Have you ever been standing in the grocery store, and for the life of you, can’t remember what you needed to buy? I do this pretty much every single time, and each time I think to myself, “Why don’t you just write a list you dummy?” Having a list and checking it off as you go makes life so much simpler. You can buy everything you ACTUALLY needed and not come home with 30 boxes of pizza rolls. A grocery list can definitely save you some trouble with the significant other as well. Launching a PPC search campaign is also much simpler if you have a comprehensive checklist to work with. I am going to provide you with that checklist here.
- Conduct Keyword Research – Good keyword research can lead to good overall campaigns. Make sure you spend extensive time on this part of your campaign build.
- Group Like Keywords – Group your keywords into groups of similar terms. 10-30 keywords per group is an ideal number.
- Set Match Types – Make sure all of your keywords are in the correct match type before implementation.
- Check for Duplicates – Duplicate keywords will cannibalize traffic from each other. Make sure every keyword is unique.
- Confirm Negative Keywords – Double check that none of your keywords will be cancelled out by the negative keyword list you compiled.
- Set Initial Bids – Every keyword needs to have an initial CPC (Cost Per Click). Your research in the beginning should help you choose an accurate initial bid. Remember you can always adjust the bid afterwards.
- Chose Relevant Headlines – Headlines are the first thing potential customers see. Make sure they stand out and are relevant to the information on the page you are driving the traffic to.
- Stay Within the Guidelines – Ad copy has specific character count guidelines. The headline can contain 25 characters while the two description lines and the display URL can have 35. Do yourself a favor and set up a concatenate formula in excel so you know exactly how many characters you have left.
- Verify URLs – Make sure that every ad is going to a working and relevant URL on your site. Nothing ruins a potential conversion like a broken or irrelevant web page.
- 2 Sets of Ad Copy – You always want to test ads to see if there is a better headline or CTA, so make sure you have two pieces of Ad Copy for every ad group.
- Check for Spelling – Double and Triple check the grammar and spelling of your ads. Spelling and grammatical errors will hurt you in the eyes of potential customers.
- Name the Ad Groups – Name each ad group based on the group of keywords composing them. Accurate Ad Group names will help from an organizational stand point.
- Double Check the Content – Make sure you have all the right keywords and corresponding ad copy in the correct ad group.
- Set a Default Bid – Each ad group needs a default CPC bid. This bid will automatically be assigned to new keywords within the ad group.
- Chose the Right Network – Make sure that you select the Search Network only for Search campaigns, and Display Network for Display campaigns. Always keep them separate.
- Adjust your Settings – Correct campaign settings are vital to its success. Here you can chose everything from the location to the language that you target.
- Set a Budget – Have a daily budget that you are comfortable with and won’t limit your success.
- Set Up Tracking – You won’t be able to tell how well your campaign is performing unless you set up tracking correctly.
- Set them Up – Ad extensions are not required, but they are extremely helpful tools for your campaign. If you do not include them you are doing your campaign a disservice.
- Check for Accuracy – Make sure your ad extensions are accurate. You wouldn’t want a location extension telling customers an incorrect address, or a call extension with the wrong number.
So, I guess that’s technically five checklists, but you get the point. I start every PPC Search Network campaign build with keyword research, and work my way down the lists from there. The keywords and ad copy are the essentials on your grocery list. Without them, you can’t make any meal. The ad groups are equivalent to individual dishes made from those ingredients, and the campaign itself is the whole meal put together. Ad extensions are the desserts that make everything better. Like any successful grocery trip, building a search campaign requires a good check list.