create paid search campaigns

Creating Paid Search Campaigns? Work Backwards

The typical process for developing a new paid search program is to mimic the visitor progression pattern. Start with keyword research, then write or create an ad, and finally, identify a feasible landing page. While this approach can typically produce clicks, it may not always deliver conversions.

Here is the issue – without seamless continuity from keyword to ad to landing page, the visitor may get confused. With its Quality Score metric Google encourages advertisers to consider the visitor experience and shows them how to check on it. Plus, it is more challenging to deliver a conversion experience when you discover keyword phrases that, although relevant to your offering, do not already have a corresponding landing page match.

google quality score

To explain further, here is an example:

  • You sell cross training sneakers used for general exercise.
  • Your keyword research reveals high demand for “trail running shoes.”
  • While you can certainly envision a customer purchasing your shoes for that purpose, your site has zero content that covers trail running.
  • To avoid missing out on the potential sales, you choose to include the trail running phrases.

The problem with this scenario is the the unlikely occurrence of a sale for “trail running shoes” and related phrases without a landing page experience dedicated to this topic.

Only Make Promises You Can Fulfill

Creating a paid search campaign or ad group is an exercise in futility without a compelling experience on your site that aligns with the visitor’s query. Remember, this is pay per click; when a potential customer clicks, you pay. And clicks don’t guarantee sales. Search doesn’t create demand, it fulfills it. Similarly, your site must fulfill a keyword and advertising promise. Only promote the messages and angles you can support with site content.

paid search campaign creation process

Work Backwards

  1. Identify landing pages,
  2. create text (or graphic) ads that use similar verbiage,
  3. and finally, identify and select keywords that correspond in harmony.

During your keyword selection process, you will likely uncover additional terms that are relevant to your product/service. If these terms draw a different line to a potential sale via a separate and unique message or selling proposition, create separate landing pages and ads to adhere to that new path. In other words, when a new set of keyword phrases makes a different promise, you must fulfill that promise differently as well.


To use the previous example, our cross training sneaker campaign might look like this at launch. In this scenario, each ad group would have its own keywords, ads and landing page experience.

ppc campaign setup

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