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Verify Your Google Business Profile With Video Verification

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Verify Your Google Business Profile With Video Verification

Verification is an important step in properly setting up a Google Business Profile (GBP).

Before your GBP will become visible to the public and you can do all the fun things with your profile – like creating posts, responding to reviews, updating your profile, and more – you must first verify it.

Screenshot from Google Business Profile, August 2022

When a business (i.e., merchant) sets up a Google Business Profile, Google offers a method (or sometimes several ways) to verify the profile.

This verification process helps Google ensure that the business is a real and legitimate business that is eligible for a GBP and meets Google’s guidelines for representing your business on Google.

In an ideal world, Google would actually visit each and every location with a GBP to make sure the business is real and meets all guidelines.

But that, obviously, is not possible.

One of the ways Google can verify a business is through video verification. Video verification is the next best thing to actually visiting a business.

It’s almost like a “digital in-person” check-in on the business.

The video allows Google to actually see the company and more details about the business.

Google’s video verification method tries to authenticate and confirm legitimate businesses and (hopefully) weed out spammy and fake listings that could inundate the Local Pack, Local Finder, and Google Maps and confuse or hurt consumers.

Various Verification Methods

As mentioned, Google provides several ways to verify your business.

It’s important to note that Google decides which verification method a merchant must use to verify its GBP.

Businesses do not get to choose the method of verification – Google picks the verification method for them.

Verification by postcards with PIN numbers used to be the typical method of GBP verification.

But this seems to be changing, and businesses are receiving other ways to verify their Business Profiles.

In February 2022, verifying businesses by postcards sent in the mail was listed first when Google outlined the verification process.

Google Help Document - Postcard VerificationScreenshot from Google, February 2022

However, by July 2022, verification via postcard was bumped down to last on the verification methods list:

Verification MethodsScreenshot from Google, July 2022

This might be a signal that Google is moving towards other ways to verify GBPs, and that merchants should be prepared to verify their listings in ways other than just postcards – like phone, text, email, live video call, and video recording verification.

Why Video Verification?

Google is trying hard to ensure that the GBPs set up are legitimate businesses meeting Google’s guidelines.

With the video verification process, Google is trying to garner the following information:

  • Existence: Is this a genuine/real business? Does it exist?
  • Geographic location: Is the business located where the Business Profile says it is located? (It isn’t easy to film a video of a bookstore in New York City and pretend that it’s a bookstore in London.)
  • User integrity: Is this an authentic company? Is it a real merchant? Google is trying to determine if someone is attempting to commit fraud.
  • Affiliation: Is this merchant actually associated with the business? Do they have the authority to represent the business?

When businesses submit video evidence that proves and shows these things, Google operators can review the video to determine if the evidence presented is strong enough to verify that the business is located where it says it is, performs the work it claims it does, and more.

What Is The Google Business Profile Video Verification Process?

Google offers numerous ways for businesses to verify their GBP, but Google decides which way (or ways) each merchant must verify.

As a business owner, you must verify via the method Google chooses for you.

However, if you absolutely cannot verify via the method offered, you can reach out to the Google Business Profile Support team and see if they can provide you with another way to verify your GBP. An example of this would be if you are asked to verify via text and you only have a landline.

When you get to the verification process, you may be asked to perform the video verification process.

Verify Via VideoScreenshot from Google Business Profile, July 2022

To go through the video verification process, you’ll need a mobile device with a camera.

If you get this verification option, it’s important that you understand the rationale for the video verification.

You should know what needs to be included in the video, so the Google operator reviewing it is convinced that your company exists and does what it says it does. The operator must also be convinced the person taking the video is associated with the business.

They will also want to verify that the geographical location matches the location of the business as listed in its GBP.

It’s also important to follow the on-screen instructions and plan everything out before you start recording the video. Since the video must be done in one continuous video, planning ahead is crucial!

In the video verification process, Google asks the business owner (or someone with authority to represent the business) to create a short, continuous video that provides evidence that the business is an actual, legitimate business.

The video should be short and to the point.

Each video is manually reviewed by a Google employee and is meant to simulate an in-person visit to the business.

