Discover the simple step-by-step process for setting up PPC campaigns on Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Here you’ll find:

  • A glossary of essential PPC terms
  • The best PPC platforms to use
  • A step-by-step guide to setting up Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Amazon Ads
  • Tips for PPC success from our experts

Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are a wildly effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website and generate conversions. When you run them well, that is.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a successful PPC campaign on three major platforms: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Amazon Ads. 

From understanding the basics of PPC to conducting keyword research and analyzing ad campaign performance, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and learn how to set up a PPC campaign that delivers results that align with your business goals.

hand holding a tablet with text that reads PPC

PPC campaigns are an integral part of most marketing strategies. They are a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website and generate conversions – but only when you run them well. (Image: Adobe)

How to set up PPC campaigns

There are a lot of PPC platforms out there, including Amazon, Google, and Meta. These ads require keyword and audience research, building out copy and creatives, setting up conversion tracking, and other key items. 

Without instruction, it can be difficult to decide where to start. Plus, knowing how to use one platform doesn’t necessarily translate to understanding how to navigate another. 

Learn how to set up PPC campaigns with our comprehensive guide below.

PPC glossary

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of setting up your search campaign, let’s familiarize ourselves with some key terms:

1. Click-through rate (CTR): The ratio of ad clicks to impressions. Your CTR will be presented as a percentage and demonstrate the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it.

2. Conversion rate: The percentage of people who complete the desired action you want them to take after clicking your ad. This could be anything from a purchase to filling out a form.

3. Quality Score: A metric used by search engines to determine the relevance and quality of your text ads and keywords. A higher quality score often results in lower being able to bid lower for better ad positions.

4. Cost-per-click (CPC): The amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

5. Keyword match type: These come in several forms. They are exact match, broad match, and phrase match. Exact match keywords match, in which search queries are matched exactly with your keyword’s meaning. Broad match keywords are matched to queries that relate to your keyword. Last, phrase match keywords are matched to queries that include the meaning of your keyword.

What PPC ads platform to use

Here are three major platforms you should consider for your PPC ads: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Amazon Ads.

When it comes to setting up your PPC campaign, choosing the right PPC advertising platforms is crucial. For example, if you’re selling high-end clothing at a local boutique, Google may be a better choice for your ads in comparison to Amazon. 

Google gives you greater control over your customer experience and lets you run local campaigns, whereas Amazon is a vast marketplace with various sellers and products, which could make it a challenge for your boutique to stand out.  

Facebook Ads also offer various ad formats, which can allow you to get creative with your ad design. On Facebook, you can run image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and lead generation ads, which helps you engage people in different ways and allows you to tailor your campaigns for your offering.

1. Google Ads

Google Ads is the go-to platform for search engine advertising, with billions of people using the search engine daily. 

Advertising with Google Ads allows you to reach people who are actively searching for products or services on Google that are related to your offering. It is most often associated with the text ads that appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google Ads offers different campaign types, such as Search Network, Display Network, Video, Shopping, and App campaigns, catering to various advertising objectives. 

The platform has extensive keyword targeting options and powerful analytics, which lets you really refine your campaigns.

Pro tip: In some cases, it’s appropriate to add Microsoft Advertising’s search ads to your PPC strategy. This is particularly true if your company serves other businesses. 

2. Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads offers a vast audience reach and robust targeting options. With almost 3 billion monthly active users, Facebook provides an opportunity to target users based on demographics, interests, and behavior. 

It works particularly well for growing brand awareness and reaching audiences with specific interests. 

3. Amazon Ads

If you sell products on Amazon, leveraging Amazon Ads can significantly boost your visibility and sales on the platform. 

With millions of shoppers visiting Amazon daily, Amazon ads let you reach a highly relevant audience. 

Amazon Ads also offers different campaign types, including Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Product Display Ads. 

You can target audiences based on keywords, product categories, or specific products. With Amazon Ads, you can effectively promote your products and increase your chances of conversions.

How to set up a Google Ads campaign

1. Log into your Google Ads account

Or create a new one if you don’t have an account already.

