Avoid a depleted daily budget

If you have a limited budget, you want to make the most of every cent you spend on your advertising campaign. When your budget is limited, your ad might not show as frequently as you'd like -- or might not show at all. Instead of discontinuing your campaigns and missing out on clicks, or spending more than you can comfortably afford, we'll share some techniques for spending your budget more effectively:
  • Lower your bids for campaigns that are "limited by budget," potentially reducing the average cost per click.
  • Let AdWords automatically bid for you to get as many clicks as possible with your campaign's current daily budget.
  • Choose "Standard delivery" for your ads, instead of "Accelerated delivery."
  • Look at the recommended budget to estimate how a different budget could improve your performance.

Lower your bids in campaigns that are "limited by budget"

While counterintuitive, slightly lowering your bids in campaigns that are "limited by budget" could potentially help you earn more clicks. Lowering bids for budget-constrained campaigns could reduce the average amount you pay when someone clicks your ads, with the potential for your budget to go further and get more clicks. Lowering bids too much, however, could result in fewer clicks if your bids are no longer competitive. If you choose to decrease your bids, check your campaign a few days later to ensure that you haven't lowered your bids too much. Learn how to edit your bid

Let AdWords automatically bid for you

An alternative to lowering your bids yourself is to allow AdWords to automatically adjust your bids for you. When AdWords automatically sets bids for you, changing your keyword or placement maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bids, it'll still stay within a target daily budget that you've set for that campaign. Learn more about automatic bidding

How to allow AdWords to automatically bid on your behalf

Note: Automatic bidding isn't available with the following features:

  1. Click the Settings tab within the campaign you want to edit.
  2. Scroll to the "Bid strategy" section and choose "AdWords will set my bids to help maximize clicks within my target budget" Select Bidding and Budget
  3. Enter a daily budget for your campaign. Set a daily budget
  4. Click Save and continue.

Change your delivery method from "Accelerated" to "Standard"

Think of "Accelerated delivery" like jet fuel. It's likely to use up your campaign's daily budget early in the day by showing your ads more quickly until your budget is reached. "Standard delivery" is like a slow-burning candle. The delivery of your ads is spread more evenly throughout the day.

If you're using manual bidding, by default your campaign will be set to "Standard delivery." It's not possible to use "Accelerated delivery" with automatic bidding.

How to change your delivery method
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at http://adwords.google.com
  2. Select the Settings tab within the campaign you want to edit.
  3. In the "Bidding and budget" section, click + Delivery method (advanced) and then click the Edit link. Delivery method
  4. Choose "Standard: Show ads evenly over time." Select delivery method
  5. Click Save.

Find your campaign's "recommended budget"

AdWords shows recommended budgets for campaigns that repeatedly meet their daily budget but have the potential to earn more clicks and impressions. You can use them to estimate how a new budget may improve the visibility of your campaign's ads. The recommendations are based on a detailed analysis of your campaign's performance from the past 15 days, along with the other factors listed below:

  • Recent campaign performance
  • Current campaign budget
  • Keyword list
  • Campaign targeting settings

AdWords won't display a recommended daily budget if you rarely meet your daily budget, or if your campaign has limited data. If you don't see a recommended budget, and you know your ads aren't being shown as often as they could because your budget is limited, you might want to consider raising your budget to an amount that you're comfortable with.

How to find your campaign's recommended budget
  1. Select the Settings tab within the campaign you want to edit.
  2. Next to "Budget," click Edit. Edit your daily campaign budget
  3. Click View Recommended Budget. View your recommended budget.
  4. Review the recommended new daily budget, if there is one, including any guidance regarding potential traffic. When you decide what your new budget will be, enter the new amount.
  5. Click Save.
How budget recommendations are calculated

Budget recommendations are based on keywords and determined by how many times your ad could've shown in total if you had a limitless budget. In other words, AdWords looks at how often your ad wasn't eligible to show based on your budget limitations.

AdWords then compares this potential number of impressions to how often someone actually clicks your ads (your clickthrough rate, or CTR) and how much your clicks have actually cost (your actual cost per click, or CPC). This shows how much your budget would have to be to better accommodate the traffic available to you.

To take into account that search traffic and costs can fluctuate, your budget recommendation combines estimates from each day separately. This means that even if your business is cyclical – i.e. you typically see spikes in traffic throughout the week – the recommended budget relies on the average amount of traffic.

Although we can calculate what your budget has to be to cover all possible traffic, we won't necessarily recommend the full amount to you. Your recommended budget tries to capture more ad impressions without drastically changing your budget.

Example

If your current daily budget is $10 and we see it would need to be $100 to capture all possible traffic, your recommended amount may be less, such as $20 (the amount can vary depending on your current budget and potential traffic).

Next steps