Google doesn’t ask you to share anything sensitive – like people’s faces or documents that contain confidential information.

These videos are kept private and are only used for verification purposes.

Don’t worry; It will never be published and can be deleted anytime.

Planning Your Video For Business Profile Video Verification

Before you actually shoot your video, you should plan out what you are going to show in the video, who will be in it, and who will record it.

Next, you’ll want to ensure you cover the items necessary to convince Google that your business is legitimate.

Here are the types of things you want to be sure to show in your video.

Keep in mind that these items do not have to be shown in any particular order – they just all must be shown in the video to prove that your business is real.

Show That Your Business Exists

For this part of the video, you need to show proof that your business exists, where it is located geographically, and other items that prove it’s a legitimate business.

Get verified with videoScreenshot from Google Business Profile, August 2022

It’s important to show the exterior and interior of your company’s building in the video.

If you’re a storefront business, you must show the outside of the building, as well as the permanent signage on the exterior and any signage/branding inside the building.

Also include the location, relevant street signs, and other nearby businesses, so Google can get an idea of where you’re geographically located.

Don’t show unmarked roads or land – that will not help Google establish your location.

Showing your outdoor signage is a must if you have a storefront location (i.e., a storefront location is when local customers visit your place of business, you have permanent signage, and you must have employees staffed at the business location during stated business hours.)

Permanent signage is a requirement for storefront businesses. Vinyl banners or other temporary signs do not count as permanent signage.

If you do not have permanent signage, you do not qualify as a storefront.

Pan your video next door and across the street to show the businesses nearby so Google can double-check with Google Maps and Streetview to ensure that your business is located where you claim it is.

Show surrounding businessesImage from author, August 2022

It’s also vital to walk into your building and show the inside of your company so Google sees that it’s a legitimate business – and not just empty rooms.

Any time you can show your company’s branding on the walls – like in the lobby or entryway – it’s great to show those types of things in the video.

If you work in an office building with multiple floors and many businesses, be sure to show the office building’s business directory pointing out your company’s listing and suite number.

If you have any professional tools that you use, marketing materials, or company branding, be sure to show those in the video as well.

If you’re a Service Area Business (SAB), you will need to show any tools of the trade that you use to perform your work for clients in the video.

For instance, if you are a solar company, you should show the solar panels you install, any installation equipment you use, branded trucks, ladders, any heavy equipment you use, tools of the trade that you have stored, etc.

Are you a lawn care company? Show all your lawnmowing equipment, trimmers, leaf blowers, etc. (The average Joe at home won’t have 10 commercial lawnmowers, for instance – but you do!)

It’s also vital to show your service vehicles with the branding on them. (A video showing a plain white van will not be acceptable.)

So, ensure that your service vehicles are branded with your company name and logo and are seen clearly in the video.

Show Geographic Location

Google wants to know that your business is located where your GBP says it is located. The Google operator needs to be convinced that the company in the video is in the same geographical location as in Google Maps.

If you’re a storefront business, you can show street signs near your business, pan over, and show adjacent companies near your company. However, showing Google a vacant lot where your business should be will not instill confidence that you are a legitimate business.

Show street signsImage by author, August 2022

If you operate your SAB out of your home, show the street signs, your home with your street number on it, your mailbox, and any other things that prove your address.

Show User Integrity: Prove You’re A Real Business

One way to prove you have a real business is by showing items in the video that only a real business like yours would have.

Get verified with video stepsScreenshot from Google Business Profile, July 2022

For example, showing a generic software application on your computer screen will not convince Google that you’re a legitimate business.

Show professional software and your setupImage by author, August 2022

However, if your company uses specific software to operate your business, like if you’re an accountant and you use professional accounting software, you’re a veterinarian and you use software specifically developed for vets’ offices, or you’re a digital marketer or design firm that creates videos or podcasts for clients using a tool like Camtasia, then showing that software on your computer screen and your audio/video setup in the video would help prove to Google that you are legit.

Camtasia ScreenshotScreenshot from Camtasia, August 2022

If you’re a Service Area Business, showing your work van with equipment in the back of the truck in the video is very helpful and useful for the Google operator as they are reviewing your video to determine the legitimacy of your company.

