Starting GoogleAds Properly: Setting Good PPC Goals

Venturing into the world of PPC advertising on Google can seem a daunting task.  It can be overwhelming to teach yourself about all the different types of campaigns, ad groups, keyword matching, and extensions.  And that is just for starters as it doesn’t take into account more advanced techniques like learning about split testing, writing compelling ad copy, and effective landing page layout. While these are all extremely important things to know, before you jump into your first campaign, you need to determine your goals.  Your paid advertising goals will inform your strategy going forward and help narrow down key aspects to focus on.

setting ppc goals

Determining Your PPC Goals

Hold on a sec…

Shouldn’t the goal of every pay-per-click campaign ultimately be to build sales and improve revenue? Maybe that is the ultimate hope or objective from the highest level, but when you’re building a campaign, we need to have a narrower focus then that. Being too broad in your expectations, leads to unfocused campaigns, non-optimized ads, and wasted budgets. Before you begin crafting your online advertising program, consider the following 3 goals to point you in the right direction.

Brand Awareness

If you’re a “brand-new brand”, you may be best off concentrating on promoting your company’s name. Focusing on lead generation, through pay-per-click ads, right away, may yield poor results – especially in a competitive market. What you need to do is get your name out there, make people aware of you, build interest in what you have to offer. In cases like these, setting up your display campaigns will ensure you have the maximum visibility.

With that said, search network ads are often not to best option to chose from if you’re brand new or trying to gain awareness, as people will may disregard your ad in favour of a brand they recognize. Display network ads offer good visuals to draw the eye and can get your name in the backs of people’s heads without them having to commit to doing anything. Focusing on metrics like impressions, session duration, pages per session, and bounce rates instead of conversions/leads to measure interest and performance.

Lead Generation

Usually the primary reason most go into PPC is because they want people to submit a form, place a call, or otherwise reach out in some way. Search ads will be your primary type of campaign you’ll want for this as display ads usually don’t lend them selves towards conversions. When doing this you’re going to have to find the best position that results in the best click-through-rates and conversion rates, within your budget.

Many assume that the best place to be is the top of Google’s first page, while it is certainly the most visible in the SERP, it’s not always the best for your campaign. The top spot is the most competitive sport and if you’re competing in a high competition market then you have best have some cash to burn in order to consistently achieve it. Finding a spot lower on the page, or even on page two, could be better for your current spend if the results coming in is generating good ROI for you.

Check out this article for another perspective on pay-per-click goals and strategies.

Increased Traffic

Sometimes to goal of your PPC efforts is to simply boost traffic to your website. A combination of search and display ads may work for you in this case. Since what we need here is ads with high click-through-rate, being top of page one isn’t always what you’ll need. Finding the spot that works best may in fact simply be at position 3 or 4 page one.

This allows you to save budget by having lower bids while still getting the results you are looking for. A strong focus on compelling ad copy, ad extensions, and good imagery in the case of display ads, will probably take up the bulk of your effort.

A Thought On Budgets

No matter which approach you take or what goals you have in mind, PPC ultimately comes down to your budget and ROI. A low budget in a highly competitive market with a lot of big players is going to make things very hard for you.  In contrast, a massive budget with low competition is extreme over kill. In both cases you may find your self wasting money instead of achieving gains. Remember, what you are doing is an investment towards the future. Building campaigns with the goal of awareness embodies this perfectly, since they require you to have a degree of disposable income in order to achieve gains later on down the road. Choose a budget and goals together, and you’ll be able to better lay out expectations and manage accounts.


If the prospect of creating a Google Ads campaign from scratch seems overwhelming, contact NetGain for professionally managed, digital advertising services.  We have been offering managed PPC services in Barrie Ontario for over 10 years.  Our experts will guide you through the process of establishing advertising goals and formulating a winning approach.