4 PPC Advertising Tips for Startups on a Limited Budget


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If you’re a startup owner, your goal is certainly to get your name out there and create a buzz around your products or services so you can make sales. The most cost-effective way to build brand awareness is through search engine optimization (SEO).

However, SEO takes time to produce tangible results. Many studies have concluded that it takes 4 to 6 months to see organic traffic from SEO.

SEO is reliable, effective, and the Holy Grail of marketing for those on a tight budget.

But if you want fast results, you might want to take the paid search route or simply opt for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

If done right, PPC can be a good value for money because you only pay when a user reaches your website. But if you’re not careful, you could spend thousands on PPC and still fail miserably. That said, here are some handy PPC advertising tips for startups on a low budget.

1. First, Learn the Fundamentals of PPC

One of the top reasons startups fail with PPC is that they don’t take time to learn how to create, optimize, and manage PPC campaigns.

We get it! It’s a steep learning curve. But if you don’t spend time learning the best PPC practices and strategies, you’ll waste your limited budget by making mistakes that could have been avoided early on. So, knowing the fundamentals of PPC is critical.

Sure, you can’t learn all the PPC tactics overnight. But you can develop a learning plan that will allow you to digest all the nuggets over time.

Start with learning the fundamentals of Google ads, including how the ad auction works. Then dig deeper into practices that will save your budget, such as how to set up negative keywords, optimizing your account, determining your budget and first-time bids, etc.

As a newbie in setting up PPC campaigns, don’t take the importance of regular PPC audits for granted. It is one of the best ways to discover specific areas which need improvements in your campaign, such as identifying poorly converting keywords or underperforming ads. To start off, you could try this free PPC audit tool to get in-depth reports and  better assess your account and get more conversions with your existing budget.   

2. Set Up Goals that Your Budget Will Allow

Operating without a clear goal will set you up for failure and waste your budgetary resources. Some typical goals that you can set include:

  •    Increasing your return on ad spend (ROAS)
  •    Boosting your ROI
  •    Building brand awareness
  •    Generating leads

After setting your goal and objectives, determine the amount of traffic you’ll need to achieve these goals. Then determine the optimal budget that will allow you to meet these goals and manage the campaign.

Speaking of budget, investing in a robust PPC budget management solution, such as Shape’s PPC software, can be fruitful as it will allow you to take control of your PPC spend and performance. It can also help you derive valuable insights to use in your marketing campaign.

3. Start Small

One of the critical mistakes startups make when running PPC campaigns is creating an overwhelmingly long list of keywords and shoving them into multiple campaigns.

Doing so not only wastes the marketer’s time but also likely leads to failure. Why? Most startup budgets are usually small, and jam-packing your account with a ton of ads will stretch your budget and likely waste it on unoptimized ads that will yield no return.

It’s recommended to kick things off with just one or two campaigns consisting of two to four ad groups under each campaign.

4. Advertise Where You Can Deliver

As a startup owner, you’ll need to pay attention to where you’re spending your PPC advertising dollars. You could use location targeting to map the region(s) you want your ads to appear. 

For example, if you offer photography services but only to Ohio residents, make sure that your ads are only targeting the state of Ohio or your home territory.

Are you a real estate agent licensed to operate in a specific state? Don’t waste your budget bidding on ads across the country. The good thing about location targeting is that you can get as broad or specific as you like.

We hope these tips will help supercharge your PPC ad campaign and save your budget in the long run. Feel free to comment and share.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.