5 Tips On Managing Your PPC Budget During COVID-19

During these uncertain times, the advertising scene has changed overnight with the spread of COVID-19, and with this, we have seen several businesses shut down or pull back on marketing spend.

However, more than ever people are online, searching from their homes and now is the time to get in front of your competitor and grow your audience and customer base.

Below are 5 tips to help you manage your PPC budget during this pandemic.

1 – Budgets & Spend

During these times, you must review and reevaluate your allocated budget. Depending on what your business is, will depend on which products or services you want to focus on or feel are relevant and will gain the biggest profit margins. From this, you will want to focus your PPC budget and spend on the best performing campaigns, ad groups and keywords. This will give you the best opportunity to gain maximum results.

When reviewing and analyzing your PPC budget and spend, it is important to focus on specific metrics. The key metrics to review are:

Cost – This shows the total amount you have spent during a certain period.
Conversions – This will identify the number of conversions you received with your budget.

While your Google Ads spend may vary each day, you won’t pay more than your monthly charging limit, which is the daily budget you set, multiplied by the average number of days in a month (30.4).

Finally, depending on the platform, instead of daily budgets, consider setting lifetime spend or monthly spend limits. This will allow you to pace out your allocated budget through a longer period and allows you to have more control.

2 – Prioritise Your Goals

Many companies could have a large selection of goals during their normal year of trading, however, during COVID-19, it is important to allow your PPC budget to focus on realistic goals and expectations.

There are several business goals within PPC, such as:

  • Brand awareness
  • Leads
  • Sales

For your PPC Budget, pick one of the above goals and conduct keyword research, create ad content which relates to the goal you have chosen, from this you should be able to see an increase in goals.

3 – Negative Keywords

It is important to check your account search terms daily, to identify a range of negative keywords which your ads have shown upon, which are not product or service related.

The benefits of including negative keywords are that you will reduce invalid clicks and improve click-through rate, as the search terms are more relevant to the ads and keywords you are targeting. It will ensure that the daily budget is being spent in the right areas as you are not wasting money or bids on keywords that won’t be bringing you any conversions later on.

There are many ways to identify negative keywords, however, as part of our account checks, we like to use these two methods:

  • Google Ads Search Term Report
  • Google Analytics Search Queries

However, during COVID-19, people will be searching for a wide range of information about the virus and depending on your industry, this could impact your search and ad results. From this, it is important to exclude keywords which are related to the virus. Below is a list of search terms which you could exclude at campaign and ad group level:

  • Corona
  • Coronavirus
  • Epidemic
  • Pandemic
  • Virus

If you want to expand on the little list we have included, it is always best to search “Coronavirus” on Google Trends, this will give you the latest information on the subject and from there you can exclude keywords which you don’t want your ads showing up for.

4 – Match Types

In Google Ads, there are 4 main keyword match types which you should use in every ad group. Keywords are used to trigger your ads on the Google search network. The 4 keyword match types are;

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match
  • Broad match

This is the default match type. Google may show ads that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. An example of this would be red shoes. If you searched red shoes in Google, you would get searches for women heels, men’s trainers and even films. This highlights the broad search view in which your ad could come up against when using this match type.

Broad match modifier

This is like the broad match, but the order of the words in the search is much more fluid. For example, +red +shoes might also trigger an ad against a search for ‘shoes that are red’.

Phrase match

Ads show on searches that match a phrase, or close variations, this may include different words before or after. When creating this match type you want to include quotation marks “ “, in between the keywords. An example of this would be: “buy red shoes” or “red shoes size 5”, but not “red leather shoes”.

Exact match

Ads may show on searches that match the exact search term or are close variations of that keyword. When creating this keyword you need to include brackets [ ]. An example would be: [red shoes]. This will only trigger ads where the search is exactly ‘red shoes’ or close variants of these words.

Choosing the correct keyword match type is essential to controlling the budget, especially during these times. Each keyword match type will allow certain traffic and volume to your account. If you want to be strict on spend and search terms, the best match type to focus on is “Exact Match”. As mentioned above this will only trigger when searches match the exact search term or are close variations of that keyword.

5 – Use Responsive Display Ads

While people might not be actively searching for your product or service at this moment in time, it is important that if they have interacted with your website over the last 30 days, they have an intent in making purchasing decisions. However during their time on your website, they might have not been ready to buy and commit, so it is more important than ever to appear in front of them even if they aren’t physically looking.

Creating a responsive display ads campaign, allows you to use remarketing audiences and specific placements.

The key features of a responsive display ad are that you can include:

  • 15 Images
  • 5 Headlines
  • 5 Descriptions
  • 5 Logos

After you have created your responsive display ad, it is important to exclude mobile app placements, as these are often seen as wasted clicks and spend. They are considered a wasted click because certain applications really don’t make sense for most advertisers such as children game apps and a child playing a mobile game could click your ad, making it a wasted click and reducing your positive click-through rate and increasing bounce rate on the account. it is also important to create your own managed placement list, this will allow you to have total control over where your responsive display ads are seen on.

To keep track of responsive display spend, just like search, it is important to check “where your ads are shown”, as this allows you to identify and exclude placements which you don’t want to appear on.

The benefits of running a responsive display ad campaign when managing your PPC budget is that clicks are very cheap when compared to search, you will broaden your reach with adjustable sizes to fit more website placements, you can monitor the performance of each asset, which will identify what is performing well and what isn’t. Most importantly it will increase brand awareness of not only your business but the product or service the consumer has been searching for.

In Summary:

We are all going through something, which we are unaware of the impact it can do financial, but at some point, this will come to a halt and everything will slowly go back to normal, but by following these tips, you will still make sure that you are keeping people aware of you and your pipeline flowing so that when this finishes you have the best head start.

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