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How to run a successful search campaign on a low advertising budget

Getting the most out of a limited advertising spend can be a daunting task. It may require you to spend more time doing research on your target audience, understanding what they’re looking for and how, and most importantly, how you can reach them effectively.

In this case, you want to ensure that every ounce of your advertising budget is being spent to drive the right traffic. You’re not looking for general brand awareness so a lot of traffic isn’t your goal. You want to drive in only those people that are more likely to convert on your site.

So how do you ensure that despite a small advertising budget, your search ads on Google and Bing are reaching the right audience?

We have got some tips for you.

how to run ads on low budget

1. Set a maximum daily budget limit

To start advertising on a low budget, enter the maximum amount you’re comfortable spending. You can calculate this by deciding the amount you want to spend in a month and then dividing it by the number of days in that month.

For example, if you’re willing to spend $150 per month, that makes it $5 per day.

daily spend google

If you’re unsure what kind of advertising budget you can set aside or what is really required to reach your target audience, you can also do this on a weekly basis.

You can then take a look at the common data-based averages on CPC to get an idea of how much a click would cost you. It will help you increase or decrease the daily spend accordingly.

2. Start with a specific keyword

When you’re running a low-budget campaign, you cannot possibly be paying for multiple keywords and hoping for a result.

For instance, if your daily spend is $5, you can’t possibly be targeting and bidding on ten to fifteen keywords in one go. It’s like spreading yourself too thin and hoping your campaign will work because the CPC for each of these keywords is almost equal to your daily spend.

To make a campaign work on a low advertising budget, you need to target one good keyword. This keyword should have a medium search volume with low competition and should match the intent of a user who is more likely to convert on your promotion.

Here’s a simple graph on how specific you need to get with a keyword to be actually found:

how to pick keywords


With all the possibilities of what your target consumers are using to make searches and what’s trending on the search engines, choosing the right keyword can be overwhelming.

Some of the tips we follow while picking a keyword for a low budget campaign are:

  • Clearly define the product/service you want to advertise
  • Use a keyword research tool to understand how consumers are looking for that product/service
  • Filter your keywords and spot the ‘negative’ ones
  • Select your target keywords based on your advertising budget
  • Monitor campaign performance and optimize your keywords over time

We wrote a detailed guide on how to choose the right keywords for your search ads on Google And Bing. Read it here.

3. Create a single keyword ad group (SKAG)

Once you have decided on the keyword you’re going to bid on, create single keyword ad groups.

By pairing your target keywords into their individual ad groups, you get to make sure that the search terms you’re bidding on, match the ones that you’re paying for as well as your ad’s content.

Instaon automates the creation of a SKAG structure in a matter of minutes for all types of SMB’s.

4. Choose enhanced cost per click for bidding

Most people choose their bidding type to maximize conversions or clicks. But if you have a low advertising budget, you need to choose ‘Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC)’.

In ECPC, Google implements machine learning and automation to increase or decrease bids. To be able to do this, it takes into account your target keyword, the funnel stage, your competitors and campaign relevance. This keeps your ad budget optimized at all times.

ecpc bidding strategy

To set up your ads on ECPC, all you need to do is:

  • Sign in to your Google Ads account
  • Click on ‘Campaigns’ from the page menu
  • Select the Campaign you want to work with
  • Click on ‘Settings’ in the page menu
  • Click on ‘Bidding’ and then select ‘Change bid strategy’
  • Select ‘Manual CPC’ and check the ‘Enable Enhanced CPC’ option
  • Click ‘Save’

Or you can use Instaon. It will make sure to use the appropriate bidding strategy at the right moment for your business.

5. Automate ad creation and optimization

Setting up a high-converting Google ad can be challenging – especially when you have a low advertising budget. You need to understand your target audience, pick the right keywords, set the right type of campaign and optimize it regularly. All too overwhelming!

That’s where Instaon’s advertising platform comes in to automate it all.

All you need to do is indicate which country you’re targeting, what language you want to advertise in and what your goal is. The platform then automatically extracts the most relevant keywords and creates your campaign. It also auto-optimizes the campaign on a daily basis to improve your campaign performance.

ad creation instaon - advertising budget

Creating your search advertising campaign

Following the above steps, you can definitely ensure you’re on the right path to keeping your advertising spend optimized.

But at the same time, it is important to continually measure and benchmark the performance of your different campaigns.

Analyze your goal performance, how your target consumer’s needs and search behavior are changing and experiment with your campaigns.

Remember, different strokes for different folks. One campaign may not be your ticket to acquiring all the customers in a target market!

Getting started with advertising or want to improve your campaign performance?
Try the Instaon advertising platform today

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