Affiliation: Is The Merchant Real?

For this part of the video, you need to prove that the company is real and that the merchant is actually affiliated with the company and has the authority to represent the business.

That’s why it’s so important that the person in the video is either the owner or manager.

Get verified with video stepsScreenshot of Google Business Profile, July 2022

If you have a storefront business, in the video, you need to show that you have access to employee-only locations or sections of the business.

For instance, show you opening the store/business using a key, operating the cash register, using the POS system, going into an area of the business where customers or the general public aren’t allowed, etc.

This part of the video aims to show that the person is either the owner or an authorized person who has authority over the location.

Showing the person unlocking the business door is a very important item to show in the video.

Unlocking DoorImage by author, August 2022

You also want to go to places in your business where the general public is not allowed.

For instance, if you own a restaurant, customers are not allowed to be behind the counter near the cash register or take out food. Showing this in the video is a great proof of management.

If you have a business license, liquor license, or any other official/legal document hanging on the wall, zoom in on it. This is especially important if the document shows your business name and address as shown on your Google Business Profile. (Ideally, everything should match!)

If you operate a Service Area Business, you will need to show access to any industry-specific software, open up your branded vehicle and show the equipment or tools you use to perform the jobs you do. You can also show your team performing a job at a customer’s site using the tools-of-the-trade.

Branded vehicle showing equipmentImage by author, August 2022

If you’re a SAB and run your business out of your home or out of a building that is used for storage and not accessible to customers, also take a video of the outside of the building, show the nearby street signs, and the number on the building.

Be sure to take a video of you unlocking the door.

You can also show close-ups of any business licenses, Secretary of State documents, LLC or incorporation docs, or any other official documents that prove your company’s name and address.

Just zoom in on the documents so Google can see them. Again, the business name and address must match what’s on your Google Business Profile.

Note: If you get the video verification option and are not ready to do the video at that moment, no worries! You can complete the verification step when you’re able to – like in a day or so after you’ve had time to plan out what you’ll show in the video.

Completing The Video Verification Process

When you’re taking the video, it’s okay to put these items in whichever order makes sense for your particular situation – just make sure you cover all of the necessary requirements.

Remember, the video must be one continuous video. It cannot be recorded somewhere else and then uploaded.

The video must be created using the Google Business Profile video verification process.

If you started creating your Google Business Profile on a desktop computer, when you get to the video verification step, you will see a QR code that you can scan with your mobile device.

This allows you to continue the video verification process on your mobile device – like a smartphone or tablet with a camera. Just make sure you’re signed in with your Google Business Profile email address on your mobile device.

Scan CodeScreenshot from Google Business Profile, July 2022

When you’re ready to start recording your video, tap Start Recording.

Start RecordingScreenshot from Google Business Profile, July 2022

And then, follow the steps to record your video.

Get verified with videoScreenshot of Google Business Profile, July 2022

After you have recorded the video, tap Stop Recording. The merchant can then choose to finish onboarding on a desktop or your mobile device. (Finishing on your mobile device is probably the simplest choice.)

Click the “Upload Video” button.

Since the video is all created in the app, you don’t have to worry about how large the video file size is. (Whew!)

Upload your videoScreenshot of Google Business Profile, July 2022

Then click Done.

After you submit your video, it can take up to five days until the Google Business Profile support team reviews your video. Do not delete the video until it’s been reviewed and you’ve received the notification that your Business Profile has been verified.

If, for some reason, the video verification method didn’t work, you will see the “Get Verified” button in your Google Business Profile. You can then try a different way to verify your profile.

Once you’re done with your video, you can delete the video if you want to.

To delete the video, follow these steps:

  • On Google Search, go to your Business Profile. Learn how to find your profile.
  • At the top right, click More (the three dots) Advanced settings > Video uploadsDelete videos.

Then you’re done! You’re now able to continue optimizing your Google Business Profile and engage with your potential customers!

Video Verification: A Better Way

Even though video verification may seem more cumbersome, it’s a much better way for Google to see whether or not a business is real – or not.

