PPC Campaign Planning Mini-Series | Part 2 | The Research

So, you’ve defined your marketing strategy. You’ve decided what you’re trying to achieve and what user actions are important to you. What’s next? This is the part where you can start delving deeper into your advertising options to create a structure for your campaign.

For the second part of this mini-series, we’ll be focussing on the research stages of campaign planning, starting with where your ads appear and what format your ads will be. Keyword planning is also vital to the early stages of a campaign build, as well as reviewing targeting settings to ensure you’re presenting your ads to the right location and audience.


The two main platforms for PPC advertising are Google AdWords and Bing Ads. You may consider choosing either/or both platforms, but it’s important to consider what they have to offer before creating your campaign.

AdWords generally has a larger reach, and therefore will provide high search volume overall. On the other hand higher ad positioning and lower CPC may be gained when using Bing Ads. Whether you’re a small business with stricter budgets and goals, or a well-established business looking to compete on a larger scale, there are benefits to advertising on both AdWords and Bing Ads.

Both allow you to create text, product-listing and app-install ads, with AdWords providing video and in-app mobile ad formats too. Both platforms show ads on their associated sites and search partner websites, meaning there’s huge opportunity to expand your reach to the masses.


One of the first things you’ll want to look at is what format you want your ads to be. Whether you want to write text ads, use visuals in display ads and video, or promote a product with a shopping ad, there are many ways you can advertise depending on what your goals are, so here are a few points to consider.

Expanded Text Ads

  • Target the user when they are actively searching for your service/product. When a customer’s search term matches your keyword it will trigger an ad that’s perfectly tailored to that search.
  • Keyword insertion allows you to make your ads more relevant to the users search query. It works by dynamically updating ad text to include keywords that match the user’s search term.
  • Use ad extensions at no extra cost. Sitelinks, promotion and call extensions are just a few of the options available to increase information given on your ad.

Display Ads

  • Increase your brand awareness. The Google Display Network (GDN) provides websites for ad placement where you can gain huge impression volumes at an overall lower cost.
  • Use remarketing as a great way to remind the customer of your product/service after they’ve already visited your site.
  • Target specific audiences based on their interests. The GDN allows you to choose more specifically where your ads will appear and to what type of audience.

Shopping Ads

  • Shopping ads allow you to include an image, title, price and business name in your ad. You don’t need to create individual ads for each product as all this information is taken from the Merchant Centre.
  • Gain more qualified leads. Users are more informed before they click through to your site after seeing your product ad.
  • These ads are great for e-commerce websites, who want to display their range of products to potential customers.

Video Ads

  • Target customers on YouTube and other video partner sites.
  • TrueView in-stream videos allow your ad to run before/during another video but you only pay if a viewer watches/interacts with it so a win-win for both you and the customer.
  • Increase awareness whilst reaching more customers with Bumper Ads. These use videos 6 seconds or shorter before another video to send a short, memorable message.


The next step is to start finding keywords to use within your ad groups. To do this, it is beneficial to carry out research beforehand to ensure you’re including the most relevant keywords as well as gaining insight on estimated bids.


  • Find similar groups of keywords by searching with keywords, landing pages or categories
  • Get search volumes, trends and bid estimates for a more in-depth understanding of keywords
  • Google will also display Ad Group and Keyword ideas based on keywords


  • Similarly to the keyword planner you can see search volumes of organic and paid traffic as well as estimated bid amounts etc. of keywords, helping develop your keyword list.
  • Gain insight to what other competitors’ ads look like by searching for particular keywords


  • Search for placement locations for your ads based on topics. Additional filters can be added such as ad size and format.
  • Gain potential cookie & impression volumes for your campaign
  • Get performance forecasts by searching for keywords, placements or interests.

The research stage is imperative to the set-up of any campaign. Gaining an insight before you create your campaign ensures you are prepared and helps make more informed decisions early on. Researching before implementation will help you fulfil your marketing objective by ensuring you’re targeting your ads to the right people and on the right platform.

The next stage of campaign planning is the implementation stages, where research findings and ideas are drawn together to start building out your campaign. Make sure you’re keeping up to date with our blog, as we will be covering this on the next part of our mini-series.

If you feel you need help or advice on your own PPC campaign planning, we would love to hear from you. Contact us for a free PPC review and consultation with one of our PPC Experts.

Check out the third instalment of our PPC Campaign Planning series with Commercial Director, Ahmed Chopdat, here.

Anna Wood
Head of Client Services

A logical thinker and committed to delivering quality results for clients, with experience working on global brands.

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