What Your PPC Manager Should Know: How To Set Up Google AdWords for Optimized Performance

How To Set Up Google AdWords

5 Tips on How to Set Up Google AdWords

Learning how to set up Google AdWords and a Google AdWords PPC account is challenging, sometimes mind-bending work. Being able to strategically optimize your pay-per-click advertising campaign, for both users and search engines requires some advanced expertise.

What about after the click? Smart search marketers know you’ll need an equally optimized landing page that includes a lead generation form and a clear call to action – Buy NOW!

How do I set up a Google Adwords Account?
How do I set up a Google Adwords account?

After you launch your AdWords campaign, you’ll need ongoing management of the campaign strategy. You’ll want to monitor and track your campaign to see how well your strategy is performing.

You’ll need to run quality PPC reports using Google Analytics and AdWords data and tweak your keywords, keyword strategy, or landing page design based on key metrics from your monthly and quarterly PPC campaign reports.

To make things easier, and educate you on the proper setup & management of an optimization PPC campaign, I’m listing my favourite 10 questions to ask before setting up an Adwords account.

I found some of these from this article on Search Engine Watch, which provides a comprehensive list of 55 questions.

5 Things You Need to Know Before Setting Up an AdWords Account

Whether you’re restructuring your existing AdWords account or setting up your first AdWords PPC campaign, you’re going to want to focus on a few key factors like:

  • optimizing your conversion rate
  • lowering your cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • improving ad relevancy and ad score
  • efficient reporting

PPC account management experts say to be very careful when restructuring an existing campaign. If your SEO or PPC manager does things right, you’ll see improved ad performance, which will lead to increased revenue.

However, restructuring an existing PPC campaign can also also have disastrous effects if not done properly, by an experienced SEO consultant. A safe start would be to find the key elements that are currently impacting your current ad structure.

Get into the analytics of the AdWords account and dig into the data. You may find several SEO opportunities that you didn’t even think existed.

Remember you can also use the new Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, to discover hidden keyword opportunities.

Here is my top 5 checklist of what you need to consider before setting up, or restructuring, your Google Adwords account.

top 5 google analytics setup tips

1. Device Performance

If you’re a local business and the goal of your new PPC campaign is to target locals and tourists, you better have a mobile AdWords PPC strategy in place.

Not only that, but if you’re sending customers and prospects to a promotional landing page on your website, which you should be, is that website and landing page mobile-friendly?

You need to ask yourself: How does the ad look when viewed on a smartphone, tablet, and laptop? Have you checked how your optimized landing page display on the same devices?  

If your site provides a poor user experience (UX), whether it’s mobile responsive or not, and strategic setup is done in vain. A poor UX increases bounce rate and decreases your ad performance and subsequent ad score.

  1. Landing Pages

Let’s face it, the sale is going to happen on your website and/or landing page, so you better make sure you have the best landing page design to convert prospects into customers. Make sure you’ve ran an A/B test or two on each landing page before committing to your PPC strategy.

Optimize your landing page for both users and search engines. I’d say optimize for the user (user experience) first, then optimize for search engines. Ensure there are zero, zilch, none, nada, absolutely no errors on the landing page.

Test your shopping cart and test your lead generation form! If you are taking email addresses from your landing page, be sure to also test any automated emails  or “welcome” messages that may be sent.

Here’s a great resource with the best landing page design samples, according to Hubspot.

  1. Tracking Issues

Since tracking your PPC campaigns is vital to the success of the campaign and your ROI, you need to be certain you have all your tracking mechanisms in place – and that they are working.

I’ve seen this issue a few times. There have been a few instances when the tracking was set up on the homepage, not the promotional landing page. It gets worse. I’ve also experienced taking over an AdWords account that had no tracking installed whatsoever.

Some possible issues to consider:

Conversion tracking pixels are in place on correct landing pages.

Each url has the proper tracking code or UTM tags included.

Do you accept phone calls from PPC? Ensure the call-to-action and number are correct.

  1. Geographic Performance

A 2013 study on Retailing Today says “81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store, up 20% from last year, and spend an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase.”

What does this mean for your business? It means more and more people are using their smartphone to research information before purchasing any product. You’re going to want your PPC ad to show up in their searches aren’t you?

Check your Google Analytics data to new geographic opportunities. If all of a sudden you start to notice inbound traffic from cities you’ve never seen in your analytics before, this could be a lucrative opportunity.

You’ll need to set up your accounts so each ad is targeted the the desired geographic location. Do a quick check for geographic bid modifiers inside your account to see if it’s worth continuing the strategy.

  1. Bidding Strategies/Portfolios

A PPC tactic not researched often enough is your PPC bidding strategy and overall parameters of your bidding portfolio. There are 2 types of approaches to bid management: Rule-Based vs. Portfolio.

“A rule-based keyword bid system would look at every single keyword mostly siloed from the rest of the campaign. For instance, you could sell DVDs online, and you could set the maximum amount you want to pay for a conversion to $20.

Your system would take care of not stretching this limit for any of the keywords you are using. If the search term “harry potter dvd” would convert at around $21, your system would simply decrease the bid on this keyword or pause it. There is nothing wrong with that and this method would assure that “harry potter dvd” is converting at an acceptable cost.

However, the portfolio approach says that this is thinking too short. Your overall performance might actually be better if you take advantage of the maximum amount of “harry potter” traffic, even if this means paying more for these conversions than you are willing to, and in turn making up for this with other keywords in your account that are converting more cheaply, and thus at the end of the day arriving at a higher ROI and conversion numbers than with a rule-based strategy.”  – Source

I’d suggest the portfolio approach would theoretically work very well with PPC campaigns that have clearly defined goals and target margins as well as a strategic predetermined schedule that remains constant, with very little change, if any.

The Wrap

We all have heard about, or experienced first hand, the challenges of how to set up a Google AdWords PPC account. Many SEO’s, me included, have had the opportunity to inherit someone else’s PPC strategy.

When the former happens, you want to get off on the right foot with everything from setup to execution, along with tracking, reporting, and tweaking strategy. It a lot to handle for a business owner with or without an in-house marketing manager or SEO consultant.

The key things to consider when launching or re-launching a PPC strategy are:

  1. Consumption experience on all priority devices.
  2. An optimized, standalone landing page, with one specific call to action.
  3. Set up tracking data and/or UTM codes for all urls.
  4. Geo-targeting your PPC ads for the mobile user searching for your local business.
  5. Get your numbers right. Set up your bidding strategy and portfolios using one of the strategic approaches mentioned above.

For deeper insights on the logic and strategy behind portfolio optimization, check out this whitepaper from Adobe.

If you’d like to discuss your Google AdWords PPC strategy, we can help you today. Read about VPDM’s PPC services or email us here.

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