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PPC Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Beginners

Updated: Jan 25

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is an online advertising model where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. It's an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website and generate leads or sales. Managing your PPC account can be a rewarding experience, but it requires understanding the basics and consistent optimization to achieve success.

Starting Out

Step 1: Getting Started

Set Clear Goals: Define your objectives, whether it's increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Having clear goals will guide your PPC strategy.

Choose the Right Platform: Decide on the PPC platform that aligns with your audience and budget. Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) are popular choices.

Step 2: Account Setup

Create your Account: Sign up on your chosen platform, set up billing information, and select the target location and language for your ads.

Keyword Research: Use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords that match your products or services and have a good balance of search volume and competition. Free tools are: Google Ads Keyword Planner, or Wordstream

Ad Creation: Craft compelling ad copies that include relevant keywords and a strong call-to-action (CTA) to entice users to click. For the Top of the funnel use emotional ads, for the middle Ads with features and USP´s and for the End of the Funnel clear call to actions and benefits.

Budgeting: Set a daily or monthly budget that you're comfortable spending. At the beginning invest more and plan much more budget.

Step 3: Daily Management

Bid Management: Regularly review your keyword bids to ensure your ads are competitive in the auction and getting adequate exposure.

Keyword Performance: Monitor which keywords are driving clicks and conversions, and consider adjusting bids or pausing underperforming keywords.

Ad Performance: Keep an eye on ad click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates. Test different ad variations to find the most effective ones.

Step 4: Monthly Review

Performance Analysis: Review your monthly performance data to identify trends and patterns. Focus on key metrics like clicks, impressions, conversions, and cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

Conversion Tracking: Ensure your conversion tracking is properly set up to measure the success of your PPC campaigns accurately.

Budget Reallocation: Consider reallocating budget to top-performing campaigns or ad groups for better ROI.

Step 5: Yearly Assessment

Goal Evaluation: Assess whether you've achieved your initial goals and set new objectives for the upcoming year.

Strategy Updates: Review industry trends and adjust your PPC strategy accordingly to stay competitive.

Additional Tips and Best Practices:

Regularly check your ad schedule to ensure your ads are running at the most relevant times. Use ad extensions like sitelinks and callouts to enhance your ad's visibility and provide additional information to users. Don't forget negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing on irrelevant searches. Test different landing pages to see which ones lead to the best conversion rates.

For Experts: Optimising Performance and Scaling Success

As PPC experts with extensive experience, our goal is to consistently deliver high-performing campaigns for our clients. This SOP outlines advanced strategies and best practices that focus on optimising performance, scaling success, and achieving exceptional ROI.

Step 1: Pre-Campaign Preparation

Comprehensive Client Discovery: Conduct in-depth discussions with clients to understand their business goals, target audience, pain points, and past PPC performance.

Competitive Landscape Analysis: Analyse competitor strategies to identify opportunities and areas of differentiation for our clients.

Data-Driven Goal Setting: Set measurable and realistic KPIs based on historical data, industry benchmarks, and client objectives.

Step 2: Account Structure and Setup

Advanced Campaign Segmentation: Create granular campaigns and ad groups based on performance data, product categories, or geographical locations.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion: Utilise dynamic keyword insertion in ad copies to tailor messaging to users' search queries and boost relevance.

Audience Segmentation: Implement advanced audience targeting, such as remarketing lists, in-market audiences, and custom intent audiences.

Conversion Tracking Perfection: Ensure robust conversion tracking implementation, considering all micro and macro conversions relevant to client goals.

Step 3: Advanced Bid and Budget Management

Automated Bidding Strategies: Utilise advanced bidding strategies like Target CPA, Target ROAS, or Enhanced CPC to optimise bids based on performance data and goals.

Budget Allocation and Adjustments: Regularly adjust budgets across campaigns to focus on top-performing areas and seize new opportunities.

Bid Modifiers and Scheduling: Set bid adjustments based on device, location, time of day, and audience segments to optimise performance.

