Low Cost Google Paid Search Management: Tips & Tricks for Small Companies with Small Budgets

Low Cost Google Paid Search Management: Tips & Tricks for Small Companies with Small Budgets

To run low cost, but highly effective Google paid search campaigns, the Palmetto Digital Marketing Group which offers digital services throughout the coastal low country, including the Charleston SC, Myrtle Beach SC and Savannah GA regions, suggests that your organization use these simple, but highly effective management tips and tricks to get the most bang for your PPC marketing buck. 


Google offers advertising on both the search and display networks, we suggest starting off just on the search network. You can expand into display search down the road. 


If you are a small community bank in Charleston SC, refrain from bidding on the keyword ” US banks” instead focus on regionally applicable keywords, for example –  keywords such as “local banks in Charleston SC”, or “local banks + low country region.”


Negative keywords are a critical aspect of effective campaign management. Here’s an example of how to best use negative keywords, if you are a  car dealer in Savannah GA that “only” sells brand new cars, make sure you set “used” as a negative keyword within you Ad Campaign. Doing so will ensure that your AD “not”appear when a user types in  “used cars for sale in Savannah GA.”


In Google Adwords you can set your campaigns to run by city, state, market area, and country. Make sure you run your segmentation reports to gain insights regarding campaign performance.

Additionally, geotargeting will allow you to effectively run local search adword campaigns. What is the primary difference between national search and local search?  National search campaigns target the nation for relevant search queries. Whereas local search, targets local areas.  Here’s a good example for using local search.  A retail surf shop storefront in Myrtle Beach SC which does not have a website site, and only sells locally out of their storefront would use local search or targeted searches by zip code or searches that target the state of South Carolina to drive traffic to their store front or create call leads. 


When you run your search query report, Google will provide you with the “exact” search term used within the search query. Why is this important? Through your conversion tracking, you will get metrics and insights into keyword performance. When you identify keywords that perform well, you can add these keywords to your account, and grow your keyword list and grow leads.

Conversely, this report will show poor performing keywords. Once you identify poor performing keywords, you can add these keywords to you negative keyword list. This a great tool and will help your overall ROI.


I had mentioned conversion tracking above. What is conversion tracking? If you are an ecommerce store or generate online leads, you can identify which keywords create a sale or lead. Conversion tracking gives you performance at a granular keyword level. When you set up conversion tracking, you will not only see how your keywords contribute at the keyword level, but you will see how specific keywords impact your ad group and campaign performance as well.  Again, this is a great tool for identifying performing and non performing keywords. Using conversion tracking also allows you to better manage your ROI and will save you money!


You have 2 ad delivery options, they are standard (ads show evenly over time) and accelerated (ads show quickly, and more often and your budget may run out sooner). 

If you have a small budget and want to make sure your ads show all day and night, we recommend standard. 

However – if your goal is to drive as much traffic as possible and budget is not a significant factor, we recommend showing accelerated. 

Note: one pitfall of using standard delivery is the potential of not showing an ad to every relevant search.  Here’s an example, Joe’s Burger Joint in Charleston SC sells the best burgers in town. Joe’s Burger Joint  runs Google search campaigns to drive traffic in complementing his SEO efforts.  He uses the standard delivery option, his budget is only $15 per day.  A potential tourist, searches for best burgers in Charleston SC – but Joe’s burgers Ad did not show.   Why did Joe’s Burger Joint  Ad “not” show?  Because Joe’s Burger Joint had his campaigns set at standard delievery, because of this, every “potential” Ad was not delivered to all “potential” searches, this was due to budgeting and his selected delivery method criteria (remember standard shows Ads evenly, meaning that not all Ads are shown to every search query).  Joe’s Burger Joint missed the customer search and the customer went  to another burger restaurant. 


Not all devices are equal or perform equally. By default, adwords campaigns are set to run on all devices.  Device criterias are laptop/computer, tablet, and mobile device.  We’ve seen cases in which desktops performed better (apparel retailer) and we’ve seen examples when  mobile devices performed better (national flower company). If you set your Google campaigns to enhanced settings, you can adjust bids by device, we strongly recommend this, as you can adjust your spend %’s based off of device performance!


This is critical to any campaign’s success. The different match type definitions below are provide by Google:

“Broad match allows your ad to show for searches on similar phrases and relevant variations, including synonyms, singular and plural forms, possible misspellings

Broad match modifier allows your ad to show for searches that include your broad match keyword or close variations of your broad match keyword. 
• Example: +adopt +kitten 

Phrase match allows your ad to show only for searches that include the exact phrase, or close variations of that exact phrase, with additional words before or after. 

• Example: “adopt a kitten” 

Exact match allows your ad to show only for searches that use that exact phrase, or close variations of that exact phrase, and no other words. 
• Example: [adopt a kitten]”

It’s imperative that you both setup and test the different match types offered by Google Adwords. Our research and results have shown that match type effectiveness various by keyword and search query.  In addition, in most cases, match types offer separate  keyword bid cost.  So using keyword match types effectively can work to more cost savings and better campaign ROI. 

We hope you find this information helpful. These tips and tricks are a great way to run lean and mean search marketing campaigns. 


We offer digital marketing, web design and eCommerce management services to companies throughout the low country, including Charleston, Savannah & Myrtle Beach regions. Think of us as the digital marketing extension of your company. Our motto is “we do digital, so you don’t have too.”