7 Key Elements of an Effective PPC Campaign
Meta: What are the core elements of every search campaign setup? Take a look to discover
the 7 key parts of every paid search campaign from the experts.
Key Elements of a PPC Campaign
Pay Per Click advertising is one of the most widely used forms of digital marketing.
Traditionally, it allowed businesses to appear prominently on relevant search engine results
pages quickly through bidding on certain keyphrases.
Nowadays, PPC is now used interchangeably with other ad formats outside of search with
Paid Search activity playing a crucial role in any multi-channel marketing strategy. Paid
search enables you to deliver highly targeted messaging to users across the world.
Campaigns also offer incredible flexibility and speed with the ability to control budgets and
divert resources immediately, allowing businesses to pivot based on new opportunities and
changes in the economic climate. All of this whilst delivering fast, measurable and scalable
This post will break down the key elements of a PPC campaign and provide you with a clear
overview of some of the key elements needed for a successful campaign.
Define Goals, Objectives & KPIs
Goals, objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are crucial to the success of any
PPC campaign. Goals help you determine what you want to accomplish with your digital
marketing efforts. They should reflect the overall mission of the organisation whilst being
broad, long term and achievable.
These goals can then be broken down into objectives which are more of a step-by-step
process for accomplishing the goals. KPIs are a great tool to monitor this vision with
quantifiable metrics that will help you measure the results of your PPC campaigns against
those objectives. KPIs are the cornerstone around which any effective PPC campaign is built
● Goal – Generate profit
● Objective – Launch PPC campaigns promoting new products/services to increase
sales by 15%
● KPI – Achieve a ROAS of 6
In practice, you should have multiple goals such as increasing net profit, increasing brand
awareness and becoming sustainable. All of this can be achieved through different objects
and measured against their own KPIs.
This is truly what allows your organisation to stand out amongst the competition. It’s not just
about being different, it’s about being better! Unique Selling Points (USPs) should be specific
to the business and the sector.
Effective USPs keep the end users in mind whilst addressing their immediate questions and
pain points. They should be used in your advertising to communicate the benefits of
choosing your products or services over your competitors in a clear, concise and memorable
● Homeware – Free Shipping
● Fashion – Ethically Sourced
● Manufacturing – Made in the UK
● Charity – 99% of Funds Go Directly to the Cause
Communicating strong USPs within your ad copy and landing pages is paramount to the
success of your Paid Search campaigns. Featuring USPs in the ad copy can improve key
metrics such as Click Through Rate (CTR) whilst communicating key features on your
landing pages would improve conversion rates.
Keywords are the lifeblood of search campaigns and researching them is the primary
method of finding new opportunities. Users are looking for products or services just like
yours in various ways, some of which we may never have considered. Keyword research
can help us identify what users are searching for and help gauge traffic and competition
levels. For a little more info on this be sure to check out our How to Do Keyword Research
Without relevant keywords, your paid search campaigns have little chance of being shown to
the right users at the right time.
These keywords are initially broken down into 3 top-level categories: Brand, Generic &
Competitor. To elaborate;
If I were managing a campaign for Nike, tasked with advertising running shoes, I would
segment keywords as below:
Brand – Search terms that feature the brand name
e.g. “Nike Running Shoes”
Generic – Search terms that do not feature any brand terms but are relevant to the
products/services being offered.e.g. “Running Shoes”
Competitor – Search terms that feature a competitor brand name
e.g. “Adidas Running Shoes”
You also get a sub-category of product brand keywords, that do not relate to your business
but are connected to 3rd party brands that you offer.
There are several tools that can help you with this type of keyword research.
● Google Keyword Planner
● Keywords Everywhere
● Keyword Surfer Extension
● Answer the Public
Tip: Save any keywords that you don’t have suitable landing pages for, you can build these
Another important element of keyword research is considering keywords you don't want to
appear for. Negative Keywords allow us to prevent our ads from appearing for irrelevant
A well-organised structure is crucial to the ongoing management of PPC campaigns. It
allows us to manage budgets and divert resources based on performance, seasonality or
even stock levels. In addition to this, the campaign structure allows us to segment our efforts
based on themes and detailed targeting options right down to the search queries/keywords
A well-segmented but understandable structure allows us to better understand the data and
report on it.
The structure is also crucial to help with your quality score, which is Google’s measure of
relevancy for your keywords and ads, and ultimately dictates your ad rank. Adopting clearly
defined and logical campaign structures can ensure relevance from the ad messaging down
to the landing page.
