How to Develop a PPC Strategy

Before jumping straight into building campaigns, it’s critical to develop a good action plan. In this lesson, we’ll teach you exactly how to create a PPC strategy leveraging competitor & keyword research. Not only will we reveal the step-by-step process, but you’ll get a downloadable PPC strategy example & template.

18 minutes

Key points you can
learn in this lesson.

Goal Development

Develop relevant and strategic PPC Goals.

Course of Action

Build a strategic course of action for your PPC campaigns.


Effectively communicate your unique value propositions (UVPs). 

Our key metrics increased. More importantly, we implemented a lot of new tactics and test scenarios, which will boost our company’s future prospects.
Dave McCue
Digital Marketing Manager at Allstate

Lesson Preview

In this lesson, we’ll be walking through how to create a strategy based on goals, research, data, opportunity, creativity, and budget. 

What is Strategy Development?

Strategy development is the process of creating an informed action plan for your advertisement.

Why is this important?

Strategy development is an essential step in the process of hitting your business goals. With the level of targeting and spending freedom offered in Google Ads, it would be reckless to launch campaigns without a strategy. 

What you’ll need:

  • Template: Refined Keyword Research
  • Template: Competitor Landing Page Analysis
  • Campaign Structure Sheet
  • Example Campaign Structure Sheet
  • Advertising Budget 

The Process:

Step 1: Identify Your PPC Goal   

Before strategizing your campaigns, you first need to choose the exact goal you are trying to accomplish. This will make sure that all of your advertising efforts align with your business objectives.

Goal Examples:

  • Ecommerce Transactions
    • Transactions for specific items
    • Transactions in certain locations
    • Return on Ad Spend at (X) 
  • Store Visits
    • Store visits on specific days
    • Store visits at a specific time of day
    • Store visits from target demographic 
  • Quality Leads
    • Leads for specific products/services
    • Leads in certain locations
    • Leads from ideal company size
  • Capturing Brand Searches

Identifying your PPC goal will allow you to strategize your targeting and messaging in the following steps. 

Once you have identified your goal, you can start working within the Campaign Strategy Spreadsheet.

1. Open the Campaign Strategy Template

2. Click on the Goal & Budget tab 

3. Enter your goal and goal details

    • If you have subgoals like capturing brand searches, you can unhide the additional goal rows and include them in the sheet.  
    • For Directive, we are focusing on generating qualified leads who are ready to use our services.  

Step 2: Strategize Campaigns 

Now that you have your eyes set on achieving a goal, it is time to strategize the campaigns that will take you there. 

1.Navigate to your first campaign tab in the Campaign Strategy Template.

2. Choose a campaign name.

  • Your campaign name should represent the general theme of your campaign. Campaign Segmentation is a large part of your strategy and sets the stage for the following steps. 
  • Here is a list of questions to ask yourself when determining your unique campaign:
    • Do I want this to have a unique budget?
      • If yes, it should be its own campaign.
    • Should this have its own messaging?
      • If yes, it should be its own campaign.
    • Can this campaign theme be narrowed down to one landing page?
      • If no, you should go deeper with your segmentation.
    • Do I prioritize/deprioritize this over/under other areas of my business?
      • If yes, it should be its own campaign.
  • Here is a list of popular campaign segmentation examples: 
    • Service Category
    • Product Category
    • Store Location
    • High Priority Products and Low Priority Products
  • Once you’ve landed on your first campaign name, enter it in the template.
  • For Directive, we named our first campaign, “PPC Service”.

3. Select your campaign location(s).

This will determine the location targeting of your campaign. Every business supports customers in all different areas. Honing in on your target location will allow you to ensure the right people are getting your ads.

    • Here are some questions to ask when determining your campaign locations:
      • Where can I service my customers? 
        • Targeting your entire geographical market is ideal for larger budgets.
      • Where do I need to increase customers?
        • Narrowing down your focus to solve specific pain points is ideal for small budgets. 
      • Where are my products popular?
      • What is a realistic distance for people to travel to visit my store?
    • Once you have figured out your location targeting, place it in the location section of the template.
    • In Directive’s case, we are going to target the entire US and Canada.

4. Choose your search keywords for the campaign.

    • Navigate to the refined keyword list tab of your keyword research sheet for this process.
    • Go through your refined keyword list and copy & paste the keywords relevant to your campaign over to the campaign strategy template. 
      • You should be selecting from your highlighted keywords.
      • The keywords you choose should be what you expect people to search when trying to discover the solution, products or services represented in your campaign name.
    • For Directive, we went through the refined keyword tab and selected every keyword related to our PPC service. 
    • Once you have selected your keywords, it is time to copy them to your clipboard. 
    • Once you have selected your keywords to your clipboard, navigate back to the campaign strategy template and paste the keywords in the top-left cell in the keyword section of your campaign tab.
      • Note: There are 100 additional hidden rows in the keyword section. If you have over 110 keywords, you will have to add more rows before pasting. If you do not see all of your keywords after pasting, you will have to unhide the hidden rows to see them. 
      • Once you are done pasting and adjusting the hidden cells, your keyword section should look like this:


5. Map out detailed information about your target demographic.

You will be using your target market demographic makeup when you create your detailed campaign targeting settings as well as when you write out your ad/landing page messaging. 

    • B2C demographic makeup is often different than B2B. 
      • B2C demographics will mostly include age, gender, and interests. 
      • B2B demographics will involve job function, company size, and industry. 
    • Here is where you will place your target market demographics. 
    • For Directive, we focus on the B2B-related demographic columns. 

6. Identifying your unique value propositions (UVPs). 

Writing out the unique value props of the product or service that you are offering is one of the initial steps of the creative process of your campaign. You will be using your unique value props to stand out from competitors in both your ad messaging and your landing page. 

    • In order to help you identify these unique value props, we have added qualifying questions to go along with them in the campaign strategy template. If you are having a hard time answering these questions, it is most likely not a unique value prop. 
      • How does this add value to your customers?
      • Why is this value prop unique?
    • How do you find your unique value propositions?
      • Read your customer reviews and find positive trends within them. Anything that people say about your product or service can be a unique value prop.

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