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A guide to creating your PPC campaigns

Updated: May 5, 2023


This is the third article in the full PPC guide and we are now covering the creation of your Google search ads. The full guide includes landing page optimisation, keyword research, ad creation, maintaining your ads and remarketing.

Here we will look at planning your campaign and how to create your ads, ad content and extensions.

Ad planning and setup

A PPC campaign is made up of ad groups and each group focuses on a set of keywords. Within your ad group you will have your set of keywords and ideally 3 ads. Each ad group should follow a certain theme so the keywords are targeted.

To provide an example you might be selling running shoes. You have women’s trail running shoes and road running shoes. This can be broken down into two audiences and themes, they might both be looking for running shoes but the outcome of the type of shoe is very different.

To help the quality score of your ads you should look to include at least a primary keyword in your ad copy and landing page content. The primary keywords might display in your headline and then secondary keywords through the descriptions and ad extensions.

As you start creating your campaign in Google, I would suggest setting the goal manually, so you have more flexibility on the settings rather than using the smart campaign feature. From here you will look at the networks you want your ads to appear on, locations to target, audience segments and ad schedule such as times and days your ads will display.

You will have researched and defined your keywords before you create your ads, more information on this can be found in our keyword research article – read more here.


Most people will want to know how much their ads are going to cost as you may need to get sign off for the budget. Once we know what we want to target and the keywords we are going to use we can start to forecast.

In Google ads, keyword planner you have the forecast option. In here you can enter your keywords for each ad group to see average daily budget. This information will be broken down to see the impressions, clicks, click through rate and cost your ad group could produce.

You don’t need to stick to what Google suggests for the budget. I often have companies say we have £x to spend and that’s the limit. The forecast tool can be helpful to compare what budget you have compared to what you might achieve to see if the two are realistic.

Ad content

Now we will look at writing the ads.

You will start with the headlines of your ad, here you need to add a minimum of 3 headlines but can add up to 15 for Google to use. Each headline has a maximum of 30 characters.

If you write more than 3 headlines Google may pick different headlines to use. The order you enter them does matter, Google will always display them in the order entered so it won't display headline 15, 10 and 5 for example.

Under the headline you will enter the description. You can enter 4 descriptions and each description has a character limit of 90 characters.

Consider the ad content carefully, it needs to grab users' attention and entice them to read on and click through to your website. Think about why they are searching and the problem they are looking to resolve. Make the ad feel like you are personally reaching out to them and play on emotions.

Maximise the ads by packing as much information in as you can and filling the character limit. Also using as many of the ad extensions that are relevant to provide additional information.

Ad extensions

After the ad copy you have the option to add extensions providing the user additional information about your offering. Below is a list of the ad extensions available and what each one does:

  • Sitelinks – you will have your primary link within the ad but additional sitelinks give you the option to add more call to actions. If your ad is promoting women's running shoes you may add sitelinks to the bestsellers or new running shoes in stock.

  • Callout text – you can add 4 callout text option and each one has a 25-character limit. Think of the benefits you offer such as free shipping.

  • Promotions – if you have a certain promotion on offer you may add it here. You can add promotion details, links and dates the promotions runs.

  • Calls – here you can add a number for your business so those seeing your ad on mobile can quickly press the call button to get in touch. This will improve the experience if you are expecting users to call through to your business.

  • Structured snippet – this gives you the option to add additional information. You can add three structured snippets each with a 25-character limit.

  • Location – the location asset shows the details of your business and can link users to your business details page to find out more.

PPC campaign creation summary

This guide is designed to help you think about the layout and content of your ad before you jump into Google ads and start creating your first campaign. Try writing the ad out in Word to test different variations and themes you might like to use.

Once you have created a few test versions and happy with the results you can jump into Google ads and get creating!

If you want help with any part of the ad creation or maintenance, I can offer this as a service or provide consultancy support to help you run your own ads.

To carry on reading through the PPC campaign guide click here.


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