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Selecting The Right Budget for Your PPC Campaign

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Matt Green

In the initial stages of making the decision to advertise on paid search one of the decisions to make is to determine what your paid search budget should look like. A number of factors would need to play into this decision.

To start you would need to develop a rough keyword list. Once this list is developed you are able to load those keywords into the Google Keyword planner that you can find under the Tools header in the Google AdWords system:

Tools in Google Adwords

When in the tool you will have a number of options. This tool can help you build your keyword list to generate an estimated spend, or you could take the list you generated and run it through the “Plan your budget and get insights for keywords” section of the tool. In this section you would enter the keywords or upload a file, adjust the targeting elements and then click the button “get forecasts”.


So now what? You get the estimate back but it could be astronomical. Remember that these estimates are based on the geography you entered, competition on those keywords and what it takes to be in position number 1, which is not always necessary.

Once you have this data though – you do have an idea of what the CPC’s look like for the keywords you think are relevant to your campaign. Based on this CPC data you can then determine your budget. So for example if the average CPC is $10 a click and you budget $500 a month, that equates to 50 clicks a month which would average out to 1.644 clicks a day. In this scenario you are hit and miss. With only 1 – 2 clicks a day how can you ensure effectiveness of your campaign? What if those two clicks are done before your office doors even open?

So now what? In this scenario if the estimate for the targeting you set indicates that it could deliver 50 clicks a day in the top position for those keywords, then you at least need to try and budget for a 1/3rd of that estimate to even see if the campaign can be effective. This is taking into consideration that you will likely add a lot more keywords prior to launch and during the first few days / weeks of the launch and that you’re bidding may not be in position 1. So the recommendation would be: 17 clicks a day at $10 per click = $170 a day or $5,168 in adspend a month.

Key takeaways

You need to know the average CPC that it will cost for the top position on Google
You need to at least be at a 1/3rd of that traffic to ensure enough data collection to determine whether the campaign is effective or not.

Scale up or down based on the scenario above, but at the end of the day if the estimate comes out to only a couple of clicks a day I would recommend you invest your dollars elsewhere because you will not be giving search an opportunity to flourish as it can.