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Samantha Noble

Pay Per Click Campaign Checklist

11th Aug 2010 Paid Search, Bing AdCenter, Paid Search, Google AdWords, Paid Search 2 minutes to read

In my mind there are key steps that everyone should be following when a Pay Per Click campaign is being created. Whether you are new to PPC or an experienced Search Specialist, we all need guidelines to ensure we keep on track.

We may all have different tools that we use when creating a PPC campaign, but the end goal is always the same…. To have a well structured campaign that achieves good results and a positive ROI.

I have put together this Pay Per Click Campaign Checklist to give pointers on the different steps I take when creating a campaign and have summarised each point in more detail below. If you would like to add anything, please feel free to leave your comments at the end of this post.


Understand your Market

  • Who are your main online competitors?
  • What makes you different from the competition?
  • Why should people buy from you?

Keyword Research

  • Make good use of the tools available (AdWords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, SpyFu etc)
  • Think about what you are wanting to promote; a product or a service?
  • Use this to start your keyword research and expand as you uncover new phrases

Defining the Campaign Structure

  • Group your targeted keywords into small themed groups
  • Keep the number of keywords in an ad group to a minimum
  • Work out whether it is best to have one campaign or multiple campaigns

Ad Text

  • The ad text should be unique for each ad group and should closely match the keywords in the group
  • Always run at least two ads alongside each other to ascertain the better performer

Negative Keywords

  • Just as important as positive keywords and should not be overlooked
  • It is not uncommon for a campaign to have in excess of 2,000 negatives
  • Use your earlier keyword research for finding negative keywords too

Bid Prices

  • How much are you prepared to bid up to for a click on one of your adverts?
  • Work on a 1% conversion rate, i.e. 100 visitors produces 1 sale, if applicable.
  • Set the bids and be prepared to adjust after the campaign has launched to achieve your desired ad positions

Campaign Settings

  • Review the campaign settings and be prepared to change the default settings
  • Set-up location targeting selecting an entire country, town/city or a specific area within a certain radius of your post code
  • Change the Ad Rotation setting to ‘Rotate: Show ads more evenly’ which will allow you to make the decision over which ad to pause when split testing
  • Choose which networks you want the ads to show on (Google, Search Partners and/or Display Network)
  • A lot of current websites do not render well on mobile phone devices. If this applies to you, look at stopping the ads from showing on mobiles


  • Choose a daily budget that is comfortable for you

Conversion Tracking & Goals

  • Set-up AdWords Conversion Tracking to record sales/downloads/contact form submissions etc depending on what your desired goal is
  • Create goals in Google Analytics to track where you visitors maybe falling out of your ‘Goal Funnel’


  • Try to avoid launching a new campaign on a Friday unless you will be monitoring it over the weekend
  • Monday mornings are my preferred launch day as I can monitor the campaign throughout the entire week

Review, Review, Review

  • Continue to monitor the campaign performance and make adjustments where required
  • Review for additional negative keywords on a weekly basis

If you would like some help setting up your Pay Per Click campaign, please get in touch with our Sales Team.

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Samantha Noble
About the author

Samantha Noble

Sam is a talented multi-tasker, a dedicated mother to the gorgeous Theo and a big fan of cooking – word on the street is that she’s pretty good in the kitchen but we’re yet to know if this is true or not. Hint hint, we like cake, Sam.


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