When most SMB owners or marketing managers I’ve met with decide to take the plunge and get started with PPC ads, they’re typically under some sort of deadline and want us to run campaigns as soon as possible. As much as we try to accommodate our clients, there’s often one factor that can get in the way of rushing through a campaign launch. While your website may look modern and presentable, it might not be what we call “PPC Ready.” This is a term my team uses to describe a website that has everything needed to launch an AdWords campaign. There are some core elements every website should have to maximize the chances of PPC success. Below is a checklist of items we recommend every website should include before spending precious advertising dollars.

  1. Conversion Tracking Codes: This includes conversion codes (pixels) belonging to Google AdWords, BingAds and any other 3rd party analytics tool you may be using, such as Google Analytics. Without tracking, optimization of campaigns is impossible, as is increasing the profitability of your ad budgets.
  2. Page Speed: Slow websites do not convert, period. Users do not have the patience to wait for a website to load, so you need to make sure your site is loading quickly.
  3. Call to Action: The pages you send traffic to, be they landing pages, product pages or the homepage of your site, must include clear, visible calls to action. Of course users know that you want them to buy whatever it is you’re selling, but you have to make it as easy as possible for them to take the first step in the conversion process. That means clearly labeling the conversion triggers and explaining to them what it is that you want them to do and what’s in for them.                                                                       Image Source: Flickr
  4. List of Benefits: Even if your landing pages include text that describe what you offer, it’s recommended that you also clearly spell out the benefits of your product or service from the perspective of the customer. For example, if you sell shampoo, don’t just state that your product cleans and softens hair, tell your customers that their hair will have a healthy shine and look more attractive. Think of the things that matter most to the customer.
  5. Mobile Friendly: If your company’s site was built or updated within the past 5 years, chances are it’s mobile friendly. But it’s worth checking it on multiple devices and asking your developer to run through it as well before you launch mobile ads on PPC.

Once you’ve verified that these basic, but important aspects of your website are ready, you’ll be able to more confidently get started with paid search marketing.