New Tools for Managing PPC Budgets
Managing PPC budgets can get extremely tedious so we’ve recently introduced 4 new tools to help make life a little easier.
Spend Projection Tool
Our newest addition to Data Insights is our Spend Projection tool. It helps predict how much you will spend by a certain date and recommends how much budget you should allocate to reach a target level of spend.
As you can see in the example above, the projected spend ranges from $968 to $1,305 and is most likely going to come in at $1,202. The way we calculate the range is based on recent performance and we show that performance in the “recent trends” view shown below.
You can enter a target spend and target date to get some further insights in this tool. Based on your actual performance we can tell you how you are pacing against your target. For example, if you should have spent $100 by today but your actual cost is only $90, then you are pacing at 90%, slightly behind where you should be.
The final insight this tool provides is how much you should spend for the remainder of the budget period in order to hit your target spend. The recommendation takes into account very recent performance trends since you may have already adjusted budgets recently based on how you were pacing.
With this recommendation, the next step is to change budgets to meet that recommendation. That brings us to our second new tool…
Optimize Budgets Tool
The Optimize Budgets One-Click Optimization™ is designed to help allocate budgets in the most efficient manner. Remember that AdWords operates with daily budgets at the campaign level or shared budgets that encompass one or more campaigns. This tool helps translate monthly budget targets that are commonly used by companies to daily budgets as required by AdWords.
As with all optimizations, using the most granular setting should produce the optimal results, so we recommend using individual budgets for every campaign. However this tool works equally well with shared budgets, or even a mix of shared budgets and individual campaign budgets.
By enabling the custom columns for the key performance indicators (KPIS) you care most about, you can quickly prioritize campaigns that should have their budgets changed.
In the example above for a lead-gen focused advertiser, we have enabled the column “Cost / Conv” as well as “IS Lost (Budget)”. Now we can easily see if there are budgets with opportunity for increased spend that also have a great CPA. Advertisers could also use the data in this tool to reduce spend, or improve performance for branding or ecommerce focused accounts.
Advanced Budgets – Pause When Things Spend Too Much
The 3rd new tool is an Enhanced Script™ for AdWords and is one of 2 new scripts to give you the ultimate level of automation for budget management. In fact, most advertisers will want to use both of our new Enhanced Scripts™for budgets at the same time.
This one prevents you from spending more than intended. If you’ve been spending time manually checking budgets at the end of the month to make sure you’re not overshooting the target, this script will automatically do this for you every single hour.
Here’s how you’d set this one up to prevent an account from spending significantly more than $10,000 per month:
This script can be copied-and-pasted into AdWords (either at the MCC or individual account level) and scheduled to run automatically every hour. As soon as the script detects that the cost for the month exceeds the maximum, all active campaigns can be paused and labeled. The script can even re-enable all campaigns it had paused at the start of the next month.
While this script is very useful for automating monthly budget management, it can do a lot more. For example, you can apply budgets at any level of the AdWords hierarchy: account, campaign, ad group, keyword, or ad. You can set budgets to be monthly, weekly (Monday through Sunday), weekly (Sunday through Saturday) or daily. An example use case is to enforce a daily budget for a set of experimental keywords (which you have labeled) so that they are not taking up too much budget from old keywords you already know to be performing well.
Reach Target Monthly Spend
The 4th and final new budget management tool is another Enhanced Script™ but this one updates daily budgets based on how much money is left to be spent for the month.
Just like clients don’t like it when you overspend their target budget, they also don’t like it when you don’t spend enough. When used in combination with the previous script, this one can help ensure you end the month as close as possible to the target spend without having to monitor and tweak it manually.
This script works with either campaign-level or shared budgets. You simply specify the name of the budget (or the campaign) and how much you’d like to spend for the month. Tell it what to do when the budget has been exceeded (normally I leave the budget as-is because the other script handles that situation) and how to divide the remaining spend over the days remaining in the month. You can either split it evenly, front-load or back-load it, or use our most sophisticated method which uses historical data to determine the typical spend on different weekdays and then allocates bigger budgets on days with a higher usual spend potential. For most advertisers, this setting would set a higher budget on Mondays than on Sundays because there are usually more searches and more clicks on Mondays than Sundays.
There are additional settings to tell the script how many weeks of data to use for determining day-of-week spend, and to allow the script to carry over unused budget from last month.
When you run this script using the verbose output mode (this is an advanced setting you can enable), you’ll see something like this:
We hope you’ll give our new budget management tools and automations a try. We built these based on customer feedback and we’d love to hear more feedback about how else we can make these more useful, or what completely new methodologies you wish Optmyzr would build next.