The Pros And Cons Of AdWords Shared Budgets

AdWords budgets can be tricky. Once you start your journey with AdWords the most obvious question will be, how much should I actually spend on a campaign? The rule of thumb is, start small so that you don’t lose money on poor and irrelevant clicks. Once you get the hang of how AdWords actually works, you can increase the daily budget significantly, while closely monitoring the performance of your ads. What we’re going to focus on in this article is AdWords shared budgets and the pros and cons of using them. Some people swear by them but others prefer to stick to individual budgets per campaign, let’s find out why!

What Is A Shared Budget In AdWords

AdWords gives you an option to manage a shared budget across multiple campaigns. Let’s say you don’t have a lot of time to set up individual budgets for each campaign and you prefer that AdWords automatically adjusts how the budget is allocated. Take note that the shared budgets don’t work with Video campaigns. You can easily set up the shared budget in the shared library in your AdWords account. Go to your Campaigns tab, click on shared library > budgets. Next, click on +Budgets, name it, select the campaigns you want to include in your shared budget and set the budget amount. Your shared budget will not be active till you click the name of the budget you’ve just created and choose apply to campaigns.


The Pros Of Using Shared Budgets

Using Shared Budgets across different campaigns will undeniably save you time when you have lots of other tasks at hand but still want to make sure that your ads are getting as many clicks as possible and that all of your campaigns are fully funded throughout the month. You won’t need to check your spend every day, worry about depleted budgets or make manual adjustments. Google automatically reallocates the budget in terms of performance, requirements and spend. If one of your campaigns underperforms on a given day, AdWords will reallocate the budget to the campaign that most needs it to maximise clicks and impressions. Shared budgets make sure that your budget is used to its full potential.

Another advantage of shared budgets would be segmenting the campaigns into different groups. You have a possibility of creating multiple shared budgets that correspond to your campaigns’ needs. You can create a shared budget for campaigns that perform great, a separate one for the ones that perform well and another one for those that underperform. The most obvious pro for multiple shared budgets is strategically managing your overall spend, making sure that the campaigns that perform great will be allocated the most of the budgets and poorer performing ones will not waste it. Shared budgets are also essential when managing large shopping campaigns that can have a huge inventory of different products. Shared budgets can spare you a headache from managing individual budgets, however, they might not give you all the flexibility you’d like and in some scenarios even increase your cost per conversion. More on the cons of shared budgets below.

The Cons Of Using Shared Budgets

The most negative aspect of using shared budgets is losing the full control. Keeping individual budgets for each campaign gives you full control of how much you are willing to spend on each campaign. Another important point would be not being able to optimise the delivery option for each campaign as the delivery settings are set at budget level. If one particular campaign requires you to turn on the accelerated delivery method to get as many clicks as possible during peak hours, you won’t be able to do it only for one campaign as that would apply to the whole shared budget, hence, possibility of missing out on precious impressions and clicks if the other campaigns perform best on standard delivery.

Another issue with Shared Budgets comes into the picture when you decide to do the switch from individual budgets to shared budgets in the middle of the day. AdWords doesn’t take into account what you have already spent on that given day. Let’s say your campaign had a 20 euro daily budget, if at 3 pm you decide to switch to shared budgets AdWords will not register that this campaign has already spent a significant amount of the budget, it will basically start from zero so instead of spending 20 euro on that day you might end up with over 30 euro spend, which is not ideal.

There is a risk that some of your campaigns will monopolise your budget. If you know exactly how much you want to spend on a display campaign, given that it doesn’t get great results in your experience, it might not be a good idea to pair it up with a search campaign using a shared budget. It’s possible that the display campaign’s spend will increase to maximise clicks and impressions when the search campaign will suffer, increasing the cost per conversion. If you know that your individual campaigns need a tight control over how much budget they deserve, opting for shared budgets in that case might not be a good solution. Using shared budgets might lead to one campaign eating away at the budget when other campaigns suffer from not being able to use their full potential.



Every campaign and account is different and unique. You should experiment and see what works best as your experience might be different to someone else’s. Shared budget might be a real time saver but it shouldn’t be left alone unsupervised. It should be monitored and optimised to ensure your budget is spent according to your goals and requirements. Big campaigns may benefit from multiple shared budgets that are allocated to grouped campaigns that perform in a similar manner. Keep in mind that shared budgets don’t work in every situation and if you need to keep a tight control over each of your campaign’s spend then individual budgets would be your go-to option.

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