Step 4: Ad Copy and Creative Optimisation

Multivariate Ad Testing: Conduct extensive ad testing using multiple ad variations and leverage data-driven insights to identify top-performing creatives.

Ad Extensions Experimentation: Continuously test various ad extensions to enhance ad visibility, such as promotion extensions, price extensions, and lead forms.

Ad Customisers Implementation: Utilise ad customisers to dynamically update ad text based on user attributes like location, device, or audience.

Step 5: Continuous Monitoring and Analysis

Real-Time Performance Tracking: Use monitoring tools to track campaign performance and make immediate adjustments when necessary.

Identifying Seasonal Trends: Analyse seasonal trends and plan campaign adjustments to capitalise on peak periods and mitigate low seasons.

Analysing Search Query Reports: Regularly review search query reports to identify new keyword opportunities and add negative keywords to improve relevance.

Step 6: Audience Insights and Targeting

Lookalike and Similar Audiences: Create lookalike audiences based on high-value customer segments to expand reach while maintaining relevance.

Customer Segmentation: Develop customised campaigns targeting different customer segments with tailored messaging and offers.

Data Integration: Integrate offline data (CRM, POS) to enrich audience insights and refine targeting strategies.

Step 7: Experimentation and Innovation

Beta and New Features: Embrace and experiment with beta features and emerging ad formats to gain a competitive advantage.

AI and Machine Learning Applications: Leverage AI and machine learning tools for bid management, ad copy optimisation, and audience segmentation.

As PPC experts, we focus on advanced strategies, data-driven decision-making, and continuous experimentation to achieve remarkable results for our clients. By adhering to this SOP and staying at the forefront of PPC innovations, we consistently deliver exceptional performance, driving sustainable growth and success in the ever-evolving world of Pay-Per-Click advertising.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Building a Google Product Listing Ads (PLA) Maximisation (PMax) Campaign

Objective: Establish a systematic approach for creating, monitoring, and optimising PMax campaigns on Google Ads with specific KPIs.

1. Preliminary Steps:

1.1. Ensure you have access to Google Ads and the linked Merchant Center.

1.2. Ensure all products are correctly listed in the Merchant Center, and the feed is optimised.

1.3. Set a clear objective for the PMax campaign: Are you aiming for brand visibility, maximising clicks, or achieving specific sales targets?

2. Campaign Setup:

2.1. Login to Google Ads and navigate to the Campaigns tab.

2.2. Click the '+' button to start a new campaign.

2.3. Choose the 'Sales' goal and then select the 'Shopping' campaign type.

2.4. Set the country of sale based on where your products are sold and delivered.

2.5. Choose the 'Standard Shopping campaign' option.

2.6. Configure the campaign settings:

Name your campaign. Set a daily budget. Decide on the bidding strategy: Opt for 'Maximize clicks' or 'Maximize conversion value' based on your goals. Set targeting preferences (Location, Languages, Devices, etc.). Set additional settings like ad schedule, start & end dates if required.

2.7. Create an Ad Group and name it.

2.8. Add products to your ad group or create product groups. You can start with one product group "All Products" and later subdivide it based on categories, brands, etc.

2.9. Set bids for your product groups. If using a Maximize conversion value strategy, ensure you've set the target ROAS.

2.10. Save and continue.

3. KPI Monitoring and Optimisation:

3.1. Weekly KPIs:

  • Clicks: Monitor the number of clicks to see how often your ads are being interacted with.

  • CTR (Click Through Rate): This helps in assessing the relevance and appeal of your ads.

  • Average CPC: Keep an eye on the cost per click to manage budgets effectively.

  • Conversions: Monitor the number of sales or actions resulting from your ads.

  • Conversion Rate: Evaluate how effective your ads are at driving desired actions.

3.2. Monthly KPIs:

Monthly spend: Ensure you're within budget.

ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): This is critical to see if you're getting the desired return on your ad investment.

Impression Share: Indicates how often your ads are shown relative to the total available impressions.

