Digital Marketing

How to Avoid Overspending and Underspending Your SEM Budget

How to Avoid Overspending and Underspending Your SEM Budget

One of the most challenging aspects of managing a campaign’s spending is ensuring that it is always within budget. Balancing your SEM budget can be one of the hardest parts of marketing management. It is common to spend more than you have to spend. Poor AdWords budget management can result in missed performance goals. It can also affect the decisions made by the people who put you in charge.

Issues That Lead to Adwords Overspending and Underspending 

Some of the most common factors that can cause poor budget management are the smallest miscalculations. Here’s how to tackle some of these biggest issues.

Budget Is Too Low

The main reason why businesses underspend on SEM is due to their budget being too low. This issue usually applies to both small and large businesses. Most of the time, they tend to set a very low budget for new projects and initiatives. This causes them to start experiencing performance issues. 

Additionally, having a small war chest makes it hard to bid on more relevant keywords. This will affect your impression share and reduce your chances of winning in an auction. If your budget is insufficient, use Auction Insights in Google Ads to see if it’s an issue.

Auction Insights will show you:

  • The ranking of your ads in search results 
  • The share of impressions your ads receive versus what they were allowed for 
  • How often did your competitors’ ads outperformed yours in auctions 
  • How often your ads appeared in the first position of search results

If your ads are underperforming on these metrics, then there’s a chance that they’re running out of budget. To fix this issue, you’ll need to increase or shrink the number of campaigns that you’re running.

Conversion Rate Is Low 

Another reason why you might underspend on SEM is if your conversion rate is low. Not using your full allocation can mean that you’re missing out on conversions and clicks. If your ad copy is not converting well in Auction Insights, then something is not working right with your targeting or ad copy. 

You can then see how many clicks were generated by each of the ad groups and remove those that aren’t generating enough clicks. You can also adjust your bid to prioritize audiences to get the most clicks.


The seasonal variation of search volume is a very important factor to understand when it comes to optimizing your PPC budget because it can affect your budget. It’s also a requirement to factor in seasonal variations into your budget planning.

With Google Trends, marketers can see how search volume changes over time and what the impact of those changes may be on their business. By typing in a target keyword, you can see the trends in search volume over time. You can also view long-term trends for the same query.

A screenshot of Google trends : explore what the world is searching

The rise in search volume and the competitive environment will give advertisers more opportunities to reach and spend their budget. It also marks a time when advertisers will bid more for clicks. This is also when they will be more competitive. 

If your search volume decreases during the seasonal season, it can affect your budget spend. It can be managed until the end of the year when your spending is under control. 

To solve this issue, try including more relevant keywords in your campaign targeting list. This could result in less qualified traffic and increase your CPA. You could also include more non-important keywords in your campaign targeting that help you get more budget allocated for the low volume months and less for the high volume months.

The daily budget in Google Ads is not a spending cap. It shows how much Google wants to spend each day. It’s the average spend that the algorithms want to shoot for. 

Sometimes, you’ll end up with a higher bid than expected, and other times, you’ll end up with a lower one. It’s common for advertisers to discover that they overspent their daily budget.

In 2017, Google changed the way daily budgets are handled. Previously, they were only allowed to spend 200% of their goal. This new feature confused advertisers and caused them to spend more than they intended.

It’s common for people to overbid in Google’s auctions, which can result in higher prices and a higher risk of getting charged for overbidding. So to fix this issue, you can adjust your budget to get more control over it.  

Low Ad Rank

If your ads aren’t performing well, you might be thinking of increasing your bid to get the ad position you want. However, it’s not the competition that’s the reason behind your poor ad rank but rather because you’re simply targeting bad keywords or audiences.

Here are some of Google Ads metrics to see if poor ad rank is causing you to overspend your budget:

  • Search lost IS (rank): The percentage of time that your ad didn’t appear due to poor ad rank.
  • Search lost IS (budget): The percentage of time that your ad didn’t appear is the reason why it didn’t show up. It tells us that your budget is already running low.

Many factors can affect the ad rank of a website. One of these is targeting less relevant keywords. Not only will this affect your click-through rate (CTR), it can also affect your Quality Score (QS).

You should also look at other factors such as ad copy, audiences, and targeting dimensions to see if they contribute to poor ad rank.

Dimensions with Poor ROI

Your goal as a PPC manager is to keep your costs as low as possible while still achieving the goals of your campaign. Yet, how much you need to spend for each conversion will vary depending on different factors, including location, ad schedule, device, and ROI.

By analyzing past campaigns, you may have found that the cost per conversion is lower on mobile devices than desktop computers. This indicates that you could adjust the number of clicks you bid for desktop computers.

You can identify bid adjustment opportunities by checking out the various metrics in Google Ads:

  • Click-through rate
  • Average cost per click
  • Cost/conversions
  • Conversion rate

You can also reduce your spending by optimizing your bids for audiences that have a good return on investment. Doing so will help improve your business’s bottom line.

Aggressive Bidding Strategy

It’s easy for PPC managers to get caught up in the diverse metrics that track campaign performance and forget about the goals they were meant to meet. 

Aggressive bidding is a strategy that involves bidding significantly higher than the competition, to get the top ad position in search results. This strategy can help you get noticed in the search results, but it can also lead to conversions.

Solutions for Adwords Budget Management

There are many ways to over-or under-spend your SEM budget. While there are ways to avoid this, implementing a consistent approach and monitoring campaign performance is the key to minimizing this issue.

Technology is key to optimizing your SEM budget. It can help you identify and avoid spending over and under budget.

Calculate your ideal CPC

It takes a lot of time and effort to set the best possible CPC ( cost per click ) for each keyword. The value of each keyword varies depending on its relevance and performance. It takes a lot of time and effort to set the best CPC for each keyword.

Google Ads is an automated bidding solution that works seamlessly with artificial intelligence. It lets you optimize your bids and minimize unnecessary ad spending.

There are many advantages of automation, such as reducing manual work and increasing efficiency. However, it can also lead to higher costs and require the use of a third-party tool. The data collected by Google properties are only used for AI purposes. With external technology, it can also collect and interpret other data points, such as historical revenue and LTV data.

Forecast in Paid Search Budget

Using budget forecasting technology can help you understand how spending will impact your performance. It can also help you identify areas where you can improve and where there are opportunities to reduce costs.

Google Ads Technology can help you to forecast CPC. Go to keyword planner, then click “get search volume and forecasts” to see for yourself.

Screenshot of google ads: find new keywords or get search volume and forecasts

Load the keywords you want and the Keyword Planner will return forecasting statistics:

Statistics in Google ads if you search in keywords

The report includes detailed information about your campaigns, such as average cost per thousand impressions, cost per click, and multiple other factors.

Creating accurate forecasts helps you identify the areas of your budget where you can improve and avoid wasting. 

Some third-party bid automation solutions have forecasting features that can help you create a more accurate and detailed forecast.

Automated Bid Adjustments

Improvement of the targeting audiences and dimensions is a huge opportunity to lower wasted ad spend. There are many ways to achieve this, and it can be done in many different ways.

By hand setting bid adjustments, you can easily make mistakes and get lost in the details. Still, this strategy can help you identify the optimal bid changes and the right ones can help you take full advantage of these opportunities.

The Main Point

The key to achieving success in the PPC world is staying on top of your spending.

Every aspect of your campaign and many factors can affect how well you spend your budget. With the help of automation technology, you can manage all these factors and get more out of your budget.

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