This will hopefully cut down on the spam profiles we see on Google.

What are your thoughts on Google Business Profile Video Verification?

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What Is It & How To Write It

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What Is It & How To Write It

In this guide, you will learn about alternative text (known as alt text): what it is, why it is important for on-page SEO, how to use it correctly, and more.

It’s often overlooked, but every image on your website should have alt text. More information is better, and translating visual information into text is important for search engine bots attempting to understand your website and users with screen readers.

Alt text is one more source of information that relates ideas and content together on your website.

This practical and to-the-point guide contains tips and advice you can immediately use to improve your website’s image SEO and accessibility.

What Is Alt Text?

Alternative text (or alt text) – also known as the alt attribute or the alt tag (which is not technically correct because it is not a tag) – is simply a piece of text that describes the image in the HTML code.

What Are The Uses Of Alt Text?

The original function of alt text was simply to describe an image that could not be loaded.

Many years ago, when the internet was much slower, alt text would help you know the content of an image that was too heavy to be loaded in your browser.

Today, images rarely fail to load – but if they do, then it is the alt text you will see in place of an image.

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal, May 2024

Alt text also helps search engine bots understand the image’s content and context.

More importantly, alt text is critical for accessibility and for people using screen readers:

  • Alt text helps people with disabilities (for example, using screen readers) learn about the image’s content.

Of course, like every element of SEO, it is often misused or, in some cases, even abused.

Let’s now take a closer look at why alt text is important.

Why Alt Text Is Important

The web and websites are a very visual experience. It is hard to find a website without images or graphic elements.

That’s why alt text is very important.

Alt text helps translate the image’s content into words, thus making the image accessible to a wider audience, including people with disabilities and search engine bots that are not clever enough yet to fully understand every image, its context, and its meaning.

Why Alt Text Is Important For SEO

Alt text is an important element of on-page SEO optimization.

Proper alt text optimization makes your website stand a better chance of ranking in Google image searches.

Yes, alt text is a ranking factor for Google image search.

Depending on your website’s niche and specificity, Google image search traffic may play a huge role in your website’s overall success.

For example, in the case of ecommerce websites, users very often start their search for products with a Google image search instead of typing the product name into the standard Google search.

Screenshot from search for [Garmin forerunner]Screenshot from search for [Garmin forerunner], May 2024

Google and other search engines may display fewer product images (or not display them at all) if you fail to take care of their alt text optimization.

Without proper image optimization, you may lose a lot of potential traffic and customers.

Why Alt Text Is Important For Accessibility

Visibility in Google image search is very important, but there is an even more important consideration: Accessibility.

Fortunately, in recent years, more focus has been placed on accessibility (i.e., making the web accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and/or using screen readers).

Suppose the alt text of your images actually describes their content instead of, for example, stuffing keywords. In that case, you are helping people who cannot see this image better understand it and the content of the entire web page.

Let’s say one of your web pages is an SEO audit guide that contains screenshots from various crawling tools.

Would it not be better to describe the content of each screenshot instead of placing the same alt text of “SEO audit” into every image?

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Alt Text Examples

Finding many good and bad examples of alt text is not difficult. Let me show you a few, sticking to the above example with an SEO audit guide.

Good Alt Text Examples

So, our example SEO guide contains screenshots from tools such as Google Search Console and Screaming Frog.

Some good examples of alt text may include:

”The
”Google
”List
”Screaming

Tip: It is also a good idea to take care of the name of your file. Using descriptive file names is not a ranking factor, but I recommend this as a good SEO practice.

Bad And/Or Spammy Alt Text Examples

I’ve also seen many examples of bad alt text use, including keyword stuffing or spamming.

Here is how you can turn the above good examples into bad examples:

”google search console coverage report
”google
”seo
”seo

As you can see, the above examples do not provide any information on what these images actually show.

You can also find examples and even more image SEO tips on Google Search Central.

Common Alt Text Mistakes

Stuffing keywords in the alt text is not the only mistake you can make.

