Using Shared Budgets

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by Ash Smith

October 11, 2019

When you first create a campaign in Google Ads, you’re prompted to specify a daily budget for that campaign. This is a pretty straight-forward process if you’ve considered your marketing budget and how much you want to assign to that particular campaign, but if you have many campaigns, sometimes it’s hard to discern which products/services are going to have the best ROI out the gate. As a result, you end up taking a punt on your daily budget for that campaign, washing and repeating for the rest of your campaigns. 

What you likely end up with is a number of campaigns like the ones below, with different budgets assigned to each:

Campaign A – $50/day

Campaign B – $40/day

Campaign C – $30/day

While you’ve likely created these budgets based on your business goals (and that’s a great start), thoughts like ‘am I spending enough?’ or ‘am I spending too much on a campaign?’ have likely crossed your mind at some point. 

Those thoughts are likely amplified when you find that on some days your campaigns are hitting their daily budget and on others, they are underperforming, causing your monthly budget to underpace. This is normal – some days will be better than others – but wouldn’t it be great to be able to move budget from those that are underperforming and pass it to the top performers without having to keep checking and adjusting? 

Well there’s good news – you can get around these budget anxieties by using shared budgets. 

Shared budgets essentially take the total daily budget that would otherwise be spread across your segmented campaign budgets, and allow you to attach all your campaigns to this budget. 

What results is a central pot that each of your campaigns can dig into when they want throughout the day. 

So how do you setup shared budgets? We’re glad you asked.

Firstly, you’ll want to consider how much your shared daily budget will be across your campaigns – the easiest way to do this is to consider your total monthly budget and divide this number by 30.4 (the average number of days in a month). 

Now that you’ve got your daily budget you’re ready to get set up. 

First, click on ‘tools and settings’ in the Google Ads top navigation, and under ‘shared library’ (second column) click ‘shared budgets’.

Once you’re in the shared budgets screen, click the blue plus button and give your budget a name.

Add the amount you want to spend per day, and click on the check box next to ‘add to campaign(s)’. Your list of available campaigns will appear – select all to apply this budget across your entire account – and then hit save. That’s it – you’ve assigned a shared budget to your campaigns! 

While using a shared budget will help streamline your budget usage, there’s still room for optimisation. 

Firstly, by using a shared budget you’ll quickly find which campaigns are your top performers and which ones aren’t as strong based on their CPA (we recommend reviewing at least 3 months data to decide which are your top and low performers). 

Once you’ve identified which campaigns are bringing the most value to your account, you can start creating more shared budgets for your top, middle and low performing campaigns. By following the same steps as before for creating shared budgets, you can assign your top performing campaigns the biggest share of the total budget, and your low performers a lower budget ceiling. Ultimately, this will give you the efficiency of using shared budgets, while reducing the risk of seeing your low performers (with high CPA’s) burning a hole in your pocket. 

Good luck with using shared budgets, and we hope you see better returns from your budget! 

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