3 Easy Steps to Launch a Successful PPC Campaign

July 18th, 2013 by Anthony Coleman

I’ve been in online advertising for about 8 years now. In that time, I’ve launched hundreds of accounts and thousands of search campaigns. Not all of them have gone as smoothly as I would like to believe. Instead of relying on my years of knowledge, I have a blueprint that I follow to ensure there is a successful launch.

Here’s an easy 3-step beginner guide to to launching a successful campaign that your clients (and boss) will be proud of.

Step 1. Check You Campaigns Settings

One of the most important parts of setting up a paid search account is checking all of your campaign settings. This is especially important when using something like the Bing Ads’ import feature or creating new campaigns in AdWords Editor.

  • Location
    • Make sure your location is targeting where you or the client have specified. While you could use geo-modified keywords for a state or region, you are likely to see a lower CTR due to poor ad relevancy and low conversion rates.
  • Language
    • Make sure the language you are targeting matches your location targeting and your ad content. If you are targeting a bilingual region such as Quebec, it is best practice to create a French and an English campaign with ad content in the appropriate language. Serve French ads to French speakers and English ads to…you get the point. :)
  • Ad Networks
    • This is a big mistake for a lot of new advertisers — your campaigns should never target more than one network at a time. While it is perfectly fine to advertise text ads on the display network, you do not want your low CTR from the display network negatively impacting your search text ads.
  • Device Targeting
    • On July 22nd, this setting will be non-existent, but you must be sure to check you bid adjustments for mobile devices. Not all businesses or websites lend themselves to mobile devices, and despite Google’s certainty that mobile is the future, there is no reason to overbid on a low-performing segment.

enhanced-campaign-mobile-bidding

 

Step 2. Assembled the Ad Groups

good keyword themes

  • Keyword Themes
    • How your keywords relate to your ad content, the search query, and the landing page really matter. While it isn’t the biggest factor in quality score (CTR is still 70% of the a good QS), keyword theming it majorly important to relate your service/product/whatever to the searcher. Over- and under-simplifying themes is a common mistake that even a lot of veteran PPC advertisers make, so don’t be discourage if you aren’t sure where to start.  The best way to determine how keywords should be grouped is by figuring out what they mean to the searcher and what the searcher is expecting to see.
  • Keywords Match Types
    • Like keyword theming, this has a lot to do with anticipating what question a user is going to ask a search engine and how. I am a huge fan of exact and phrase match because if gives you the best CTR and limits the amount of negative keyword research you’ll have to do. However, for the PPC noob I would recommend using modified broad match with a hefty list of negatives to eliminate search noise. If you follow this advice your quality score and wallet will thank you.
  • Ad Content
    • One of the most important elements of a good launch is good ad content. When writing ad content, the most important things is answering the search query’s question. It is equally important to show why you answer the question better than your competition. Including value props, calls-to-action, and relevant ad extensions will help you get the click.

 

Step 3. Set Up Conversion Tracking and Analytics Integration 

  • Conversion Trackers
    • This is probably the most overlooked and financially dangerous thing to forget when setting up a PPC campaign. Whether you consider a conversion a click-to-call, a form submission, or even view of keypage, you have to set up conversion tracking. With both AdWords and Bing Ads this is a simple process — you just insert a snippet of code onto your determined conversion page. This is typically the last action you want a visitor to do on your site before leaving your site.
  • Google Analytics
    • Undeniably the most powerful free analytics tool available. Google Analytics allows you to see what your PPC visitors are doing on your site. Having this knowledge will allow you make data driven decision about on-page factors such as images, content, or layout. One of my personal favorite reports is Visitor Flow. This report shows the path a visitor takes on your site and what information you should include on your landing pages.

That’s it!

Setting up a new PPC campaign can become daunting and confusing. Using these three steps will help you stay on track and not waste time or money. A properly set up campaign will ensure you can make better ROI decisions without backtracking and guesswork.

Pro-Tip: If you have a hard monthly cost and want to effectively manage your spend use the shared library’s Budget feature. It will allow you to assign a set daily spend to multiple campaigns. It will alleviate the stress of manually adjusting each campaigns’ daily spend. Be sure to check your performance though. If you start seeing more opportunity in a particular account you may want to separate it from the others and assign an individual budget.

Share Budgets for PPC Campaigns