Google Ads account

2. Create a new campaign

Click on the “+ Campaign” button to start a new campaign. Choose the campaign type you want to use from Search Network, Display Network, Video, Shopping, or App campaigns.

Click on the "+ Campaign" button to start a new campaign.

3. Choose an advertising goal

Decide on your campaign objectives, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or driving sales. Select the goal that is most relevant to your objectives.

campaign objectives for google ads

Choose an advertising goal: Decide on your campaign objectives, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or driving sales. Select the goal that is most relevant to your objectives.

4. Campaign settings

Enter all the necessary details for your campaign, such as campaign name, locations to target, languages, bidding strategy, and daily budget. Set the start and end dates.

Campaign settings in Google Ads

5. Keyword research and selection

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to conduct thorough keyword research. Identify relevant keywords that match what your audience is likely to be searching for. Ensure those keywords have an appropriate amount of search volume to achieve your goals.

Google Ads bidding

Create ad groups based on keyword themes and select the most appropriate keywords for each ad group. You’ll also assign a negative keyword list based on this research.

6. Ad creation

Write compelling ad copy that will grab people’s attention and entice someone who sees your ad to click it. Create multiple variations of ads with slight differences in copy, design, keywords, etc., to test their performance. Include relevant keywords in your ad headlines and descriptions. Ensure your ads have a clear call to action (CTA).

Ad creation google ads

7. Choose ad extensions

Ad extensions enhance your ads by providing additional information and call-to-action buttons. Select extensions like Sitelink Extensions, Call Extensions, or Location Extensions to boost the visibility and effectiveness of your ads.Choose ad extensions google ads

8. Landing page

Enter the landing page URL. This is where you want to send people after they click on your ads. Optimize your landing page for a seamless user experience and ensure it is consistent with the messaging in your ads.

google ads landing page

9. Setup conversion tracking

Install the Google Ads conversion tracking code on your website to track conversions accurately. Set up conversion goals, such as purchases, form submissions, or newsletter sign-ups, to measure campaign success.

Setup conversion tracking google ads

10. Review and launch

Review all your campaign settings, ad copy, targeting options, and budget. Once you are satisfied that everything is correct, click the “Launch” button to activate your campaign.

How to Set Up a Facebook Ads Campaign

1. Sign into Facebook Ads Manager

Log in to your Facebook account and navigate to the Ads Manager. If you don’t have an account, set one up.

Meta ads homepage

2. Define your campaign objective

Choose your campaign objective based on your goals. You have a lot of options to choose from, such as brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, lead generation, conversions, and more.

Define your campaign objective meta ads

3. Set your target audience

Define your target audience. Facebook has extensive targeting options that can be broken down into demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Set your target audience meta ads

4. Ad format selection

Choose the appropriate ad format for your campaign, such as image ads, video ads, carousel ads, or lead generation ads. Choose the right format that best showcases your product or service.

Ad format selection Meta ads

5. Ad creative

Write compelling ad content that grabs attention and creates a reaction with your target audience. Include eye-catching visuals, compelling headlines, and persuasive ad copy. Ensure your ad is consistent with your brand identity.

Ad creative Meta Ads

6. Budget and schedule

Decide on a budget and bidding strategy. Choose between a daily or lifetime budget, and then pick a bidding strategy that works with your campaign goals.

Budget and schedule

7. Ad placement

Determine where you want your ads to appear. Facebook offers various placements, such as in the news feed, right column, in-stream videos, Stories, and more. Choose the placements that best suit your audience’s preferences, and remember to create your ad based on the specific dimensions for the placement.

Ad placement

8. Track and optimize

Install the Facebook Pixel on your website to track conversions accurately. Monitor your campaign’s performance using Facebook Ads Manager and make necessary optimizations based on your data.

Track and optimize

9. Review and launch

Review all your campaign settings, ad creative, targeting options, and budget. Once you are happy with your setup, click the “Publish” button and launch your Facebook Ads campaign.

Review and launch

How to set up an Amazon Ads campaign:

1. Sign in to your Amazon Advertising account

If you don’t have an account, create one by registering as a seller on Amazon.

