Tips to Maximize Dollars When Targeting a Budget

Gerard Tollefsen - May 18, 2009

If you’ve ever managed a Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign you probably ran into the situation where your campaigns were tracking to go over budget.  Google, for example, allows up to 20% increase in ad delivery on high traffic days for AdWords campaigns.  If you experience a few of these days during the early part of the month, you could be faced with making decisions on how to stretch out your ad delivery in the month’s final days.  Do you turn off your campaigns altogether and wait for the next month to start?  Do you only run the most profitable keywords; if so, what are they?  Do you change the ad delivery so your ads only run during the day or night, weekday or weekends?  A good way to determine which strategy is best is to analyze your Google Analytics (GA) data (assuming you have a GA account).

You can leverage the data captured in Google Analytics to identify your top producing keywords.  In addition, you can run specific reports in Google Analytics to identify what times of the day your PPC keywords convert the best.  Google Analytics can help you identify the optimum time to run your ads, the best mix of keywords for Return on Investment (ROI), and the geo-targeting areas to deliver those ads.

Next time you need to make decisions about your PPC campaign when targeting a budget, take advantage of the market intelligence Google Analytics can provide.  Here are three reports that can help you make smarter campaign decisions:

  1. In the Google Analytics main dashboard, click on Visitors Map Overlay to identify the local, state and or national areas to focus your campaign.  If your budget requires a more narrow focus, this report can help you geo-target your ads.
  2. In the Google Analytics main dashboard, click on Traffic Sources Google/cpc choose the Dimension “Keyword” to help identify your top producing keywords.  Whichever metric you feel is most representative of success (E-commerce, lead generation, site usage) can be sorted in descending order for a quick reference of your best keywords.
  3. In the Google Analytics main dashboard, click on Goals Total Conversions or Conversion Rate and at the top right of the main graph click on the Clock Icon to see the peak times your campaigns convert.

Once you have the business intelligence from these reports, you can make sharp decisions on which keywords to pause and which to keep running when you are up against a firm budget. In addition, you can focus your ad delivery to specific geo-target locations and dictate the times of day to run your ads.  These campaign changes can help maximize your advertising dollars when you need to find ways to stay within your monthly budget.


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