by Ryan Bardo
Planning a budget for a paid search campaign (PPC) is not as simple as taking 30 minutes to run keywords through Google’s keyword estimator tool. A company that is launching a Google Adwords campaign has some leg work to do before they establish a true budget. Google has tools out there to ballpark cost per click (CPC), but they are rough estimators at best. The CPC estimate tools do not take into account ad performance, quality score, and landing page, which all have an impact on cost. So how do you accurately plan a budget for an Adwords search marketing campaign?
- Build a specific ad group with a relevant keyword niche
- Launch the ad group for about 2-3 days (low traffic terms take about a week)
- Pause the campaign and analyze the actual data (Real Data)
- Forecast based on actual CPC’s
This method will burn a couple hundred dollars, but it makes a world of difference when a company is trying to properly plan their ad budget. The takeaway here is to plan your campaigns based on actual data in lieu of estimated data that is null 90% of the time. There is no substitute for forecasting with good data. I’m surprised at how many of our prospective clients and partners use bad data to make decisions, and don’t even realize that the data they are using is contaminated. Using this method will provide you with good data to plug into an excel spreadsheet that can forecast cost, transaction values, and ROI. I’ve provided a link to an excel template we use to plan online marketing budgets. If anyone has any questions about the form just leave a comment or give me a call.