2. Choose your campaign type

Amazon offers different campaign types, such as Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Product Display Ads. Select the campaign type that aligns with your objectives.

Choose your campaign type

3. Determine your targeting options based on your campaign goals

Target keywords, specific products, or categories to reach your desired audience.

Determine your targeting options based on your campaign goals

For sponsored brand ads:

4. Budget and bids

Set your campaign budget and choose your bidding strategy. You can select automatic bidding to optimize for clicks or manual bidding to have more control over your bids.

Budget and bids

5. Ad creative

Create an engaging and informative ad that highlights your product’s unique selling points. Use high-quality images, persuasive ad copy, and relevant keywords to maximize the effectiveness of your ads.

Ad creative

6. Product page optimization

Ensure your product listings are optimized for conversion. Optimize product titles, descriptions, and images to improve CTRs and increase conversions.

7. Monitor and optimize

Regularly monitor your campaign’s performance using Amazon’s advertising dashboard. Track sales, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics. Make data-driven optimizations, such as adjusting bids and refining targeting, to improve your campaign’s results.

8. Review and launch

Review all your campaign settings, ad creative, targeting options, and budget allocation. Once you are satisfied with your setup, click the “Launch Campaign” button to activate your Amazon Ads campaign.

How to build your campaign

Setting up a PPC campaign on any platform involves more than just launching ads in the step-by-step processes we have listed above. Here are some essential additional steps to ensure your campaign’s success:

1. Set goals: Clearly define your campaign objectives and align them with your overall marketing strategy.

2. Choose key performance indicators (KPIs): Select key metrics that allow you to measure progress and make informed decisions.

3. Select a campaign type: Determine the most suitable campaign type based on the platform and your goals.

4. Conduct keyword research (and audience research): Conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify relevant terms that align with your offerings, or in the case of Facebook, conduct comprehensive audience research for your targeting.

5. Set up analytics and reporting: Set up tracking and reporting mechanisms to monitor campaign performance. Regularly analyze data and make necessary optimizations.

6. Perform A/B testing: Performing a/b testing will allow you to test different parts of your campaign. Compare different landing pages, ads, and even campaigns (through experiments), so that you can establish the most successful copy and elements.

Tips for success

We asked our team to give us some tips for success when it comes to setting up a sustainable PPC campaign. 

Senior Paid Social Media Manager, Nicole Goodnough, suggests you ”plan out your campaigns ahead of time either in outline form or a spreadsheet so you can just knock out the builds! Have everything in one place: ad copy, images/videos, UTM parameters, and landing page URL.” 

Lead Strategist, Melissa Torre, advises us to “ensure you have a checklist – preferably with screenshots – in front of you while setting up the Facebook ads platform.” 

Paid Media Manager, Amy Owings, adds that “it may seem obvious, but keeping only one ad account, one pixel, and one catalog in your Facebook Business Manager will make connecting to a new partner agency easier. I’ve seen many accounts that have three or four pixels, and no one seems to remember which one is correct.”

It’s not just the setup that you should be mindful of. It’s also important for multiple people to have access to the accounts. “Make sure you have multiple internal team members who are all admins on those assets so that if one team member leaves or loses access, other team members will still be able to get in,” she says.

Our team agrees: Meta (Facebook) is the trickiest platform to set up

“I would say Meta is the most difficult to set up properly.” Says Torre. “While Google’s conversion tracking can cause some hiccups along the way, Facebook has many areas that can be left hanging.”

Torre adds, “Connecting to the right Facebook account, ensuring the connections with Instagram and the Pixels are created and the codes placed, the correct access is given to each user, the conversion tracking is set up, and so on.”

Essentially, there are a lot of places for things to go wrong!

The takeaway

You’ve learned how to set up a PPC campaign on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Amazon Ads, and the process is quite similar on each. 

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can drive targeted traffic, generate leads, and achieve your campaign goals. 

Remember to continuously monitor and optimize your campaigns based on data-driven insights. With dedication and strategic planning, your PPC campaigns have the potential to deliver outstanding results.

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