Your Pay Per Click (PPC) Checklist For Google Ads

When it comes to marketing your business online, there are so many strategies and tactics for you to consider. While many organic efforts can be beneficial, sometimes you must use paid advertising to reach your target audience. However, paid ads can be a little scary if you have never tackled this form of marketing. You aren’t the only one who feels this way, which is why we’re here to help!

In this blog, we’re going to give you a PPC checklist to follow when it comes to getting started with Google ads. This checklist will cover everything from basic (but important) key terms, staying organized, creating a budget, writing your ads and much more! First, let’s introduce you to Google ads and the value they provide.

What Are Google Ads?

When you do a search in Google, three sections will (typically) appear in the search results. The first section is Ads, the second section is the local pack for businesses and the third section is the organic results that are not location-specific. We’re going to focus on the Ads section for this blog.

If businesses want to appear at the top of Google, business owners will need to run ads and bid for that spot against other advertisers. Keep in mind that only ads relevant to the search will appear. For example, if a roof plumber wanted to run ads in Google, they wouldn’t appear when someone was searching for a pizza shop.

A key aspect to note is the word bid. Just because you are putting money into an ad doesn’t mean you will always appear in relevant searches. Other businesses within the same industry will also be utilising paid advertising through Google. This is why it’s even more important to have a strong and optimised strategy in place so you have more opportunities to show when customers are searching.

Most times, consumers don’t always notice the first couple of listings in a Google search are ads. They just click on the first option that they see, which is a huge advantage for you! If you are running ads for your business, it’s likely you will see increased website traffic, higher conversions and more customers. It’s a win-win!

Google Ads has an immediate impact on revenue, you’re playing the Google Game and paying Google for a click. You only pay when someone clicks on your Ad. If no one is searching for your services, then you can’t spend any money.

So, how do you get started with ads? Let’s dive into our PPC checklist so you know the proper steps to follow.

  1. Ad Terms You Should Know

Before you jump in and start putting money behind your ads, there are some important ad terms you should know.

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): This is an ad type where you pay per click when someone clicks on your ad.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): This is the amount that you actually pay when someone clicks on your ad.
  • Keywords: These are words that you focus on generating clicks from. They need to be relevant to your business/industry or what consumers are searching for.
  • Conversion: After someone has clicked on your ad and they complete an action that you have determined is important, a conversion is recorded. This could be as simple as scheduling an appointment, getting driving directions or making a purchase online.
  • Landing Page: The place where you send a potential customer after they’ve clicked on your ad. Sometimes, this can be your home, a product page or a one-off page (depending on your campaign and goals).

There are enough acronyms to write a mini dictionary! The ones mentioned above are just some of the most important ones we think you should know. Be sure to study these words and do more research on advertising terms before getting started.

  1. Organisation

To be successful with your ads, one of the most important steps is to keep everything organised. While you might adjust your organisation strategy after first getting started, it’s best to stay consistent from the beginning and find what works best for your business.

A great piece of advice to stay organised is to follow the same pattern as you do on your website. Think of it like this – your campaigns are your overarching levels and then your ad groups are product pages. If you were a retail store, you could name your campaign “shoes” and your ad groups could be “tennis shoes,” “boots,” and so on.

When it comes time to create a new campaign, be sure to follow the same structure you have in place. If you were to flip the order, this could cause confusion down the line as you are optimising or analysing your campaigns.

  1. Budget

Spending money on your marketing is a big deal. And for Google ads, it’s no different. You have two different options to control your ad spend. The first is a daily budget and the second is your maximum bid (what you’re willing to spend when a consumer searches for one of your keywords and clicks your ad).

Every business is different, which makes it difficult for us to give you a concrete number for what you should budget for your ads. There are a lot of things to consider, including business goals, current market, competition and more. While we can’t give you an exact number, we can give you some tips for setting a budget.

  • Spread Out Your Budget: If you’re new to the ad world or you’re trying new campaign types, don’t put all your budget into one bucket. Spread your money across campaigns. After you give the ad time to run, you can make optimisations and adjust the budget as necessary.
  • Focus on Business Goals: When creating a budget, don’t forget about your business goals. Remind yourself why you are running this ad. If it doesn’t relate to your goals, go back to the drawing board.
  • Optimise As You Go: If you notice a campaign is performing poorly, don’t keep putting money into it. Pause the ad and reallocate the money to campaigns that are succeeding.

