Before we continue on from Part 1, I want to clarify a point about setting up in Google. The idea is to quickly set up your PPC campaigns. Google simply has great tools to facilitate this, and they happen to be the largest. You can use these steps to set up on other networks if you choose, but ideally each network should be configured separately.
If you plan to start with Google, take a look at this post on uploading AdWords campaigns into Yahoo and MSN. Each search engine performs differently. After you've uploaded, manage the bids and settings to their individual strengths.
Take your list of negative keywords, refine them, and add them to your campaign. Negative keywords can save you time and money by filtering out words that can steer your campaign into unfruitful paths.
Use your Web site analytics to look for negative keywords. Look specifically at your keyword report to identify any negative terms that might exist. If your campaign is B2B, you might find KoMarketing Associates' list of more than 200 negative keywords useful.
Also, look at Google's keyword tool or other keyword research tools that let you look at synonyms, or even consult a thesaurus. See what words are related to your set of keywords.
Use common sense. You should know your product or service and your industry pretty well. Get with colleagues and brainstorm over lunch -- it will make for an interesting conversation.
Ads and Ad Groups
To create your first ad group and ads, two things should be top of mind: relevancy and action. These two principles will greatly increase your campaign effectiveness and your quality score.
Your ad group should contain keywords that are relevant to each other and your ads. Your ads should link to a page that is just as relevant. Also, you'll get a higher CTR by developing ads with a strong call to action.
After setting up your first ad group, go ahead and add all of your keywords to the list for now.
Google recently provided a free offline tool, AdWords Editor, that allows you to download your campaign, make all the changes you want, then upload the changes back into AdWords. I really love this tool because it's much easier to group your keywords using the AdWords Editor than to do it online with AdWords. Find the keyword grouper tool and start grouping your large list of keywords into the themes you came up with earlier.
Upload your campaign back into Google AdWords so you can create more ads for each group you just created. You should build at least two ads per ad group, if not more.
Back to relevancy, each ad should have the core or theme keyword in all of your ads. You should also setup your display URL to have this core keyword in it if at all possible.
Finally, pick the most relevant page for your destination URL. Don't just send potential customers to your home page.
Launch Campaign: Measure and Tweak
Depending on your Web analytics tool, make sure you set up your campaign and associated landing pages correctly so you can measure your results. Watch and test the first day of the campaign to ensure everything is working properly.
As you monitor your campaigns, you'll undoubtedly find spots that need tweaking. Expand your keyword list if necessary, add more ad groups with relevant keywords, monitor your quality score, and check your conversion rates. After all, you're going through all of this trouble to get people to your site for a reason, right?
Once your campaign is running smoothly, duplicate it and place it on other PPC networks. Different networks provide different features. Make sure you take advantage of those that are important to you.
Again, be aware of the strengths of the other search networks you choose to use and measure accordingly. What works on one network might not work the same on the other, so test to make sure you're achieving the correct results.
Setting up a PPC campaign the right way can be a fun and rewarding journey. Following these steps has worked for me and for numerous professionals.
New tools and tips will always become available. Remember to play it smart, test, and make sure it works for you.
Don't be afraid to try something different to see if it will make an improvement. PPC management is all about dialing it in and then making small methodical course corrections to squeeze out a little more performance when you can.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!