Quality of Traffic (bounce rate, avg. session duration, pages/session from Google Analytics): This gives insight into user behaviour post-click.

3.3. Yearly KPIs:

  • Yearly spend vs. sales: Assess profitability and ROI over the year.

  • Trends in CPC and CTR: Analyse any seasonal or long-term shifts in metrics.

  • Competitive metrics: See how you stand against competitors over the long term.

  • Overall growth in conversions and conversion value.

4. Continuous Optimisation:

Bid adjustments: Regularly review and adjust bids based on performance. Consider using automated bidding strategies if they align with your objectives.

Product feed optimisation: Ensure product titles, descriptions, and images in the Merchant Center are optimised and appealing.

Segmentation: As data accumulates, segment your products into more specific groups, and set bids accordingly.

Negative Keywords: Regularly review search terms and add irrelevant ones as negative keywords to prevent unwanted clicks.

A/B testing: Periodically run experiments on ad variations to see which perform best.

Setting up and optimising a PMax campaign requires continuous monitoring and adjustment based on KPIs. By following this SOP, you'll establish a structured approach to achieve the best results for your campaign.

PPC Reporting SOP: Delivering Comprehensive Insights to Stakeholders

As PPC Managers, our ability to provide transparent and meaningful reporting to stakeholders is crucial for fostering trust and understanding campaign performance. This SOP outlines the essential KPIs, reporting frequency, and best practices to create effective dashboards and reporting sheets for different stakeholders.

Step 1: Defining Stakeholders and Goals

Identify Stakeholders: Clearly define the stakeholders involved in the PPC campaign, such as executives, marketing managers, or clients.

Understand Goals: Understand each stakeholder's objectives and expectations from the PPC campaign to tailor the reporting accordingly.

Step 2: Essential KPIs for Different Stakeholders

Daily KPIs (For PPC Managers):

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)

  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

  • Conversion Rate

  • Impressions

  • Clicks

  • Budget Spent

  • Quality Score

Weekly KPIs (For Marketing Managers and Team Leads):

  • Cost-Per-Conversion (CPA)

  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

  • Top Performing Keywords and Ad Groups

  • Ad Copy Performance

  • A/B Test Results

  • Ad Extensions Performance

Monthly KPIs (For Executives and Clients):

  • Overall Campaign Performance Summary

  • Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) Trend Over Time

  • ROAS Trend Over Time

  • Budget Utilization and Allocation

  • Recommendations and Actionable Insights

Step 3: Reporting Dashboards and Sheets

Data Visualisation: Utilise charts, graphs, and tables to present data in a visually appealing and easily understandable format.

Customisation for Stakeholders: Customise reporting templates to align with each stakeholder's preferences and needs. Focus on relevant KPIs for each audience.

Clarity and Context: Provide clear explanations and context for each KPI, so stakeholders can understand the implications and make informed decisions.

Real-Time Reporting: Utilise reporting tools that offer real-time data updates, ensuring stakeholders have access to the latest campaign performance.

Step 4: Automation and Scheduling

Automated Reporting Tools: Explore PPC reporting tools that offer automation to streamline the reporting process and reduce manual efforts.

Scheduled Delivery: Set up scheduled delivery of reports to ensure stakeholders receive timely updates without the need for manual distribution.

Step 5: Interpretation and Insights

Data Analysis: Go beyond presenting numbers and provide analysis to interpret trends, identify challenges, and highlight opportunities.

Actionable Insights: Offer actionable insights and recommendations for improvements to drive better campaign performance.

Step 6: Regular Communication and Feedback

Stakeholder Meetings: Schedule regular meetings to discuss reports, address questions, and align on future strategies.

Feedback Collection: Gather feedback from stakeholders to continually improve reporting and address their specific needs.


By following this PPC Reporting SOP, PPC Managers can deliver comprehensive insights to stakeholders with clarity and context. Customised dashboards and reporting sheets, combined with regular communication and actionable insights, will empower stakeholders to make data-driven decisions, optimise campaign performance, and achieve success in the ever-evolving world of PPC marketing.

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