You’ve built out your campaign structures, created all of your ad groups, put in your keywords and written stellar ad copy. You have gotten the keyword and ad copy approved right before your launch deadline, and are making final changes.
Sometimes when we face tight deadlines to get a new account pushed live, we can overlook critical things that need to be in place. And these things can result in overspending, improper reporting and missing your launch deadline.
Below are some essential tips that will ensure your PPC account launch will be a smashing success for your client, as well as your company.
1) Create a Standard Checklist
This is an essential item to have every time you launch a new account, campaign and even an ad group. It should be an itemized check-off list that covers every aspect of the launch — uploading, bids, URLs and bidding. This way, you can ensure that everything is checked and verified before you go live.
QA is essential, and even if it means delaying the launch, it is better to launch with everything right than have to go back and fix errors after the launch.
2) Get Sign-offs for Your Checklist
Have yourself or someone on your team verify or check each of these items, and sign and date each one. This ensures not only everything is in place for the launch, but establishes accountability as well.
3) Recheck Those Settings
Check all of the settings for each campaign to ensure they are consistent across all of the campaigns in your account. Are all of your ad deliveries set to standard or accelerated? Are your keyword matching options set to include close variants? All of the settings options need to be verified to ensure they are relevant to your account.
4) Ensure Budgets Are in Place
Verify the billing information is in place and ready to go, as well as having the daily budgets set at their appropriate levels. Ensure invoicing and credit card payments are in place.
5) No Duplicate Keywords
If you are managing multiple accounts, ensure you do not have duplicate keywords between accounts. You want to ensure that you are not competing for the same keywords across accounts.
6) Launch Your Account as Paused
Once you have everything in place and checked, launch the account as paused. By doing this, once it is time to launch, all you have to do is activate the account. In addition, you can ask Google review you ad copy before you launch to ensure everything is approved ahead of time.
7) Check Your Tagging
If you are using any type of third party tagging, ensure your keywords and/or your ads have the proper landing page tracking. Ensure Conversion Tracking is turned on in AdWords to allow your conversions to track properly with analytics.
8) Verify Your Landing Pages Are Working
Verify all of the landing pages are indeed working, and there are no dead pages. Also check to make sure they keywords are going to the proper landing pages. It never hurts to double-check this before you launch.
9) Mobile Bidding and Location Strategy
If you are incorporating mobile into your account, have the bidding set appropriately and check after launch to ensure it’s performing as it should be. If you are doing location targeting, make sure you have set up your locations to the proper geographies, and check periodically on the performance post-launch.
10) Don’t Launch On a Friday
This can become an issue if you are trying to get something live before the weekend, and your keywords and ad copy require Google review. This can result in as much as a two-to-three day delay, and can result in your account being down over the weekend. I have experienced this, and it’s not pleasant to have to tell your client that they will have to wait until Monday for their new account to be live.
Creating and launching a new account can be exciting and stressful. Having a structured checklist in place, and following the above guidelines can take away a lot of the stress, and ensure a successful launch experience — not just for you, but for your client as well.
Author bio: Diane Pease is an Inbound Marketing Manager for Cisco, and has been in online and traditional marketing for over 25 years. She has expertise in SEO, social and traditional marketing, but her primary specialty is paid search and analytics. Diane focuses on providing clients with solid paid search strategies and seamless campaign execution. Her last article for SEMrush was “From Agency to In-House: 5 Challenges and How to Adjust.”