Here are a few examples of common alt text mistakes:

  • Failure to use the alt text or using empty alt text.
  • Using the same alt text for different images.
  • Using very general alt text that does not actually describe the image. For example, using the alt text of “dog” on the photo of a dog instead of describing the dog in more detail, its color, what it is doing, what breed it is, etc.
  • Automatically using the name of the file as the alt text – which may lead to very unfriendly alt text, such as “googlesearchconsole,” “google-search-console,” or “photo2323,” depending on the name of the file.

Alt Text Writing Tips

And finally, here are the tips on how to write correct alt text so that it actually fulfills its purpose:

  • Do not stuff keywords into the alt text. Doing so will not help your web page rank for these keywords.
  • Describe the image in detail, but still keep it relatively short. Avoid adding multiple sentences to the alt text.
  • Use your target keywords, but in a natural way, as part of the image’s description. If your target keyword does not fit into the image’s description, don’t use it.
  • Don’t use text on images. All text should be added in the form of HTML code.
  • Don’t write, “this is an image of.” Google and users know that this is an image. Just describe its content.
  • Make sure you can visualize the image’s content by just reading its alt text. That is the best exercise to make sure your alt text is OK.

How To Troubleshoot Image Alt Text

Now you know all the best practices and common mistakes of alt text. But how do you check what’s in the alt text of the images of a website?

You can analyze the alt text in the following ways:

Inspecting an element (right-click and select Inspect when hovering over an image) is a good way to check if a given image has alt text.

However, if you want to check that in bulk, I recommend one of the below two methods.

Install Web Developer Chrome extension.

Screenshot of Web Developer Extension in Chrome by authorScreenshot from Web Developer Extension, Chrome by author, May 2024

Next, open the page whose images you want to audit.

Click on Web Developer and navigate to Images > Display Alt Attributes. This way, you can see the content of the alt text of all images on a given web page.

The alt text of images is shown on the page.Screenshot from Web Developer Extension, Chrome by author, May 2024

How To Find And Fix Missing Alt Text

To check the alt text of the images of the entire website, use a crawler like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb.

Crawl the site, navigate to the image report, and review the alt text of all website images, as shown in the video guide below.

You can also export only images that have missing alt text and start fixing those issues.

Alt Text May Not Seem Like A Priority, But It’s Important

Every source of information about your content has value. Whether it’s for vision-impaired users or bots, alt text helps contextualize the images on your website.

While it’s only a ranking factor for image search, everything you do to help search engines understand your website can potentially help deliver more accurate results. Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility is also a critical component of modern digital marketing.

FAQ

What is the purpose of alt text in HTML?

Alternative text, or alt text, serves two main purposes in HTML. Its primary function is to provide a textual description of an image if it cannot be displayed. This text can help users understand the image content when technical issues prevent it from loading or if they use a screen reader due to visual impairments. Additionally, alt text aids search engine bots in understanding the image’s subject matter, which is critical for SEO, as indexing images correctly can enhance a website’s visibility in search results.

Can alt text improve website accessibility?

Yes, alt text is vital for website accessibility. It translates visual information into descriptive text that can be read by screen readers used by users with visual impairments. By accurately describing images, alt text ensures that all users, regardless of disability, can understand the content of a web page, making the web more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

More resources: 


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Google Dials Back AI Overviews In Search Results, Study Finds

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Photo of a mobile device in mans hand with generative google AI Overview on the screen.

According to new research, Google’s AI-generated overviews have undergone significant adjustments since the initial rollout.

The study from SE Ranking analyzed 100,000 keywords and found Google has greatly reduced the frequency of AI overviews.

However, when they appear, they’re more detailed than they were previously.

The study digs into which topics and industries are more likely to get an AI overview. It also looks at how the AI snippets interact with other search features like featured snippets and ads.

Here’s an overview of the findings and what they mean for your SEO efforts.

Declining Frequency Of AI Overviews

In contrast to pre-rollout figures, 8% of the examined searches now trigger an AI Overview.

This represents a 52% drop compared to January levels.

Yevheniia Khromova, the study’s author, believes this means Google is taking a more measured approach, stating:

“The sharp decrease in AI Overview presence likely reflects Google’s efforts to boost the accuracy and trustworthiness of AI-generated answers.”

