Dos and Don’ts of Creating a Paid Search Campaign

Marketing these days is digital and all about utilizing media for business, and you know for a fact that the Internet is the best place to be. So you placed your business on the Web by making a site. But why haven’t your sales really gone up? Why isn’t your website’s traffic as high as you’d like it? How do you get your company on the front and center of this gigantic, worldwide stage?

You create a PPC AdWords campaign.

PPC AdWords campaigns cost time, effort, and money from your end, but the payoff from a successful one is significant. In fact, they’re highly recommended in the digital marketing world right now. It’s a fantastic form of digital advertising.

But be careful—you don’t want to run off and launch a PPC AdWords campaign this very moment. First, you have to be sure that you have an idea of what works and what doesn’t work with this marketing method. Background knowledge is crucial here.

You know those “kitchen sink” soups that you aren’t really supposed to plan out?  You know, the ones where you’re told to throw in just about anything and everything you have, but then you learn the hard way that they didn’t actually mean “anything and everything?” Crafting a PPC advertisement is a lot like that, except that instead of wasting vegetables (and that grape jelly that you just knew you shouldn’t have put in), a failed attempt can waste your company’s hard-earned money.

However, the PPC AdWords campaign equivalent of grape jelly kitchen sink soup is perfectly avoidable. Just be sure to start planning it with a brief overview of what you should do and shouldn’t do if you want to see it be successful.

The Dos:

1. Do come up with strong keywords.

Keywords are the bread and butter, the peanut butter and grape jelly, to your PPC AdWords campaign. That’s why it’s extremely wise to conduct thorough research before deciding on which ones you want to use. Know your audience, study your website visitors’ searches through your log files (including which keywords they used to land up on your page), examine the most successful companies’ websites, and analyze your competition.

The process might seem long and tedious, but the rewards that can be reaped with the right keywords are entirely worth the trouble.

2. Do use negative keywords.

Don’t let the word “negative” mislead you—negative keywords are an asset. They keep you off searches you don’t want to show up on and, in turn, prevent the chances of those same search terms (your negative keywords) creating ad impressions which are unlikely to get click-throughs. That prevention will be far better for your Quality Score and, as a result, your company’s costs.

3. Do make sure your advertisement is enticing.

Your PPC advertisement is your attention-grabber. If it’s not engaging enough to make people excited or curious to click on it and see where it takes them within mere seconds of them seeing it, then your campaign will be a bit of a waste. Boring and generic isn’t an option—give users something fresh and intriguing, and they will come to your website.

The Don’ts:

1. Don’t opt out of keyword research and select “obvious” keywords.

The way to go may seem to be to grab up all of the singular, generic keywords right off the bat, but that’s actually not always the case.

Just because you sell shirts doesn’t mean that you have to waste most of your PPC-designated funds on keywords like “ship,” “ships,” and “shipping.”  On the other hand, if your company is called “Ship” then a keyword like “ship” might be a good investment after all.

However, because all companies are different, these suggestions apply in various ways for different PPC campaigns and goals. If you’re not sure, don’t guess—find a reliable source and get your questions answered.

2. Don’t make your advertisement misleading.

Advertising is all about spicing things up, but that doesn’t mean that misleading consumers in your PPC advertising is the way to do so. Not only will misleading advertisements increase your bounce rate (which you don’t want), but they will hurt your company’s credibility and, in turn, sales. Done egregiously enough, it can even get you kicked out of AdWords.

There are plenty of things about your company that can be made highly appealing to users without giving them false expectations. If you’re just not seeing how to make an engaging advertisement without giving consumers the wrong idea, don’t resort to creating a misleading advertisement—find inspiration, get ideas from other people you know, or get help from a marketing firm.

3. Don’t send clicks to the wrong landing page or send them all to your homepage.

This is a general rule of thumb for any types of links that you ever put out there, but it never hurts to repeat it: make sure that your links are always taking people where they’re supposed to be taking them. Nothing is worse than getting awkwardly directed to the wrong landing page or clicking on a hopeful link only to be led to a broken or nonexistent page. A landing page issue isn’t worth frustrating and/or losing your customers.

Additionally, don’t direct every single click to your homepage. Believe it or not, people may land on your homepage, not see the specific information they need, and go back to the search engine in seconds. Don’t be afraid to send people to more specific landing pages on your website that will give them the information they need immediately. Don’t forget to do a PPC audit once in awhile.

Remember: Kitchen sink soups actually aren’t supposed to end up down the kitchen sink drain, and neither is your PPC AdWords campaign.

Do: Keep this list of “dos and don’ts” in mind as you get started on cooking up your PPC plans.

Don’t: Put grape jelly in your PPC AdWords campaign.


About the Author


Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded, helping businesses and websites suspended in AdWords to Get Back on Google.