converting keywords.

And back onto the topic of landing pages, make sure these are designed to deliver a positive, useful, and speedy experience for visitors.

Tip #5 - Use more ad extensions

When it comes to PPC ads, size matters, if your ad is occupying one of the top three positions, there are significant number of extensions you can use to increase both value and take up more real estate

Ad extensions get people to notice your ad faster.

The best investment you can make

It’s always going to be your time. The reality is if you have a smaller budget, the key is to spend more time and attention on your account performance to make your money work harder for you.

The irony is often it is the big spenders who invest more time in improving their account performance, not because of their deeper pockets but because more money is at risk.

The fact is if you’re spending your money on PPC, whether that’s a few hundred pounds or tens of thousands you can punch above your weight, just so long as you take time to manage it properly. And if you don’t have that time, get someone to do it for you, but don’t keep spending if you’re not prepared to manage your account properly.  Save your money or spend it on some other channel.

We’ve structured our services, so that all practices whatever your size and more importantly, whatever your marketing budget looks like, can benefit from a properly managed digital advertising campaign and a structured results-driven SEO and social media strategy.

Our Essential level service starts at just £200, talk to us today to see how we can help turn around your digital marketing.

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Learn how digital marketing could help your practice grow by 85% in 1 year.


About the Author

After generating more than 85,000 patients for our own dental lab, and for the clients of our digital marketing agency for dental practices, I cracked the code for running successful online marketing campaigns.