A half score and three years ago Google brought forth on this continent, AdWords, conceived in search, and dedicated to the proposition that not all campaigns are created equal.
Your campaigns are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that campaign, or any campaign you conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that bidding war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that campaign, as a final resting place for those keywords who gave their max CPC so that that campaign might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this auction. The brave campaigns, active and paused, who struggled here, have a budget, far above our marketing goals. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say in AdWords, but it can never forget what those campaigns did here. It is for the active campaigns, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought in the auction have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for those active campaigns to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored underperforming campaigns we take increased devotion to that auction for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these underperforming campaigns shall not have been paused in vain – that this nation, under AdWords, shall have a new daily budget – and that the daily budget of the campaigns, by the campaigns, for the campaigns, shall not deplete from the overall account.
Thank you President Lincoln for that great speech on AdWords!
As you very well know, PPC is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of business, and there is always something to be done in the account. But one thing many of us tend to overlook, as President Lincoln was able to point out, is our Daily Budget.
Google is always telling you your campaigns are limited by budget or your bids are too low for the first page, so, naturally, most people’s first thought is, raise bids and raise budgets. In theory this is a great idea but what ends up happening is you lose sight of your marketing goals, realize your money is flying out the window, and end up frustrated with advertising on Google in general. (Remember, Perry Marshall says  you should never let Google tell you how to manage your campaigns!)
Or on the other end of the spectrum, you restructure your accounts based on Display vs. Search networks, location-specific campaigns  or various other reasons, keep the same budgets for all campaigns and watch your money run away; it will literally run away! This is not only detrimental to your account but can also cause you to lose sight of your marketing goals.
Tips for Setting Your AdWords Budgets by Campaign
So by now you are probably asking yourself the age old question: “How do you know what the right budget for each campaign is?”
Unfortunately there is no magic answer to this question, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you figure this out:
- Figure Out Your Marketing Goals: It is really important to decide what your ideal ROI is and stick with that; put your money where you get the biggest return. Keep these goals in mind at all times and never go above what you can afford. Don’t be afraid of trying to raise and lower budgets on campaigns where applicable; you can decrease one campaign to increase another one. Keep in mind Google will always tell you when you are not budgeting out enough for one campaign, but I urge you to try and stick with your budgeting goals.
- Have Only One Campaign? Looking To Split It Out? If you only have one campaign with a budget and that budget is say $500 and you want to split it out, split it out wisely. Like President Lincoln said before, not all campaigns are created equal. If you take that one campaign, split it out so you have one for the Display Network and three for the Search Network: the US, the UK, and Canada, you would NOT want to have a budget of $500 for each new campaign; that would cause your budget to skyrocket! Keep your $500 budget in mind and allocate the appropriate budget for each campaign.
- Not Sure How to Split Up Your Budget? Like I mentioned earlier, use your marketing goals as a starting point in deciding how to allocate your budget. Make sure you decide your budget ahead of time, to cause less stress in the long run. Stay strong with your budget decisions! If you're not sure where to set your budget, start with a small budget, and implement small incremental increases. It is easier to increase budget slowly based on traffic and conversions. This way you can work your way up to your maximum budget while minimizing wasted spend. When starting a new campaign, you are never sure where your clicks are coming from, so it essential to start off slow, collect data, and increase where needed; no need to blow through the budget in an hour with wasted spend and unqualified clicks. Get a feel for how your new campaigns are performing, and then make changes; PPC is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Do You Now Have Too Many Campaigns? Now that you’ve split out all your campaigns, you didn’t budget correctly, and your budget is through the roof, what do you do?
- Don’t panic!
- Go back and take a look through your campaigns.
- Calculate the ROI on each campaign.
- Keep your marketing goals or whatever metrics you need in mind.
- Decide which ones are doing well and which ones are not doing anything for your business.
- Use this data to allocate different budgets to each campaign; you may even be able to combine some campaigns together.
Keep in mind, some ad groups may be costly, and too many costly ad groups in one campaign can cause the campaign budget to deplete too soon. Make sure when combining campaigns, you really dig deep to decide if it makes sense to do this; look at the metrics on the ad group level as well as the keyword level to make the right decision. Use any and all metrics you can!
Now you have all the tools and tips you will need to broker bidding peace between your warring campaigns! In conclusion, as the great President Lincoln said earlier, not all campaigns are created equal, so plan accordingly! Not every account will be the same, so if you have any other situations, let us know!
Lisa Wilkinson is a Customer Success Specialist at WordStream, which consists of training clients, conducting webinars, and helping clients with AdWords and Bing on a daily basis. She was born and raised in Winchester, MA right outside of Boston. She graduated from Westfield State University but not before she travelled the world and studied abroad in Australia! Lisa has a love for all sports, especially Boston teams and recently lived in Arizona for two years. She could school anyone on football facts and makes it a life goal to travel as much as possible, when not at work of course.