PPC · 3-MINUTE READ ·  By Stephen Dawson on September 19 2016

Your clients spend should be a key consideration when it comes to PPC marketing. Without a budget order, you don’t have the ability to place monthly caps on spend in Google Ads. If it’s important to them, the line ‘Why are we 15% over spent this month?’ can make your heart drop.

Daily spend caps are a loose cannon in Google Ads as Google cannot guarantee it limits spend to your cap. As Google puts it: “Your daily spend varies, and may peak at 20% above your daily budget to help your campaign reach its potential”. 20% variance is not good news if your client wants to work to a strict budget. You can set daily caps lower to anticipate spend peaks but then you’re in danger of under spending. We are left with the task of frequent daily budget monitoring.

As we would all wish for when it comes to PPC management, we want to focus less on the admin and more on the time that helps deliver the client’s objectives. Our client budget tracker removes the need for manual budget calculation and gives you the key insights you need on first glance. If you’re often on the move, our alert system will bring up any clients that need attention on a summary sheet. With Supermetrics, you can schedule an automated email so this information is in your inbox first thing.

Client budget tracking on Google Ads

When you’re aware of what needs attention, you can use the budget calculation tool to set required daily spend. Given the 20% leeway, you may need to adjust this more than once throughout the month.

Set up

The sheet formulas will do their good work after you’ve done just a few setup tasks (no more than 5 minutes!)

  • After you select the template and you are directed to select which accounts to add, you will need to hold the Ctrl key down to select multiple accounts. The template will also work with one account

  • You will need to input each client’s budget into the budget column on the main sheet for the formulas to ‘wake up’

  • You can double click date input cells to bring up a calendar to select a date

  • Calculations for spend are based on the last full days spend and so a scheduled refresh need to be set up for each day at midnight. To do this follow the handy gif below:

Setting up Supermetrics refresh

  • In the trigger menu you can also select ‘refresh & email daily’ and select the summary sheet to be sent you your inbox daily.

Things to know

There are some important things to know about the template that will make it more useful for you. Firstly, underspending and overspending warnings are defined by a 10% difference each way. If you want the sheet to be strict, you can change the formulas to work to a 5% difference. To do this you will need to unhide column D and change the highlighted numbers in the formula to 1.05:

=IF(OR(C12<0.9, C12 >1.1), “Requires Attention”, “”)

You will also need to change the formulas in the status bar for the budget calculator (in cells M10, N10, and O10). Replace 1.1 with 1.05 respectively.

The sheet accommodates 100 clients but can be expanded by dragging down formula cells from row 110. Finally, the template is by no means set in stone. You can customize colors to suit your brand and change calculations. Once you’ve got your tracker just how you like it, you will be safe in the knowledge that your spends are well under control.


Even if you are lucky enough to have budget orders, tracking daily spend is still worthwhile to ensure you spend evenly throughout the month and hit your cap. Make sure you regularly check your projections to ensure you’re on track. Mondays and Thursdays are recommended (set your calendar reminders!) as to catch spikes in spend over the weekend and during the week. Stay vigilant, but you will have more time to focus on the things that matter! 

Note: You can access the report with full instructions here.

About ​​​Stephen Dawson

​​​Stephen Dawson is a PPC expert and analytics enthusiast at Fingo Marketing and a guest writer for​ ​Supermetrics. Inspired by meaningful data and report aesthetics he is a big fan of ​automation and bespoke layouts. Passionate for delivering an impact on bottom line objectives, especially for start ups and charities. You can find him on LinkedIn.​

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