PPC Tips Written by 0

Savvy entrepreneurs and business owners get a contract PPC specialist in their corner before letting their website go live, but that’s not always an option. Maybe the budget is really tight or you’re the future PPC expert yourself and are learning from experience. With PPC best practices constantly changing and evolving, it’s wise to have a pre-launch checklist handy to make sure you don’t miss any steps. One wrong move could be detrimental to an otherwise solid campaign.

For example, maybe you’re in charge of the PPC strategy for a thriving local real estate business and you don’t want anything slipping through the cracks. After all, how happy is the client going to be when an ad for shoes ends up on their site in a few months? Organization is key, but you should also be focusing on creating a flawless and repeatable process via checklists.

Customizing your own campaign

There’s no one size fits all checklist for PPC managers or website owners, and some of these items exist in part in other “boxed” strategies you may find. Always adjust checklists and procedures to fit your goals, client and market. It’s pretty easy to grab someone else’s checklist and make do with it, but you’re only going to cause the campaign to suffer (and your credibility).

Start by making sure all of the keywords are wrangled into the right ad group. Simultaneously, check that you’re optimizing all match types appropriately, and don’t overlook those close variant settings which is undergoing a change this autumn. Duplicate keywords are problematic even for veteran PPC managers, which is why putting a keyword list to “bed” at least overnight is crucial to get fresh eyes. The negative keyword lists should be relevant for any new campaigns (not carried over form another), and finally keep those lists short and simple while still making use of long-tail trends (more than 20 per ad group, and that’s too much).

Focusing on ads

Never let an ad go live before double and triple checking it. The ads should boast the best matched headlines, and you need to ensure the display URLs include keywords if you can. Those mobile-specific ads need to be in place, and if it works with the business include a call to action. In the real estate example, asking millenials to call in for homeownership information is a great match.

There should also be messaging tests conducted for two ads in every ad group. Once you make two different messages, test their calls to action, too.

Ad group and campaign musts

For ad groups, ensure the naming convention is up to snuff for each group and that the groups match the content they hold. Keywords as well as ads need to be under the right group. Also check the default bid to make sure it’s what you have in mind (otherwise you might get a nasty billing surprise).

Before launching a new campaign, make sure your daily budget is on track and that there’s a solid amount of money to work with (and launch with). If your campaign mistakenly maxes out the cost per click after a single user, you’re in trouble. The campaign settings should be verified, especially for businesses with multiple locations. Get those ad schedules in order, and double check that the campaign is aligned with the search network, too.

Final checks

Ad extensions are crucial for businesses to optimize PPC ads, so ensure that all the right extensions are in place. From sitelinks to location, seller ratings to call extensions, you have a lot to work with. Don’t overlook the landing page, which is key for Quality Scores. Content should be high quality (and relevant to the ad), calls to action need to be strong, ad keywords should be included in headlines and copy, and navigation (as well as a fast page load time) should be simple.

Once the site is launched, don’t abandon it. PPC campaigns should be monitored and statistics analyzed regularly. Otherwise, there’s no telling what hurdles might pop up.

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