PPC Campaign Basics for Beginners

Let's get right to it.  PPC campaign basics that complete beginners need to know before wasting a bunch of money on Adwords or Bing Ads.

Separate your PPC campaigns by network.

Never advertise on both the search network and display network in one campaign.  The campaign numbers will deceive you and be harder to analyze.  The search network is a very different beast from the display network.  Because of the significant differences in both networks, you will find that it requires a different set of strategies so it's best to keep networks separate.

Don't fall into the 'default settings' newbie trap.

Adwords is particularly evil with the default settings they choose for a new campaign.  They even go as far to say "Recommended for new advertisers".  It's important that you realize that any time you go with Google's recommendation, a big DANGER sign should flash inside your head.
Device Targeting
Search Network Standard or All Features Setting

Separate Mobile campaigns

If you plan to start a mobile campaign, make a new separate campaign strictly for mobile phones.  This is not a hard recommendation but more of a soft recommendation with the exception that it doesn't make management a nightmare.

For example, if you have 10 campaigns currently targeting all devices, do I recommend you literally double the number of current campaigns you have from 10 - 20 by creating mobile specific campaigns?  I can't answer that for you but if it makes sense to you, do it.

What are the potential benefits?
1.  You will be able to gauge the traffic opportunity on mobile devices.
2.  You can write more mobile-specific ads with calls to action like "Call Now."
3.  Geo-targeting is generally more accurate on mobile devices.
4.  More strategic bid strategies since mobile device CPCs are generally lower.

Set Rotate Ad Rotation

Different schools of thought surround the ad rotation settings.  By default, "Optimize for clicks" is set.  I don't recommend setting this because the Adwords system does not do a good job of giving ads enough statistical significance before it chooses the winner.  If you leave two ads in an ad group with "Optimize for clicks" set, you will notice one ad gets a boat-load of the clicks whereas the other ad maybe has few clicks and impressions without giving the other ad a chance to beat the ad that shows frequently.

I recommend that you create a minimum of 2 ads per ad group and set the settings to "Rotate Evenly" or "Rotate Indefinitely."

Ad Rotation Settings

Learn keyword match types

Outside the settings of the campaign, if you plan to actively manage your PPC campaign, then I don't see a problem bidding on broad match-type keywords.  However, I say that with great caution because Adwords in particular broad-matches your keywords to the most obscure queries - queries that it should know better not to!  Bidding on broad-match... you WILL pay money in click fees on clicks that are absolutely not targeted and useless.  However, you might gain valuable new keyword ideas to add to your keyword list that you never would have thought of.

If you're concerned about wasting money, modified broad match type is the way to go.  The way it works is you simply put a '+' (plus sign) in front of an important word that MUST appear in the searcher's search query in order to trigger you ad.

For example: 'dyson vacuums' converted to modified broad would be '+dyson +vacuums' which means the word 'dyson' and 'vacuums' must appear in the search query in order to trigger your ad.  If someone types in 'vacuums where can i buy dyson', it meets the criteria for triggering your ad because the whole word 'vaccums' and 'dyson' appear in the searcher's query.

Add Negative keywords

Data mine your search terms report.  This will show you what people are typing in then clicking on your ad.  You will notice people click on your ad after searching for irrelevant things.  That's why you add negatives - to prevent your ad from showing to people that are less likely to be your target customer.

Use Adwords Editor and Bing Ads Editor

I have put together an entire free course that will teach you the absolute basics that you need to know as a beginner here.  These two tools will make you 100x more efficient in managing your PPC campaigns.

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