Pay Per Click: 6 Questions Before Starting A New Campaign

Andrea Fryrear on Advertising

Pay per click (PPC) costs can spiral out of control quickly, even with a reasonably small daily budget. So before you hand over your credit card details, make sure you’ve done the right amount of soul searching.

You can achieve some marketing goals without paying for online advertising, while others will come to fruition much faster backed by a well-optimized PPC effort.

Here are 6 things that you have to ask yourself before you start your new pay per click campaign:

  • What is the goal of my pay per click campaign?
  • Can I achieve my goals without paying for them?
  • What is my budget?
  • Who is my target market?
  • What are my keywords/negative keywords?
  • Where will I send my traffic?

What is the goal of my Pay Per Click Campaign?

Before getting that new pay per click campaign up and running, the first thing you need to do is decide what the goals are. A PPC campaign with no clear goals is destined for failure.

Some things to keep in mind for your goals are:

  • What are you trying to achieve with this campaign?
  • When do you want your pay per click campaign to be completed by?
  • What is considered success for this campaign?

Setting goals is all well and good on its own, but holding yourself to your goals is a whole other ball game. Make sure that once you have set your goals you hold yourself to them to make sure that your campaign is successful.

Changing a goal midway through the campaign to make the campaign a “success” is not a true success. Make your campaign a true success by using your goals to guide it.

Define What You Are Trying To Achieve With PPC

Decide upfront what the entire goal is for your pay per click. You need to definitively know what you want to come from your pay per click, whether it be increased sales, more membership sign ups, or simply increased brand awareness.

Knowing what you want to get out of your pay per click campaign will help you to guide your campaign towards success.

If you can’t explain what you are trying to achieve with your campaign then you may want to re-evaluate whether or not you should run a pay per click campaign and if it would be worth the cost.

Set An End Date For Your Campaign

In order to determine whether or not all the goals of the campaign were met, it is important to set an end date for your PPC. Without an end date it is very difficult to measure the success of the campaign.

This will also help you later on when you are budgeting for the campaign. If you come up on the end date that you set and see that the campaign is successful and fulfilling all goals, set a new end date and continue with the campaign.

This isn’t saying to ignore the end date and continue; instead this is saying you were successful by the end date you set and decided to continue the campaign to a new end date to reassess at that time.

Define Success for Pay Per Click

It is important to know what will make your pay per click campaign a success. Earlier we mentioned having a specific outcome in mind for your campaign, so defining success may come from that outcome.

Success for your campaign could be a certain dollar amount increase in your sales. It could also be something like having an increase of 100 new sign ups on your site higher than during the time that you weren’t running a pay per click campaign.

Can I Achieve My Goals Without PPC?

Once you’ve decided your goals for a PPC campaign comes possibly the most important question: can I achieve my goals without paying for them?

Pay per click campaigns can end up being pricey, so it is important to determine if you actually need it. If you find that there are ways that you can achieve your goals (such as optimizing your website, changes to newsletter emails, etc.) then there is no reason to pay for a PPC campaign.

You may also simply find that your goals might not actually be affected by a pay per click campaign. If you are unsure if a pay per click campaign will have an effect on your goals then try a smaller campaign of only a few dollars a day for a couple weeks to sort of test the waters.

If you don’t see your goals being achieved or going in a successful direction, then you can stop the campaign and reassess your marketing.

What Is My Budget?

Knowing your budget for your pay per click campaign is beyond important. It can be very easy for your pay per click to run wild with your budget and you can find yourself spending much more than planned.

When developing your budget it is important that you have a total budget for the campaign, then set monthly, weekly, and even daily budgets. As long as you stick to each of your budgets you will be able to better track the success of your campaign in regards to cost.

When you budget for your campaign, you should always be keeping each of your campaign goals in mind. This is very important as you should have already determined how long your campaign will be running for.

You will also be able to determine how much you should be able to spend on your pay per click based on your goal profit to get the best ROI.

Who Is My Target Market?

Knowing your target market is a key factor in running any successful campaign. Without a thorough understanding of your target market it can be quite difficult to create compelling ads that will appeal to possible customers.

This can be especially important if you are planning on launching more than one pay per click campaign. With multiple campaigns you can aim to hit a different target market for each of the campaigns.

This is especially important if you are running campaigns that may be gender specific, or for a specific geographic area etc. Creating campaigns without knowing the target market in highly specific campaigns can lead to certain failure.

What are my Pay Per Click keywords?

The keywords that you select for your campaign will determine when your ad shows up for different search results. Good keywords will ensure that your ad is shown when relevant and will be the best usage of your campaign budget.

Determine All The Keyword Options

Now it’s time to create a comprehensive keyword list. It is very important that you pick keywords carefully and deliberately. Make sure every keyword you add to your list is relevant to your business.

Start by looking at your business and building your terms around that. Include everything that relates to your business, the general terms, specific terms, misspelled terms etc.

Go to Google and try searching for your company (This works best if you do it in incognito mode). Put yourself in the mindset of a new customer who needs your product/service but doesn’t even really know it yet.

Then search using whatever terms you are thinking of using and see what terms bring up your company and in what combinations these terms work best in.

This can help you to find the lesser used keywords that are less expensive and can still get you a great return. Be careful not to select keywords that are vague though because these can lead to wasted money.

You should also make sure to avoid “broad match” keywords. These pull in irrelevant search results because it will include results that in a broad sense match your keywords.

Negative Keywords Are Keywords Too

Using negative keywords allows you to be more specific in eliminating the web traffic that you do not want. By eliminating irrelevant web searches you can make sure that your ads will only show to the people who were actually looking for your product/service.

There are tons of negative keywords that you should have set with any campaign. Three main types of negative keywords are:

  • Employment search related keywords
  • Education search related keywords
  • Research & Information related keywords

With a quick search you can find lists of negative keywords that should always be avoided such as’s list of 75 Negative Keywords That Every AdWords Campaign Should Include.

Where Will I Send My Pay Per Click Traffic?

Now that you have this great new pay per click campaign up and running you have to determine where to send the people who click on your ad. It is very tempting to send them to your homepage.

Unless the ad they clicked on makes sense to send to your homepage, that’s probably not where they want to go.

It is important that you decide what page of your site is most relevant to the campaign that you are running. When a customer clicks on an ad related to a specific search, they will not want to have to search once more on the site.

If you drop all of your pay per click customers onto your homepage you can majorly increase the overall bounce rate for your site as well as lose potential new customers.

Get Your Pay Per Click Done Right

Before starting that new pay per click campaign, make sure that you answer the 5 questions that we’ve gone over here. If you can not answer them definitively then you should probably hold off on starting your new campaign.

Putting thought and analysis behind your campaign can help you to create a more successful campaign overall.