Longer AI Overviews

Although the frequency of AI overviews has decreased, the ones that do appear provide more detailed information.

The average length of the text has grown by nearly 25% to around 4,342 characters.

In another notable change, AI overviews now link to fewer sources on average – usually just four links after expanding the snippet.

However, 84% still include at least one domain from that query’s top 10 organic search results.

Niche Dynamics & Ranking Factors

The chances of getting an AI overview vary across different industries.

Searches related to relationships, food and beverages, and technology were most likely to trigger AI overviews.

Sensitive areas like healthcare, legal, and news had a low rate of showing AI summaries, less than 1%.

Longer search queries with ten words were more likely to generate an AI overview, with a 19% rate indicating that AI summaries are more useful for complex information needs.

Search terms with lower search volumes and lower cost-per-click were more likely to display AI summaries.

Other Characteristics Of AI Overviews

The research reveals that 45% of AI overviews appear alongside featured snippets, often sourced from the exact domains.

Around 87% of AI overviews now coexist with ads, compared to 73% previously, a statistic that could increase competition for advertising space.

What Does This Mean?

SE Ranking’s research on AI overviews has several implications:

  1. Reduced Risk Of Traffic Losses: Fewer searches trigger AI Overviews that directly answer queries, making organic listings less likely to be demoted or receive less traffic.
  2. Most Impacted Niches: AI overviews appear more in relationships, food, and technology niches. Publishers in these sectors should pay closer attention to Google’s AI overview strategy.
  3. Long-form & In-Depth Content Essential: As AI snippets become longer, companies may need to create more comprehensive content beyond what the overviews cover.

Looking Ahead

While the number of AI overviews has decreased recently, we can’t assume this trend will continue.

AI overviews will undoubtedly continue to transform over time.

It’s crucial to monitor developments closely, try different methods of dealing with them, and adjust game plans as needed.


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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

Many advertisers have a tight budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, making it challenging to maximize results.

One of the first questions that often looms large is, “How much should we spend?” It’s a pivotal question, one that sets the stage for the entire PPC strategy.

Read on for tips to get started or further optimize budgets for your PPC program to maximize every dollar spent.

1. Set Expectations For The Account

With a smaller budget, managing expectations for the size and scope of the account will allow you to keep focus.

A very common question is: How much should our company spend on PPC?

To start, you must balance your company’s PPC budget with the cost, volume, and competition of keyword searches in your industry.

You’ll also want to implement a well-balanced PPC strategy with display and video formats to engage consumers.

First, determine your daily budget. For example, if the monthly budget is $2,000, the daily budget would be set at $66 per day for the entire account.

The daily budget will also determine how many campaigns you can run at the same time in the account because that $66 will be divided up among all campaigns.

Be aware that Google Ads and Microsoft Ads may occasionally exceed the daily budget to maximize results. The overall monthly budget, however, should not exceed the Daily x Number of Days in the Month.

Now that we know our daily budget, we can focus on prioritizing our goals.

2. Prioritize Goals

Advertisers often have multiple goals per account. A limited budget will also limit the number of campaigns – and the number of goals – you should focus on.

Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Leads.
  • Sales.
  • Repeat sales.

In the example below, the advertiser uses a small budget to promote a scholarship program.

They are using a combination of leads (search campaign) and awareness (display campaign) to divide up a daily budget of $82.

Screenshot from author, May 2024

The next several features can help you laser-focus campaigns to allocate your budget to where you need it most.

Remember, these settings will restrict traffic to the campaign. If you aren’t getting enough traffic, loosen up/expand the settings.

3. Location Targeting

Location targeting is a core consideration in reaching the right audience and helps manage a small ad budget.

To maximize a limited budget, you should focus on only the essential target locations where your customers are located.

While that seems obvious, you should also consider how to refine that to direct the limited budget to core locations. For example:

  • You can refine location targeting by states, cities, ZIP codes, or even a radius around your business.
  • Choosing locations to target should be focused on results.
  • The smaller the geographic area, the less traffic you will get, so balance relevance with budget.
  • Consider adding negative locations where you do not do business to prevent irrelevant clicks that use up precious budget.

