Each of the big three PPC platforms enables you to set a daily budget for each campaign. This budget tells the search engine the maximum that you are willing to spend within that campaign each day. By now, you have your campaign structure in place, and if you already know which keywords are most likely to generate a high ROI, you should devote more of your budget to these campaigns.
To adjust campaign settings from within the AdWords web interface while viewing all campaigns or a single campaign, click the Settings tab. When you do this, you’ll see a screen similar to Figure 4.23. You can then adjust your budget settings in the Bidding and Budget section, as indicated in the figure.
AdWords will display your ads as often as possible while trying to remain within your daily budget. We say trying to remain within your daily budget, because at times your daily click charges will exceed the budget you set. On any given day, as the campaign charges near the daily spending limit for a campaign, AdWords will slow down delivery of your ads. However, sometimes your volume may be such that AdWords doesn’t slow down your spending in order to hit your budget exactly.
Another reason your campaign budget may be exceeded on certain days is that AdWords monitors your budget and spending for an entire billing cycle. So, if there are days when you don’t hit your budget, AdWords may allow your campaign to overspend slightly in order to hit the budget for the entire billing cycle. On a single day, AdWords may overspend by 20 percent. However, you will never be charged more than the amount allotted for a billing period. For example, if your daily campaign budget is $5, the most you can be charged during a 30-day billing cycle is $150.
Another important setting in the Bidding and Budget section is the Delivery Method setting, shown in Figure 4.24.
There are two options here: Standard and Accelerated. Standard delivery will direct AdWords to spread out your clicks evenly during the course of the day so that your ads are displayed at all times of the day. If click spending reaches the daily limit early in the day, there may be times of the day when your ads aren’t displayed. With Accelerated delivery, you are telling AdWords to display your ads as frequently as possible, until your daily budget cap is reached—so whatever time of day the click spending reaches that budget limit, your ads will simply stop running until the beginning of the next day.
If your budgets are set properly, we suggest you utilize Accelerated delivery. Keep in mind that with this delivery option, you need to have a budget in place, even if it’s extremely high. This is because something may occur in your campaign that causes a traffic spike, and you may want to have a budget in place to avoid over-spending. Also, we’re not fans of Standard delivery because you have no control over when AdWords displays your ads.
When running your first AdWords campaigns, Standard delivery might be a safe way to manage ad delivery so that you don’t have any sudden budget-busting surprises. However, if you can afford a high budget, Accelerated delivery will ensure that your ads run as often as possible throughout the day. Choosing Accelerated delivery will give you the opportunity to show your ads as often as possible, but you can still finetune when your ads are shown by using Ad Scheduling, which we’ll discuss on Friday.