Creating a successful PPC campaign requires a multi-leveled approach which great attention to detail and planning. It’s not something I advise jumping into quickly without any forethought.
You can’t simply hop on Google Ads, create an advert in a few minutes and expect it to be amazing. Sure, the ad will be live, but I can guarantee that without this PPC optimization checklist, it isn’t getting good results!
For your PPC campaign to shine, you need a plan and something to focus on, and this is where a checklist helps. You have steps to follow, and you have a constant reminder of the different daily and weekly tasks you need to complete, and this is what I have created below.
Initial Creation and Setup
The first part of your checklist involves the ad setup and creation. I like that you can use these initial 5 steps time and time again for every new PPC campaign you create!
1. Do Detailed Keyword Research
Keyword research is the first checklist item and it’s the most important. Keywords form the backbone of your PPC campaigns and they are the words and phrases that people will search for so that your ads are displayed. The end goal is to have a list of short-term and long-tail keywords to incorporate into your ad copy.
2. Produce Landing Pages for Your Ads
You can’t just create an ad and not have it point to something. The thing it points to (i.e. the link the person clicks) is known as a landing page. These landing pages must be optimized too including keyword usage and other SEO techniques.
It’s OK to have multiple landing pages and indeed they can be things like product pages or even your website homepage. The main point is that the content must be optimized for your PPC ads and align with its SEO strategy.
3. Check the Google Ads Targeting Settings
Did you know that you can target specific customers or demographics with your Google Ads? This is done via the targeting settings and it’s a simple but effective part of your checklist.
To get the right targeting settings you should ideally have a clear understanding of your target audience and their habits. This allows you to change parameters like age, gender, and geographical location, for example. Targeting should be set before any ad campaign goes live.
4. Add Tracking
With the targeting settings and landing pages sorted, you need to sort your tracking. Tracking is a vital component of a successful PPC campaign so you can look at a wide range of analytical data. This includes things like conversions, CTR, and impressions. You can easily get a tracking code to link your Google Ads with your Google Analytics account.
5. Add Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are an essential part of SEO and PPC management as they help control spending and dictate how your ads are found. A negative keyword is something you DON’T want your ad appearing in relation to. By adding negative keywords, you can hopefully improve your conversions and make sure you are only targeting customers who actually need your products or services.
Live PPC Ad Actions
After creating your ads the hard work doesn’t end! There are numerous tasks you must complete on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis such as reviews, improvements, and monitoring.
6. Review Your Main Metrics
To check on the effectiveness of your PPC ads you must continually review the available metric data. Google Ads has a great set of analytical data but you can also link your Google Analytics account for more stats. Analysis should be done on a weekly basis and you must look at key indicators like conversions, clickthrough rates, and impressions.
7. Make Adjustments Accordingly Based on Findings
It’s not enough to merely analyze the data – you have to act on it and make changes if appropriate. You must look at which ads are performing better than others and you can then alter the poor-performing ones. For example, you could look at what is working in your successful ads and then use similar copy, layouts, and keywords in your other ads.
8. Run Search Query Reports
Search query reports outline which keywords people are searching for that trigger your Google ads. This is incredibly useful as it allows you to see exactly how people are accessing your ads and viewing your content.
Search query reports can help identify potential negative keywords that are resulting in low ad conversions. It also shows you which keywords are doing their job so you can potentially incorporate them more effectively.
9. Check Landing Pages and Links for Errors
Obviously, your ads link to a landing page and you should have already optimized this landing page at the start of your PPC optimization checklist. That doesn’t mean that it can simply be left alone! Over time, things could change and I advise checking your landing pages monthly for errors and broken links. If the landing pages aren’t working as intended then your ads are going to fail.
10. Check Your Competition
Lastly, I recommend doing monthly competitor analysis so you can see how you are shaping up. Google Ads has a range of competitor keyword tools and there are other SEO platforms that allow you to do in-depth competitor analysis. Aside from performance, you can potentially gain insight for your ads and improve them based on what the competition is doing.
Get Organized With a PPC Optimization Checklist Today
This PPC checklist is an amazing starting point so I urge you to take notes or just copy the different steps onto a notepad or Word doc! With proper organization and a step-by-step approach, you should be able to improve your PPC optimization and get the best possible return on your investment.