If the reporting reveals targeted locations where campaigns are ineffective, consider removing targeting to those areas. You can also try a location bid modifier to reduce ad serving in those areas.

managing ppc budget by location interactionScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

4. Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling also helps to control budget by only running ads on certain days and at certain hours of the day.

With a smaller budget, it can help to limit ads to serve only during hours of business operation. You can choose to expand that a bit to accommodate time zones and for searchers doing research outside of business hours.

If you sell online, you are always open, but review reporting for hourly results over time to determine if there are hours of the day with a negative return on investment (ROI).

Limit running PPC ads if the reporting reveals hours of the day when campaigns are ineffective.

Manage a small ppc budget by hour of dayScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

5. Set Negative Keywords

A well-planned negative keyword list is a golden tactic for controlling budgets.

The purpose is to prevent your ad from showing on keyword searches and websites that are not a good match for your business.

  • Generate negative keywords proactively by brainstorming keyword concepts that may trigger ads erroneously.
  • Review query reports to find irrelevant searches that have already led to clicks.
  • Create lists and apply to the campaign.
  • Repeat on a regular basis because ad trends are always evolving!

6. Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is a game-changer for efficient ad campaigns. Powered by Google AI, it automatically adjusts bids to serve ads to the right audience within budget.

The AI optimizes the bid for each auction, ideally maximizing conversions while staying within your budget constraints.

Smart bidding strategies available include:

  • Maximize Conversions: Automatically adjust bids to generate as many conversions as possible for the budget.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): This method predicts the value of potential conversions and adjusts bids in real time to maximize return.
  • Target Cost Per Action (CPA): Advertisers set a target cost-per-action (CPA), and Google optimizes bids to get the most conversions within budget and the desired cost per action.

7. Try Display Only Campaigns

display ads for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

For branding and awareness, a display campaign can expand your reach to a wider audience affordably.

Audience targeting is an art in itself, so review the best options for your budget, including topics, placements, demographics, and more.

Remarketing to your website visitors is a smart targeting strategy to include in your display campaigns to re-engage your audience based on their behavior on your website.

Let your ad performance reporting by placements, audiences, and more guide your optimizations toward the best fit for your business.

audience targeting options for small ppc budgetScreenshot by Lisa Raehsler from Google Ads, May 2024

8. Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max (PMax) campaigns are available in Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

In short, automation is used to maximize conversion results by serving ads across channels and with automated ad formats.

This campaign type can be useful for limited budgets in that it uses AI to create assets, select channels, and audiences in a single campaign rather than you dividing the budget among multiple campaign types.

Since the success of the PMax campaign depends on the use of conversion data, that data will need to be available and reliable.

9. Target Less Competitive Keywords

Some keywords can have very high cost-per-click (CPC) in a competitive market. Research keywords to compete effectively on a smaller budget.

Use your analytics account to discover organic searches leading to your website, Google autocomplete, and tools like Google Keyword Planner in the Google Ads account to compare and get estimates.

In this example, a keyword such as “business accounting software” potentially has a lower CPC but also lower volume.

Ideally, you would test both keywords to see how they perform in a live campaign scenario.

comparing keywords for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

10. Manage Costly Keywords

High volume and competitive keywords can get expensive and put a real dent in the budget.

In addition to the tip above, if the keyword is a high volume/high cost, consider restructuring these keywords into their own campaign to monitor and possibly set more restrictive targeting and budget.

Levers that can impact costs on this include experimenting with match types and any of the tips in this article. Explore the opportunity to write more relevant ad copy to these costly keywords to improve quality.

Every Click Counts

As you navigate these strategies, you will see that managing a PPC account with a limited budget isn’t just about monetary constraints.

Rocking your small PPC budgets involves strategic campaign management, data-driven decisions, and ongoing optimizations.

In the dynamic landscape of paid search advertising, every click counts, and with the right approach, every click can translate into meaningful results.

More resources: 


Featured Image: bluefish_ds/Shutterstock

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