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» Google Adwords, Online Strategy, Paid Search in General » What’s In Your PPC “Pre-Flight” Checklist?

What’s In Your PPC “Pre-Flight” Checklist?


When launching a new PPC Campaign on Google or any other Search Engine, there’s an audit that MUST be done in order to ensure that every click and dollar spent is where it needs to be. Because if you forget something or notice any missing traffic metrics, conversions, disapproved Ads, etc… it’s your mess to figure it out and it does shine a bad light on the PPC Marketers abilities. In this post, I will highlight on some of my own “Pre-Flight” Checklist items to ensure that when the campaigns start, I do not have to stop them right away and put on my Fireman’s helmet to stop the fire-drill.


Strategy Level Checklist:

  • Approved Strategy in Place.
  • All Approved Text Ad Messaging has been implemented and approved by Editorial (watch carefully as soon as it’s activated).
  • All (CPO) Cost Per Order/Conversion Metrics are setup and understood.
  • All Approved Daily/Monthly Budgets are set correctly. (For multiple campaigns, make sure you have the right budget allocation)


Web Analytics Checklist:

  • All Conversion Tracking Code is Tagged Correctly & Tested.
  • Generic Web Analytics Code is Tagged Correctly & Tested.
  • Make sure all Destination Urls are tracking Properly.
  • Suggest to client that all other advertising, newsletters, etc… have analytics tracking code attached.
  • Make sure all Conversion Funnels are setup and working properly.
  • Make sure to create Analytics Dashboard for client (if applicable).
  • Make sure to let the client’s Tech Team to include Web Analytics code on all new and existing pages if edited.


Tactical PPC Checklist:

  • Specific Networks are checked off/on based on strategy. (Search, Display, etc..)
  • If Ad testing, make sure Ad Serving is set to Rotate.
  • Make sure to not have any possible Trademarks, Excessive Capitalization or Superlatives that bypass Editorial that could deactivate the Ads later on.
  • Make sure all Keyword Matching settings are setup correctly, according to your approved strategy
  • Add all identified Negative keywords are either added to Campaign or Adgroup Levels (Make sure they are not relevant modifiers and either phrase or exact negatives
  • Make sure the Destination Urls are accurate and working properly.
  • Make sure all approved Geo-Targeting settings are setup correctly (same goes for Demographics within Display Networks)
  • Make sure all approved Display Banners in all sizes for maximum visibility for network sites.
  • If using Display Network, double check the selected sites and any keywords being used are based on accurate themes for the adgroup.
  • If client has any other Google services such as Google Places, Merchant Center, Phone Extensions and Site Links, make sure to add them to the Campaign Settings (if applicable)
  • Any other specifics such as Day-parting, Position Preferences and Frequency are setup correctly based on client’s business activities.


In Conclusion:
In all honesty, it’s very easy to forget to check off a setting or forget to add a & or ? to a destination url that would inadvertently create a broken link within a test ad and that’s not a good way to start off a new PPC Campaign. These suggestions mentioned above are just some of the things that I look at when launching a new campaign or even making edits. There are so many settings as well as strategies that can be implemented on any given day, so keeping a checklist of what to do before your hit the ENABLED button and release the hounds is a good way to avoid any “Imperial Entanglements” (Star Wars Fans out there????)

Filed under: Google Adwords, Online Strategy, Paid Search in General · Tags: , ,

One Response to "What’s In Your PPC “Pre-Flight” Checklist?"

  1. […] Check Lists – Just like comparison checklist are extremely valuable. Put together a list of  10 things you need to do before starting a project. Any subject you can create a how-to about you should be able to create checklist. Think airline pilot “pre-flight” or “european vacation” and build a template a blog reader could use plug-and-play in their own life. SEMGeek shows his preflight check list for PPC. […]

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