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How to Resolve Google Ads Limited by Budget Status In Your Real Estate Campaign

If your real estate Google Ads campaign is getting the “limited by budget” notice, you’re probably asking yourself some questions:

  • Should I trust Google?
  • Are they just trying to get more money from me?
  • What can I do?
  • Is Google Ads even worth it on a limited budget?

If you are limited by budget, you’re likely not getting as many clicks as you possibly could be if you had more to work with.

Here’s a real-life comparison of a Google Ads account for motivated sellers who took a budget from $55.92 per day down to $16.67 per day.

$55.92 per day budget: 14 Day Period:

  • Leads: 6
  • Clicks: 56
  • Impressions: 1836
  • Spent: $671.27

$16.67 per day budget: 14 Day Period:

  • Leads: 1
  • Clicks: 16
  • Impressions: 452
  • Spent:  $292.24

As you can see, the drop in daily budget can have a major impact on accounts.

When your account is limited by budget, it’s as if you are trying to withdraw money from a bank account with no funds.

That means Google has to wait until more money is available to be able to show ads.

In this post, we explore what that “limited by budget” notice means and some strategies you can use to get the most out of your real estate Google Ads campaigns after seeing this message.

What Does “Limited By Budget” Mean?

The Google Ads support guide states that your campaign status is “Limited by Budget” means:

“A campaign status that’s used when your average daily budget is lower than the recommended amount. When this happens, ads aren’t regularly showing as often as they could.”

Simply put, if your keywords and bids could spend more than your daily budget limit, you are going to get this message.

To see what Google recommends your daily budget be, you can click on the bar graph icon “Eligible (Limited) Limited by budget” message. You will see a graph like the one below. This can help you understand how much you are limiting your account and what a new budget might mean.

What Happens When Your Real Estate Campaigns Are Limited By Budget?

Your ad impressions will be lower. Being limited by budget will impact how often your ads are eligible to be shown throughout the day. If you run out of budget early in the day, you’ll have data that isn’t necessarily representing the health of the campaign. 

Your ads will not receive as many clicks. If your ads aren’t getting impressions, obviously your clicks will go down. From the example above, sometimes you can see a large dip even in 14 days. We’ve been asked “isn’t having fewer clicks a good thing?” meaning “bad” clicks are eliminated. That’s just not the case. Even a limited by budget campaign can attract clicks that aren’t 100% what you’re looking for.

Your conversion rates can suffer. Hockey great, Wayne Gretzky, once said “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” If your Google Ads budget is limited, then you’re missing opportunities to convert visitors into leads with each click that is missed.

What Limited By Budget Factors Impact Your Real Estate Campaigns

Your real estate keyword selection. If you’ve done your job finding the keywords that fit your real estate business research, then the keywords in your account should give you a chance to convert to leads. So, if people are searching for, say motivated seller keywords, and clicking on your ads, your limited budget will be spent quickly.

Your real estate ad copy. Be specific in your ad copy. If your ads are too broad, it might attract the wrong type of real estate visitor.

Your keywords bids. Every keyword clicked is going to cost you money. If your bids are higher, then you’ll tap out your budget sooner.

Your campaign settings. Google Ads offers many campaign settings that can impact your budget. You can raise and lower device bids, ad schedules, target locations, and opt to use automated bid strategies.

Overall… Your daily budget will be the #1 factor.

Ideas That Can Help Optimize Google Ads Accounts Limited By Budget

Here are some ideas that you can implement to an account limited by budget. These ideas can help stretch your daily spend, but at some point, you’ll either be sacrificing keywords, impressions, and/or leads if you don’t have the budget to 1) show ads throughout the day 2) show ads in the top four ad positions.

  1. Decrease keyword bids. Since your budget will only stretch so far, each click puts your ads closer to shutting down for the day. You can decrease your bids on keywords that you’ve found are too expensive to be at the top of the page, or, have consistently been within the number one or two ad positions. You can bid for a lower ad position such as three or four. You’ll need to monitor your average ad positions to be sure your ads are still serving on the top of the page.
  2. Create an ad schedule. You can run some reports to see if you can find time pockets that have generated the most leads and create schedules to only show ads within those times. Unfortunately, real estate isn’t like other industries. Your best motivated seller lead might come at a time you don’t expect. But, if you can find good data, playing the odds can help extend your budget.
  3. Consider your target locations. Run some geographic reports to find what areas have the highest cost per click, most clicks, and most important – highest conversion rates. If you’re targeting multiple areas, find those that have a lower cost per click but also have enough search volume to help conversion rates. If you find some areas are too expensive and/or aren’t generating leads, simply remove them from your target locations.
  4. Device bid adjustments. You have the option to change your bids for devices – mobile, desktop, and tablets. Run a device report to find your cost per click, clicks, and leads. You might find desktop devices are getting clicks but leads aren’t as high as mobile devices. You can adjust your desktop bids by decreasing them by a percentage.
  5. Negative keywords. Not all real estate keywords are created equal. Motivated seller campaigns aren’t looking for buyers and real estate agent buyer campaigns aren’t looking for sellers. Find the keywords that don’t make sense for your campaign and add them to your negative keyword list. This will allow your budget to, for the most part, be spent on searches from your target audience. Need a little help? Here’s a free negative keyword list for a motivated seller campaign.

You always want to be evaluating your Google Ads account. That could be on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. You should always be tracking your current keywords, ads, settings, bids, and so on. You’re always looking for the best ways to accomplish the end goal… generate more leads at a lower cost.

One of the biggest advantages to Google Ads and other paid traffic sources is you have the ability to see data quickly and restructure accounts to improve results quickly.

If you have keywords that aren’t generating leads but have the most clicks in your account, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your keyword approach. Ask yourself:

  • Are you getting enough leads to justify the cost of these keywords?
  • What are the actual search terms that are converting?
  • Is it possible to focus on less expensive variations of that keyword?

For example, if you’re bidding on, “sell house”, but the actual search terms that convert are “sell house fast” you might be able to save some money by being more precise with your keyword targeting.

Being limited by budget might be part of your Google Ads experience. Some might be starting and managing their own campaigns without the comfort level. Others might be splitting marketing budgets between Google Ads, Facebook, and direct mail.

But you can still make the most of your real estate Google Ads account by knowing what causes the “limited by budget” status and adjusting your strategy to better fit your account’s expectations.

Brendan Holmes

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