Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are a powerful way to market your (or your client’s) business and put your name in front of your target audience. Creating a campaign doesn’t take long, but you need to ensure all the pieces of the puzzle are correctly implemented to maximise your chances of success.
So, whether you’re a Search Assistant or a PPC Guru, here’s a handy to-do list to help you plan and launch your campaign and make sure it runs nice and smoothly.
Our campaign to-do list
Ask the client to provide a brief
Getting a brief from the client is a great way to find out all the information you need, including:
- Their current marketing situation.
- The potential budget.
- Their motivations and ambitions for the campaign.
- Any specific targeting requirements (demographics, location, user attributes, personas etc).
- Any platform preferences (Search, Display, Shopping etc).
Once you have this, you can get started!
Get access to a platform account (like Google Ads or GA4)
You can’t do much without a platform account, so you need to find out if the client has an existing account or if you need to create a brand-new one. If you need to create a new account, this should be one of the first things you do.
Alternatively, you can link your Google Account or My Client Center (MCC) to the client’s Google Account so you can both see how the campaign is performing and if it’s meeting the desired targets. You can also have a quick look at past activity and easily identify trends, monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and identify areas of improvement. Don’t forget to link the Google Account to GA4 to gain a better understanding of the post-click activity.
Other than the ads themselves, keywords are the core of any campaign. So when you’re creating a keywords list you must ensure they are relevant to your brand and product – as well as keep an eye out for potential “negative keywords” you want to include to refine the reach and visibility of the ads.
Make sure you’re using the right match types and don’t forget to break the list down into ad groups: this way you can keep your keywords relevant and get a good quality score.
Creating PPC ad copy is a skill! Not only do you need to advertise your product, but you also need to do it in a way that stands out from the crowd. So you must include the most relevant keywords from your ad group in your ad titles, descriptions and display URLs. If your display URLs don’t include keywords, take advantage of the URL path and add some keywords there. Don’t forget to test 2 different ads against each other in each ad group!
Keep these other tips in mind when you’re drafting your ad copy:
- Make sure your Unique Selling Points (USPs) and offers are in your ads.
- Use a prominent call to action (CTA) to show your customers what you want them to do.
Last but not least, make sure you have mobile–specific ads (if it makes sense to use them). The screen of a mobile phone is smaller than a desktop, so keep your message short and sweet!
If you’re running a display or video campaign, you might need some extra assets like images or videos to support your activity. Make sure you communicate with your client exactly what you need so the assets will match the platform requirements and specifications.
A Landing page is another core part of your campaign structure, as this is where you are going to send the users after they click on your ad. Keep these things in mind when you create your PPC landing page:
- Make sure the landing page content is relevant to the ad. For example, if your ad is talking about apples, you can’t send a user to a page about oranges!
- Make sure your ad’s CTA is prominent on your landing page.
- Check the navigation path is easy and smooth, from the first click to the goal conversion page.
- Your page’s loading time should be no longer than 3 seconds (especially when targeting mobile devices!)
Ad extensions are sometimes disregarded when creating a campaign. They’re often only taken into consideration when the recommendations tool gives them a nice percentage that can improve the Opti-Score – so make sure you include these in your campaign from day one. You may not need all of them, as some of them won’t be relevant to your business, but the Extensions Trinity (sitelinks, callouts and snippets) will help improve the look of your ads as well as increase your ad’s relevancy. This consequentially increases your quality score (high quality score = a cheaper Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and better ranking).
Final checks before you launch your campaign
Once you have the potential structure of your campaign, you can send it over to your client to review. If it gets approved, it can be uploaded on the platform – but before you do, here are some extra checks:
#1 – Campaigns
Before you press the “post now” button, you might want to review your campaign settings (network, geo-location, language, schedule etc) to make sure they are correct. You should also check:
- You have the correct bid strategy and the right targets have been implemented.
- The daily budget settings – as it would be awful to accidentally burn the whole budget on day one!
#2 – Ad groups
You should have all relevant/similar keywords and ads in your ad groups. If this is not the case, you might need to review the terms list and segment them more.
To make your life easier, give the ad groups a good name which will help you find the right ad and keywords when you’re reviewing the campaign delivery. Similar to your campaigns, you should also check the ad group’s default CPC bid is correct.
#3 – Tracking
To understand the success of the campaign, make sure you have included a goal within your analytics insights. Whether you are using Google Ads Conversions, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager or CMR tools, ensure you have the right tracking parameters to the destination URLs of the ads where required.
Now it’s over to you, let the fun and the optimisation process begin!
We are sure your campaign will be a success, but if you want to find out more or have any questions about PPC, we are here to answer your query.