Setting an advertising budget sometimes feels like playing a lottery: it’s exciting, you may lose everything but you can also earn way more than you have spent. PPC advertising is all about winning: you control so many parameters that you know in advance how your money will pay off. Read on to find out a few PPC management secrets!
Basically setting you campaign budget is a very structured process. We’ll demonstrate how it’s done in REACH Network system but you may probably apply this strategy in other networks as well.
Setting PPC budget consists of four easy steps: defining campaign goals, deciding on the traffic quality, carrying out a test to define the possible conversion rate and calculating your monthly/quarterly/daily budget.
1) It’s pretty obvious that when you start a campaign you probably have some sort of vision of what results you want to get. And what budgeting requires is turning this vision into countable goal parameters. These could be visitor number, conversions (leads, sales, subscriptions and suchlike), clicks or in case of video websites − views. As a rule, it’s easier to decide on the monthly goals and then divide it by 30 or 31 to define the desired daily conversion number. You should also think of a way to track the completion of these goals – Google Analytics goal tracker is great for this. If you just want to improve visitor statistics, it’s even more straightforward. The desired visitor number a day should be multiplied by cost-per-click and there you go – you budget is calculated. But many of you probably run the campaigns that are more sophisticated than that. So go on reading.
2) Your campaign goals are the keys to defining your goal traffic quality. You may use the recommendations from our Marketing Kit for Advertisers to make an informed decision. In a nutshell, video views are achieved with Video RON campaigns, statistics are improved with High RON and Ultra RON. And other conversions like sigh-ups and registrations are achieved with Premium RON. Once you have the goal parameter and the goal traffic quality, you may proceed to campaign testing.
3) The experiment is carried out to define the number of clicks that bring you the desired number of conversions. You may also experiment with different traffic types and see which one converts better. Remember to assign the passing names to the campaigns in utm tags in this case.
Start the campaign choosing the desired traffic type, place a random daily budget (but enough to buy around a thousand clicks so that you could identify a tendency). And carefully watch how the clicks perform in Google Analytics.
After you have some data to fall back on, you may define your conversion rate. Google Analytics is of great help in this case. Just go to Traffic Sources > Sources > All Traffic, choose Campaign in Secondary dimension and check the conversion rate in a corresponding column.
Keep in mind that conversion rate is prone to minor (or sometimes not the minor) fluctuations during the week, so make sure you carry out your test during week days as well as on weekends. Define the conversion rate for each day type. Then multiply it by the number of conversions you want to get a day and there you go! Here is your goal click number. If weekends bring you more convertible traffic, you will be able to get the same number of conversions paying for fewer clicks.
4) Now you just choose the required bid type and insert the number of clicks into clicks/day field − the system will then count the budget for you itself.
The work is pretty much done. If the list of publishers that answer to your requirements is short you may need to increase your bid to make the CTR higher to be able to get the number of clicks you need for your conversions.
You should know that higher bids mean increased impressions number and, consequently, more clicks a day. So basically increasing your bids helps you achieve your goals quicker.
Don’t forget to track the conversion rate from time to time in your Google Analytics account: if it slows down, maybe you need better quality traffic or more clicks. If it increases, make your bids lower or just get more ambitious with your campaign goals. Maybe you’ve hit very relevant publishers and you can now get more conversions for the same amount of money.
If you need to cut down on your budget, setting a smaller bid is not a good idea. The thing is lower quality traffic means lower conversion rate which may result in no conversions at all. Instead divide your budget by the bid to get the number of clicks and then multiply what you get by the conversion rate. This will be your new goal conversion that you can afford. In other words, with a smaller budget you’ll get fewer conversions but you will still get them. With lower bids you may get nothing.
If you use this easy algorithm for each of your campaigns, you can manage as many of them as you need. Even if there are any budget limits, you just make the number of conversions smaller and you are back on track.
This method does require some initial investment into testing. But this will pay off. Besides the clicks you buy during the testing won’t be wasted as with right traffic type you’ll start getting conversions right away.
Smart budgeting is the part of PPC management that brings the most visible results. This strategy may seem cumbersome. But the results are worth the effort. Try out this technique and let us know how it went!