PPC Account StructurePPC Account Structure is Important?
What is the meaning of a “Killer PPC Account Structure” and why does it matter? It’s the structure of your account that that gives you the control of how you want your ads to be triggered and when and where you want them to appear.

✓ Ensure that the searches triggering your ads are relevant for your audience.

✓ Better quality scores, gives you better results and possible lower pricing.

✓ If your account is a train wreck your results will decrease and optimizing to get better results will never work.

You need to have a full understanding of each component of account structure before even dreaming of getting started.

Campaigns: Unless your account is very large, you’ll typically only have a few campaigns that surround broader themes. Each campaign will contain ad groups, which contain keywords that tie to your text ads and direct to your landing page. Typically we recommend your campaign topics be based on how you want to split-up your marketing budget.

Ad Groups: Under each campaign, you will create relevant ad groups, which will be much more specific. There’s no recommended number of ad groups to have under a campaign, but typically it’s more manageable to not go overboard since this will stretch your campaign budget across so many ad groups, keywords, ads, and landing pages, that results could suffer. Ad groups contain keywords no more then 20 keyword, these keywords will trigger your text ads, and then direct to a relevant landing page.

Keywords: Keywords are under each ad group, and are important to controlling the way your ad is triggered. When someone types in the search box in Google, that search is called a “search query,” which is then matched with a keyword, which then triggers an ad. Each keyword will have a Max CPC, match type, and quality score tied to it. It’s critical to conduct thorough keyword research, gain a concrete understanding of match types, and spend time refining and optimizing your keyword strategy over time.

Negative Keywords: These are generally overlooked by advertisers, but they are important to set up to avoid spending money on bogus searches. If you’re using more broad match and/or modified broad match keywords, you’re highly likely to pull in some completely bogus search queries that match with your keywords and ads.

Ad Text: This is the actual text that will appear when your ad is triggered. Each ad group should have 2-3 ads per ads per group directing to the same landing page. It’s important to follow AdWords guidelines in order to get your ads approved, A/B test your ads over time, and really highlight the benefits of your offering to one-up your competition in the search results.

Landing Pages: Last, but not least, we have landing pages. The destination where each ad will direct the searcher to. The recommendation of being very strategic with your landing pages, make sure that each ads directs to an extremely relevant page, which reflects the keywords you’re bidding on within that ad group, but also the ad text displaying in the SERPs. Landing page relevancy and optimization are critical to see success with PPC.

#1: SPEND TIME DECIDING HOW YOU WANT YOUR ACCOUNT TO BE STRUCTURED
This question arises constantly: There is no special recipe for structuring your account, and more than one strategy can prove successful. Luckily, there are a few different methods that work well:

Based on the Structure of Your Website: What is your website structure? Do you have different tabs or pages for different products or offerings? Do you value different product pages over others? If your website is well-structured, then it makes sense to structure your AdWords account in a similar fashion.

By Products/Services Offered: This is likely the same as the structure of your website, but think about your different services or products offered and structure your account in a similar fashion. For example, let’s say you sell tennis gear, you would want to create a campaign for tennis rackets, tennis balls, tennis clothing, etc. Then under the tennis rackets campaign you might create separate ad groups for the brands you sell or perhaps for the size or gender the racket is for. Take a look at your various offerings and decide which ones are most valuable. Is there a very large demand for tennis bags online? Then you might want to create a campaign for tennis bags with a higher budget. Spend some time mapping out your products, and deciding how you want to divvy up your budget between campaigns.

Based on Locations: Is the location of your business important? Maybe you’re a local archery store that has multiple locations in Southern California. If location targeting is important to your business, then structure your account based on this.

#2: CONDUCT KEYWORD RESEARCH
So you’ve drawn out a beautiful account structure with campaign themes and ad group topics. Now it’s time to fill up those ad groups with keywords, but how does one choose which keywords to use? You need to do thorough keyword research to ensure you’re choosing keywords that aren’t too competitive or that have low search volume. Your keywords should also show clear commercial intent, meaning that people who use those keywords are looking for something to buy.

#3: CREATE YOUR FIRST CAMPAIGN
Now that you’ve spent time mapping out an account structure with a detailed keyword list,
it’s time to get the ball rolling and build out your first campaign. Start with the one that is highest priority, and then work down from there. The first thing you’ll want to do is review your campaign settings. This part sounds self-explanatory, but advertisers tend to make careless mistakes, which can cost a huge chunk of marketing budget.

