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Nearly 60% of advertisers run sub-optimal budget strategies and go offline before peak demand

by Matt O'Brien on March 13, 2013

Recent research undertaken by Unscrambled has shown that more than half of advertisers are seeing their paid search campaigns run out of their budget and go offline before the end of the day. Our research showed that advertisers with this issue were on average seeing their paid search campaigns go offline at around 19:30 in the evening, seeing them miss out on the all-important, evening browsing and buying period. 

For the affected advertisers this problem was compounded by the fact that our research showed that click rates from non-branded searches after 7pm, were on average up to 39% higher than non-branded search taking place during office hours, seeing them miss out on a disproportionate volume of both clicks and sales.

This problem stems from an imbalance between campaign budgets and bids and can be identified in Google Adwords, with a campaign showing a Lost Impression Share Budget. In layman’s terms this means that either the budget is too low for the bids that have been set, or the bid prices are too high for the budget that has been agreed. The budget is being spent before the end of the day and Google is stopping showing ads for the rest of the day.

We found that on average, advertisers with this issue, were missing out on 30% of all impressions available for their keywords. These were not impressions (and subsequent click and sales) that they would have to pay a higher bid price to be featured against, they were already bidding enough, it is just that the relationship between balancing budgets and bid prices hasn’t been fully appreciated and managed accordingly.

Imagine you could grow the number of clicks from your current keywords without having to increase your cost per click, well if you suffer from a Lost Impression share budget, you can. This means, all things being equal, that you can increase the number of sales from your campaign, and by a significant margin, without having to pay a higher cost per sale.

Identifying if this issue affects your campaign is relatively straight forward and with access to your own Adwords account it is possible to make the necessary checks. Simply review the percentage figure shown for Lost Impression share budget for your overall account and individual campaigns. Any figure above 0% shows that there is an imbalance between budgets and bids. Low, single figure, percentages are less concerning, but our research showed that a large number of advertisers were missing out on a large proportion of all impressions available to them. 

If you see that a specific campaign or your whole account has a large percentage of lost impression share budget, then action is required and fast.

If you think that this issue might affect your campaign or if you regularly cannot see your adverts when you search in the evening then it might be time to get an expert second opinion. 

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