How to Manage Your Google Ads Account Budget for Lower Spend Accounts 

The never-ending challenge that comes with the territory of being a SME (small-medium business) is trying to generate traffic to your site. More traffic to your site means more potential sales, which is the goal as a small business owner, right? Sounds simple enough, but now the question stands: how will you gain that traffic on your shoe-string budget? There is this fine line of investing money into Google Ads to gain more traffic without taking a giant chomp out of your profits.  

You don’t want to ignore Google Ads because they have proven to be affected, but you also don’t want to be throwing money at them at a rate of being unable to keep up. Ad strategy comes with many factors: 

  • Negative keywords 
  • Optimization of your CPA (cost-per-action) 
  • ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) 
  • Tracking them effectively 

Although these are all excellent places to keep an eye on, it is essential to pay attention to your Google Ads budget. Your Google Ads budget will give you a great idea of how you are performing and if you need to adjust your budget accordingly. 

What Does it Mean to Budget in Google Ads? 

Budgeting in your Google Ads account is not a simple number of what you have spent on Ads. Instead, you can dive much deeper into your Google Ads Account to see what is performing well and where your money is allotted. We like to ask the questions of how, where, optimize, and limitations.  

  • HOW much are you spending on a month-to-month basis? 
  • Do you know WHERE your money is being spent? 
  • Are there areas that the performance for the best ROI (return on investment) can be  OPTIMIZED by your budget? 
  • Are there areas that are losing potential traffic because your budget is too low? What is being LIMITED BY BUDGET

Please don’t allow any of these areas to go unnoticed because they can cause a significant dent in your budget.  

Google Ads and Daily Budgets 

There is a grey area when it comes to Google Ads and daily budgets. Even though there is no straightforward way to track your daily budget for Google Ads, there are the features of dayparting or budget scheduling scripts that can be utilized to manage your spending.  

It can be tricky to set a ‘daily budget’ within the Google Ads interface, and here’s why. 

If you set a budget for $50 a day, you would think that Google Ads would only spend up to $50 per day on ads. Unfortunately, this is not the case. When you specify your daily budget, Google uses this as the AVERAGE daily spend over a month. This means Google Ads will not spend more than $1,520 in 30.4 days if we are precise. Some days Google Ads will pay $50 per day, and others can double it to $100 per day, but at the end of the month, no more than $1,520 will be spent. The AVERAGE DAILY BUDGET is something to keep in mind with running Google Ads.  

What is your Projected Spend? 

Within your Google Ads account, if you suddenly are aware of an amount that is an ‘overspend’ that is above your $50 per day budget, then there is a way to double-check how much will be spent for the month. First, go to the campaigns list of your account and simply hover your mouse over the budget amount. Once hovered over the budget amount, it will then tell you how much will be spent for the month on the campaign.  

If you change the amount of your budget during the month, then Google will change the estimate for the remainder of the month. This means that if you already spent more than $50 per day and are only 12 days into the month, then you might want to adjust the amount to $20-$30 per day. This will help achieve the monthly spend you want.  

Changes to your Budget Mid Month 

Be aware that if you change your monthly budget from $1,000 to $2,000 in the middle of the month (let’s say 20 days in), which translates to a daily budget from $50 to $150, then Google will create a new average, only based on the last ten days of the month. This will make a total of $2,500 for the month. 

Google Ads and Shared Budgets 

If you have multiple campaigns, then shared budgets are an excellent way to track your budget across all of your campaigns. See the example below for how it will look across five campaigns for a daily view of Ad spend.

When trying to keep a handle on multiple campaigns and figuring out how to keep all of them within your monthly budget, it can be tricky. This is why shared budgets can become handy when managing 20 accounts. You can create a budget and apply it across all of your campaigns instead of each one separately. This will help you keep your daily budgets in check throughout all campaigns in your Google Ads account. 

Shared Budgets Comes With a Problem 

Performance can be affected negatively when using shared budgets which can hurt you even more, especially when you need to stick to a smaller budget. For example, let’s say you spend $100 per day across five campaigns like below.

Campaign 2 is the busiest, using 48% of your daily budget, and campaigns 1 and 3 are only spending $10.00 each per day. However, just because campaigns 1 and 3 are only using $10.00 each per day does not mean that that is the only traffic available. It just means that campaign two is taking up most of the budget, which negatively affects campaigns 1 and 3 to meet their full impressions potential.  

It’s essential not to have your spread budgets spread too thinly because even though a campaign might be well within the daily budget spend, its performance can be hurt because it’s leaving potential traffic reach on the table.

Why ‘Limited by Budget’ Can Hurt Your Business 

Have you ever encountered the red notice that says ‘Limited by Budget’ within your campaigns? If you have, then it’s time to re-check your budget and consider increasing your daily Ad spend because what that means is that you are reaching more impressions than what your budget is set for, which in turn, is limiting your impressions and negatively affects your clicks.

It’s essential to check your competitive metrics and look at the ‘Search lost IS (budget)’ to see what is happening. The percentage provided simply means that the number of impressions is lost because of your limited budget. That can potentially be a lot of traffic being lost based on the percentage.

Budget Limitations Affect Efficiency 

Have you heard of the term smart bidding? If not, you should do some research on smart bidding because it’s Google’s strategy that ultimately produces the results that you will want. The strategy of Google’s Smart Bidding is basically what will save you time and money.

Your budget is what will affect smart bidding success. If your budget is not enough to reach all potential searches, then smart bidding will not work for you and, in turn, hurt your advertising and traffic. Your CPC (cost-per-click) is also affected, so your limited budget will start to deteriorate your efficiency and eventually your volume as well. Make sure your budget is enough to help run smart bidding properly.

Budget Limitations and Solutions 

Does any of this that we discussed sound familiar? Are you losing potential traffic because your budget is being spread too thin across all of your campaigns? Here are some simple solutions. 

Increase Your Ad Budget 

It sounds simple, but unfortunately, this might not be an option for most. If you can increase your Ad budget, then Google provides information of where you can strategically place your funds based on performance. Find the budget estimator, and click on the icon which is next to the campaign budget.  

Move Your Budget Around 

As discussed prior, your daily spend budget does not equate to what is spent per day. If you notice an Ad campaign is only paying $20 per day out of the $50 budget, then move that $30 to the campaign that needs it the most so it has the potential to hit peak performance. 

Limit Your Targeting 

If you are unable to increase your budget or allocate your budget between campaigns, then it may be time to look at your target audience and see if it can be adjusted. Some ways to do this are: 

  • Smaller Region: Instead of targeting the whole UK, adjust your target to a smaller geographical area. 
  • Activity: If you are active all day, every day, maybe look into reducing your hours only when your performance is better. 
  • Broad Match Keywords: Instead of using broad match keywords, it can help decrease your costs if you use exact match keywords or phrases that your audience will most likely use.  

Try Reducing Your Bids 

If you want to get more clicks from the same budget, then reduce your max cost-per-click (CPC) and be aware this can affect your impressions. As a result, your impressions can decrease, which will result in fewer clicks.  

Pause Some Campaigns 

Try to narrow down the priority service or product you want your customer to find and focus on. For example, You would rather have one or two campaigns doing very well than having multiple campaigns performing poorly.  


There are many ways to utilize Google Ads with a shoe-string budget effectively. It comes down to the most products or services you want to target, scaling down your audience reach, working with Google’s Smart Bidding, and making sure your Ads are not spread too thinly. Budgeting is an essential factor about your Google Ads, which often gets overlooked. It’s time to open up your Google Ads account and start looking at numbers and seeing where there is room for improvement.  

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