The Who, What, When, Where & Why of Paid Search

If you’re setting up a new paid search campaign or even just want to make your existing one work that little bit harder, you can use the old school ‘Who, What, When, Where and Why’ to define your objectives and get you started. Here are just a few questions you should be asking yourself about your paid search campaign.


Who do you want to target? Who you decide to target is predominantly based on the paid search keywords you select. Keyword research using Google’s Keyword Tool is a good place to start.

Who is your target audience? While with PPC it’s difficult to pin point who the typical searcher is, knowing a bit about who is clicking on your ads certainly helps! Okay, so I don’t mean knowing the middle names and shoe sizes of your potential customers, but knowing their buying habits and trends can help you define your strategy. Are these people searching on mobile devices or tablets? If so, make sure you’re showing your ads on mobile and tablets devices! Are they on social websites? This is more difficult to know, however if you know the type of person you are targeting are ‘hanging out’ on social networks then this can be a perfect paid (or non-paid) opportunity.


What do you want people to see? Do you want them to see an ad with offers or one highlighting your USP? Your ad copy is the only thing the user sees about your campaign, so your ad copy needs to make people click! It doesn’t matter how well your account is structured and managed if your ad copy isn’t getting clicked on!

What do you want people to do once they’ve seen your ad? Do you want them to buy a product? Make an enquiry? Share content?

The ‘what’ part is really all about strategy, strategy, strategy!


When are you going to show your ads? 24/7? Weekdays? Evenings? You can schedule your ads for the times you’re going to generate the most impressions, clicks and conversions. If you’re in the B2B market, then having ads running in out of work hours may not be the best use of budget.


Where do you want your ads to appear? The main choices for PPC ads are really Google or Bing. Google is obviously the bigger search engine, meaning higher search volumes but at a higher price tag. Bing is increasingly growing, so it will give you a decent number of searches and is the the cheaper option (for now!). Other options are Facebook advertising and Display Advertising. Facebook advertising can be done on a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand) basis. Display advertising, part of the Google Display Network allows you to create text, image or video ads and place the ads on the websites that are most relevant to your audience. You can also retarget the people who’ve already clicked on your ads, but that’s a story for another blog!

Where are you going to send your traffic to? Arguably just as important as the ad copy is the landing page you’re sending traffic to. If you don’t already have a landing page which is targeted at someone clicking on your ads, then create a bespoke one! Your landing pages needs to be specific to each of your ad groups.


The main question you should be asking yourself ….Why do you want set up a paid campaign? Define your end goals before you pay for that first click. Do you want to drive traffic to your website, conversions or is it about sales volumes?

These questions shouldn’t just be questions to ask at the start of a PPC campaign, they should be regularly asked. Why aren’t my leads converting? Why is my clickthrough rate low? Why does my landing page have a high bounce rate? What can I do to improve it? The list goes on.

What questions do you ask yourself when setting up or optimising your PPC campaigns? Answers on a postcard comment below!


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