3 mins read

How to save money on paid advertising as an SME

PPC Strategist

PPC Strategist
Mairead, Rawnet's PPC strategist, has been a driving force behind successful campaigns for esteemed clients like Hornby and Cambium. Since joining the agency in 2012 as a junior PPC strategist, she has consistently elevated her role, becoming an indispensable asset to the marketing team. Mairead, armed with a keen analytical mind, crafts innovative strategies to maximise ROI for clients, ensuring their digital presence stands out. Her proficiency spans platforms like Google and Microsoft Ads, leveraging her expertise to optimise campaigns and drive targeted traffic.

As we approach the new year, some may also be approaching a new financial year. 

Perhaps you are in the process of submitting or receiving budget approvals, and the numbers may not be as high as you expected.

As an SME, it's important to find ways to save money, especially with rising CPCs. So here are some tips, that could help save you money and give you more money in your budget for fun things like experimenting.

Time Budgeting

One of the most expensive resources in paid advertising is going to be your time, so consider the 80/20 rule. Spend your time on the things that are going to have the biggest impact and the most expensive campaigns.

Sweat the Small Stuff (First)

Once you have decided on the areas that need the most attention, now we are going to dig deep. Paid marketing should not be as simple as turning on and off campaigns. This can impact Google’s algorithm for your account, so best to avoid it when possible. Instead, find the ad group and then the keywords that are underperforming and focus there first.

Back to the Basics

If you want to simplify things, start with the basics and focus on key Google Ads campaigns - branded, generic, and competitor. Work on improving and testing those first.


Different platforms may suggest increasing your budget, but it's important to consider if it aligns with your business goals.

Some questions to ask yourself when reviewing your marketing campaigns:
  • Are you hitting your CPAs? Is increasing spending worth it?
  • Are competitors filling the space? (You can check this by reviewing the lost impression share statistics.)
  • Could you get more first by improving your landing pages, ads or keywords?

Google Network

Nowadays, Google automatically runs ads across its network, but advertisers often find it's not worth it. Check where your conversions are coming from: if very few are coming from a large audience, then consider turning it off.


Whilst not paid advertising, having people to help you write content and blog posts can be a free way to earn money. You not only improve your visibility on platforms like Google, or other search engines. But also attract potential customers through other channels.

As it will encourage visitors to stay longer on the site. Hopefully leading to more purchases, thus making money spent on advertising more impactful.

Your SEO data can help you identify the best landing pages for PPC campaigns. By checking which pages or search terms generate the most revenue. You can test them to see if they work well across PPC, saving you time in creating additional landing pages. You can also use these successful landing pages as inspiration for creating new ones.

Advertising on Smaller Platforms

Larger platforms do mean bigger spending, as well as larger audiences. Larger platforms result in more expenses but also attract larger audiences. If you do not require a bigger audience, it's worth considering smaller platforms and channels.

These channels need to demonstrate their value as an advertising platform, and their targeting can be quite niche.

For more information on advertising on smaller platforms, read my Brighton SEO article where I discuss it in detail.

Using IP Blocks to Save Money

I’ve written an article on this already, which you can read for more details here. The premise behind IP blocking is to prevent multiple clicks on ads from within your own company, which can help you save money.


Navigating paid advertising as an SME requires strategic thinking and a focus on optimising resources.  As budgets are negotiated and approved, the need to save money on paid advertising becomes greater. 

Delving into the details of accounts and campaigns becomes more essential over a more simplistic approach. Identifying problem areas that can then be targeted for improvements is more important. 

If you have a tight budget and limited time, prioritise tasks that have the most impact and find ways to do them efficiently. Focus on evergreen advertising instead of seasonal advertising.

For the best results, take a holistic approach that includes time allocation, campaign optimisation, and other marketing efforts.

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