Type: You’ll be automatically opted into Search Network with Display Select. This option works well for certain advertisers who are trying to get the most reach as possible, but be aware that this will allow your text ads to show outside of search, on Google’s Display network. We typically prefer keeping search and display separate, so we would recommend choosing “Search Network Only.”

Locations & Languages: Make sure you’re targeting the appropriate languages for each campaign!

Bid Strategy: We highly recommend manual bidding to have total control over your budget. Otherwise you will be automatically let AdWords set your bids, so make this change.

Default Bid & Budget: Default bid is simply the max CPC that will be tied to each keyword you add. This can be easily changed for each keyword, which you’ll likely want to do so just set it to a number that you’re comfortable paying per click. Budget is even more important. Calculate how much you are willing to spend per day on that campaign with the marketing budget you have allotted to AdWords to help you decide.

#4: CREATE YOUR FIRST AD GROUP & TEXT AD
To get your campaign running you need PPC ads. Your ads are tied to a list of keywords within an ad group, the first thing you will need to do is create a new ad group. Under the campaigns tab in AdWords, you’ll see an “Ad groups” tab and a red +Ad Group button. Select that and refer to your previous work to title your first ad group.

Then you’ll need to create your first ad, because of course an ad group won’t be able to run unless there’s at least one advertisement in that group. To get started with ad text creation keep the following pieces of advice in mind:

Character limit: Google will easily alert you when you’re going over the character limit. With the release of expanded text ads, advertisers now have two thirty character headlines and one eighty character description line. Display URLs have more of a “vanity” feature, where advertisers can add up to two paths with fifteen characters and AdWords will automatically extract the domain from the final URL.

Relevance: Your ad text needs to reflect the keywords and landing page text the ad is directing to. If you’re bidding on a general keyword like “compound bows” and your ad reads “fast compound bows,” then cross bow searchers are going to be discouraged and not click on your ad. Display your target keywords within the headline and description lines of your ad text.

Best Practices: I won’t go through all of the ad text best practices, but there are so many things one can do to get your ad noticed over a competitor’s. For example, adding in special offers with numbers, using a period at the end of description line 1, capitalizing each letter, and the list goes on. So check out our various studies and ad text best practice posts – there’s a ton of content out there.

Follow Google’s Ad Approval Guidelines: Trust me, you do not want to get your ad disapproved. It’s not the end of the world if you do, but it can negatively affect performance, delay ads from running, and certainly doesn’t make Google happy. Make sure to read up on common ad disapproval reasons, and avoid these like the plague.

#5: ADD THE RELEVANT KEYWORD LIST INTO THE AD GROUP
On the same screen you’ll see a white box titled “Keywords” where you’ll want to add in the previously created keyword list. As a reminder, this list should be short and no more then 10-20 keywords and relevant to the ad text and landing page that the users are being directed to. Also keep in mind that by default, new keywords are added on broad match. To specify match types use the designated punctuation; for example use quotations around a “phrase keyword,” brackets to specify an [exact match], plus signs to +specify +modified +broad, and broad keywords can simply be added as is.

#6: CREATE ONE OR TWO MORE ADS IN YOUR GROUP & ADJUST AD SETTINGS
Now that everything’s up and running in your first ad group, you need to create at least one or two more ads. You want to run at least two or three ads in each ad group to compare performance. Your ads should be similar, but just worded slightly different – perhaps putting the call-to-action in a different place or highlighting a different key point in each ad. This will allow you to test your ads and see what resonates with your audience. Keep in mind that you still want to follow the bullet points listed in #4 regarding creating ad text, but just made each ad ever so slightly different. You want to run at least two or three ads in each ad group to compare performance.

To create a new ad, first make sure you’re in the “Campaigns” section of your AdWords account, on the left hand side of the page select the ad group which you just created, and navigate to the ads tab. From their select +Ad and start creating your new text ad.

Once all of your ads are created for that ad group, you’ll want to navigate to the Campaign settings, by selecting the campaign on the left-hand sidebar, and then selecting settings. From there you’ll notice “Delivery method” – this specifies how you want your ads to be delivered on the SERPs. Make sure your ads are being delivered on standard delivery to not spend your budget too quickly throughout the day.

YOUR NEXT MOVE
Make it a habit of reviewing each or your PPC client’s account structure on a monthly basis. Refer back to your account map, and continue to buildout your account structure.

Based in Orange County, California Cord Strategies consulting services are available on an hourly basis or at a set rate. Contact us today to find out how Cord Strategies can help you get more results from your Google and Bing AdWords PPC campaigns with less management expense and time.