How To Run A Successful PPC Search Campaign

How To Run A Successful PPC Search Campaign

Keyword Research

Although you may think you know your business and what your customers tend to search for, thorough keyword research plays a vital part in a successful search campaign. Initial research enables you to determine the best keywords/phrases to drive relevant traffic to your website.

By doing this, you’ll know from the get-go whether or not the terms you’re planning to bid on have search volume, and you’ll be able to identify additional keywords relevant to your product/services that you initially wouldn’t have thought of.

Within your Google Ads account, you’ll have access to the Keyword Planner tool. This tool is super useful as it’s where you can find potential keywords to bid on, average cost-per-clicks for those keywords, as well as search volumes. There is also a range of other useful keyword research tools, such as:


Campaign Structure

Wonder why account structure is one of the most important factors in successful search campaigns? Well firstly for your own sanity – you don’t want to get lost in the mess! But by having a clear structure, you’ll also be able to efficiently manage different KPIs (key performance indicators), keywords, budgets and campaign groups without a problem.

Unless your account is very large, the average account will typically only have a couple of campaigns, all separated for a purpose. For example, if a roofing company wished to advertise their roofing repair service as well as their new roofing service, they could potentially have those split up into two separate campaigns. By having those different services split out into separate campaigns, it allows for easy budget control as well as being able to monitor the performance of each campaign separately.

Under each campaign you’ll need ad groups, and using your keyword research, we recommend grouping relevant keywords together to form these ad groups. It can also help to organise keywords into each group based on their match type. You could have an ad group dedicated to Broad Match Modified keywords, and another for Exact Match keywords. This can also help with budget control.


Ad Copy

When writing ad copy for your campaigns, it’s important to keep your customers in mind at all times. You want to create ads that are relevant to your keywords and landing page, whilst also drawing in searchers using compelling ad text. By using call-to-actions and incentives in your headline such as ‘Get A Free Quote’ or ‘50% Off Sale’, you’re increasing the chances of your audience clicking through to your website and becoming a customer or client.

It’s also important when it comes to writing effective ad copy that you split test multiple ad variations to make sure you are continually improving your click-through rates. 

For more details on creating search ads, check out our article –  ‘How To Write PPC Ads That Convert’


Ad Extensions

Ad extensions ensure a higher click-through rate by making your ads more prominent and by adding trust to the searcher. They also provide additional information helping make the ad even more relevant for the user.

As standard you should be aiming for a range of Sitelink & Callout extensions, however other extensions can be useful useful too. As of 2019, these are the current ad extensions available within Google Ads:

  • Location extensions

  • Affiliate location extensions

  • Callout extensions

  • Call extensions

  • Message extensions

  • Sitelink extensions

  • Callout extensions

  • Structured snippet extensions

  • Price extensions

  • App extensions


Additionally, ad extensions also benefit towards your overall ad rank, helping you achieve those top spots in search results for a lower cost-per-click.


Adding Bid Adjustments

Managing bids at either an ad group or keyword level is great, but with bid adjustments you can set bids based on a number of other factors including:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Device
  • Hour of the day/time of week

Once you have a significant amount of data, you’ll be able to review performance and add in the necessary bid adjustments. For best practise, we recommend adding bid adjustments only if you have conversion data within your account. 

For example, desktop users are gaining more conversions at a lower cost-per-acquisition, so using this data you could set a 10% increased bid adjustment as desktop users are more likely to convert. It’s important to check these bid adjustments regularly to make sure they’re serving their purpose correctly.

Keep in mind when using multiple bid adjustments, that these will be multiplied against each other!  Therefore if you had a maximum CPC at ad group level of £1, but added a location bid adjustment for Nottingham at 20% and had a mobile bid adjustment of 10% your max. CPC would be £1.30.


Automated Bidding Rules

Automated bidding rules are a true life saver!

By setting up automated rules you can automatically make changes to keyword bids, campaigns, ads, budgets and more, based on specific requirements (that you choose) – which really takes off the heavy lifting and allows you to focus on the fun stuff.

For example, if you were worried about your ads falling below the first half of the page, you could set up a rule to increase your bid whenever it’s below a position 3 – (to set up these rules, look under ‘Tools’  in the top right corner of your account)

Using rules will help you save time by making frequent changes for you. It’s definitely worth setting rules up, however remember to monitor any rules you have in place.


Regular Optimisation

You could have automated rules set up, amazing ad copy and structure but you still need to frequently check in on your account, make manual changes and ensure nothing is going terribly wrong. Manually optimising your account on a regular basis allows you to spot any abnormalities, as well as possible opportunities to achieve more conversions and hit your KPI’s!

The main areas you should be checking on within your PPC account:

  • Budgets – you need to ensure you’re not overspending/underspending so monitor budgets regularly. We recommend installing this Budget Tracker Script by Cliteq for ultimate budget control.
  • Keywords – look out for higher spending keywords that may not be contributing positively to the account and lower bids where needed, or increase bids on lower spending keywords which are converting well. 
  • Review your search queries – always keep on top of your search queries as irrelevant search queries may need adding as negative keywords to prevent them showing in the future. There may also be new keyword opportunities that you find when reviewing you accounts search terms. Always be on the lookout for search terms that convert often but are not in your pack of keywords you bid on currently – adding these as keywords could help increase conversions for a cheaper cost!
  • Ads – check for any disapproved ads and split-test new ads against current high-performing ads within your account.
  • Conversions – dips in conversion data could mean you have an issue in your account.
  • Landing Pages – it’s important to check that all landing pages are working and loading correctly. After all, you don’t want to pay for a click only to lose a possible conversion because your website is broken! This Link Checker script is super useful for checking all landing pages and sitelink URL’s are working in your account.


Hopefully these top tips have helped give you some insight on how to run a successful Search campaign! If you wish to find out more about how your account is performing, and how it could be improved, check out our Free PPC Account Review.


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