All of this analysis culminates in this stage of the process, where we determine future account structure and strategy.
Why is PPC Account Structure So Important?
Good PPC account structure is critical because it impacts a number of factors, including:
- Analysis. It’s much more difficult to figure out what’s working and what’s not in poorly structured accounts.
- Optimization. When you finally figure out what’s working, poorly structured accounts may limit our ability to optimize.
- Budgeting. Budgets are set at the campaign level. Budgeting is a challenge when campaigns contain an odd mash up of ad groups and keywords.
- Quality score. Google values good organization. Poorly structured accounts may result in lower quality scores.
Most importantly, a poorly structured PPC account is a red flag. Whenever we come across one, we wonder what else might be wrong with the account.
Let’s illustrate with an example: Recently, we inherited a PPC account that was structured around personas. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that kind of structure, in this case it created issues around keyword dilution.
After some analysis and discussion with the client, we chose to restructure the account around moneymaking keywords. As a result, we lifted the client’s revenue by 123 percent!
Structure and Strategy Are Indelibly Linked
While we talk about account structure and strategy as two separate things, they’re not really. Strategy is reflected in the account structure and vice versa. The two are intrinsically linked.
But how do we then determine what is the best structure/strategy? Generally, we use four sources of information to formulate a plan for clients:
- Audit Data
- Structure of the Client’s Website
- In Depth Client Knowledge
- Our Experience and Expertise.
Remember those account and conversion tracking audits we conducted earlier? We use those findings to give us direction on which strategies to employ and how to best structure the account.
Mostly, we take the “what’s working” portion of our findings and look for ways to optimize them further. What’s bringing in the highest ROI? What’s getting the most leads for the lowest cost per acquisition? How can we do better? How can we optimize?
Structure of the Client’s Website
We also take a closer look at the client’s website. Often, a well-structured website is a good model for a client’s PPC campaigns.
Certainly, this is a method that Google recommends:
A good rule of thumb for creating an effective campaign structure is to mirror your website’s structure. By creating campaigns and ad groups around a specific theme or product, you can create keyword lists that directly relate to the corresponding ad text, and ads that link directly to that product’s page on your website.
And Google provides this example:
Which is good advice. But often, it’s not so simple.
In Depth Client Knowledge
So now we have audit data and website structure to guide us. And for some PPC agencies, that’s as far as it goes. They’re ready to put together a strategy.
But for us, we take the time to make sure our structure/strategy is in alignment with the goals of our client. Because in the real world, businesses are nuanced. And these nuances aren’t always reflected in the client’s data or website structure.
For example, one of our clients is a retailer of outdoor furniture in the U.S. And as you might expect, sales volume is lower during cold weather months. But here’s the tricky part: Not all states experience cold weather at the same time (or at all!).
To accommodate this nuance, we structured the account and messaging accordingly. We broke down the top campaigns by hot and cold states, and throughout the year we run one set of messaging for hot states and another for cold states.
While this attention to detail is time consuming, our client greatly appreciated our extra effort. It allows us to tailor the client’s messaging to each state based on weather, rather than blanket the entire account with the same message.
Our Expertise and Experience
And finally, we take our expertise and years of experience and apply them to the new client’s account. Sometimes, at a gut level, we come up with new ideas and strategies to try. Sometimes, they don’t work. But sometimes, they’re a gold mine.
Stay tuned for our next post in our client onboarding series, when we look at ad messaging development.
To read this series in full, start with our introductory post.