Paid Search Strategy: Execution Phase
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
1. Define your account structure
Now you’re ready to start executing the paid search strategy.
To set up your Google account, you’ll need to define your Campaigns and Ad Groups. Most accounts will have a few broad campaigns, and a set of a few Ad Groups within those campaigns.
You’ll set your budget at the campaign-level, and you’ll determine your keywords at the ad group-level.
To define your Campaigns, start by looking through the terms you’ve identified from your keywords research and by identifying the action you want users to take when they click to your site from those terms.
For example, if you sell men’s clothing, you might create a campaign for jackets, and the goal of the campaign may be to get searchers looking for men’s jackets to come to your site and make a purchase.
To define your ad groups, look at the keywords that will fit within your campaign to determine how you can further segment the terms.
Remember, you’ll set your keywords at the ad group level, so you want keywords with similar search intent in the same ad group.
For example, someone searching the phrase “men’s sport coats” will be looking for something different than those searching “men’s winter coats.” These bid terms won’t lead people to the same destination (more on that below).
2. Write Effective Ad Text
Within your different ad groups, you’ll define your text ads. Effective ad copy is crucial for PPC campaigns: It can increase Quality Score, reduce cost per acquisition, and increase click-through rates. Searchers will base their decision to click on your ad almost entirely on what you write, so it’s worth investing effort in this step.
Follow these best practices:
Use the target keyword at least once in both the ad headline and the body text.
Include action terms such as “sign up” at the start of the ad copy so the user knows what to expect when they click. Match these to your PPC strategy goals.
Include a price or a statistic in the ad copy. Searchers are drawn to ads that make concrete promises; just make sure you live up to these promises on the landing page.
Lead with the benefits. “Winter jacket for men” leads with product features; try “Stay warm all winter with this men’s jacket” instead.
Don’t forget about the display URL. Searchers look to URL copy to guide their navigation, so make sure the display URL is user-friendly and descriptive about where they will land.
Check competitor ad copy and differentiate. Even if you’re both bidding on the same keyword, try to create more compelling, action-led copy.
For a great example of an optimized, keyword-rich paid ad, see the AdScale example below.
Pro tip: If you want to make your ad stand out from the competition, use Ad Extensions. In the example above, AdScale uses both a sitelinks extension and a pricing extension. These extra snippets of information about your business—phone number, location, and pricing, for example—can appear in your text ads.
Test, optimize, and retest ad copy to see what works best; even a small change can affect PPC ROI.
3. Build PPC landing pages optimized for conversion
Your ads should take searchers to specifically created landing pages. The closer the match between landing page content and search intent, the higher the conversion rate. If you just send all searchers to a generic page - say, your home page - they’ll feel frustrated and bounce.
This will negatively affect Quality Score, meaning the ads will have a lower chance of showing up in searches.
Most importantly, keep the messaging and keywords consistent between the ad text and the landing page. Each landing page should have just one call to action (CTA) based on your key metric from the planning stage. If your objective is to get people to subscribe to a free trial, make that the only CTA on the page.
Keep the design simple and user-friendly. Elements that slow page loading (for example, heavy image files) should be kept to a minimum, forms should contain only the most essential fields, and testimonials or reviews should add social proof.
Your only objective at this point is to get the visitor to accomplish the goal of your campaign, so steer clear of anything that could distract them from doing so.