Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(703) 828-5811‬
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing The Guide to Creating AdWords Pay Per Action Campaigns

The Guide to Creating AdWords Pay Per Action Campaigns

Google AdWords recently launched pay per action advertising. This advertising allows advertisers to only pay when certain actions occur instead of on a pay per click basis.

This is a strong move by Google as it now allows publishers to create offers and promote merchants, which has previously not been allowed for AdSense publishers. Since advertisers only pay for actions, AdSense publishers can tell their visitors about the program, and even entice them to click and fulfill the action on the advertiser’s website.

I recently had a few accounts accepted into the beta program. Here is a complete walk-through of how to setup a pay per action campaign, and all of the advertiser options.

Note: All pictures are reduced in size, and can be clicked on for full images.

Enable Conversion Tracking

An advertiser must be using Google’s conversion tracking script. If you already have the script installed, then you can continue. If you don’t, then you will have to add conversion tracking to your website before continuing.

Define Your Actions

Next, an advertiser can use one of their current actions, or create a new action. In the below example, I had already created a Purchase/Sale and ‘Lead’ action, hence why they are already options.

The description set in this panel is critical as its what the publisher will see when searching through their offers. Therefore, it must be enticing enough for the publisher to want to promote this particular action.

In defining actions, the advertiser must also state how much they are willing to pay for that action to occur.

An advertiser can revisit the action screen to change the settings, receive the tracking code, and manage or add actions at any time.

Create Your First Pay Per Action Campaign

To begin your first campaign, you need to provide information about the product. The more descriptive and enticing this information is, the more likely publishers will be to pay attention and promote your offers.

Once you provide the basic information, you then need to add keywords so publishers can search and find your offer. Please note, these aren’t keywords that will trigger your ad, they are keywords so that publishers can find your offer in their AdSesne control panel.

Once one has defined both actions, and descriptions, it’s time to create the campaign. An advertiser can name the campaign, ad group, and change language settings, just like a normal campaign.

Next, choose the countries where your customers are located.

Create Your First Ad Group

This is a typical text ad. You can create more either during setup, or from the ad group management screen.

Set Your Budget

Just like a normal campaign, you’re setting a daily budget.

You will be given the chance to review the ad group and campaign before you save it. As with all campaigns, you can edit this information at a later date.

Once you’ve saved your first campaign, you will now see a third option on your ‘manage campaign’s screen:

At this point in time, you have an active pay per action campaign. You can go into the campaign and edit the ad group, keywords, and ad copy.

Text Link Ads

There is a new ad unit that is specific to the pay per action campaigns called a Text Link Ad. A text link ad can be up to 90 characters (or much shorter). Publishers generally enjoy text link ads as they have a lot of control where to embed them into offers. I would suggest creating several of these and then tracking which one performs the best.

Ongoing Management

An advertiser can add, pause, change and delete offers and conversions at any time. It has yet to be seen how these changes will be communicated to the publisher.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is going to be a fun beta. As the adoption of pay per action campaigns continues, it will be interesting to see if they are managed by the PPC department, or the affiliate departments. While the affiliate departments generally have more communication with publishers than the PPC departments ever receive, the offers which work for affiliates should be pushed through the PPA channels.

In addition, as Google makes advances into non-pay per click ad campaigns, it will be interesting to see how much adoption there is for some of these ad types. Google is well on their way to being a one stop shop for affiliate, banner, TV, radio, video, mobile, print, and PPC advertising.

Pay per action campaigns are very effective for advertisers, now, how much control of the messaging will they allow the publishers?

No Comments

  1. knupNET
    March 25, 2007 at 7:54 pm ·

    Thank you for this post! I’ve went through it once but need to go through again to soak up all the info! Good stuff.

  2. Patrick Schaber
    March 26, 2007 at 5:21 pm ·

    Thanks for the great post, Brad! Very informative. I’ve been curious about this method of PPC and am looking forward to giving it a try. I’ll be sure to let my readers know about it in an upcoming post.