It’s easy to get wrapped up into the ad world and spend more money than you want to. It’s vital that you monitor your campaigns and make adjustments as your ads run. If this is too much for you to handle, our team at Higher Ranking has the skills and expertise you need to run and optimise your ads. Check out our services page to find out what we can offer your business.

  1. Select Keywords

As mentioned earlier, keywords are the words that you focus on. With keywords, you want to use words that people are searching for. If you’re unsure of what keywords are best, we recommend doing keyword research or checking out our blog What You Should Know About Keyword Research.

When choosing keywords, you want to select words that are relevant to your business and customers. These keywords also need to match the landing page the ad is sending them too. The worst thing you could do is cause confusion by not using appropriate keywords in your ads.

As a bonus, Google has a free tool called Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to research keywords, see search estimates and view the cost of keywords. If you’re running Google ads and not using this tool to your advantage, you’re missing out on a ton of free data to help optimise your ads.

  1. Keyword Match Types

When you want to optimise your ads, you can use different keyword match types. Google has five options at your disposal:

  • Broad Match: This is the default setting for Google ad campaigns. This option will show your ad for searches that simply contain the keyword you selected as well as related keywords.
  • Broad Match Modifier: This option has now been folder by Google into Phrase Match below. It did allow you to indicate certain keywords that a user must search for your ad to appear.
  • Phrase Match: The phrase match option will show your ad when someone uses the exact keyword. Also, it will appear when someone uses the keyword along with text before or after the keyword.
  • Exact Match: If you only want your ads to appear when someone uses the exact keyword or phrase, phrase match is the best option for you! It will also show your Ads for search terms that are of similar value.
  • Negative Match: Are there certain words you don’t want to show up for? You can use negative matches to avoid certain keywords. For example, if you’re a high end retailer, you probably don’t want to show up for the words discount or bargain. Simply put a minus sign in front of the keywords you do not want to appear for.
  1. Select Devices

There are so many different types of devices that consumers use nowadays, which can be important to understand when running Google ads. You need to think of your target audience and how they are searching for businesses like yours. Are they using their phones or mostly desktops? You can choose which devices to target so you show up to relevant searchers.

For example, a tow truck company would most likely want to target consumers on their mobile phone. Most times, consumers are not at home when they need a vehicle towed. Consider the intent behind your ad and choose to target devices that are relevant to the intent.

  1. Write Content for Ads

We are seven steps into our PPC checklist. While it seems like a lot, it’s definitely not as daunting as you might think. Now, the moment a lot of you have been waiting for; it’s time to write copy for your ads!

Many times, your ad will be the first impression you make on a new customer. Ads need to be catchy and eye-grabbing, but short and sweet. No one wants to sit and read long sentences, especially if they are in a hurry or need to make a quick decision. When organising your ads (go back to step two if you skipped past), make sure to write copy based on your ad groups. You don’t want to include an ad about shoes within your dress ad group.

When writing your ads, be sure to include a call to action (CTA). A CTA is what helps online shoppers to make a decision right then and there. Examples of CTAs include shop now, start reading, call us today and so on. You want them to take action on your ads, or else your ads are just sitting there without a purpose.

As best practice, make sure you have someone else read over your ad copy. Running an ad with grammatical or spelling errors won’t put you in a good light for new customers. Even if it’s a simple ad, get another set of eyes on it just to be sure everything is perfect.

  1. Get Started

You are organised, keywords are selected and ad copy is done. Now is the final step – setting your ads live. After your campaigns are live, make sure to check in on them to see how they’re performing. As mentioned earlier in the budget section, make sure not to put all your budget in one bucket. Spread out your budget and make adjustments as you notice how your ads are performing. Ongoing optimisation is essential as the ad world continues to change and your competitors are utilising ad strategies as well.

If you really want to monitor your ads and how they’re performing on your website, consider connecting your ads to Google Analytics. This is totally optional, but we recommend integrating your Google ads with Google Analytics. You can learn more about Google Analytics here.

Ready to Utilise Ads?

Running Google ads can be extremely beneficial to your business. Sometimes, organic efforts just aren’t enough to push you to the next level. However, it’s important to note that you should be using a combination of marketing efforts, including both organic and paid.

After reading this PPC checklist, if you still aren’t sure what next steps you need to take, we would be happy to help. At Higher Ranking, we’ve helped numerous businesses with their online marketing. You can view some of our case studies to see exactly what we’ve done. If you’re ready to start utilising Google ads, contact us today!

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