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What To Do When Your Google Ads Campaign Is "Limited By Budget"

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

If you've seen the dreaded notification that your Google Ads campaign is "limited by budget," it's understandable to feel a rush of panic. However, take a deep breath before making any sudden changes.

This messaging is Google's clever way of nudging advertisers to keep increasing their spending on the platform.


When your account triggers the "limited by budget" label, Google will conveniently recommend using their automated budget simulator to determine how much more budget you need to get additional clicks and conversions. The message's stark red text and urgency make it seem like you're missing out big time by not raising your budget.


But while this tactic may boost Google's bottom line, blindly increasing budgets without considering your full strategy often does not benefit you as the advertiser. Here are some tips on how to respond when you see the "limited by budget" message:


First, ask yourself - Am I already hitting or exceeding my target metrics for clicks, conversions, etc.? If so, it may be reasonable to increase the budget as Google suggested to drive even more sales. More budget when things are going well can help you keep the momentum.


However, if you're working within a fixed maximum budget or not yet hitting your targets, an emotional budget increase based on Google's "limited" label is unlikely to improve your results. Google would always love for you to spend more, but you need to keep your own goals and tolerances in mind.


Before making any budget changes, review your campaign performance over a full reporting period, not just a single day. Google wants to trigger an immediate budget increase, but smart strategising requires a bigger-picture view.


Here's an important reminder - Google has their own revenue goals that are not necessarily aligned with your marketing objectives.

Their aim is to encourage advertisers to keep spending more on ad budgets, even if marginal returns diminish past a certain point. The "limited by budget" messaging makes increasing budgets feel urgent and mandatory through the use of red text and alarming language.


But immediate action without strategic consideration rarely benefits you as the advertiser. Google may claim a higher budget is needed to drive more conversions, but marginal returns tend to diminish past a certain point of investment.

This is why it's highly recommended to consult an experienced Google Ads manager or consultant before making significant changes based on Google's warnings. Unlike Google, these experts have only your best interests in mind, not the platform's bottom line.


A knowledgeable strategist can interpret Google's calls to action and make informed recommendations on budget adjustments, targeting, bid strategies and more. They understand Google's nudges and can determine if more spending will really improve your results or simply pad Google's pockets.


In summary, the "limited by budget" notification is designed by Google to spur budget increases, often in excess of what may be optimal for you. But when armed with the right expertise, you can optimise your ad investments to meet your unique goals - not overspend to meet Google's. With an expert guide, you can avoid underinvesting and overinvesting to achieve marketing success.

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