Search-Based PPC Advertising Best Practices February, 2013

When setting up your pay-per-click account, make sure you consider:

  1. Your Goals:??This will determine the type of keywords, ad copy, etc.
  2. Your Budget:??Every monthly budget is divided by the number of days per month to give you the daily budget. ??If your budget is low, focus only on the most relevant of campaigns.
  3. Relevance: Considering the above, you want to focus on the keyword themes that are most relevant to your business and that will fit into your budget. ??As your budget increases, you can target searches that may be slightly less relevant but have a broader reach.??

Keyword Research

Begin researching keywords and group them into distinct themes. With the keyword themes, you can better develop a structure for the account.  There are many free and paid tools available for keyword generation.

Start with primary keyword phrases and then branch out into more descriptive phrases For example, if you sell bicycles you should start with "road bikes" and "mountain bikes," then branch out into more descriptive subsets or features, like "inexpensive road bikes" or "pro mountain bikes."

Campaigns are composed of Ad Groups, in each ad group are ads and keywords. ??The keywords will trigger the ads in the Ad Group, so customize the ad to be the most relevant to the searcher.

The campaigns and Ad Groups are just ways to organize the information. ??All groups with different themes, targets or budgets should be a separate campaign.??

Ads and Ad Groups

To create your first Ad Group and ads, two things are important: relevancy and action. These two ideas will increase your campaign effectiveness.

Your Ad Group should contain keywords that are relevant to each other and your ads. Your ads should link to a page that is just as relevant. ??Also, you'll get a higher click through rate by writing ads with a strong call to action.

Since keywords are triggering the ads in each Ad Group, each ad should contain the primary keyword. You should also set up your display URL to have this primary keyword.

Use the most relevant page for your landing page/destination URL. ????Don't just send potential customers to your home page.

Launch Campaign: Measure and Tweak

Make sure your campaigns and landing pages are set up correctly so you can measure your results. Watch and test the first day of the campaign to ensure everything is working properly.

You'll discover areas that need tweaking as you monitor your campaigns. ????If necessary, expand your keyword list, add more ad groups with relevant keywords, and check your conversion rates. ??

Summary

New tools and tips will always become available. ??Remember to play it smart, test, and make sure it works for you.

PPC management is all about trial and error, and making corrections for better performance.