Getting the most out of your Google Ads on a low budget

Many small business owners have limited budget to spend on Google Ads. However a low budget doesn’t have to mean bad results. Setting up the correct structure, picking up the right objectives, defining audiences, selecting the appropriate keywords and building a negative list could boost your Google Ads campaigns.

Throughout the years we have helped many local and national Australian businesses succeed in Google Ads with a low ad spend. We have listed our top tips on how you can optimise your Google Ads campaigns for maximum results.


Initial Set-up, SEO and Tracking Codes

This is the most overlooked step when it comes to starting any Google Ads campaign. Having a strong SEO built website or landing page will dramatically improve the results by lowering your spend on certain keywords. We highly recommend checking your SEO and website speed before even starting any Google Ads campaigns.

Another factor is setting up your tracking codes such as web traffic counts, form submissions and phone calls. These will help you get a clear picture of what is working or not in early stages so you don’t throw out all your money on the wrong keywords or ads.


Pick your goals

The next step is defining your business goals. Always ask these questions:

Are you after sales or just driving traffic to the website? Do you have a marketing funnel strategy that requires generating leads or recently published a new YouTube video that you want to show to more than 100,000 users over a week?

Google Ads has a handful of objectives that eases your decision-making when you create a campaign. 

objectives in a Google Ads campaign


Is important that you stick to the goals that is the most important for you at that time and commit to it for at least 6-8 months. Having a consistent campaign will help Google exit the learning phase and optimise the results and reach to the correct audience overtime.  Start low and gradually increase the budget if you are getting results.


Target Audience

We have seen many businesses that come to us and ask for audit on their Google Ads performance and the first issue we realise is that the audiences are not defined.

You want to reach users that are more likely to interact with your business. Building an audience profile and creating campaigns based on audience segmentation will improve the accuracy and relevancy of your ads. You can select or exclude audiences based on:

  • GEO location or postcodes
  • Interests or hobbies
  • In market for a certain products
  • Behaviours
  • Job professions
  • Age and gender
  • Lookalikes of your website or current clients

potential groups


Keyword Matching

The best method to get results on a low budget is to restrict the keywords as much as possible using exact match and only using keywords that are related to your product or service. Finding the correct keywords might be difficult at first so is necessary to do a keyword analysis and use the most relevant ones according to previous experience (and common sense).

A quick tip is to pause keywords with very high CPC or low conversions. If there are keywords that aren’t working and your budget is limited, you should pause them as soon as possible so they don’t eat up your account budget. 

In the image below you can see that the Bridges keyword has almost received 1,000 impressions but only got 5 clicks resulting in a very low CTR (Click Through Rate) and a high Cost of $6. The best practice is to stop or pause the keyword.

seo keywords

Building a Negative Keyword List

After you hit start on the campaigns make sure you check it after a week to pick up on keywords that are not reverent to your business or service. You can check the Search Terms to find out what exactly people have been searching for. If you find something that isn’t related to your product exclude it from the search terms and add to the negative lists. The more negative keywords you add the better chance of improving the relevancy of your campaigns.

Remarketing on Google Ads

The remarketing feature enables you to customise your display or YouTube ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they browse the web. 

Retargeting has been proven to increase the conversion rates as past website visitors are already familiar with the brand and are much more likely to become customers or take an action on the website compared to new audiences.

We constantly run low cost remarketing Display Ads for one of our Physio clients whenever they have a special offer. Even though the audience size is small the conversion rate is high.

Time Scheduling

Schedule your campaigns at the most profitable times and days. This method will make sure that you only reach users at times that you are more likely to provide service. If you don’t operate after hours and your website doesn’t have a functional lead capture form is best to avoid running ads past a certain hour or day. 

We can also go further with the reports and detect which days and hours are the most optimal to advertise and increase the bid on those days of the week or hours of the day.


Having a small business does not mean that you should settle for small results. If you are just starting out and every penny counts in the digital world then we are here to help you either through our teaching classes or our Google Ads services.


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Payam Golbaghi

Payam Golbaghi

Payam (also known as 'Cool one") is the Digital Marketing Team Leader at Social Media AOK. He loves numbers and believes that the secret to success is hidden in analytics.