Your Roadmap to PPC Account Structure

Your PPC account should have a logical structure just like a website does. The way you organize the products and services you advertise within your PPC account does make a difference in its success. Not only will good account structure help you keep your sanity by making things easier to navigate on your end, it can also impact your Quality Score in AdWords.

If you’re totally unfamiliar with account structure and how it works, Google AdWords gives a nice introduction to it here:

In this post, I’ll take you through a process we like to do in order to determine how to set up your PPC account structure.

Step 1: Think About Your Overall Goals

Structuring your PPC account starts with goals. Just like any marketing program, you have to think about the primary goal and any secondary goals you have for your PPC.

For example, the primary goal of a PPC program could be to promote your key service offering to your target market online. Any secondary goals would be those associated with each campaign and ad group you create within your PPC program.

Step 2: Review Your Site for Clues

One of the best places to look for clues on how you might organize your PPC account is your website. Have a look at the following:

  • The site’s navigation. If your navigation is set up well, you can often mirror your PPC account architecture after that.
  • Your existing conversion points. As a B2B business, are you measuring leads? As an ecommerce, are you tracking sales? These are the same types of conversion points you’ll work towards with your PPC.
  • Analytics data. What keywords are trending for your site (perhaps from your site’s search function or keyword data you can draw from Google Webmaster Tools)? These can help in the initial keyword research phase.
  • Locations you serve. Targeting specific locations can be a great way to make your ads more relevant to your target market.

During this organization process, you may find that there are opportunities to add new sections or pages to your website once you have logically organized and grouped products and services together that you want to advertise.

For example, if you want to advertise shirts, but don’t yet have a landing page for shirts (say they’re on a page mixed with pants), now is the time to start planning for updates to your site.

And don’t forget about looking at your competitions’ websites to see how they may be organizing their products and services; and if they are currently advertising through PPC, find out what that looks like in the search results.

Step 3: Compile Your Themes

After you’ve put in a bit of research, start gathering your thoughts by creating a list of the categories or themes of your business. A simple list will do to get a visual of what campaigns you’d start with. For example:

Campaign: Mens Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Fleece Hoodies
Ad Group: Mens Thin Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Thick Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Wind Protection Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Water Repellant Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Fleece Vests

Campaign: Mens Fleece Jackets – Color
Ad Group: Mens Blue Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Black Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Red Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens White Fleece Jackets
Ad Group: Mens Gray Jackets

You can drill down even further from there. Keep in mind that just because you have something on the website, doesn’t mean you need to promote it. Your advertising campaigns should align with those goals we talked about in Step 1.

Your Final Destination: Account Set Up

Once you’ve mapped out your account structure, the next and final step in account organization is getting into the mechanics of it all. Google AdWords offers an editing tool that allows you to organize offline and upload your data when it’s convenient for you. Bing Ads offers a similar tool as well.

And when in doubt, go with your gut. Just like any type of organization, grouping like-items together is the foundation of making your system simple to manage and easy to understand.