Small PPC Budget? How to Make Low Cost PPC Work for Your Business

You don’t need a million dollar budget to be successful in PPC. Paid search isn’t a one-size solution for digital marketers. We know the needs and resources of every company are different.

Overall, paid search is one of your safest bets for generating a strong ROI through digital marketing efforts, especially if your company is a little fish in a big pond that has trouble ranking organically for key phrases related to your industry or a niche market.

Smaller companies naturally have smaller budgets, and for paid search, that is OK if you know how to tailor your campaigns to fit your goals. Even if you only have a couple hundred bucks per month available to dedicate to PPC, the channel can pay big dividends if you know how to stretch every dollar to reach its max potential.

Determine Your Break-Even Point, ROI and Desired Conversion Rate

If you sell a niche product at a high price point or are targeting a B2B audience, PPC could be a very effective channel for you. Let’s keep things simple with the following example of what can happen when you dedicate just $800 per month to an Adwords campaign.

Let’s say you are selling a commercial refrigerator for $3,000 and buy these refrigerators directly from the manufacturer at a 20% discount. Each unit sold nets $600 in profit. 

 For Commercial refrigerators, you are looking at a suggested keyword bid of about $8.


You’re telling yourself there’s no way you want to pay $8 for someone to click your ad not knowing what the end result of their visit will be.

Assume you are targeting a 5% conversion rate, which should be attainable depending on your landing page usability, strength of your ad copy and the average position of your ad. 

Let’s keep the numbers simple again. You set aside $800 as your monthly Adwords budget, receiving 100 clicks, of which, five customers convert.

At an average profit of $600 per conversion, you just turned your $800 Adwords budget into $3,000 for a net profit of $2,200. That’s a 175% return-on-investment. Not too shabby.

Narrow Down to Target Your Desired Audience

You can’t run Adwords out of the box.

You can play it safe, choosing only exact-match, long-tail keywords, specifically honing in on the select keywords pertaining to your products that have a decent search volume in your target market as well as low competition, or you can mix in a few phrase match keywords – as these will often times have a lower cost-per-click than exact-match variants.

When choosing phrase or even broad match keywords, it is absolutely crucial to add negative keywords for anything that could possibly trigger an irrelevant impression for your products.

What would we consider an irrelevant impression?

Creating a baseline negative keyword list and expanding upon it regularly by combing through your search terms report is a great way to cut costs and improve click-through rates within your Adwords campaign.

Utilize Demographic Targeting

You wouldn’t try to sell a luxury car to someone fresh out of high school and you wouldn’t want to sell a Stouffers Lasagna to Donald Trump.  

Adwords allows you to target visitors based on a variety of demographic income targets, which can help hone in on your specific target audience. If you think there’s absolutely no way someone in a lower 50% household would want a commercial refrigerator, you can block your ads from being shown to them.

Implement Shared Budgets between Campaigns

If you sell a number of different product types, but don’t necessarily value one above the other, utilizing shared budgets is a great way to stretch the value of your campaigns even further.

If all of your campaigns are only dedicated $10 a day, but cost-per-click is $8, you’re severely limiting your reach and conversion potential. Today, your four campaigns could all be one-and-done with nothing to show for it.

With shared budgets, you can combine those four campaigns to share $40 per-day with your most valuable campaigns having a higher likelihood to come through in the clutch.

It is important to dedicate specific product types their own campaigns containing specific ad groups, but do you really care if you sell a refrigerator or a freezer when the ROI for both is nearly identical?

Choose the Right Settings

There are plenty of little things you can do with your settings to make a huge impact when operating with a small paid search budget.

  • Opt out of Google’s Display Network
  • Don’t waste your money on mobile if your site isn’t mobile-friendly
  • Remember, a phone call is valuable too! Utilize phone extensions & focus on driving calls
  •  Exclude search partners if you are not a retailer

Doing these things will help deliver your ads to the most relevant audience, which can increase your conversion rate, making all the difference with a small budget.

Remember That PPC Can Help Out Where SEO Can’t

Small businesses have an increasingly difficult time competing in organic search, and while a solid SEO strategy can certainly boost rankings and drive leads, PPC offers a unique opportunity to guarantee first page placement for some of the most competitive keywords that are pertinent to your business.

You can’t make a sale if no one knows you have a product. Even if you aren’t showing in the top position in paid results, a top three appearance can pay huge dividends over ranking on the third page organically.

This is why coupled with SEO, PPC can be an incredibly smart investment even with a low budget.

Let’s Develop Your Paid Search Strategy

Whether you can afford $20,000 per-month in media spend or $200, SteadyRain is familiar working with SEM clients of all shapes and sizes and can help you dive into paid search by developing and executing a strategy that gets your brand up close and personal with your target audience.

Google, Bing, Facebook, it doesn’t matter. We can develop a PPC strategy that works for your brand and your budget. Contact us today.