Checking these can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle.

You’ve carefully crafted your campaigns, you’ve agonized over your ad copy and you’ve selected the perfect keywords. You’re ready to reveal your PPC ads to the world. But did you miss something? Here are five things every company should do before they flip the switch on their online advertising campaigns.

1: Calculate Your Ideal ROI

How much is a lead worth to you? What does the average user spend when they come to your online store? Make sure you know the answer, because it will define how you manage your campaigns. Using your ROI as a starting point, you can make more informed decisions about how to run your campaigns.

2: Check Your Bids

Using your ROI and any conversion rates you might already have, you can figure out a reasonable starting bid for your keywords. Always look at the competitive landscape and make sure you’re bidding for a position on the first page. Otherwise you might find yourself wondering if your ads are even running.

3: Check Your Analytics Code

Most advertising partners have small pieces of code you can place on your web site to track the performance of your ads. It’s important to make sure that this code appears on all the necessary pages of your site. Without it, you’ll be running blind and won’t be able to figure out if your ads are working for you.

4: Test Your URLs

URLs can get long and cumbersome, especially when they start to involve tracking IDs. Double check that all of your URLs have been assigned correctly and, most importantly, that they all lead to a working page. One of the worst first impressions you can make with a visitor is a “Page Not Found” error.

5: Test Your Conversion Tracking

Now that you’ve made sure the analytics code is in place and your URLs all lead to the right place, you need to act like a typical visitor. This may require briefly activating an ad so you can find it online, clicking on it, and browsing your site as a visitor might. Look around, then place an order or fill out a lead form and submit it. Make sure to shut down your ad as soon as you’ve clicked on it to avoid unwanted costs. Once you’ve finished, check to see if all of your actions were picked up properly in your reports. If not, you’ll need to go back and check your analytics code again to make sure it’s correct.

It’s well worth it to invest the extra time and minimal cash to make sure you check all these points. Otherwise you might run hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of advertising and have no idea if it generated a return for your business.

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