Not only is campaign structure important, but so too is your ad group structure. Ad groups
determine the ad and landing page for each of your keywords, so it is crucial to separate
keywords into sub-themes. These sub-themed ad groups enable us to deliver the right
message, user experience and offering – catering specifically for the user intent.
Examples of how to segment your campaigns would be:
● Category (product or service type)
● Product margins
The best practices for structuring a campaign continue to change over time as features
within platforms such as Google Ads evolve. A large part of what any Paid Search
professional does involves adapting to new features and updates.
First impressions matter! Ad copy is one of the first steps in connecting with users through
paid search. Well-written ad copy doesn’t need to be filled with jargon. It should compel
users by outlining the offering, communicating those USPs and providing a clear call to
action directing them through their journey.
That’s not all, search engines like Google also make important decisions based on your ad
copy. With Responsive Search Ads, they gauge how closely your ad matches the intent
behind a user’s search, this is measured through “Ad Relevance”. These important decisions
go on to determine how often your ad is served and how much you might pay per click.
Tips for writing effective ad copy
● Grab the user’s attention, be direct with your messaging and ensure that the
important details are at the forefront of your ad copy
● Clear call to actions that are relevant to the next steps of the user’s journey such as
Buy Now, Learn More, Sign Up etc
● Reflect the user’s intentions – remain relevant to the landing pages and search
● Include the price! Particularly when it is a competitive one
● Facts and figures are your friends e.g. “24-Hour Dispatch” or “Trusted by 100k
● Address the user’s concerns and barriers to conversion by answering those burning
● Use emotive language. Speak directly to the individual by conveying the
benefits/advantages not just the features
● The tone of voice – Be consistent and honour the brand’s persona, good ad copy
should resonate with the target audience and reinforce the brand
With the primary purpose of converting visitors into customers or leads, landing pages much
like everything else within PPC must be relevant. This is an opportunity to add great value to
the organisation proposition and to continue guiding users through their journey. Landing
pages need to be congruent – the ad copy within your PPC campaigns should reflect the
The landing pages we use should start to fulfil the user's search intent. When running
remarketing campaigns, these landing pages should be relevant to how the users previously
engaged with the organisation.
Elements of your landing page will impact your Quality Score, Google suggests that landing
pages should be clear and useful to users whilst being relevant to your keyword and the
Landing Page Tips
● Above the fold – make use of imagery and text to emphasise the value/benefits of
your offering and include a clear call to action above the fold (lead generation clients
often include a lead generation form above the fold).
● Corresponding CTAs – use a consistent call to action across ad copy and landing
● Less is more – try not to bombard users with information and options, an easy user
experience makes for an effective user experience.
● Navigation – make it simple for users to navigate to their desired destination
proof and authority indicators such as awards and accreditations.
● Responsive – ensure that the landing page is optimised for both mobile and desktop
● Page Copy – now is not a time to bore people. The landing page copy should both
inform and entice users.
● Page Speed – we don’t have all day, slow load times only contribute to bounce rates
and wasted ad spend.
One of the most important, yet often the most neglected element of campaign setup.
Tracking allows us to gauge user behaviour and understand the effectiveness of our
marketing efforts. There are various events or conversions that we can track. A conversion
could be subscribing to a newsletter, installing an app or making a purchase. Effectively
tracking conversions enables us to assign them to very specific sources of traffic.
For example; a particular keyword, within a particular ad group, targeting a very specific
audience within a particular country.
This allows us to measure results, test new campaigns and optimise for success. We can
only look to refine and improve account performance by breaking down where those
conversions came from.
You should aim to track micro and macro conversions that are deemed valuable actions
from users on your website so you can build a picture of what account activity is contributing
to your business and in what way. Measuring performance at this level will allow you to
report on PPC activity more effectively, both to internal and external stakeholders. Without
proper tracking, it can become impossible to truly gauge the contribution that Paid Search
campaigns have to the wider objectives and goals of the organisation.
Offline conversions happen for different reasons. Maybe your business operates physical
stores, or there are long lead times. You can track these offline conversions through manual
uploads or CRM database syncing using enhanced tracking methods
In conclusion, If you are unsure where to get started, or maybe you have campaigns already set up and
you want to ensure they adhere to best practices, then get in touch with our award-winning
team. We can talk you through our auditing, consultancy and management services.